The ProLife Team Podcast 59 | Brian Johnston | Talking About Seperation of Church and State

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 59 | Brian Johnston | Talking About Seperation of Church and State
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Listen to Brian and Jacob talk about how universal truths influence the church and the state.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and I recently had the pleasure of hosting Brian Johnston on the Pro-Life Team Podcast. We delved into the complex interplay between our belief systems, logic, and the legal framework surrounding the abortion issue. Brian, as the Western director of the National Right to Life Committee, emphasized the legal rights and the impact of the Dobbs decision in returning the power to regulate abortion to the states. We explored the history and significance of Roe v. Wade and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, and how they affected state authority over abortion laws.

Our conversation also touched on the importance of separating personal religious beliefs from the universal truths and objective facts when advocating for pro-life laws. This approach aligns with the principles of natural law and self-evident truths that our nation’s founders valued. We discussed the dangers of making laws based solely on personal theology and the need for laws grounded in objective facts and common sense.

Brian highlighted the significance of understanding how civic processes work and the crucial role of laws in stopping the human slaughter of abortion. We discussed the importance of being involved in local politics and ensuring that state representatives are informed and responsive to pro-life concerns.

One of the key takeaways was the idea that our personal faith, while it may inform our conscience, should not be the sole basis for advocating changes in law. Rather, it’s about appealing to universal truths and objective facts that resonate across different belief systems. This approach is vital in the current political landscape, where states now have renewed power to protect the unborn.

As we concluded, Brian reiterated the importance of being effective advocates for just laws, especially in the light of the Dobbs decision. It’s a reminder that we are in a spiritual war for our laws, and our involvement and understanding in the civic process are more important than ever.

#ProLifeTeamPodcast #JacobBarr #BrianJohnston #DobbsDecision #RoeVWade #NaturalLaw #UniversalTruths #ObjectiveFacts #ProLifeAdvocacy #StateAuthority #CivicProcess #LegalRights #AbortionLaws #EffectiveAdvocacy #SpiritualWarForLaws

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i’m Jacob Barr i’m here with Brian Johnston and we’re going to be talking today about how we are in a spiritual war over our laws. Talking about separation of church and state and what that means to a believer. And talking about logic and how universal truth speak to all audiences, even going beyond religion and beliefs. How universal truths that are found within nature are shareable and understandable by people who may share the same belief system with us or who may have a different belief system with us and how we can still find common ground through logic and the truth that God has set in His creation. So Brian, I’m excited to have you in the podcast once again. Would you introduce yourself not only to a pregnancy clinic leadership team who may be listening, but also to someone in a general pro-life sphere and we also apparently have been having some people who may not share our views watching and listening to these podcasts and so I feel like we have almost like a general audience. So if you would introduce yourself as if you’re just talking to a few people, you may not even know where they stand on certain things.

Brian Johnston :

