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Confessions of a Convert

By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1992

by Mercy Becerra Valdivia

Peering over this precipice, I think back and see myself during my senior year in high school: the liberal-minded, intelligent young woman I thought I was. I remember distinctly the day I scandalized my friend when he asked what I’d do if I got pregnant. “Of course I’d get an abortion.” What did he think I was supposed to do? Tell my parents? Right. I was almost out of there, and I knew about too many girls at school who’d dropped out before our graduation. I was going to college, and nothing would get in my way. Only luck spared me from making that easy “choice.”

I’ve thought back countless times and cringed at my childish ignorance. The years have irreparably opened my mind. Curiosity gave way to an insatiable hunger to know more – more about what really happens in a supposedly “safe” abortion, and the psychological and physical pain women have until recently kept silent, more about human fetal development, feminist political theory, and more about the attitudes and policies that have locked those women who are supposedly most in need of “abortion rights” into miserable poverty and disillusionment.

I know now that abortion is not contraception; it violently destroys one human life, stopping one already beating heart. I believe that since 1973, when abortion became legal, our society has left women in crisis with only one “choice.” I cannot defend abortion “rights” because women are ignorant of the repercussions of abortion and the resulting despair, and I cannot agree that these are necessary “choices” for any woman.

I have always believed that women, as all human beings, deserve the opportunity to develop their unique, immeasurable potential. But I’m told the world is unfair, imperfect. I ask why we can’t address the world’s problems without expecting women to accept abortion in the meantime. But I’m told to be realistic, that women have always had abortions. Yet, I know women had always been expected to wear corsets, bind their feet, take orders, be quiet. Those were the rules. The world must change. Whey are we in this bloody stalemate?

Finally, I understand. Abortion forces women to manipulate their bodies and only offers them “liberation” through surgical alteration. Yet abortion has come to symbolize liberation, when other goals such as day-care reform, equitable pay, parental leave, and male responsibility are the ones which will truly liberate women. Abortion violates women, and this scandal is being ignored. Abortion is a hideous vestige of age-old, entrenched prejudices, in the guise of “safe” surgery, isn’t it?

But I’m told SSHHH! Don’t ask these questions. Forget all you’ve learned about human potential and settle for what we’ve got! Just accept Roe’s abortion license, call it a “woman’s fundamental right” and sanctify it as a “feminist” ideal. Don’t ask if the abortion solution may have been a tragic historical mistake. Be satisfied with Roe’s status quo. Be “pro-choice.”

I learn I can justify abortion IF I pretend not to know there are two human hearts beating in very crisis pregnancy. I don’t want to pretend. I learn I can excuse injustices IF I compromise some human’s right. I don’t want to compromise. I learn I can ignore all kinds of hate, violence, and pain IF I just close my eyes and label people. I don’t want to close my eyes. I don’t want to label people.

So I attempt a consistent progressive approach to discussing our national tragedy of unwanted pregnancies and run into daunting obstacles. When I talk about women’s issues at all, some of my friends tell me I’m off the deep end of neurotic madness. When I defend the unborn and claim abortions will never be the solution to structural inequality, other friends tell me I’ve bought into the ideology that refuses to guarantee our absolute “choice.” Every time it’s a struggle to even get one idea across: We CAN speak out for women, men AND their children. A civilized society must protect every human.

I learn so much from my closest friends, some of whom adamantly defend abortion “rights,” but I’m frustrated and speechless when some flatly refuse to acknowledge the humanity of even a 7-or 8-month-old fetus. I try to rip away the shackles of slogans and stereotypes, and not be intimidated by the pressures from both “sides.” It’s painful enough to disagree with people I love so fiercely. I’ve had to choose to think for myself – about abortion, about women’s lives and our place in history, about the insidious ideas that perpetuate ignorance, disempowerment and human suffering – and this choice continues to be a bittersweet lesson. Who says you don’t learn anything in college?

Mercy Becerra Valdivia, past co-director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Progressive Alliance for Life, is pursuing a Masters Degree in Maternal and Child Health at Harvard University.


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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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In the Days of These Kings (Book)

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The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

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Running Time: 28 minutes

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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