I have been putting off going to see the recently-released movie Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. I knew that it would be emotionally draining, and likely would even trigger primal anger. But this week, as I saw yet more reports from pro-life groups such as lifesitenews.com, savethe1.com, as well as many Christian news sources who not posted glowing reports regarding the movie itself, but also what appears to be an effort to shut the movie out of theaters, even though it rated in the top 10 movies for its opening weekend. So this week, I committed to carving out a window of time to endure the movie.
The first thing those who haven’t seen the movie need to know – though supported and promoted by several Christian and para-Christian groups, this is not a “Christian film”. There is some profanity as well as some pretty graphic descriptions and depictions of some of the horrific actions of this real-life human monster’s evil actions. Indeed, despite the claims by some that this movie is an attempt at a Bible-thumping pro-life masterpiece, the reality is – the closest it gets to “Christian” is the casual mention of the Catholic faith of a police investigator. Indeed, the two main characters – Assistant D.A. Alexis McGuire (played by Sarah Jane Morris), and Detective James Wood (played by Dean Cain) both are accurately portrayed as pro-choice – matching the real-life figures).
The second thing that is important to know before seeing this film is that this is a true story. The details of the investigation came directly from the pages of investigator’s notes, court records, and eye-witness testimony. This means that there are some very graphic descriptions of the procedures used by Kermit Gosnell and his ill-trained staff.
From a mechanical/production perspective, the movie is fairly well made. Sarah Jane Morris turns in a heartfelt, believable performance as Assistant D.A Alexis McGuire, who becomes emotionally invested in the trial of her life.
Dean Cain does an adequate job as Detective James “Woody” Wood, a narcotics investigator who stumbles into the murder investigation while chasing illegal prescriptions that originated from Dr. Gosnell’s office.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell is eerily portrayed by Earl Billings, who’s smug, bizarre behaviors and
mannerisms help you to truly be disgusted with him, even before the evidence mounts.
Nick Searcy plays the infamous defense attorney Mike Cohan and his efforts to keep his client, Dr. Gosnell out of prison. Searcy has a real talent for playing a cold-hearted, thick-skinned attorney.
The surprise figure to me personally was AlfonZo Rachel who played Detective Stark (a supporting role). AlfonZo is better known to many as a political commentator, speaker, and even as a musical with ongoing YouTube episodes. While his acting is not yet quite up to top-billing, his character does provide decent supporting work.
And the final bit of information about this movie that sets it apart from most others (beyond the subject matter) is that it is the most successful crowdfunded film in history with nearly 30,000 people donating over $2.3million in just 45 days!
I won’t get into the details of the movie and its base storyline, other than to say that this film simply is telling of the investigation and trial of the man who should have been the most infamous serial killer in US History, yet was a case that received relatively little media attention. Further, the sick and twisted underbelly of much fo the abortion industry is laid bare through this film, despite the fact that those involved in prosecuting the real case specifically tried to avoid bringing abortion in general into question.
Despite the fact that this film is not a “Christian” film, I do recommend that everyone see this that can. It tells the story of a handful of victims of Dr. Kermit Gosnell that has long needed to be told – first to honor his victims, especially the babies he murdered, yet has long been swept under the rug. The movie will likely cause even the heard-hearted to at least seriously think about the practices described.
I also stand amazed at the stories of many having their views of abortion turned from pro-choice to pro-life. I am in awe of those who have been inspired to help women to “Choose Life“.
So again, my advice – go see this while you still can. The film is worth seeing not only for the film itself but because it honors the memory of those whose lives were ended by the evil and scissors of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. And while you are at it, take someone with you who is pro-choice. The movie will help them to see more of the reality behind abortion (and especially late-term abortion).
I went in expecting a kick to the guts. But what I ended up getting out of this film was a cruel and real-life view into just how evil the business of killing babies really is. I believe anyone who watches the film will likely be at a loss for words, will be frustrated (angry even) over the abject refusal for most media to even cover this trial, much less the revelations in the Grand Jury testimonies regarding just how such a “clinic” could continue to operate without regular inspections and intervention when dozens of complaints came. And while I didn’t want to post the image directly, you can click this link to see the actual image of “Baby Boy A” that was shown in court and helped seal the result of the trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.
OK – now that I have your attention, I wanted to post related to the ongoing and intentional division being inflicted on our nation, mostly based on engineered circumstances and blind willingness to believe everything one hears and reads, mostly because of our presuppositions (see HERE from last time).