Well, those are all good people that you introduced. I think it’s very important that we understand what the right to life is. And I am the Western director of the National Right to Life Committee, which is made of 50 separate entities, one in each state it’s not dissimilar to how the United States is set up. These are representative organizations in each state that are focused on the civic process, educational and civics in other words, this is a legal question. Nowhere is that clearer than in the Dobbs decision. And I know the last time we spoke, you’re well aware of the book I wrote recently that explains in greater depth what Roe V Wade really did because it had a companion decision that never got discussed. Doe versus Bolton and that book is called Evil Twins, Roe and Doe, How the Supreme Court Unleashed Medical Killing. Back to our specifics here and talking about the right to life. It’s a legal right. And what happened in 1973 the reason we have so many crisis pregnancy centers is that people were alarmed because up until January twenty second of 73 those young women were not being induced to go into an abortion clinic and kill their babies. That wasn’t happening. In fact, the opposite was happening. Each state, even progressive states like California, New York, Colorado and Massachusetts, they had more progressive laws. But each state said no, we’re going to control this whole thing of human killing babies. There’s laws against that. But Roe V Wade did, and that’s what my book tries to get folks to understand, is it gave the authority of the state which is charged under the Constitution. Under the Constitution, each and every state has been given a sacred charge, what’s known as a compelling state interest to protect the lives of those within their jurisdiction, to protect life. That was taken away January twenty second nineteen seventy, three in the Roe V Wade decision. And if you read Roe carefully, it’s very carefully written dishonestly, but you can cut through to it. And many Provo board legal experts agree that Justice Blackmun simply lied. There’s something wrong with Roe V Wade. And what he did is he made-up all these different reasons for doing one thing, taking the authority of the state to protect those babies, which again, had been done until that day. And every single state was told, no, you cannot protect those babies. We’re making a new nationalized law and we’re empowering one person to decide if the abortion should take place. That one person needed one thing, an MD degree. They needed to be a doctor. And if you read Roe V Wade and Dovey Bolton, it’s very explicit. Only doctors have the authority to make that decision, and that decision is entirely made on their personal predilection. If they think this abortion should take place in the sake of the woman’s life or health, so suddenly life is equated now with health, it’s the same thing. And then health is defined as whatever that doctor felt his feelings, not the woman didn’t have to say, oh, I need to have this abortion or my health is in danger. Blackman was explicit. If the doctor’s opinion was this girl can’t handle it for any number of social or sociological psychological reasons that could be projected by the doctor, the doctor had all authority to kill the baby. That’s what Roe V Wade really did with Dovie Bolton, Dob said. I’m sorry, that’s not in the Constitution. You and I and all of us who are pro-life said we don’t like Roe. But Dobbs is very specific. That is not a constitutional right, and it certainly is not given to one person to have this authority over which human lives and dies. And that’s what Roe had given the abortionist. So Dobbs has said we’re going to let the states decide. The right to life will now be in the hands of the states where it was always asserted to be that the states have that authority and a responsibility to define for our state what the laws are that’s why every state has laws about homicide and they’re they differ from state to state, 1st and second degree homicide, manslaughter, first and second degree manslaughter. There’s all sorts of different rules in different States, and the state legislature has that authority to determine those rules. And that’s what Dobbs said the states are now going to decide why am I pounding at home because now if you work at a crisis pregnancy center, if you are just pro-life generically or if you’re just tuning in for the first time and you realize, wow, we have been killing babies throughout pregnancy, that’s what Roe V Wade allowed. The lie was, oh, it’s going to restrict in the first trimester, or maybe the second, or maybe just for hard Case. No, what I just explained to you is there in Roe, and it’s in Doe explicitly. The abortionist makes the final decision. It can be whatever they want. And that’s why Roe had to be overturned it’s a legal question. And now every state gets to employ its legal authority to make those decisions. So the right to life is a legal right which our founders established that’s where our movement gets its name. From the right to life, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all are created equal, endowed by the Creator with this right it’s not endowed by the government, but the government has a duty to ensure these rights. For this reason, governments are instituted among men. So that’s a quick summation of why the Dobbs decision is so important and why we need to understand the power that you as individual in your state has to make sure you’re electing pro-life individuals who will assert in your state protection for that baby legal protection, which is what they had before Roe. We are now back, but sadly we’re back 50 years later dealing with, I’ll be honest, an ignorant population. They don’t understand now. They don’t understand about the value of life in the womb and that the laws can and should protect those lives. Many pro lifers don’t understand that it’s the law that’s going to protect them i cannot. I personally support crisis pregnancy centers from my family income. It’s a wonderful thing it’s what’s known as a work of corporal mercy. And in the scripture, I’m a Christian i don’t hide that In the scripture it says I was naked you clothed me i was hungry you fed me. I was thirsty you gave me drink. It’s a physical need that we as Christians need to be involved in. But that doesn’t stop the human slaughter. It’s the laws that stop the human slaughter. It’s the laws that are going to protect that baby and that young mother, because in order to get to that baby, that’s the goal. If you’re not killing a human baby, then it’s not an abortion. The goal is to kill that human baby. The woman is an indirect object. You have to get through that woman to kill that baby. And so the women are being talked into it by the culture, by the society, by the language used on my podcast again Shameless plug but i’m honored to be on your My podcast is Life matters and we talked about that in depth and I talked about understanding this battle. And a lot of it is the language we use. Ideas are communicated through language. So it’s important that we understand that a woman that is getting an abortion, she’s the second victim. She in fact isn’t the goal of the abortionist. He simply needs a pregnant woman. The real object of the abortion is killing that baby. To get to that baby, he needs a pregnant woman. And so they’re out recruiting, As you know, as we speak, Planned Parenthood is recruiting a lot of the culture is encouraging that mindset well, this is how you’re going to be free. This is freedom for a woman’s If she kills her baby, then she’s not going to be tied down. If she kills her baby, she’ll be truly a woman that’s actually an aspect of radical feminism. That’s an assertion. That’s what makes a woman truly free, and many of us have heard that in the culture. But it is an actual belief system of radical feminism. So that now is surrounding, which wasn’t the case in 73 In 73 it was only the law, and our society hadn’t bought into all of the madness that somehow killing a baby makes you free. We again can restore the law, but we need to understand we’ve got to convince our fellow citizens of why that baby should be protected. And then we need to go out and advocate for that protection because it’s a legal question the right to life is a legal right. This leads us to where you want. Yeah, where you wanted us to go today on the question of church and state, which is a deep and significant question so fire away. Let’s have that.

Jacob Barr :

Well, before we ask the question of talking about separation of church and state, I think the set up question might be is what makes abortion wrong? And then how does our belief system play into abortion being an, you know, a wrong decision And then that I think that will lead us into the church and state piece. So, yeah, So Brian, what in your opinion and your thoughts, yeah, how would you summarize why or what makes abortion wrong? Like, is that pulled from a biblical viewpoint or from a moral viewpoint? Like, where do you pull in? Like, is it based on the 10 commandments and thou shalt not murder, or is it based on the child being an image bearer of God? Like, where do you pull in the value and the reasons for why abortion of an innocent child? You know, we’re not talking a topic pregnancies we’re talking of a regular, regular child who is on the on the road to having a birthday.

Brian Johnston :

