Testimony for The Personhood Act of South Carolina (S217)…

The South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee has the opportunity to protect life in the womb by passing S217, The Personhood Act of South Carolina. Read the text of the bill here and pray that our legislators are given the courage and compassion necessary to send this bill to the full Senate, through the House, and to the Governor’s desk. I prepared the following statement and hope to present it to an upcoming judiciary subcommittee meeting…

Testimony Prepared for Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Meeting 

in Support of S217, The Personhood Act of South Carolina

There is always a purpose in denying personhood to a particular subset of mankind: To do so allows oppressors to gain legal protection for their murders. In the early 20th century, Jews were not considered persons and so they were killed. In the early part of the 19th century, Native Americans were not considered persons and so were killed. In the 18th and 19th centuries, African slaves in America were not considered persons and so were killed. I have said it here before and I will say it again: Today there are members of the human race—just like Jews, Native Americans, and African Americans in times past—who are arbitrarily being denied personhood so that they may be killed.

The graves of those who were denied personhood in previous eras litter the ground in many places around the world. The graves of those denied personhood today in the United States of America are found in the place where they are meant to enjoy nourishment, warmth, and protection: the wombs of their mothers. The pre-born child in the womb—the 21st century’s non-person—is discarded like refuse. Other testimony today—scientific, theological, ethical, medical—will make it impossible for you to deny the reality of what I said earlier: personhood is denied to babies in the womb so oppressors can kill them without consequences. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we?

Think about these terrible statements denying personhood to a particular people and connected, in one way or another, with our past, Senators:

In 1857…

…the men who framed [the Declaration of Independence]…perfectly understood the meaning of the language they used [“all men are created equal”], and how it would be understood by others; and they knew that it would not in any part of the civilized world be supposed to embrace the negro race…. —Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

About 25 years later…

An Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution. —George Canfield in American Law Review 15 (January, 1881)

About 40 years later…

The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human. They cannot be human in the sense of being an image of God, the Eternal. The Jews are the image of the devil. —Adolf Hitler, speech at Krone Circus in Munich, Germany (May, 1923)

About 50 years later…

All this, together with our observation, supra, that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. —Roe v. Wade (1973)

All but one of those statements and their terrible denials of personhood are soundly condemned today. Yet, all those statements are cut from the same cloth: they deny personhood to a certain kind of person; they protect the oppressor and condemn his victim. Will it take another 60 million deaths before we are willing to repent for that fourth statement from Roe? Have the courage, Senators, to begin a national repentance here today. State what you know to be true: all men are created equal. Jews are persons, created in the image of God; Native Americans are persons, created in the image of God; African Americans are persons, created in the image of God. Babies in the womb are persons, created in the image of God.

Psalm 139 teaches us that God weaves each of us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Shall we take what God wonderfully weaves together and violently tear it apart after redefining it as a non-person, as discardable property? That is precisely what we are doing at a relentless pace. That carnage began just as every other instance in history started: by those with political power denying what is revealed in God’s Word, by denying personhood to a whole class of people.

Have mercy, Senators. Show our people how to repent. Begin by voting Yes for S217.

A Servant of Christ,

Andrew Dionne,
Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church
Board Member, Personhood SC
www.trinityspartanburg.com | www.personhood.sc

Restoring the hearts of the fathers to their children…

[Remarks delivered at #defundPP rally at The Peace Center (Greenville, SC), April 23, 2016]

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to testify before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. Under consideration was the Personhood Constitutional Amendment joint resolution S.719. If this joint resolution gets passed, the people of South Carolina will be able to vote on the November ballot to put the following language in the state constitution:

The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

(to keep up with this personhood legislation like our Personhood South Carolina Facebook page)

During that subcommittee hearing, it stood out to me that those speaking against S.719 were predominantly women (representing Planned Parenthood) while those speaking in support were predominantly men. Sensing the same disparity, Sen. Margie Bright-Matthews opined during the subsequent full Judiciary Committee meeting. She said, “there were a lot of men that had a lot of opinions about what should happen to a woman’s body and that was my problem.”