I have seen, with the approaching mid-term elections here in the US, an increase in the stoking of old claims and hatred – all with the purpose of attempting to influence the election. Yes, it is normal to tie mid-term elections to the sitting President – especially if the President’s political party matches the party in the majority in Congress. If said President’s policies and legislative victories are good in your eyes, then, in theory, you would vote for the congressional candidates that would most likely continue that trend. In contrast, if the current president’s actions and “achievements” in conjunction with the current Congress are in opposition to what you see as positive progress for this nation, you would most likely vote for a candidate that would present an opportunity to change that direction. It seems like a fairly simple and logical concept.
But we have a problem: I am seeing a huge swath of Americans who are basing their voting (mirrored by their social media and public interaction) not on actual agenda or facts, but on what they have heard or read – often times turning a complete blind eye to reality and facts.
One of the largest targets of all today is President Donald Trump (Twitter: @realDonaldTrump). I have been quite candid about my views on Mr. Trump. He disgusted me as a candidate, and his hot head and fast trigger finger (at least on Twitter) drive me insane. I have directly addressed him on several issues and have remained less than thrilled at him as a person. BUT…
The vitriol that is being hurled at President Donald Trump, and by extension, towards those who do support him and his America First ideology is mind-numbing and has grown to the point that it is far more offensive than the language the man has used himself over the years.
The headline topic – racismhas always been a hot button issue in this country. We do, indeed have a history that is rife with abuses. At the same time, the US made huge strides in racial relations, and it has been just the last 10 years or so that have reopened wounds – and somehow Donald Trump is responsible for it all (despite the rips opening up long before he was a candidate or even in a position to affect race relations).
So – let us take a look at Donald Trump and his label as a racist. After all, this tops the list for most people as to why they hate him so deeply. Exactly what are these claims based on?
Is it based on some alt-right/White-nationalist websites endorsing him for office in 2016? Much like several radical Left-wing Black-Power racist websites and organizations wildly supported candidate Barack Obama for President in 2008 and again in 2012? The New Black Panthers even exercised voter intimidation at polling places to prevent white and senior citizens from voting. Donald Trump quickly distanced himself from these brazen white-supremacist groups. So then his campaign connection to Steve Bannon, who himself, because of his association with Breitbart News was connected, indirectly to “alt-right” entities. Yet that argument fails to make Donald Trump a racist.
So his comments regarding illegal immigration must be the sure-fire reason he is a “racist” – after all, he campaigned all along on reigning in illegal immigration (never mind that he has never negatively mentioned LEGAL immigration, and in fact has been quite vocal in supporting legal immigration and improving the system that gets so bogged down). Then-candidate and now President Trump has been so brazen to suggest that we need to take control of the border and that people should be screened and vetted prior to coming in. That they should not “cut in line” before those who are following the law. President Trump has (accurately) stated that dangerous street gangs are filling our streets via illegal immigration (MS-13 being a long-documented and well-known problem across several administrations). The President has suggested that employers who knowingly employ those here illegally should be held accountable. Somehow, these comments about illegal immigration and the need to control it are glaring evidence that Donald Trump is an “Evil Racist”. I find it amazing that the very people leaning on Trump’s illegal immigrant position and statements are the very same peopel who have been (and continue to be) huge fans of previous presidents who have said essentially the exact same things!
This sounds incredibly like the vast majority of Donald Trump’s speeches on the issue – even the language used is very similar.
Presdident Obama also had strong words regarding illegal immigration (then Senator):
Whether one agerees with any of these viewpoints, we cannot ignore the fact that both of these previous Presidents sound a whole lot like Donald Trump. If it is “racist” for President Trump to say it, then why was it ok for then Senator/President Obama to say it, or for President Clinton to say it? What has changed? The person saying it.
Or maybe it is the statement that some claimed Prsident Trump said in a meeting regarding DACA and the lottery system of immigration. Depending on who you as – either the vast majority who were in the meeting who say he did not use the phrase in question (“S**thole countries”), though he did admit to using “tough language”, or the a couple in the room who, at the time, were in the throwes of political battle with the President. But lets say that Trump used the offensive term in the meeting (because we have no recordings or other proof) – before it was even “verified” by Dick Durban, when the story was simply from a single Democrat congerssional aid – the biggest talking heads on CNN and company were blasting Trump as a blatant racist. No context. No wait for verification – the ruling was made: Donald Trump Is an Evil Racist. Never mind that at leats one of the talking heads, Don Lemmon, has a history of his own racial bias and willingness to yell the term from the rooftops for every situation in the world.
I am willing to accept that President used ugly language, regardless of the actual terms, to describe several nations that make up a large portion of our current immigration numbers – nations that are often also hotbeds of crime, violence, corruption, drugs, and growing terrorist activity (especially on the African continent). While I don’t necessarily agree completely with his views on revamping the immigration policy – his intent is to shift to a more merit-based system.