That’s right no, I think that’s excellent question and i have to look to our founders because I’ll be honest with you, abortion, and I think you and I, we share a lot of commonality in our theology. But I’ll be perfectly straight with you abortion is not wrong because of my theology. It isn’t my theology that’s at stake and our founders really had a clear understanding of that. They understood because many of them had different theological backgrounds and each of the states had slightly different theological nuances in those states they reunited and they were very clear at the founding that there are self-evident truths that the God of nature, the laws of nature and nature’s God speak to the issues that really matter and that’s what our founders said. Our founders invoked what we call now natural law, self-evident truths. They invoke that. And so they could say, just as you and I, abortion isn’t wrong because my personal faith, now my personal faith, happens to concur with the fact that that’s obviously a human being science is telling us that that’s objectively a human being. That’s an objective fact and I have to go back and we’ll spend just a little moment but it’s very important because it’s where our founders came from. They believed in self-evident truths. And as you look in the scriptures, if you are a Christian, that’s what the scriptures say. And the more time you spend as a Christian and realize you’ve been joined to what was really the Hebraic truths, the maker of the universe, the God of gods, which is what the Jews were dealing with. That’s who we’re dealing with. In fact literally when Moses was confronting this fact and he had to go back to Pharaoh and he said, look, let my God says, let my people go. And Pharaoh said, well, who’s your God? What are you even talking about? He said, well, I am sent me the God who is now i think it’s very important for Christians to dwell on that because we don’t get enough immersion. I spend a lot of time, and I think you just did, with rabbinic teachings. You were talking about Dennis Prager is a good phrase he’s a great guy. But Dennis Prager is not a Christian. He is Jewish. But as Christians, we understand we have been united in that faith of worshipping the God who is the God who is. And interestingly, that’s who our founders were worshipping. They were looking at the foundations of a new nation. They understood they had come from a country where different fags ruled the throne at different times and it created mayhem, It created madness and it created a situation where those with authority tried to force by sword their faith on the rest of the country. And our founder said we’re not going to do that. We’re going to deal with the God who made all things the self-evident truths. And I am continually fascinated in the Hebraic tradition because it should be more in the Christian tradition and it’s not taught enough. But that is God is. It isn’t about theology at all. It’s about who he is and the, if I could, the Isness of God. The business of business is where God is. And a lot of times when you read the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, but it’s in the New Testament as well. God tells us when we’re trying to figure him out. I’ll be a little bit straightforward here. I’ll be very American, he says. Hey, just quit with the theology quit asking. Just shut up and spend time with me. And that’s an approximation of be still and know that I am God be still. And we are busy dealing with theology and ideas and what yeah, what about this what about that? And He continually reminds us, when I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have made what’s man that you’re mindful of are the Son of Man, that you visit him, and yet you have you made him a little bit lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor. So there’s something about who we are that God has revealed. It’s revealed, but we’re on tangents about it. He wants us to spend time with Him, and thankfully that’s a tradition that cuts through our personal theology. And the founders knew that. The founders knew that they could not replicate the problems of the Old World, both on the continent and then, especially in England. All the traditions we have, if you look back on British tradition, they’re the ones that came up with the idea of having the constitution they have. Ai was quite blessed actually, because I have not enjoyed him, But Prince Charles, a lot of people don’t like his personality i understand why I’ve never enjoyed him. But when I heard his speech, I was so pleased because he affirmed the commitment that his mother understood and the commitment that she made. He is symbolic of a constitutional Republic, a constitutional system that asserts there are higher laws and that the king or queen is there to represent but to be under that authority. That is very clear in the Magna Carta is one of the key elements of the British constitutional system of limited government. And our founders understood that they need to limit government. But the other thing our founders really knew and understood because they were British, they’re British gentlemen. They understood that faith should not be dictated by government because that’s what led to so many hoarders within Britain and anybody familiar with any Irish who know the name Cromwell, know the stories of Cromwell and anyone who knows the story of Bloody Mary. So when someone takes authority and seeks to implement their theology, their personal theology, it’s extremely dangerous. And the British avoided that. The Americans cemented it in our Constitution. And that’s why I referred you to Madison. We could talk about Madison’s challenges because many Americans, even at the founding, didn’t fully understand the need to not because again, many states, if you were from Rhode Island, the odds were you were Baptist. If you were a Catholic, you probably lived in Maryland because of the way Maryland was founded. But each of the states had a religious system, the founder said look, we’re going to be isolated and we’re not going to be able to come to a common understanding if we make this about our personal theology. We have to go with the laws of nature and nature’s God what’s been revealed now? Every Christian looks to what the scriptures say. And again probably in Romans it’s most eloquent Romans one twenty where it says that he has revealed his invisible nature through his visible creation. So they are without excuse. So God has revealed that there is a higher law and a maker for all of this makes sense. You may not yet get it, but there we live in an ordered universe that’s what allows scientists anyone who is a scientist knows that these things make sense and you can use physical reality and test it again and again and you can come to conclusions because we live in an ordered universe or as Christians would say, our God is not a God of confusion. So this principle of higher law and what the founders and those before them referred to as natural law, is the predicate by which our laws are made. We need to be able to demonstrate why it’s wrong. I can, and you can, and most effective pro-life advocates can demonstrate that that’s a human baby that’s demonstrable scientifically. It’s nothing to do with my theology. And very often our opponents will immediately swing back and want to bring you into. Yeah, that’s because you believe it no, I haven’t seen anything about my beliefs. I’m talking about the objective facts when does the heartbeat, what is each one of these cells is unique and the genetic code, and you and I know that that’s what makes us unique. So science is on our side and facts are on our side, and facts are terrible things to waste if we devolve and allow them. They want to make this about what they believe they believe that’s a disposable thingy. So it’s about their belief. Our job is not to say yeah, but I believe something different my faith is this is not a battle of faiths, but it’s very clear that those who are our opponents, they believe a certain thing, but the facts aren’t on their side. So we need to use objective, self-evident truths, objective facts as we pursue the laws now, in each of the 50 states, we need to make sure we’re effectively involved in civics and not going out swaying you got to do this because my faith said it. That’s not effective civics, that’s not winning over your neighbor. It’s not being able to rightly divide the word of truth. That’s not being able to explain the reason for what you believe, You need to be able to explain it if you’re a Christian, that’s one of your duties, is to be able to get a hold of what’s objectively true. And now that Roe is overturned, we can restore these laws if we understand how civics work. And civics does not say you get to push your theology on someone else. That’s a very dangerous thing. And our opponents are already saying that about you. They’re already saying when in fact that’s what they’re doing. They’re the ones that have a belief system, and it’s a confused one. We’re the ones that can bring objective facts to bear, and so we must do that if you’re pro-life if you believe in the right to life, now the job is before you now that dogs allow states to protect babies, You want to help the states do that. You want to have good laws, and you want to be effective in how you advocate for those laws. So that’s where our personal faith isn’t the issue. It’s not about my theology. Every one of our theologies, by definition, if you’re a Christian or a Jew. That’s why I like Dennis Prager and other Rebbe that i hang out with Rebbe. I love them, but they know that god is God. And spending that time in who he is, the depths of who he is goes far beyond our understanding, our theology. And the more time you spend with the God who is, the more time you’re just still in His presence that’s the best prayer that I have, is when I when I shut up, I’ll be honest, rather a lot of people pray. Oh God, I need help with this i want this give me that yeah, I’ve got this. You need to spend time with your Heavenly Father and ask in the way that he would have you ask rather than just being complainer. So prayer, particularly focused prayer that focuses on who God is first, is an indicator that we need to set our theology aside and function in the world in which we live. God’s here, that’s what it says. That’s what Paul says in the book of Acts 17. In him we live and move and have our being paul was wandering around Athens and sharing the gospel, and he blew their mind when he said, well, I’m talking about the God that’s right here, right now and in their mind, you know, gods, the gods were far away the gods were different things. No, you are inside God right now. So that blew their mind. And that’s a theology many Christians lose track of. God is here. He wants you to invite His presence where you are. That’s good theology is not superimposing our ideas, but accepting the isness of God, His presence, and His self-evident truths, and then being able to point out the self-evident truths that He’s made known through nature, through the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

