Liberty Alert With Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz

Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Executive Director, Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., offers his insight on the state of religion and government in the US.

Transcript

The following program is sponsored by evangelical life ministries.

Welcome to Liberty alert with great great selves sponsored by our friends at the Lutheran center for religious Liberty here in Washington, DC, a program that cuts through the chaos and confusion in the culture today by talking to kingdom, citizenship, old biblical principles for a robust public Christian luck. And now your host, Dr. Gregory CELT

Good day, good day, Washington DC. I'm Gregory. Seltz welcome to our program. The Liberty

Alert where every week we try

To cut through the noise and take on the issues, especially the public issues that matter to people of faith and today's issue is one of those issues. The sanctity of life, the preciousness of life from conception to natural death, because that is something that should actually bond us together. As a country, there should be a bipartisan issue that human life is precious. Human life is sacred. Our, our rights actually flow from that notion. You know, this is a lot of times people say, well, that's a religious issue. No, this is a moral issue that is religiously motivated by some, but there's people who are not religious, who believe in the sanctity of life too. This issue really is an issue that we have to fight for together as a country because our civility and our sanity depend on it. So on the program today, we are privileged to have Montana Senator Steven Danes. He's here to talk about the incredible opportunity for our country to return to what I call the sanity and the sanctity of life. And, and he's been a staunch, I guess, maybe better. Uh, adjective is courageous defender of all people's inherent dignity as human beings made in God's image. Welcome Senator Danes.

I'm really glad to be here.

Well, listen, before we begin, I've gotta tell you. I have seen the gates of the Mon of the mountains open and close up front and personal on Holter lake. And, uh, I like many Americans with sub nay love to experience Montana. The way that Brad pit did in the movie, a river runs through it. Uh, I'm a Michigan man who loves the lakes, but those, those rivers are incredible. It's a beautiful place. Isn't it?

Well, Greg, I'm very fortunate as I, as I've always said, um, I didn't get to pick Montana. Montana got picked by my great great grandmother or Norwegian. Oh, from Norway, Karin Dru who homesteaded not far from the gates of the mountain prize, is that right? An hour and a half north of there where she's buried today, that by the golden west Lutheran church. How about that? And on, on her gravestone, it says saved by grace.

Oh my goodness.

That's on my Montana spa yet. I will say this. I was fly fishing on Montana streams before Brad pit ruined it for the rest of it. When we came out with Robert Redford made a big movie and we got discovered

That's right. Well, I'll tell you, I, I loved it when I was there. I just wish I could have stayed longer. It's it? It's tremendous. Well, we got a lot of people in Montana who support you. They're big supporters of you and they value your leadership. So like right to the topic, cuz I know you don't have a lot of time with us today. Um, our, our effort here in DC is to advocate for religious Liberty and the sanctity of life. And when I look at your record on, on the hill and I'm just gonna run through a couple of them, the pain capable unborn child act, title 10 abortion provider act. So no family planning money goes to abortionists. Uh, life at conception act, the law finally catches up to science. You know, dare I say, fund are also the fundamental morals of a civil society.

And then this last one, the born alive abortion survivors protection act again, I'm sometimes I just wondered how can we have to have laws that tell doctors to actually protect children that are they're actually born, uh, in their, uh, operating rooms. So my first question to you is who would be against these things and, and why is this a great moment for the pro-life movement? Uh, as an opportunity to instill this, this sanctity of life, this value of life for all people, because this should not be a part BI, this should be a bipartisan issue.

It, it really should be, and there's nothing more foundational and basic mm-hmm than the right to life, right? You go back to our founding fathers when they talk in the declaration, independence, these certain unalienable rights that among these are life, Liberty in the pursuit of happies you cannot have Liberty. You can't have the pursuit of happiness without first having the right to life. And it's, it's very, very troubling. I know for so many who are listening about how far to the left, how radical the pro-abortion movement has become because that baby born alive bill, that's not an abortion bill, right? That's an Fanta side bill, right? The baby that is born and breathing outside the womb. And we said, you can't kill that baby. If a baby is born as a result of botched abortion, right? And yet we cannot get Democrats to support that bill. And that just shows you, first of all, how powerful the pro-abortion lobby is in this country and how radical. Sadly, I say this as somebody who grew up with a lot of Democrats in our family, Montana, who were very different back in those days versus I think the radical nature of on abortion the Democrats have today.

Well, and I, I think you're exactly right on this, um, because there's 20 million pro-life Democrats today. Uh, I work with that group on the hill and the fact that it's not on their platform is something I'd love to see change as well. So again, you, the preciousness of life is a, is a fundamental issue. And a lot of the problems we see today are because people are Bega beginning to think that life can be treated, uh, as disposable. So let's also then talk then about, you know, your speech on the Senate floor concerning the Democrat's abortion on demand until birth, uh, act. I, I wish everyone could have heard that. And since not everyone did, I'd love you to amplify on that because share a few main points of your speech, because this was like you said, this was a law that was to codify abortion all the way to the moment of birth.

