Updated: Aug 7, 2019
The issue of abortion and the war waged on the unborn can sometimes seem a long way off. We often don’t even notice that we live in a bubble. We may not know anyone who is thinking about murdering their child or is even aware of any acquaintances that have requested a trained professional to dismember their baby on their behalf. The issue seems like one that will be decided in Washington by people we see on television. But what if the issue were closer to home? What if the solution were literally in your home town?
On Monday evening (5AUG19) the Twin Falls city council determined to continue murdering babies within the city limits and to continue to protect those who commit such murders. Paul Thompson, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, together with a tight group of local pastors took it upon themselves to write city code on behalf of the city council that would prohibit the practice of abortion for any reason on any level within the city of Twin Falls. On Monday evening pastor Thompson presented that code. This presentation revealed that the code’s language was perfectly consistent with Idaho law (which defines murder as “the unlawful killing of a human being including, but not limited to, a human embryo or fetus, with malice, aforethought or the intentional application of torture to a human being, which results in the death of a human being” - Idaho Code 18-4001). Heaven forbid that Twin Falls prohibit an action that the state of Idaho has already defined as murder, right? But in a 3-4 vote Twin Falls city mayor Shawn Barigar along with councilmen Chris Talkington and Greg Lanting as well as councilwoman Ruth Pierce voted to reject outright the proposed city code.
Upon hearing pastor Thompson’s well-articulated and biblical presentation a motion was made by councilwoman Suzanne Hawkins and seconded by councilman Chris Reid to consider the code, present it to the city's legal team, and discuss it at a future date. This is the kind of motion one would expect when presented with such a massive amount of information with numerous implications. Yet the council had no desire to hear further testimony, review the code, or seek additional legal council. The proposition died on the floor of the council’s chambers. The city council chose death over life, evil over righteousness. The Twin Falls city council chose to continue murdering babies.
This story begins not on a summer evening in downtown Twin Falls, but back in January in Boise. It was on January 22nd 2019 that Idaho State representatives Heather Scott of district 1 and John Green of district 2 introduced what is now known as the Idaho Abortion Human Rights Act (AHRA). This act takes seriously 18-4001 and seeks to amend an arbitrary addition to the code that prohibits the prosecution of a doctor or mother who seeks or performs an abortion.
To simplify: Idaho law states that killing a baby in the womb (regardless of stage of development) is murder. Yet the state of Idaho prohibits the prosecution of doctors and mothers for murdering babies.
Again, the state of Idaho does not argue the fact that to abort a baby is to murder him/her. But the state will not allow the prosecution of those who seek to murder babies or even the person who carries out the deed. In Idaho, people are literally getting away with murder. If passed by the state house of representatives and senate, and signed by the governor of Idaho, this act would forever abolish abortion from the sovereign state of Idaho.
You may be thinking that this is the same story that you’ve heard all over the United States in recent months and weeks. Several states and dozens of cities across our land have been passing bills and statutes that would limit the number of abortions. Let me assure you that there is nothing in common with this act and those passed in other places such as Ohio, Missouri, or Georgia. “Heartbeat” bills and similar legislation do literally nothing to prevent abortions. The legislators that pass these bills know this and yet are able to chalk up a “pro-life” victory by which they satisfy their constituents while doing nothing to stop the slaughter of the unborn, or even to stem the tide of blood.
What makes AHRA different is that it assumes:
1) An abortion of any kind, at any time (even before a heartbeat can be detected), and for any reason (to include but not limited to cases of rape and incest) is murder and is therefore wrong.
2) The only people free from prosecution in the case of the murder of an unborn baby are the licensed physician that dismembers said baby and the mother who ordered his/her dismemberment.
1) Idaho is a sovereign state able to pass any law that is not a direct violation of the United States Constitution.
2) Any and every United States Supreme Court decision (Roe vs. Wade) is not law and therefore can be (and in this case should be) ignored.
3) Current Idaho law should classify an abortion for what it is: the murder of an unborn Idaho citizen.
This act received the same kind of contempt in Boise that pastor Thompson did in Twin Falls the other night. At first glance we might assume that this contempt is drawn across national political party lines. After all, the DNC has made it plain that they love nothing more than the unrestricted ability to murder children and will do nearly anything to maintain that ability. Shawn Barigar, the mayor of Twin Falls and vocal opponent to pastor Thompson’s proposed code is after all a member of the DNC. Yet the opposition to the AHRA in Boise did not immediately come from the left, but from supposedly conservative corners on the right.
No other bill in Georgia, Missouri, or Ohio has accomplished what AHRA is attempting to accomplish. What lawmakers have accomplished is simply to move the goal posts. It does not appear that anyone wants to abolish abortion but only to limit its use. “Pro-life” candidates and organizations certainly oppose unrestricted access to abortion, but they are not in favor of abolishing the abomination outright.