Jacob Barr :

So it sounds like you’re saying that like the natural law or you know who God is and who how he’s expressed himself through nature sort of supersedes our interpretation or our interpretation of what he might think Like it’s sort of like that’s the like the core of who you know if we can identify who you know where God is or yeah essentially it sort of removed our ability to create a false belief to then stand on almost like we’re trying to like you know try believe and trying to have a reason for avoiding you know abortion with logic is excellent. But at the same time I feel like when someone’s a you know a person who may run for politics and may get elected their belief system is probably weaved in to their thinking and to who they are and whether they’re a Christian or a non Christian they they’re they have a belief system and that belief system will yeah can change over time and based on influences but it’s also that’s also how they make their decisions is based well that’s in their belief system.

Brian Johnston :

Oh, certainly and that’s kind of what we’re saying. And that’s what the founders found as well. And that’s why they went out of their way to say we’re not going to make this a Baptist nation, we’re not going to make this a Roman Catholic nation. Literally england had gone through that and it paid a very bloody and dear price. They rather said no, the God we’re talking about transcends your theology and mind. And if we have the humility, which is really what God’s looking for in US, says his eyes go to and fro across the earth. He’s looking for the humble of heart. He is looking for those who are looking for him and our job when it comes to being an advocate for life, the facts are on our side and you’re right your belief is what is it that you cling to and God uses reason. If you read Isaiah, God invites us to come to him and reason with him. God is not unreasonable and that’s a bit that’s a very common thing i’m afraid in some Christian circles that somehow, unless your faith is absolutely unreasonable, it’s not real faith is kind of going with stuff that’s unreasonable and you can’t explain so that makes it true. And I literally have spent time all due respect, but I spent time with Jehovah Witnesses sharing with them at my front door i enjoy when they come to my front door and I explained to them how their particular doctrine isn’t really what the scriptures even their New World Translation they like mixing up the translation, but even their New World Translation reveals that Christ is God and that alarms them. And so I had one young lady say, Oh no, you don’t understand there are witnesses dying now being persecuted right now for our faith. They’re being persecuted. Ok, that doesn’t mean they’re right. And that’s a problem people think that what faith is the unexplainable if it’s unexplainable now, it’s faith. Well, that’s not the God you’re called to follow. You’re called to follow God and at first when we follow God, it is hard as a child we’re called to be born again. Or if that’s that is basically a phrase from scripture. But other, again, our, even our Catholic friends don’t like that term. But you’ve got to come to a commitment to Christ. It’s a commitment and that’s where you start. That’s your starting point, but it’s not your ending point. And that’s how it is when you’re born again, you’re a child and you need to receive from God, but he wants you to understand and then to explain. And that’s what Paul goes through. The writings of Paul are astounding he was a rebbe at one time, so he’s astounding as he explains this you need to be able to spend time with God, but then you need to mature. Don’t be a child anymore. Don’t be simplistic in your theology. He wants us to mature so that we can give an answer and explain that though the facts are on our side, and it’s very clear, you and I agree theologically, that God doesn’t like human abortions. And as you mentioned earlier, we believe in the scriptures that human beings are made in the image of God there’s something extraordinary i quoted some of the scriptures and Psalms Psalm 8 it’s very clear but that human beings are not merely animals. The secular mind views human beings as merely animals without a spiritual nature. But if you spend time with them, that’s really what every I’m very close to the domed building in Sacramento, just down the street. That’s what those buildings were about. Higher issues that the animals don’t make laws. So if you’re spending time talking about what’s right and what’s wrong, you’re demonstrating you have a spiritual capacity. You may not admit who God is, but you’re demonstrating that you’re using a spiritual quality that the animals do not share. And as much as the animal rights movement is trying to give them human qualities, they don’t have a human spirit, which is a divine spark, a gift from God that separates us. It makes us the image of God. We need to start using it. We need to start explaining to others why that’s what Paul did on Mars Hill. They had all sorts of altars, all different gods. They wanted to cover all the bases, and then they had one well, we may have missed one. So here’s an altar to the unknown God. Such a great passage of scripture where Paul demonstrates this, Paul demonstrates no, you guys, you’re so close you understand that you don’t know. That’s a great place to start. I want to explain to you who this God is. In Him, we live and move and have our being, and he’s revealed himself in his creation. Just an astounding premise. It’s a Jewish premise, but it’s also a Christian premise.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and with this podcast, we’ve had some comments in the previous podcast where i would say someone who didn’t share our belief system was asking really good questions. And so if someone’s listening and they’re, you know, not on the same viewpoint of knowing God, I would, I would encourage you to pray, asking God to show himself to you because just like, you know, just like as you said, you know God has revealed himself through creation and if you ask God to show himself, you know, that’s you’re putting it in his court to respond and making that evident by, you know, by what you can see and experience and let God, yeah, let God show himself to you and so anyway, that’s just, yeah, that’s so going on to separation so let’s say we have a politician, you know, in this for this idea and theory that we’re talking about a separation of church and state. You know, what are your thoughts about someone taking these, you know, moral laws or natural laws or God’s law and bringing it into that law creating well now local state based law creation spaces.