Assuming this one incedent is an accurate portrayal of Donald Trump’s real heart – then certainly we can use the same standard regarding Hillary Clinton, who’s infamous outbirsts while first lady (both in Arkansas and the Whitehouse) are epic. We surely can guage her thoughts by such statements towards campaign manager Paul Fray as a “F__ing Jew Ba*tard!“. And of course, her comment in support of her husband’s crime policies that black men are “super predators” wouldn’t be overlooked? Even her 2016 opponent Bernie Sanders called her out for her racism. And of course, her off-color remarks regarding Mahatmah Ghandi as running a gas station in St. Louis really was harmless, correct? And never mind her scripted and rehearsed skit for a Democrat fundraiser with Mayor DeBlasio where they openly mocked “CPT” – a well known anacronym for “Colored People’s Time” (even the African-American actor on stage was offended).
All of this while the same media blasting Donald Trump as a racist, have ignored a long history of a Donald Trump that was hailed as a friend of minorities, who received numerous awards and accolades for his efforts for minorities, and who was, until running for office as a Republican, was considered a friend of African-Americans and other minorities.
But lets pause for a moment. Regardless of all that is posted above – the hypocricy on display, the claims of racism (whether merited or not), have you ever stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, that NONE of the supposedly “racist” claims against either party or any listed- were actually as “racist” as they appear – but are being blown out of proportion simply to inflame hate towards one side or another? Have you considered that each episode above is beign selectively swept under the rug or broadcast wtih tears and claims as a tool set to promote division?
Could it be that the long-time “trump card” (no pun intended) of racism might be simply noise to distract from the actual positive accomplishments that the current President and Congress have delivered? That maybe, just maybe, if voters were not constantly bombarded with engineered or artificially inflamed stories of negativeity, they might actually look at what has REALLY been done, and make voting decisions contrary to how those controlling the narrative (especially in the media) are trying to drown us with? Regardless of whether Donald Trump is actually a certifiable racist or not, the following cannot be described as anything but positive for this nation (unless you really do hate the USA):
Through some pretty unconventional means, Donald Trump was able to get the North Korean dictator to the negotiating table, to actually take measurable steps to end and destroy his nuclear program, and – a comfort to many service member families, to return the remains of some 200 military remains. All of this is far beyond what ANY president since the Korean Conflict has been able to do.
ISIS/ISIL has been dramatically shrunk, a feat that President Obama said was impossible.
Economic Growth – Despite recent claims by former President Obama that the current economic growth was his doing, the documented reality is – President Obama said that sub 1.8% growth was the “new normal”. Yet we now see well over 4.6% growth. With the reduction in regulation and the tax overhaul, we are seeing record low unemployment numbers, with African-Americans seeing the lowest rate of unemployment in recorded history. Further, people across income bands all are seeing more money in their pockets from the tax changes as well as personal income is rising rapidly.
Manufacturing is returning, with announcements by major manufacturers of reopening factories, expansion of existing facilities, and entirely new production lines.
No, positive accomplishments do not erase Donald Trump’s character flaws, of which he has plenty. The sad reality is, our nation has had very few presidents that have been genuine men of character. Some have been relatively decent, others have been pretty rotten by pretty much any standard. We have had serious racists as President, as well as men who fought for freedom ultimately costing their lives.
And everyone filters their life experiences and observations through their point of view or perspective – and this is where the term “presupposition” comes in. A presupposition is one’s beginning point – it is an assumption or set of assumptions that may or may not be backed with evidence. Presuppositions can be helpful, or in the case of many in our nation today – can be a major component of growing divisions, hate, and even violence.
In the world of theology, we often defend our viewpoint or even our entire faith system with what is called presuppositional apologetics, that is – defending our faith based on a pre-established and “assumed” foundation. Unfortunately, using presuppositional techniques to defend the Christian faith tends to fall a bit flat in the face of those most often being answered, as they do not hold the same presuppositions. For example, I build my typical defense on my own absolute assurance that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant and unchanging. For those who absolutely deny this about the Bible – it makes a very poor and unconvincing starting point indeed!
My theology is centered on the John 1:1 statement that The Word (aka – Jesus) IS God. Indeed, it is very difficult to make an argument for the efficacy of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross if He wasn’t really God in the flesh.
In the secular world (and in some churches… but this is a whole other discussion and can of worms), many people view their neighbor through a set of presuppositions (assumptions). For some, they have a racially intolerant set of presuppositions. In the history of our nation, we see entire sets of laws, regulations, and general treatment of people groups based on a flawed and unjust set of presuppositions. Why is it that young black men were sometimes beaten or even lynched by hateful mobs based solely on a single, unverified accusation? Stories like that of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old who was lynched in 1955 after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her. No proof, no evidence. But the mob who brutally sought “justice” accepted the accusation as the truth specifically because of their erroneous presupposition that black males are criminals.
