Oregon Representative Bruce Starr has, along with others, introduced HB 2494 in the Oregon legislature for the 1999 session which would terminate religious exemptions in relation to religious sects which use religious faith as a reason for not providing state approved healthcare for their children. Nathan Richmond, the Legislative Assistant to Starr, explained to The WINDS that the bill would not change the law as far as most religious sects go, but would eliminate exemptions for a few denominations such as Christian Scientist. He said it is already against the law for most religions to refrain from medical attention when the state deems it necessary and loss of life occurs.
The realities of this law, and others preceding it, is that parents who conscientiously refuse medical attention for their child because of their religious faith, and opt for prayer instead, may find themselves charged with murder and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
Up to this time, according to Richmond, there have been exemptions for Christian Scientists and some other religious bodies which would exempt them from prosecution if their child died as a result of an illness which might have been helped using popularly accepted treatments. This bill is designed to eliminate those exemptions bringing all citizens under one law where it would be applied evenly. Starr, a Republican, states that the law comes from a recent case in which an eleven year-old Clackamas County boy died when his parents refused him medical attention for diabetes.
According to the Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal, Jan 28, Starr, who professes to be an evangelical Christian, stated, "Adults should be free to practice their religion, and be martyrs for their cause if they choose. Children are not capable of making those kinds of decisions for themselves."
The efforts of legislators to close the loopholes of control in recent years has raised serious questions in regard to human rights and the exercise of conscience. It has always been considered a basic human right that one can live according to his conscience. In our country's history age did not seem to be a criteria for living according to one's conscience. Certain religious sects have strong convictions regarding how one should approach their faith and, historically, the state was placed in the position of keeping its hands off. The state was not to regulate or force one's religious beliefs or the beliefs of the family.
Starr says, according to the Statesman, "Children shouldn't be pawns to their parents' religious beliefs." Historically, children were considered the responsibility of parents to raise, but now governmental agencies are considering the children pawns of their parents. This strange governmental approach to human beings is seen in almost every facit of American life. One would think the government bore the children instead of the parents.
When one considers this legislation, and other legislation like it, the morbid picture unfolds. If a young person gets sick and the parents pray to God for healing instead of resorting to medical services, those parents might well spend 25 years in prison if the child dies. The law considers that act murder, manslaughter and child abuse when one trusts in God only.
In recent years the state has claimed ownership of the children. This is a new day. Serious religious students have considered that what is taking place in this country is the fulfillment of the mark of the beast. A beast in the Scriptures has always been used as a definition of civil government or political system. One might say that men are acquiring the "mark of the state." That mark is received when one turns his conscience over to the state instead of God. That would effectively fulfill the prophecy.
Taking a little aside here, a reader of The WINDS sent me a little application by Terry Stough that assigns numbers to text. Through history, numbers have had significant meaning when text has been converted to a number system. An example of this was found historically regarding the pope of Rome. During the time of Rome's religious persecution, the pontiff's title could be translated to the numbers 666 using Roman numeral values. That title was allegedly inscribed on the triple crown. The title read, Vicarius Filii Dei or Vicar of the Son of God.
The title or number of a man has been discussed in the same context these days. In our own system today, the authority of the state is not represented by the pope but by the president. President Clinton, or any president, may sign his executive orders and send his war planes to just about anywhere he likes. The Christian conscience is no longer respected and, as it has been said, "the buck stops here." Following this principle, I typed into this little application the words in capital letters, THE PRESIDENT. That is the title of the one who effectively rules these days. The application presented the numbers 666. I thought that little bit of trivia would be interesting to the readers.
To put this in simple terms, we may look at history. During the Diocletian persecution in the early 4th century, Christians were required upon pain of death to offer incense to the Roman gods, one of those gods being the emperor himself. The Christians would refuse this act since they saw it as being disloyal to Christ. They refused to take the mark of the state or the mark of civil government which this was at the time.
It seems history is repeating itself. If parents offer up their children to the state in opposition to their conscience, they take the mark of the state on the forehead or in their thinking. If one acts as a state representative and persecutes those who do not yield to these laws against conscience, he effectively receives the mark of the state or beast upon his hand. The option these days is not death, but 25 years in prison working in the slave labor camps which in these times are called prison industries.
Christians are not permitted to exercise their faith if they are fourteen years of age or under. The state has usurped ownership of God's children. They must be educated according to state decrees even in homeschool situations. The state has made it lawful to kidnap the children if it judges that "child abuse" is taking place. This is not the child abuse of violence, but child abuse where parents make their children "pawns" of their God given prerogatives. Nothing is said about the government making children pawns of its own polluted system of thought and its own sexual perversions. When children die in the hospital, where no prayers are offered for them, it is considered lawful. When a child dies at home when no drugs are administered to them, it is considered murder according to state law.
The conclusion is that it is all right to pray to any god one chooses as long as incense is offered to the god of the state along with that. This is not to say that those who get medical attention are taking the mark of the beast according to these expositors. It is saying that when one capitulates and forsakes his conscience because of the threats of the state, he has essentially received the state's mark on him. The conscience God holds inviolable and is the most holy place in man. When the state lays hold of the conscience and plays God, sitting in this temple of God, exercising the prerogatives of God, it becomes antichrist. This confrontation now taking place in religious and governmental circles is heating up and the controversy does not appear to be abating.
The question might well be poised to Rep. Starr who attends a local Baptist church. Is it biblically acceptable to force Christians who do not hold your beliefs to receive medical attention against their conscience? Does not this force constitute the same religious persecution of pagan and papal Rome? Is not this freedom of conscience for a family, including the children of that family, something our Constitution guarantees, and that no law is to be made which establishes your religious beliefs which may include modern drug therapy on those who are opposed to it?
Rep. Starr stated, "My wife and I are Christians. We pray for our kids, but when our daughter gets a runny nose, we take her to the doctor." Mr. Starr does not seem to understand that his personal beliefs do not supply the justification for imprisoning a parent for 25 years because he trusted God instead of the drug establishment. Perhaps it is Mr. Starr who might be advised to use some Kleenex when his daughter gets a runny nose instead of persecuting those who pray.
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell [practice his faith], save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Rev. 13:16-17.
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