Brian Johnston :

Well, wait, now you just made a leap. Oh, OK. I do not. I’ll be. I think I may have mentioned this last time because I’ve been lobbying for a long time. And when I talk to a lawmaker about a particular bill and they say, oh, no, you don’t understand, I’m pro-life Oh, OK. So yeah, I’m polite because I am an elder at this church or I am a I’m a Deacon at the Roman Catholic Church, whatever it is. Ok, wait a second. I didn’t ask you your religion. I actually asked you about a specific law, a specific bill, and I returned them to what I said my premises and my premise is that abortion is not wrong because I believe it’s wrong because my theology this isn’t about my theology. And we do a great disservice to the innocent. We’re inviting it we’re placing an additional hurdle to that person’s understanding. Oh, you’re talking about killing a human baby. That’s right. And there’s couples waiting to adopt that very baby. Even if the mom is overwhelmed at the moment, there are couples waiting years to adopt that child, even children with disabilities, children a lot of the times the problem is the government that tries to control adoption limits, who can have those babies? The government’s the problem. And so it isn’t about your theology and the reason I have always blanched when someone volunteers very quickly, oh, you don’t need to tell me anymore because I am yadda yadda face. I’m concerned because those are the same people who will. And you see this right now in the current president of the United States, who boldly proclaims his Catholicism, who literally wears his ashes on Ash Wednesday. I don’t want to hear about his religion because he’s going to demonstrate what he truly believes. It’s what you do that defines. And it’s very important that we as advocates not suggest that we’re asking people that before they can protect the human life, they have to agree with my theology. Ultimately, as a Christian, i would like them to adopt A relationship with the living God. I would like that to happen. In the meantime, God is still speaking to them because it’s scripture says he’s speaking to everyone to what he’s created. So we can point out that’s what Jesus did and it really insulted the Pharisees. The Pharisees love the scripture and telling everybody what to do, when to do it. And when Jesus thought he didn’t do that, Jesus related to people where they were at, and he told them stories of real life. And he would talk about real things. Behold the lilies of the field just go through that. If you have a red letter edition, go through what Jesus taught and how he taught. He lived in reality he was explaining reality to real people. And that’s when they said this guy doesn’t teach like the Pharisees he doesn’t teach like a religious leaders. We need to not be religious leaders. We need to be, not be like Joe Biden. We need to point out the objective facts about what this debate is about there are objective facts, and a lot of times they want to go on tangents. Our job is to bring them back to the objective facts that they’re avoiding. And that’s our greatest challenge you want to be winsome when you do it, when you disagree, but you still have a compelling interest to bring the facts objective facts. And that’s our job.

Jacob Barr :

So if one politician is looking to sponsor a you know, a pro-life bill and another politician is looking to you know to vote no on that same bill. It sounds to me like you’re saying that these two politicians, you know, the pro-life politician, would have a better, would work better for him to or her to argue or to present the flat, present the logic, not based on him personally, but more so just based on universal logic or universal truth.

Brian Johnston :

Self-evident truths is what are.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah.

Brian Johnston :

You know, I’m trying to sorry no problem my battery’s giving me warnings. Oh, perfect. Yeah, so I got to charge it up here.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah.

Brian Johnston :

So I think the important thing is that if you’re a Christian, regardless of your faith when it comes to this issue, you’ve got to talk about the objective facts. Let me just take, I mean, there’s so many. What about the fentanyl issue what about the name any other public policy issue where somehow you’re going to win if you say you better do this because of my faith? No, that’s not you have to give the demonstrable facts, and those are all on our side. Those are it’s demonstrably true.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah what about when someone says, you know, I’m using the Bible as the reason for this, You know, for this position that I have. And the person you’re talking to doesn’t recognize the Bible as being a force of truth. So what you know, what would you reflect in that scenario?

Brian Johnston :

Well, I would say because we already know this i mean, I’m not picking on them, but how come so many Roman Catholics say that they’re basing their pro-life position on their faith and then you turn right around and the leaders of the pro abortion movement say, no, they’re basing their position on their faith literally. Nancy Pelosi has asserted that that’s because of her faith. So you’re actually on subjective ground. And what I would say to someone again, i believe the Bible and I believe whole chunks of Roman Catholicism. But that isn’t the predicate for changing our laws, the United States of America. That’s not the basis. And you err, seriously, you’re giving, you’re giving weaponry to your opponents when you do that, when you say this is what the Bible says and you got to do it because they will find, and I can find it for you now, I could find you evangelical leaders that are pro abortion. I think it’s reprehensible. I think they’re seriously misled and I think it’s going to come as a cost to them. But that isn’t the reason that I use to change our laws. Now being a Christian personally or people who are Catholics, that can inform their conscience, but that is their conscience and we cannot go around and say you have to follow my conscience. That’s not how we make laws in America. You better do, Jacob. What I believe you have to do it not a good fit for the American model.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah it just so what do you think So separation of church and state it So not having a church sponsored religion or not having a preference towards a certain religion. That seems to be clear and it sounds like you’re arguing your position is that it’s ideal when a politician uses universal truth because they’re because they’re the people they’re talking to will have a better chance of understanding that compared to it also because a personal beliefs can change as based on interpretation, based on understanding and so there’s a there’s a shifting that takes place as people progress or change over time.

