The decision is in and the coverage – what there was of it – is done. A jury in Philadelphia found Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty on three counts of first-degree murder. He was charged with killing four babies and a patient, but was acquitted of killing the fourth baby. The jury also found Gosnell guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the patient’s death. The 41-year-old woman died from an overdose of drugs given to her by members of Gosnell’s untrained staff. The jury also found Gosnell guilty for performing illegal, third-term abortions and failing to comply with a state law that requires a 24-hour waiting period before performing an abortion.
Gosnell could have received the death penalty for murdering the babies, but the judge in the case sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. That means Gosnell will most likely die in prison – at great taxpayer expense for feeding, clothing and housing him for the rest of his life.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” NIV
Pleasing God is the best way to live your life. God is already pleased with us because Christ is “in” us and we are “in” Christ. Now, God wants us to follow Christ’s lead in our lives by obeying Him and fulfilling His desires.
Too simple? There’s got to be more to Christianity than that? Sorry. Spiritual success is no more complicated than doing what the Spirit desires. “…those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
Living the Grace Life comes in two parts:
The press (news media) is very good at covering big stories. News managers decide what stories are big enough to warrant extended coverage with multiple reporters bringing a wide variety of angles to the stories. Notice the words – “news managers decide.” That’s a key to understanding why the national press has decided not to cover the Gosnell trial as a BIG story.
I was a news manager for more than 30 years, so I know the process well. Whether extended news coverage is the idea of the news manager or a member of the news team, the news manager has the final say in what’s covered and how it’s covered. That makes the lack of national media coverage of the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell all the more difficult to understand. The story has all of the elements of a major story that news managers are looking for each day. It’s a high-profile case with lots of viewer/listener/reader interest. It’s controversial with high emotional intrigue. The Gosnell trial also gives 24-hour news organizations something to report about across all day parts. The story has many built-in angles that would supply reporters and news producers with plenty of support stories to go along with the primary trial coverage.
One of the most important “angles” to the Gosnell story is the issue of late term abortion. How would a news manager and reporter cover that part of the story objectively? By objectively, I mean a story that looks at the facts fairly, fully and without injecting personal opinion into the report. Here are some thoughts about how that can be done, even with a story as controversial as abortion.
While the murder trial of abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell is receiving a little more national media attention than when the trial began, the press is still missing the point of the story. Abortion is not an issue of the cleanliness of the clinic or the safety of the women undergoing the abortion or the qualifications of the people assisting Dr. Gosnell in performing abortions. It is the issue of basic humanity.
It hasn’t been too difficult to read or watch news reports about Dr. Gosnell’s trial because there haven’t been that many of them. However, what I have read went into detail about how unsanitary his clinic was and how that affected women who had come to the clinic for abortions. Some reports also included testimony of clinic employees about how many aborted babies were killed by the doctor and assistants when the babies did not die during the “procedure.” They seemed surprised that the “fetuses” looked so human. Again, journalists are missing the point of the story.
“… and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4
Romans 1:1-4 is one sentence. Verse 4 is the last part of that sentence and a vital component in the opening statement of Paul’s amazing letter to Christians in Rome. The context is Paul’s greeting to the saints (Romans 1:7) that includes the following Christian doctrines (teaching):
- Paul is a bondservant of Jesus Christ
- Paul is called to be an apostle
- Paul is separated to the Gospel of God
- God promised His Gospel before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Old Testament)
- The Gospel concerns God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord
- Jesus was born of the seed of David according to the flesh
- Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead
Romans 1:1-4 is Paul’s opening salvo concerning the Person of Jesus Christ. The Apostle is writing a letter to the Romans in preparation for his trip to see them. Some of the Romans knew what Paul taught about Christ, but many had not heard Paul preach. People often lied about Paul’s teaching and the Apostle wrote letters to address those lies. As Paul prepared to go to Rome, he made sure that no one would misunderstand what he believed and taught about the Humanity and Deity of Jesus Christ. Paul made clear that the Gospel he preached concerned the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the Son of God.
“Why isn’t the national press reporting about the Gosnell trial?”
Several of my friends on Facebook asked that question this week. Here was my quick response to one of them.
“They don’t know to handle something like this. Speaking as a 40+ year journalist, I can tell you that the press of today is nothing like the press of the 1960s and early 70s. We had no agenda but to tell the truth about anything and everything. Today’s press and media have a strong liberal agenda and are committed to promoting their agenda every day in every report. The Gosnell trial should lead newscasts and headlines across this country, but the liberal agendas have caused the liberal media a big problem. They have promoted the abortion agenda for so long that they have no way of reporting honestly on what is clearly a trial about serial killings of the most reprehensible kind. The press and media cannot do their jobs now because they have not done their jobs for decades. They stood by while millions of innocent citizens of this country were ‘legally’ murdered, so they have blood on their hands. The press and media lost their ability to report objectively and fairly when they fell to subjectivity and unfairness. That is why the press is ignoring the Gosnell story. They created Gosnell and others like him by ignoring their responsibility to report all the news honestly and fairly.”
The legal guilt or innocence of Dr. Kermit Gosnell will soon be in the hands of a jury, but the larger question is how we got here in the first place. How can we as a supposedly civilized people question whether the mass slaughter of human beings is a crime? Let me share some historical perspective that may help.
“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18
There is a supernatural being in the universe who is “anti” Christ. In fact, he is called the Antichrist. The people who follow the Antichrist and oppose Jesus Christ are called “antichrists.” The Greek word the Apostle John chose to use for “antichrists” is antichristoi. The word for “Antichrist” is antichristos. Both words have the idea of being “against Christ” and “instead of Christ”. The Antichrist is both “against” Christ and desirous to be “instead of” Christ.
What we know about Satan is that he is a “liar.” In fact, Jesus said that Satan is “a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44) Satan uses lies to oppose Christ and His Message of Truth. In fact, the devil and his followers deny that Jesus is the Christ.
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” 1 John 2:22
Another lie is that Christ did not come in the flesh.
“By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:2-3
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7
This deception, that Christ did not come in the flesh, has been a primary tool of Satan since the middle of the 1st Century. Defending the “humanity” of Christ is a battle the Church has waged for almost 2,000 years. We can learn a great deal about how to fight that battle by looking at how Christians who lived before us opposed this false doctrine.