frgavin on May 14th, 2013


The days fill with horrors old and new, and with the excuses of those who enable evil.


April 11th marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem.  Eichmann was a key man in the “final solution,” Nazi Germany’s effort to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth.


At the same time, bloggers, tweeters and a few journalists with intact consciences have blown away the mainstream media smokescreen covering the Kermit Gosnell murder trial in Philadelphia.  Gosnell operated an abortion shop of horrors, killing live born children and women who came to him for the “procedure.”


Cooperating as ever with such systemic evil are churches that measure their success by the amount of favor and access they receive from cultural, especially political, elites.  A current icon of this type is Katherine Ragsdale, seminary dean, political activist and lobbyist, cleric, lesbian activist and just about anything else a member of an elite gets to do.


It is very hard to listen to the Eichmann trial, read the Gosnell testimony or attend to much of anything that Ragsdale says or does.  But there are some common threads that are worth a look as our present culture stumbles closer and closer to collapsing in spasms of massive evil.


I. A political agenda as an alternative religion.


When the Israeli court offered him a New Testament on which to swear, Eichmann handed it back (short video with poor sound, but the relevant moment is clear):


The Nazis, too often assumed to be “Western Christians,” were into the vague gods of romantic naturalism, Teutonic myth, and even the occult.  The revealed Word of God was rejected in order to enable their agenda.


I’ve been searching for information on Gosnell’s religious leanings, and am finding it hard to locate.  It is enough to say that he’s a man of our age, married and divorced numerous times, and into making fast money.


What I can tell you, based on Philadelphia DA R. Seth Williams’ Grand Jury Report, is that Gosnell used Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Resurrection Day of new creation and eternal life, to “terminate” the children closest to birth, in some cases at seven or eight months in the womb.  And for these, he charged his highest fees.  (Report p. 5)


Neighbors and prolife activists note that Gosnell ignored sustained Christian witness outside his “clinic.”


A look at Ragsdale’s profile, linked above, will reveal no mention of Jesus Christ or even “God,” and this at an Episcopal Seminary website.  There are political and social causes, and an alphabet of academic paper credentials.  Like Gosnell, a person of our age; like Eichmann, one who has handed back the revealed Word for some other agenda.


Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images… (Romans 1:22-3)


II. Zealotry


Eichmann’s bland personality led Hannah Arendt to coin the memorable phrase “the banality of evil.”


But his outward nerd masked an inner zealot.  Eichmann’s work to eradicate the Jews was herculean.  As pointed out by Dr. Yaacov Lozowick of Yad Vashem’s Archives, Eichmann was ordered by his Berlin superiors to suspend his extermination work and shift to covering it up before the advancing Allies could discover it.  Eichmann actually disobeyed and tried to speed up the transportation and extermination.


Gosnell appeared to be a jovial old neighborhood doc.  But his support for abortionism predated Roe v. Wade.  His murders were symptomatic of decades of zealotry, and his “practice” targeted women who should not have had abortions under existing state laws.


Ragsdale (in)famously preached,


These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes—in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.


The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness.  (Ecclesiastes 10:13)


III. The need for cover up.


Although Eichmann’s late war recklessness led to Allied discovery of “the final solution,” most of the Nazi effort was covered in propaganda.  There were state media newsreels showing happy Jews living in lovely government provided neighborhoods.  There were Jewish musicians lined up to play for International Red Cross Inspectors.


Eichmann showed considerable skill in generating fake identities as he escaped to Argentina after the war, and lived comfortably until detected and kidnapped to Israel by Mossad agents in 1960.  His trial might have done as much as any other event to make the Holocaust known to the world, as it was covered by the relatively new proliferation of television and over 100 victims of the “final solution” gave recorded testimony in the course of the proceedings.  It is hard for us to imagine how much of a massive global evil remained invisible just fifteen years after the war’s end.


The Gosnell case is revealing two massive cover ups.  The first was by numerous government and private agencies that were aware of what he was doing, and refused to intervene or report him to law enforcement.  The fact is, his clinic was finally raided for investigation of prescription drug peddling and the murders incidentally discovered.  The DA’s report linked above documents layer after layer of government inspection agencies that knew about the horror and let it go on (pp. 8-16).  In addition, a private standards auditor set up by abortion providers refused to certify Gosnell’s practice, but also failed to report it to law enforcement.