When representatives Scott and Green prepared to read their bill in committee (the first step of any bill before it can be introduced on the house floor) they were cut short. The AHRA was not allowed even a first reading and died before even making it to committee. My question is: why? Why in Idaho of all places, arguably the most conservative state in the union, was this act not even allowed to be read in committee? The answer may shock you.
In a public meeting hosted by Paul Thompson and Eastside Baptist Church on August 1st (four days before pastor Thompson would stand before the Twin Falls city council) representatives Scott and Green were in attendance and freely stated that the committee speaker was under pressure, not from the left but from pro-life organizations to make sure that the AHRA was never read (representative Scott mentions this at about the 1:13:20 mark and representative Green alludes to it around 1:35 and it is mentioned several times during the Q&A beginning around 2:14:00). That’s right, supposedly conservative PRO-LIFE lobbyists were lobbying to keep killing babies. That’s why AHRA died so shortly after conception. It was aborted by the pro-life movement.
Back To The Present
As a pastor in southern Idaho, I think I can speak for all those who fear God and love our Lord Jesus Christ in the state of Idaho when I say that this year has weighed heavily upon us. We had a glimmer of hope that our state would be the first in our nation to stand for righteousness and outlaw the practice of murder for hire upon the unborn. These hopes were dismembered with precision much like the infants whom we desired to legally protect. But it was in the wake of that defeat that pastor Thompson realized his own failings. Placing all of his hopes upon the shoulders of state legislators, he came to the realization that he had never once confronted his own city and their support of this same crime.
There are but three Planned Parenthood locations in the state of Idaho, one of which is in the city of Twin Falls. Why has pastor Thompson never stood before his city council and demanded that they throw out these butchers from their fair city? This was a failure from which pastor Thompson quickly repented. Pastor Thompson was present for city council meeting after city council meeting and went so far as to write a proposed code (because the council members weren’t about to do this themselves). This code came with the goal of abolishing abortion within the city of Twin Falls yet was written in language that remained consistent with the United States constitution as well as current Idaho law. This should have been an easy victory. But either because the Twin Falls city council members are ignorant as to how the laws of this country work (a possibility) or because they lack the courage to stand for righteousness (a probability) they collectively voted not to even consider taking action.
You must understand that. More than reject the language of the code, they rejected the idea of even considering the code. That fact is very telling.
Looking To The Future
While the AHRA was defeated back in January, it is far from dead. Representatives Scott and Green plan to re-introduce the act this coming session and will keep introducing this act until it becomes law. These are the only two legislators that I am personally aware of that are staking their entire political identity on one single statement: stop killing babies in Idaho. What other issue could possibly be more important than this?
As a Christian, there is no other issue that comes close to this in importance. I care about and value my rights as an American. I have opinions about gun control and immigration. But there is absolutely zero wiggle room on this topic for anyone who claims the name of Christ. It is never permissible for one human being to murder another human being. To be a Christian means that you must be not “pro-life” but anti-death. To be a Christian who lives a life consistently with the Word of Almighty God is to be an abolitionist. Christ does not want fewer babies murdered. It is His will that there are no babies murdered.
As a pastor I urge those under my care to consider the issue from a biblical, not a political, point of view. The issue is not divided where you think it is. While the DNC proudly presents themselves as the party of death, the GOP is NOT the party of life. To vote for a republican candidate is not necessarily a vote for the unborn’s right to life. We must ask pointed questions and demand specific answers. We are not satisfied with any particular party in power. We want men and women who promote righteousness and punish evil.
As an Idahoan my duty is clear. I have already attempted to make contact with my representatives (unsuccessfully) in an effort to pointedly ask them if they intend to support or oppose the AHRA. Anything less than full support verbalized to me and realized next session is reason enough for me to vote for a true pro-life candidate. I will continue to write and call my representatives and encourage others to do likewise. If our representatives will not stand for life, then we must get different representatives.
The city of Twin Falls Idaho has chosen to continue murdering babies. Will the residents of Twin Falls choose the same?
The Idaho state legislature has chosen to accept the inconsistencies within its own code that prohibits the prosecution of murderers. Will the citizens of Idaho also accept this injustice?
The opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States is that a woman has the right to privacy if she chooses to dismember the baby that God has placed in her womb. Do the citizens of the United States of America care what the court’s opinion is?
The God of heaven and earth has spoken and declared that every human being bears His image and is made in His likeness (Gen. 1:26-28). To attack the image of Almighty God is a personal attack upon Him; the only appropriate answer to which is capital punishment (Gen. 9:5-6). All who continue in their rebellion against Him will answer to Him and will be judged by Him (Phil. 2:9-11). Do we care what God has said? Will we act upon His Word and will? Or are we content to continue to do nothing?