Brian Johnston :

Sure and that the fact is that’s how our system works. Our system is built on self-evident truths that we hold this the reason we have a right to life in our founding documents is we hold that to be a self-evident truth that the government didn’t make you. So the government can’t just say well we’re going to get everybody like Jacob, we’re going to arrest and we’re going to do mind control so we’re going to send them to re education camps. There are governments that are doing that. There are governments that are doing that. If you don’t think like the government wants you to, well then you’ll go to re education camp and if you don’t finally think straight, they’ll just have to get rid of you. It’s happening in China right now. It’s happening in many other countries. So we don’t do it that way. We’re quite blessed and if anything, the model that Paul demonstrates, that God has demonstrated reality, he made reality. And that’s what Christians don’t fully understand. If when you say you’re a Christian, you’re incredibly presumptuous, you’re going, you’re actually telling people you meet on the street. Yeah, i have a personal relationship with the maker of the universe. Oh, OK, sure you do. How does that work? And now you get a chance. But the reality is, you know, a lot of people say, well, you can say I have a personal relationship with. So I know the governor, I know this movie star, I know that that’s great. But if you really do know someone, you’re going to be able to explain exactly how they set things up. The person you’re claiming to have a personal relationship with and to be a child of happens to be the maker of all things. So you better show yourself approved. You better show that you’ve rightly handled the reality he’s put you in. Otherwise you’re going to look rather tinny. You’re going to look rather Pharisaical and religious. You’re going to be pounding scriptures at people but not explaining reality the way that Jesus did. Jesus spent a lot of time and I believe as we look at the laws now, I believe the most important laws bring this back to the right to life debate, bring this back to the Dobbs era again it’s so important that pro lifers understand the gift of this moment. You can bring to pass laws now to protect those children that we’ve been getting diapers for and the young mothers have been trying to counsel and encourage to not kill the baby. Now you can have laws to protect them both. So we need to spend time understanding how to effectively pass those laws, effectively do it and make sure that there are laws that are demonstrably true and not somehow based on my personal unprovable theology. And that’s a very important element of this. And another time we can talk further. Again, I think I mentioned last time, I actually like that first Texas law that allows not just prosecution by the government of abortionists, but more importantly allow citizens who have been harmed and i’m spelling that out, that was misrepresented by the media. It’s not just anybody that can sue an abortionist under the civil law right now, Jacob. You can sue someone who has harmed you in the civil court. You can sue them and find relief. So if someone has taken your lawn mower from your garage and you can demonstrate to a judge, yeah, my neighbor, he used to come over and borrow them, and now he’s just keeping my lawn mower it’s mine. And he’s saying it’s his. But here’s my receipt. You now have demonstrated that you have been harmed by the actions of that individual. So if you are a grandparent and an abortionist has convinced your daughter to get an abortion, that abortionist has harmed you, and you can bring that abortionist to court. That terrifies the abortion industry because that’s the basis of our legal system that remedies can be sought when it comes to criminal law. And we had this discussion before. You need to understand that there are pro-life laws that have not been enforced because of what’s known as prosecutorial discretion, where a person is elected to enforce those laws they say, yeah, but I don’t believe in them. I don’t believe that we’re seeing this in a minor case, San Francisco, Los Angeles, many other big cities where George Soros has worked to elect progressives. The saying, yeah, but that person is stealing that person is breaking the law. But I don’t believe in enforcing it. I don’t believe in that law. And that’s called prosecutorial discretion and you can’t make them prosecute. If that happens with abortion laws, then we’re not really moving forward. The ability to sue an abortionist is the most frightening thing that the abortion lobby sees, that ability for them to be pursued, even if because they’ll just give more, they have more money than you and I planned Parenthood’s got billions. George Soros has more than them, and they’ll work to elect prosecutors and those who should enforce the law to then say, well, I don’t believe in enforcing that particular law, and that’s something you should be aware of. So we need to work for laws, and again, I recommend laws that include the ability for individuals to break suit against an abortionist who has harmed them.

Jacob Barr :

When Roe versus Wade was passed 49 and a half years ago, was it to protect a? Was it was it to protect abortion doctors from being sued was that part of that my?

Brian Johnston :

And sued by as a criminal, if you understand again in my book, I point out evil twins rolling dough, Justice Blackman. He was professionally before he ever got to the courts. He was an attorney who defended doctors against legal action. He was a defense attorney for doctors. And in every state, doctors were considered to be breaking the law if they killed the human baby. So he literally wrote Roe V Wade and Doe V Bolton to protect those criminals, the perpetrators, and he specifically said they’re the only ones who can do abortions. The feminists wanted the right to do their own abortions anytime they wanted. He specifically said, I am not granting that right. Women can’t just go out and do an abortion themselves at any time they want and in any way they want. With this, we do not agree. That’s the explicit quote from Roe V Wade. He gave all authority to abortionists only and he loved doctors. He loved defending criminal doctors. And in every state, if you did an abortion, you were subject, what he called, you were subject to the shadow of possible prosecution. And he wanted to make sure that his clients, doctors would never be prosecuted and that’s what Roe and Doe did. They ensured that doctors could do an abortion whenever they thought they wanted to. And that’s not in the Constitution. And that’s what Judge Alito rightly concluded and the court with him. That’s not a constitutional right. States are free to protect babies. And now if you’re in any of the states in the US, your state has that authority. If you’re not working for that, for your state to protect babies, then you don’t understand the fight we’re in right now. You need to be eloquent in explaining why the laws should defend that child’s life and under which circumstances, because that’s going to be a big debate we need to understand how to prove these points objectively. Not to say we’ll follow my faith, he’ll just do what I say because my religion says, and I have enough people of my faith in this, in this legislature, so we’re going to force our faith on you. That’s not a good predicate. Even if you get the votes, that’s not a good basis on which to get them.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That’s, I can see a lot of wisdom and what you’re saying there, that’s really.