Wow. Yeah. Well, well it is, um, uh, it, it was radical. It, it, in fact may indeed have been the most radical pro-abortion bill ever introduced into the United States Congress. Uh, they would require that every single state be a late term abortion state. So it'd put us in the same category as China and North Korea, right. It puts us in a very, very terrible category of the most radical kind of seven countries that would be basically codifying late term abortion. In fact, it'd be sad to say the United States would be one of the most dangerous places for an unborn baby to be if they would've had their way on the Senate floor. Uh, and it's outta step with the American people, 71% of Americans, opposed late to abortions. And I understand how polarizing this bill is. Uh, this issue is, but let's at least on a bipartisan base agree on stopping late term abortion. Now, of course, I believe life begins a conception, right. But let's at least agree on stopping late term abortion. We can't even get that agreement in Washington.

Yeah. That's, that's amazing. Um, and again, I guess when I look at that particular bill, not like you said, not only is it radical because there, there is no, we would be the most radical, like you just pointed out and there is no other Western country that's even close to this kind of, uh, way of thinking about, uh, the unborn child, but explain to our listeners how that bill was a classic political overreaction to the Supreme court, possibly returning abortion back to the representatives. You know, the Dobbs case is, is the issue it is, but what, what is the Dobbs case gonna do and what, or might it do and what it, what won't it do

nine guys in black robes from:

That's the essence of what was side there. So that means the states will play a very important role. Assuming this opinion is held up. They'll still be an important role for elected officials at the federal level as well. But the states will be where a lot of the action will be. And I'll tell you why, because in the, in, in the United States Senate, it takes 60 votes to pass a pro-life protection bill. We're gonna keep fighting for pro-life here mm-hmm . But for realistic outcomes, the states is probably where you're gonna see legislation passed and signed by governors.

ro-life nation at the time of:

You, you, you think about how radical that bill was that we defeated it. We talked about there's no gestational protection, but it's, it's worse than that. It would strike down any state law that would require parental involvements in abortions for minors, an example, it would strike down any late term abortion limits at a state level. It would strike down any sex, selective or down syndrome, selective abortions that would be struck down at the, for states. If that federal bill would've passed that Chuck put on the floor, it would strike down conscious protections, uh, that, which that's a core issue in terms of religious Liberty for our country, it would strike down the, the high protections that say taxpayer dollars cannot be used for abortions. All of that would've been struck down, had shut Schumer's bill past the us Senate.

Yeah. And again, corrupting the, the, the medical profession, because that, that was a key issue for me too, back in the day. And it is today, do no harm, suddenly means I can do whatever. I please, as long as I have your consent to, and that's just not, that's not the kind of, when you have that kind of power over life and death, there needs to be proper moral limitations to it, or all kinds of bad things, incredibly bad things can happen.

I've gotta tell you. I've had, I've had students, you now, the capital opened up again, post COVID I'm having the student groups come back. Each of us, I have groups of course, from all over Montana that come these high school students and middle school students. And this questions come up. Of course, after Lee happened, uh, from the Supreme court, they're asking about Roe V. Wade. And what I do is I ask them a question. Cause I believe that people believe what they discover for themselves. Self discovery is very important to get to truth. And I asked them about their smartphone. I said, Google 15 week baby, just type in one five week, baby hit search Google. And when it pops up an image and I say, click on images and look at the image, the 3d ultrasound of that 15 week. Why do I ask 'em that?

Cause that's what the dos case was drawing the line at 15 weeks. And I just asked the question, whether no water were you stand in abortion. I asked, is that life or not? I asked 'em the question. If you were a NASA scientist and they sent the Mars Lander and the Mars Lander image came back with that image with the scientist conclude that is life or not. And listen, I know the answer cause they all look at that. Even though I can see from the of students, they don't have a response. So I'm not telling them what to believe, right. I'm asking them to think about what they want, think

About it, you know, and you did that in your speech too, because you made a great point when you just said the unborn seed, turtle eggs and unborn Eagle eggs have more protection than unborn humans, federal protection. But here's, I gotta say this. You were caricatured immediately as saying that women are like turtles. I mean, I, I heard that and they were, they were trying to make fun of what you said and everything. I said, no, that was one of the best points you made. You know, those of us who say, well, what do you, what is this protection about? You said you can't, you can actually go to jail. If we're messing with turtle eggs and go to, and be fine, mercilessly for messing with Eagle eggs,

You can't, if you mess with the nest, you can go to prison right up to a hundred thousand dollars, fine for a pre-born a pre-born turtle or Eagle. Right. So why would a pre-born turtle or Eagle have more protections than a baby?