The second cover up is media black out of the case, most likely out of ideological desire to avoid any negative publicity for the abortion industry.  It’s taken alternative media to out the case.


In Ragsdale’s case, her “abortion is holy” screed was pulled off of numerous pro-abortion sites after it was exposed to the light of day.  It was not repudiated, just hidden and treasured among the true believers – and by a few advocates of honesty who saved it on their own sites.


“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”  (John 3:19)


IV. Government collusion


Eichmann was part of the government, a one-party ideological state with an evil agenda.


Gosnell was coddled and protected by the State of Pennsylvania and City of Philadelphia agencies that should have stopped him.


Ragsdale is part of “The White House Project” and has testified and lobbied in Washington for federal subsidy of the abortion industry.


The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed… (Psalm 2:2)


V. The enlistment and corruption of others


The great horror of the Holocaust included the millions of “normal” people who went along with it in various ways.  Some were passive, choosing to ignore the concentration camp visible on the edge of town.  Many others were hands on in the violation and extermination of other human beings.  This was at the heart of Ahrendt’s “banality of evil” reaction to the Eichmann trial.  It wasn’t just his bland persona, it was his continued assertion that he and so many others were simply “cogs in a machine” beyond their control, “only following orders.”


Gosnell’s clinic staff were mostly women, who in some cases held other women down while he “treated” them.  One reportedly played with a live-born child for several minutes before helping to “snip” its spinal cord.  They collected money from the women who came to the office, gave bad medical advice without medical training, and were essential participants in a murder spree that victimized many other women as well as the babies of both genders.


Ragsdale is a seminary dean who prepares people to lead churches.  She preaches, teaches and speaks in a variety of religious and secular settings, including the halls of government.  She spreads the new, political religion in place of the revealed truth of the Word of God.  She takes well intentioned, idealistic religious people and lines them up as fodder for earthbound elites and ideology.


“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”  (Mark 9:42)


VI. Narrow interests


Eichmann represented a national and racial ideology.  He was all about the best for the German volk and a wider “Aryan” master race they were building.  Other races and nations were to be eliminated for the good of his group.


Gosnell was primarily self-interested.  The DA report to to the Grand Jury estimates that he raked in $10 – 15,000 per night via late term abortions (p. 23).  He killed babies and women as part of his “business.”


Ragsdale is obsessed with her gender.  A lesbian and militant abortionist, she uses the institutions that support her to foster gender based grievances, entitlements and public policies.  Well beyond what most would describe as a “feminist,” she preaches a narrow world view that serves her and those most like her.


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”  (Matthew 5:43-46)


VII. They aren’t troubled by what they do but it wears the rest of us down


At Eichmann’s trial, he remained sedate while several witnesses and spectators suffered breakdowns.  The overwhelming horror he helped inflict was not “eased by time,” and the world is still troubled by the aftershocks of his Naziism and the World War it generated.


Gosnell just kept grinning and killing despite investigations, protests and the manifest suffering and carnage his senses imbibed almost nightly from those he was supposed to be “helping.”  His victims include women living with permanent physical damage, including the inability to have children.  Not to mention the long term emotional and spiritual damage the victims of his evil must carry.


Ragsdale is promoted in every sense of that word, no matter how extreme or evil her pronouncements.  Pew sitters giver her a pass because she’s a priest; the culture sees academic credentials; politicians see a constituent and donor organizer.  The church she “serves” continues a stupendous decline, while she rolls in job opportunities, speaking engagements, lesbian ceremonies and accolades from a “tolerant” culture.  Any who would disagree with or critique her are dismissed as intolerant or neurotic un-persons.


“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”  (Matthew 24:12)


I don’t think I’m violating any confidences to say that most of us at SF are finding it very hard to cover the Gosnell trial, as relevant and pointed as it is for the kinds of faith and culture issues we engage here.  It all becomes too much some days.  I’m exhausted just reading and typing this superficial look at its implications.  Gosnell, monstrous as he is, is but a microcosm of evil pervading the church and the world.


Pray for us.  Pray for yourselves, the church and the world.  Pray for our enemies.  And read and pray the Word of God,


What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:31-39)


And keep doing the Word as well,


Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  (Ephesians 5:11)

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