Our presuppositions are sometimes developed by our own study, growth, and experiences, while others develop from their environment – in the case of racial presuppositions – they are often the product of parents and those they choose to be around. When you add in what has been experienced – we become pragmatic – our own experience just MUST be a universal experience – and therefore taints everything we see. I remember vividly to this day my mom being mugged by an African-American man when I was still an elementary student. And I confess, that jaded my view of black men for a time. Thankfully, my mom had a far different view – and made it clear that I could not and must not judge all black men by the actions of this one brutal criminal.
Presuppositions, fueled by those filled with hate, politics, and the media are dividing our nation along with many different lines. Those who have been brought up and/or immersed in bias and hate tend to accept as fact the narrative being pushed from every corner. We see some who insist that White Men are the “devil” and are responsible for the world’s problems. Therefore, those who buy this presupposition then view all news with an expectation that White Males (aka – the “privileged” class) are always to be blamed. This carries over to the accusations of racism. When your presupposition is that racism can only be perpetrated by whites and that the victims of racism can only be Black (or more broadly, non-whites) – then you turn a blind eye to a major portion of the actual racist behaviors and troubles happening in our nation. Add to this the widespread propaganda of the #BlackLivesMatter movement – that (whether intentionally or not) promote a presupposition of a single racial group to have more value than others, and we further bend the public presuppositions and actually FEED hate and divisions.
The answer is startlingly simple: View all people with this Presupposition:
You see, Scripture clearly says that mankind was made in the Image of God. That is all of mankind – all nations, tribes, tongues. We all are image-bearers of the Creator. And while individuals do act contrary to their Creator and His character, we all are touched by sin, we still have value as image bearers. Judge each individual by the content of their character, not the color of their skin (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).
More recently, we have seen a literal disgusting circus fed by other twisted presuppositions. Judge Brett Kavanaugh stands as the latest nominee for a vacant seat on the United States Supreme Court. By all measures and his record, he is imminently qualified, has lived a life and served a career with integrity. He has been honest in admitting his alcohol consumption in high school. Yet this man stands accused of ugly violent behavior against a woman when he was 17 years old. Accusations made some 36 years after the alleged crime. And many in the public sphere have been more than willing to accept the accusations, despite vast holes and inconsistencies. Why? Because of faulty presuppositions: That a privileged white boy from a well-off family, who was a student (and apparently an outstanding student and athlete) at a prestigious private school, who liked to drink absolutely MUST have committed the alleged crime. That is just what rich, white boys do – and “always” get away with it. We have a collision of class warfare, class jealousy, and a massive #metoo movement that presumes women are always the victim and that any doubts about the validity of a woman’s accusations against a man are nothing but #misogynistic #womanhating efforts to shame the #victim.
There is a similar issue that happened just a few years ago when the #Ferguson Missouri riots were going on as a (purported) response to the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson Police officer. The narrative followed the presupposition that police nationwide were engaged in an “open season on black men”, as originally proclaimed by US Representative Hank Johnson (D- Georgia). When you believe in such a presupposition, you will be a willing participant in the supposed response. Closer to home here in Arkansas, Judge Wendell Griffen of the Sixth Judicial Circuit (and infamous anti-death penalty protestor while having an active death penalty case before his bench) began issuing very aggressive support for the rioters – actually justifying their actions because of Hank Johnson’s proclamation! One would think a judge would be willing to actually see what the evidence would say as opposed to jumping on the racial and anti-police bandwagon absent any meaningful evidence. But for Judge Griffen, his racial presuppositions trump truth and evidence. And he willingly became another part of the division in this nation.
So what is the answer? I’ve already given it to you – viewing our neighbors as being image bearers of God. Quit basing our judgment on skin color, economic background, or whether one is male/female. Begin with the evidence. Be willing to withhold judgment until the fog of the event or circumstances can settle a bit.
Filter what you hear, even if it comes through your favorite media outlet or your best friend, through a presupposition of that Image-bearer lense and seek the truth, not assumed guilt simply because of race (or more recently – because of gender). Quit swallowing the vitriol being spewed from every angle.
And let us look at what the Bible says about our differences – and the “great equalizer”:
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Galatians 3:27-28
Only in Jesus do we really begin to see each other as God sees us. Further, when we are In Christ, as new creations – we can set aside our former selves, our previous flawed and sinful presuppositions, and begin to see our neighbor through a new lens – as a person and soul – that has value and who is, at the core, in need of the same salvation we need.
And after all – who is the author of confusion and hate? Satan.