Well, how do you, and how do you deal with this is one of the, the things I, you know, I've been in, in radio for, for almost a decade now. And I, the MIS how people caricature, you know, the, we should be trying to get at, I I've got you on here to amplify your, your voice, but also to make sure we can clarify. So we know what you're saying. Well, when people caricature an excellent point and then they try to demonize it, that's the opposite of what we should be doing with information media. Isn't it?

It is well, and listen, um, uh, anytime we're standing for truth and what we are, what I said on the Senate floor was the truth. Mm-hmm . And when you have frankly, an evil, I'm gonna call evil movement in, in murdering these babies, uh, you know, we're, we're getting a little clue too close to the target for them. And so what they do is they'll pivot and demonize the message instead of really responding thoughtfully to a counterargument. You know why there's not a counter argument to it, it's just the truth. And the more we get this out, the American people, uh, the more, I think we'll continue to change opinion here as they really thoughtfully consider what is going on there at 15 weeks at 16 weeks in these, in these last terms of pregnancy, those are human beings. They're little babies that deserve the right to life

Well, and, and Dobbs does get right to the heart of it because it's the first time the viability, uh, aspect of dab of, of Roe V. Wade is coming up for the vote and people just so you understand what that is. And, you know, I think we've heard it, but we really haven't thought about its implications. The state's main role in, in, in our lives is to protect the weak, the vulnerable from the abuses of the strong to protect law, abiding citizens from those with criminal intentions. And really for the first time we have a, a law that actually protects the strong against the weak, that legalizes the ability for the strong to actually dispense with the weak, as long as they're not viable and can't fight back. And so to me, it was if people actually sat down and said, wow, is the state able to do that? That's not really a good thing. Um, we saw that in the spirit of the Democrats bill didn't we,

We did well. Let's remember, you know, why God put government in place mm-hmm in the first place. And that was really, it's a restraint of the evil tendencies, because, you know, as, as reformed thinkers here, as somebody who grew up baptized confirmed Lutheran myself, we understand, we understand the doct of, to depravity and the need for grace, right? Uh, we live in an evil world and consequently, the role of governors to protect the weak BEC and especially in our country, we don't allow mob rule. We believe in the, in alienable rights and, and those are protected, even if you're in the minority and these little babies don't have a voice. So the real question comes down to is this life or not? If it is life, then the, the next argument is okay, you're protected. And it's, it's, it's similar. Of course, the battle we fought in this country on slavery. The question is, is that slave a human being that deserves the protection of the constitution, or is it simply property that the slave owner owns? We fought a war over that. And ultimately we came to the conclusion rightfully so that they are human beings afford all the rights of our constitution. That's the battle on abortion? Is this a baby and a life or not? Because if it is, then they should be protected.

Yeah. And this is another great point that you make that, you know, stare decisis, uh, Dr. Scott, if, if stare decisis is true, then dread Scott doesn't get overturned. And it, it rightfully should because it went against our foundational principles and it was arrogant and it was judicial overreach. And it literally took a civil war. Like you said, to finally resolve that question to a degree. Uh, but here we are again with, uh, people saying, well, why can't elite judges just determine these issues for us, because these are moral issues that are bigger, uh, than the judiciary. That's why. Um, so again, you know, Senator Danes, you know, I, I think the reason why I wanted to encourage you and that's one of our jobs too on the hill is to encourage people that are, that are engaging this fight. And so just know that you have a lot of us behind you in that regard. And like I said before, to those of you who are listening in, this is not a, this is not a Republican Democrat issue. This is a fundamental issue, what it means to be human. And so

It really is. And, and I, and thanks for stating that too. And I, I, I guess I wanna be careful, I don't come across overly partisan on this because, right. I'm just looking at the reality that we see here on the hill. Now I'm talking about the elected officials. It has sadly become a very partisan issue, but I love, I love the fact we've got 20 million pro-life Democrats, right? We need those pro-life Democrats to continue to shout loudly for their views, as they're influencing the platforms in the party and elected officials to hold them accountable, that their voice is really, really important in this moment in history. And I just encourage 'em to not give up, but to stand firm, you don't have to become a Republican, just continue to influence the Democrats

Here, get it on the, get it on the platform. And I think that's, and like we said, too, look, one of our mantras is good. Government can't save us, but bad government can destroy us. yeah. That's kind of the Lutheran view of government. Yeah. Um, but in the, in the whole point is folks, this is the kind of stuff that's gonna come with, changed hearts. It's gonna come with people serving one another. It's gonna come with people, actually caring for each other. And, and so all my life I've seen what happens when people of good will get together on this. And, and we have to, reinstill the value of life, because if you don't have a value of life, well, then politics, isn't gonna help. And, and, and none of this is gonna be stopped, but also re reinstating and re um, empowering the family. All these kinds of things are the solutions to this. And that happens in our neighborhoods, in our homes, uh, and in our own self government. Right.

