Obama reverses Mexico City Policy

In a move that wasn’t unexpected, Barack Obama lifted a ban on giving federal funds to international groups that perform abortions and provide abortion information, known in some circles as the Mexico City policy. In contrast to his high-profile announcement of the plan to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist camp, this order was done quietly. As one person put it, Obama is friend of the terrorist, not the terrorized. Here is the report from the Associated Press:

The Bush policy had banned U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion as a family planning method.

Critics have long held that the rule unfairly discriminates against the world’s poor by denying U.S. aid to groups that may be involved in abortion but also work on other aspects of reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS, leading to the closure of free and low-cost rural clinics.

Supporters of the ban say that the United States still provides millions of dollars in family planning assistance around the world and that the rule prevents anti-abortion taxpayers from backing something they believe is morally wrong.

The story also said that the new president plans on adding funds in the next federal budget for the UN Population Fund. So, as Obama has made clear, he respects those who disagree with him on abortion but that apparently means he doesn’t bother to listen to them.

Bitterness and unforgiveness: The danger we all face

There would be a lot of things different in this world if we had no disagreements, but we are all sinful people and this is the life we must live until the end of this age.

In my sinful condition, I struggle with relationships from time to time and need to be reminded of what the Bible says about things like bitterness and anger. We cannot be fooled into thinking that it is “all right” to be this way, as if somehow another’s misstep has given us license to “bare our teeth,” so to speak. It is a dangerous thing to be unforgiving or bitter. A while back, I heard John Piper answer a question concerning these issues:

(U)nforgiveness is a hell-bent sin. The Bible says that if you do not forgive those who sin against you, God will not forgive you (Matthew 6:15). In other words, this is a mortal issue. An ongoing, unforgiving, bitter, and angry spirit will kill a person’s heart, making them shipwreck their faith and prove that they never belonged to God. God is showing you how serious this sin is.

This means that now you have the potential of saying, “If he loves me still, and he forgives this, it’s like forgiving the apostle Paul!” (It’s like forgiving murderers, because the Bible says that if you hate your brother you’ve killed him [Matthew 5:21-22]). And then maybe the emotional transaction of forgiveness and justification would so overwhelm you that the resources that you do not now have for loving this other person would be given you out of that fresh, new experience of grace.

We can’t choose to just live with these things in our heart. They don’t just sit there, but rather fester and poison everything around them. It’s not healthy, and in fact is deadly.