My first thought after the subcommittee testimony and Sen. Bright-Matthews’ statement—which, of course, was ignorant and deceptive on many levels—was this… Continue reading

SC Republican Senator Larry Martin continues to oppose pro-life legislation…

Update (3.28.16): Two weeks ago, after learning that other Senators were going to recall S.719 from his committee (which would have locked up the Senate for some time), Senator Martin relented and assigned the bill to a favorable subcommittee. This committee, chaired by Senator Lee Bright, passed the joint resolution and it is now on the docket for the Tuesday, April 5 full Judiciary Committee meeting. The vote will be close. Senator Martin has said he will back the legislation in committee so that it returns to the full Senate…but will then oppose it. Please pray that his mind changes. Pray that our conversations will be used to change the legislators’ thinking.

***

SC State Senator Larry Martin continues to obstruct the passage of a joint resolution (S.719 / H.4093) that would allow the citizens of South Carolina to vote for a constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot. With the passage of this joint resolution, we the people would be able to vote whether or not to add the following language to the SC Constitution:

Section 3.a.    The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

Sen. Martin refuses to take even the first step in this process, to assign the bill to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. Please contact Sen. Martin and urge him to move the resolution forward.

Statement Prepared for South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives Regarding the Personhood Constitutional Amendment (S.719 / H.4093)…

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Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man (Genesis 9:6).

The above verse from the book of Genesis is the basis for Western society’s condemnation and prosecution of the sin and crime of murder. Scripture makes it clear—as did the laws of our land until 1973—that persons born and preborn are to be protected. The personhood legislation that you are considering would bring a resolution to the moral conundrum we’ve been trying to resolve since the US Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade opinion denied the wisdom found in God’s Word and the hundreds of years of legal precedents derived from it.

Each time personhood for the preborn is debated in the SC legislative assemblies—as it has been for far too long now—those who speak in opposition mention several “difficult situations” that would arise if such legislation became law. Ectopic pregnancies, modern reproductive technologies (such as in vitro fertilization), accessibility to certain abortifacient contraceptives are mentioned as reasons that personhood should not be granted to the preborn.

On the other side, those who support personhood for the preborn—as I do—speak of the humanity, dignity, and inalienable rights of those children peacefully floating around in the amniotic fluid of the wombs of their mothers. Continue reading

South Carolina Personhood Constitutional Amendment (S.719 / H.4093)…

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Update (5/1/15): Senator Martin has promised to kill this attempt to protect the least among us. He sent me the following email this morning:

Pastor:
Thanks for your email.  I have briefly reviewed the text of S. 719, and it appears be identical to the language in S. 129.  Moreover, I assigned the same bill to a subcommittee last session and am unaware of any change in rulings by the federal courts that would permit a state to ban all abortions.  However, I strongly support H. 3114 which further restricts 2nd trimester abortions in our state and appears to be public policy that we can successfully defend in federal court.
Best regards,
Larry Martin
The cowardice of our legislators in the face of federal immorality is depressing. Praying now that God would raise up men who fear Him more than they fear the State.

Yesterday, the SC Personhood Constitutional Amendment (S.719) was introduced in the South Carolina Senate. Thank you, Senator Lee Bright. And today (April 29), it was introduced in the SC House (H.4093). Other attempts have been made to protect persons within the womb (most recently with the SC Personhood Act, S.129), but this is the first time a constitutional amendment has been attempted in the state. Should this proposal go forward, the citizens of SC would vote for the amendment during an upcoming general election. The centerpiece of this amendment is this statement:

The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

The SC Personhood Constitutional Amendment was read in the SC Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republican Senator Larry Martin chairs the Judiciary Committee, and he has proven himself to be no friend to children in the womb and legislation to protect them. S.129 was pre-filed in December of 2014 and has not (and will not) be assigned to a subcommittee during this legislative session. He’s stalled the bill to death. Now, S.719 falls into his hands…and I imagine he will use his power as the chairman of this committee to kill the joint resolution.

Please contact Senator Martin [larrymartin@scsenate.gov; (803) 212-6610] and urge him to give S.719 a chance to see the light of day…

 

Obama’s attack on the Gospel…

At the core of God’s Word is this truth: man is sinful. From Adam—the first man—sin spread to all mankind: “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). We are born sinners who sin. Therefore, when the Son of God took on flesh and lived among men there came an announcement appropriate to the context of the sinfulness of mankind: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). When Jesus began preaching he contextualized perfectly: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

That the One who came to save His people from their sins was a preacher of repentance should not be lost on us. “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4). That Jesus came preaching repentance was God’s tolerance toward you and me. He said what you are is not good, therefore, repent. To the sexual immoral, Jesus says repent. To the thief, Jesus says repent. To the covetous, Jesus says repent. To the drunkard, Jesus says repent. To the fornicator, Jesus says repent. To the idolater, Jesus says repent. To the blasphemer, Jesus says repent. To the self-righteous, Jesus says repent. To me, Jesus says repent. To you, Jesus says repent.