Brian Johnston :

Good well, thank you. Yeah, this is, this is serious stuff. And again, I don’t know how far we’ve gone into this. There are so many aspects about the founding of America that addressed this that the American Founders clearly were suspicious of the power of government and wanted it limited. And they were equally equally as suspicious of a government that pushed its faith on people. And you don’t have to go far to see that when you look at the Founders, when the particular, the Pilgrims, when you look at those who came from England, who came and inhabited the colonies, the diverse colonies, they were off in themselves subject to persecution in England for their faith. So there’s a natural inclination to want to be sure that it not happen again because once the government declares i’ve been in various parts of the world, I’ve lived in Ireland, I’ve lived in the UK briefly and been to Austria and Switzerland in various parts of the South Africa. That’s a huge issue in South Africa right now. But there is a tendency, a human tendency, to make our laws on the basis of our faith. That’s a human tendency. And that absolutism is extremely dangerous. We need to be able to point out where it’s not about my personal faith. We want to make laws that can be objectively upheld and that will get consent from those who are willing to use reason, willing to be cognizant of objective facts. Our job is to appeal to them. There’s some people we will never convince. That’s unfortunate. But our job is to be as convincing as we can be by going to the objective facts. So that’s the job of the pro-life movement.

Jacob Barr :

So in the backup as you’re talking in the back of my mind I keep, I keep trying to draw a parallel between the balance of you know you know essentially having someone’s personal faith be personal and someone’s public position being logical and shared amongst based on universal truth. But then I’m also trying to draw the parallel between that and the three branch system of government where we have you know, the courts, the Senate and the presidency and how that sort of plays in with like a husband and a wife having like shared leadership of a family. Or maybe you have like a church, you know, maybe elders and deacons and you know church leadership coming together and having like you know, checks and balances and I feel like, how would you, how do we reflect on the checks and balances thought when it comes to the separation of church and state or is what kind of parallels might there be there?

Brian Johnston :

Well, i want to go back to your predicate if I could. And that is that. And I don’t think you’re saying this, but you did kind of say it, OK. And that is that. Is your faith illogical?

Jacob Barr :

No.

Brian Johnston :

Good i agree, in fact, And that’s the very first thing I point out my faith concurs with the objective facts that that’s a human baby that is objectively and scientifically and demonstrably a human baby. My faith concurs with it, but it doesn’t make this about my faith. And so that’s what we mean by separation of churches. It isn’t about my faith, and it’s very unwise when we insist we have to fall back to that. I think it’s a credit and it is who Christ is and it’s who God is. God has explained these things. I could be so bold. He’s again back to the Old Testament that no he is he’s the God who is and he’s demonstrating that constantly our problem and we can talk about this another time because it is in depth but the meaning of sin is. But our problem is, let’s just put it this way, our own thoughts are clouded. We come up with our own conclusions. That’s our problem, is we jump to conclusions both theologically, but then also about objective facts. So it’s important that we dig into what are the real facts. It’s important both in our relationship with God and having our theology right to put it that way, that i want to know who God is. I don’t want him just to be a representation of my theological confusion. I want to deal with him for who he is, and that’s how he wants to deal with me. He wants a personal relation he’s inviting us again back in isaiah, come, let us reason together. Set forth your case and I’m going to defend you. He really wants us to come and to argue need be with where we’re coming from. As long as we listen, he actually is going to defend us he wants us to come and reason with him because he’s on our side. That’s in the Old Testament. So if that’s in the Old Testament, how much more is it in the New Testament? But we need to spend time with God in our personal faith. But when you’re dealing with someone who does not share your faith, you need to behave like God does. Be accommodating and walk them through what they already know. It’s the principle and teaching and learning. You must go from the known to the unknown. If you want to learn quantum physics, you better have basic math. If you haven’t learned basic math, someone trying to teach you quantum physics is really going to go against hit the head against the wall in your head too. And so we have to learn the basics that are there and any mathematician will tell you that that’s revealed in nature, the rules of mathematics god has established thoughts, the rules of physics. Those are true. I don’t fully understand them, but I know they’re true because God made all things. And so we need to be that way when we’re dealing with those who disagree with us that they might be able to come to a knowledge of the truth they’ve been taken captive in the futility of their mind to do the will of the devil, says Timothy. And we need to be apartment to teach and to help them unwind that so they can see, yeah, that’s a human baby and again, the more when they make people again, I think the most compelling stories are those, well, I was adopted my mom is going to kill me. She decided not to and I was adopted. Why would you want to have killed me why? They don’t have an answer? Because that’s a human being and that’s an objective fact. So we have to be respectful because God has respected our ignorance i hate to put it that way. God has loved us in our ignorance, and He’s walked us through this path to come to deeper understanding. And as we deal with this issue now that we want to put into law, see, that’s pretty serious. We need to quickly come to terms with, hey, how can we explain this in a way that these folks can get it? We need to help them because they’re not getting the quantum physics that we’re living in.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah it seems like, yeah, out of the three branches of government, the you know, the one branch that’s making the laws is built to debate and argue at least under ideal situations. And so and there’s two houses within that branch to, you know, it’s sort of like it’s just built to have extreme levels of debate and then but when someone votes just party line versus baiting, you know, instead of actually voting based on universal truths or logic, then I think that’s when that sort of breaks down to being less. Yeah the safety net seems to be removed when people just vote on a party line and it gets pushed through without even reading or debating something with, you know, with the intent of finding the truth.