It really does. And I'll tell you, I just was speaking to a group yesterday about, you know, faith and Liberty and so forth. Um, you know, Washington DC has limited capacity. Mm-hmm to really change HARs. It's not really our fundamental role that really is back in our communities, that's back in our churches. Uh, and, and that's why when you look at at freedom, um, I, I, I love Oz Guinness. Who's a, you know, an author here in our country, Oz is a good friend of mine. Oz talks about the, the freedom triangle. In other words, freedom, true freedom requires virtue for sure. And virtue requires faith and actually faith requires freedom. And so it's that, that circle there, we've gotta come back to the important role that, uh, I think about, again, I I'm so grateful for my reform heritage. My multi-generational Lutheran background that started back in Norway during the, the revivals that swept through Norway in the 18 hundreds that affected our family and our legacy of faith in our, in our Montana roots. And so I just wanna encourage it comes back to, to, to faith and virtue, very important part what we need here in our country.

Well, as a Finn, uh, I'm 50% finished. So , we we're, we're a little bit on the other side of the, of the, the bay there, I think. Um, yeah, but same, same great heritage. And, and my, my family settled in Northern Michigan, but what you, you know, what you just said, and I think our people know this too, the law doesn't transform us, the law can prevent us, provide it can provide backstops protection. It's gonna have to be changed hearts. It's actually love that. That finally does that. Like you said, faith and love and virtue in action and the government. That's not the proper role of government. Government's not the, the faith love entity in our world.

That's you read? I'll tell you, you read, I'll tell you some great letters. Of course, that John Adams wrote to ABI Guild just before they inked the declaration of independence, profound, profound words. And the, uh, the apprehensions that John Adams had about this experiment called America, because they were gonna, they were gonna transfer the power to the people, right. And the people needed to have virtue and self restraint, and that comes from faith ultimately, right. Uh, and, and, and that's, that's, you know, we're, our good works are not, don't get us to have, and our good works as a result of what God has done for Russia through his grace and mercy. And that, that is the, that's the most civil society we can have when you have that basis. You live a life of gratitude and service and not what do I deserve? And that, that just the important role, the church cannot be overstated in this moment in history.

Well, I sure appreciate having you on today. Uh, what an exciting time it is, I think for life in our country and, and I mean that sincerely everybody's life, the, the cherishing of life, uh, it, it's such a fundamental principle. Um, it's what good government should under GERD. And it's what all of us should learn to live for the sake of our neighbor. And I think you just hit the nail on the head. Good works are even, even in religion folks, good works are not to save us. Good works are what we do for neighbor because of how much God loves us. And, and so what a great opportunity to live freely in this country. Again, um, Senator thank you for your leadership. I guess my final question. How can we support your efforts for compassionate, just laws for unborn children, their mothers, their families. I mean, what, what more can we do as concerned informed citizens?

Well, the, um, uh, the prayers of, so of millions, I do believe has been part of why we are at this moment in history, overturning Roe V. Wade. Um, and, and there's a, uh, when people ask what to pray for elected officials, for me, I ask for praying for, in the book of Daniel, Daniel diffused a tough situation, there, a Jewish kid in the land of, uh, foreign land, basically Iraq thats. Yeah. And it says he had wisdom and tact. So it's, it's wisdom here on Capitol hill, but also tact. How do we communicate tactfully, uh, on issues right now that they're so polarizing, but second is engage your elected officials, make sure that pro-life Democrats, pro-life Republicans, pro-life independents are voicing their opinion because listen, the pro-abortion folks are very loud. We need the pro-life groups and pro-life believers here to continue engage their officials and, uh, and hold their elected officials accountable.

Well, we will do our part and we will seek to also be wise as serpents and harmless as doves . And, uh, I, I look forward to the time when we can, again, sit down face to face in the office. I really appreciate you being willing to come on the Liberty alert today. God bless your God. Bless your leadership.

Uh, God bless you, Greg. Thank you.

Thank you. Thanks for tuning in today to get to know our LCR L DC work better. Check out our [email protected] contain. There are resources to empower your public square dynamic discipleship, or check out our weekly word from the center opinion piece every Friday at facebook.com/l C R L freedom till next time, God bless you. Always I'm Gregory Rez. Have a great week.

You've been listening to Liberty alert with Dr. Gregory Seltz executive director of the Lutheran center for religious Liberty in Washington, DC. This program has been brought to you by the Lutheran center for religious Liberty.

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