At every point where the unchanging Law of God reveals a knowledge of sin, you and I are called to repent.

Why? Because “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:27). There is a judgment to come where the repentant will meet their Savior and the unrepentant will meet their uncovenanted Judge.

This is the Christian faith. God’s Word teaches these truths for the good of our own sinful souls, and we announce them for the good of every sinful soul in the world. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Praise God there is that one way…open only to those who repent and believe.

To not announce such glories would be the worst kind of cruelty. To allow someone to persist in his sin until he dies is unkind and merciless. To not call for all men everywhere to repent is to denounce the tolerance of God.

Someone once told me I was a blasphemer and a foul-mouthed jerk…using the words of James 3. I repented by the grace of God. And Scripture has continued the same annihilation of my sinful nature, inherited from Adam. Everywhere proud, everywhere lusting, everywhere envious, everywhere unkind. And I, by the grace of God, hope to continue in repentance until the day I die…and then inherit my reward.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

In hellish contrast, watch this video released by the Obama administration:

Contrast the worldview of this video with what I laid out above from the Scriptures. Repentance—the kindness of God, remember—is the enemy. The gospel of “such were some of you” is intolerable. In its place—all dressed up in the language of affirmation and love—is bondage to sin and the damnable weight of an ever-changing law.

So devastatingly sad. But Christians will continue to preach the gospel of such were some of you until our governing officials make us shut-up. This video makes clear such silence is the desire of our President. In the meantime, we will preach repentance because we love our Savior, the friend of sinners, and because we love sinners.

It is those who reject repentance that hate souls.

Another brick in the wall…

Yesterday President Obama announced that he will push to make it illegal to call homosexuals to repentance. Once the transition from man to “woman” or woman to “man” is complete, there will be no help for the conscience of the man or woman who discovers the disaster of sin and the glory of God’s design. Transitioning is a one-way street, they say, though they assert that gender is a choice, a social construct, a choose-your-own-adventure tale. Such moral clarity…

Christian, are you ready for Biblical sexuality itself to be outlawed? Are you ready for fertility to be restricted? Are you preparing yourself and your children to obey God rather than man?

A Sermon on the 42nd Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade…

I don’t often do this, but I’d like to draw attention to a sermon I preached two Sundays ago. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, your very young neighbors are being led to the slaughter…

Abortion—What is the Church to do?

Gay mirage in SC…

The recent SCOTUS silence has given courage to state judges bending over backwards for sodomy. Charleston County (SC) Probate Judge Irvin Condon issued a marriage license to a relative—Charleston County Councilwoman, Colleen Condon— and her lover. Despite a constitutional amendment passed by 78% of the voters of SC in 2006 defining marriage as marriage, Judge Condon issued this license. We’ll now see whether SC Attorney General Alan Wilson stays true to his word to uphold the will of the people of SC.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget that judges can be impeached. In SC there are three ways:

  • The commission on judicial conduct is authorized to investigate complaints of judicial misconduct and incapacity. Disciplinary counsel appointed by the supreme court evaluates each complaint and either dismisses the complaint or conducts a preliminary investigation. If evidence supports the complaint, a full investigation is authorized. If the investigation supports the filing of formal charges, a hearing is conducted, after which a recommendation is made to the supreme court for sanctions, dismissal, transfer to inactive status, retirement, or removal.
  • Judges may be impeached by a two-thirds vote of the house of representatives and convicted by a two-thirds vote of the senate.
  • Judges may be removed by the governor upon the address of two thirds of each house of the general assembly.

So, write to your state representative, asking him to begin the impeachment process against Judge Condon, and then pray that God would make him courageous enough to stand in the gap. And pray that Alan Wilson will have courage, too.

Update 10/9/14: Attorney General Wilson has petitioned the SC Supreme Court for an injunction: “…a public official may not refuse to follow State law because ‘he thought the law unconstitutional.'”

Update 2 10/9/14: The SC Supreme Court has issued the injunction petitioned for by the AG.