Brian Johnston :

That’s right and I think you’re touching on it because the three branches of government, the legislative branch is in fact designed for this debate we’re talking about folks who look at the Republic as we were given it. They don’t realize that even the executive branch, as we were originally designed, the executive branch, was not to come from popular vote. The executive branch actually is determined by the States and the Senate and the Senate’s authority has been robbed. But in a Republic, the executive, and this was true in the Roman Republic, that there was an executive branch, you they had a Senate, but the Senate chose who they would have an office called the dictator. It was a one year term and you had to trust that dictator was going to follow the laws but the Senate was empowered to create the executive branch, and that’s what our legislature is empowered to do to the Senate. That still remains a vestige of that remains to what’s known as the Electoral College by which we are to get our president. But originally, the way you elected the president is each state legislature. And back now to the people. Ironically, if you wanted to campaign for the presidency, if you had someone who wanted to be president, the best way for you to do it was to call or go visit your state assembly member, because the state legislatures were the ones who voted on who would be president. That’s how the Electoral College worked, and your state assembly member represents a handful of people. You should every everyone listening to this podcast right now, everyone should know who your state, particularly your lower house, because it’s the smaller body. You should know your state legislator personally and they should know you because that’s how America was built. That is the lowest accessible form of impacting the federal government and that’s how our federal government was designed. That was changed in 1913 when the seventeenth amendment was repealed and the Senate was then elected by popular vote. But in point of fact, the fact is that the Senate historically had been elected by the state legislatures. And so both the Senate, which is a federal body that debates issues, both the Senate and the executive were designed to be in the hands of the states. And the states have vast authority on the Constitution. And that’s where you should be involved in trying to protect babies because now the states can protect babies within their borders. And if you want to protect babies, spending time wandering about your theological position, spending time caring for moms, though, that’s good things. But it won’t stop the human Holocaust of abortion, because the laws must do that. That’s what had done it before 73 Each state had laws protecting those babies. Each state may now enact laws protecting babies, but you need to be involved in the process ’cause you’re an American. And again, your most accessible elective represent. There’s lots of local representatives. You need to pay attention to those. But our design as a government is that you get involved and be aware of what your state is doing. If you’re a citizen of that state, and that would be your lower house, your representatives should know who you are. You should call them and let them know. I represent this, I work with these people. We really need a pro-life law here. The reason you say that you work with these people or that you go to such and such a church isn’t that they should follow your theology. It’s that you represent others. You’re telling them that no, i’m representing a group of people who vote for you. Your job is to represent us and are concerned and we’re reaching out to you because we need these types of laws. And if you want to say, yeah, you’re part of Kiwanis, that’s fine too. So you just don’t call them up and say obey my theology, that’s the distinction we’re making. But you need to be involved, bringing common sense to them and demonstrating it’s their job to look at objective facts and put those objective facts into the law, which we can now do because of dogs.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, and that’s exciting. That’s exciting, that Yeah, pro-life for the for the pro-life voice in local politics is now more empowered. This is the year of pro-life local politics beginning.

Brian Johnston :

Yeah, that’s right. For the whole other program, I’d love to talk about that but we’re encouraging people to make sure they know all the way down the ballot because it’s so clear now it’s what does the school board do If you aren’t, they’re going to bring Planned Parenthood, and if you’re not there to stop them, if you don’t elect people, that’ll stop them. Planned Parenthood wants your kids. So you’ve got to be involved in the civic process and you need to bring arguments that are winsome and that are factually based that you cannot be gainsayed and they will try to say it’s about your religion. I never brought up religion at all i’m just talking about the objective facts. Who’s going to be accountable? You know the Planned Parenthood doesn’t have to answer that when they bring in a school based clinic, there’s no accountability. Who’s going to be accountable? Do the Will the parents know about this so you can stop Planned Parenthood without even mentioning abortion say, hey, that’s a nice gift, this health clinic, but who will be accountable for what’s being said? Who will be? Will they be accountable? Can the parents have know what’s going on? If the parents don’t know, Is this a good gift and that you don’t have to have a school board member that agrees with your personal stand on abortion even. It’s just common sense you need to be able to explain, hey, this is common sense how can they come into work and then they can walk away? They can walk away after harming my child. And the school has authorized this. No, this can’t be. Otherwise we’ll have to bring lawsuits against the school. We don’t have to do that. But you’re bringing in these outside people that have no accountability, so this is the time to act. This election cycle is a ripe time because of Dobbs, but also because of the understanding that Americans are now getting that we’re in a spiritual war for our laws and we need to be effective advocates for just laws.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s good yeah we are in a spiritual war for our laws that’s. Wow, That’s really well said. Well, I think that might be a good spot to cue the music i think that was a yeah, that was.

Brian Johnston :

Good stuff, Jacob well, it’s always a pleasure.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, I always a pleasure as well brian, thank you so much yeah i hope you have a wonderful evening and thank you so much for speaking about yeah, all these big topics.

Brian Johnston :

They’re huge good. There’s so much more. I’m glad we were more concise. Another time we’ll talk about the history of America’s founding. It’s there’s so much that we were not taught as kids and it’s very fascinating.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome. All right brian, I hope you have a wonderful evening and thank you for being on here and i’m excited to share your wisdom with people so this is good. Thank you.

Brian Johnston :

Bro, god bless you too.

Jacob Barr :

Take care. Bye, Brian.