No truth from 1 855 FOR TRUTH
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Driving east across the US about a month ago, I got the feeling there were less religious billboards* than I had seen in the past. Or perhaps I just did not see them due to a preoccupation with the family matters that required me to make the trip. Coming back, I took a different route which I had not travelled before, returning through Missouri and Kansas. And I have to report that at least in some areas of the USA, religious billboards are still flourishing, and still thoroughly dishonest.
In Kansas, the most predominant billboards seem to be anti-abortion sponsored by Catholic Radio. I'll comment on a couple in particular.
One billboard showed a picture of a healthy baby - about a year old - with the tagline "God's most perfect creation — a baby." I'm not going to argue the theological point of whether God gets involved in the conception and birth of every baby born. But let us consider the idea of babies being "perfect" as an argument against abortion. We know that up to 50% of conceptions miscarry or spontaneously abort - primarily because they are not perfect. And we know that one of the reasons women choose to get abortions is that their foetus, while it has not naturally miscarried, is abnormal. Pointing to a health baby and claiming God made it perfect and using that as an argument against all abortion is profoundly dishonest.
Another Catholic Radio billboard anti-abortion billboard in Kansas made the claim "We believe in the integrity of ALL human life."
Again — profoundly dishonest. When you consider the absolutism of the anti-abortion position, you realize they do not believe in the integrity of the life of a woman whose health or life is threatened by a dangerous pregnancy. They are prepared to let her die. They insist on it. It's God's will. They put a significantly higher value on a clump of cells with only potential viability — a blastocyst, for example — than they do on a real living person.
I noticed one organization had signs all along the route, both coming and going, though the concentration was greater in the eastern states, and that was 855 FOR TRUTH. The organization behind this toll free number is Christian Aid Ministries - whose website implies their primary focus is on aid for those in second and third world countries. And behind this organization are the Amish and Mennonites - who we usually don't associate with fundamentalist highway evangelism. But that's what they are engaging in along the highways of America.
(You'd almost think our friend Leeon put this one up.**)
I won't argue with the one above as it is just a question - even though it does not cover the full range of options. But the one on the left I suggest is not truth, but opinion. And as an opinion, it is not even agreed upon Christian theology. The details of what happens after death - even for those who believe it is either Heaven or Hell — are not known. And it is questionable that Hebrews 9:27 makes this claim — it refers to judgement, not actually meeting God. So, don't call that toll free number for truth — call it for a belief — one belief among many versions.
Now as for this one — is it the truth? Or is it once again, opinion or belief? Is the Holy Bible inspired? Perhaps in the way that any writer needs to be inspired, but divine inspiration is questionable. Is it absolute? Given that various denominations put quite different interpretations on the same words, the answer is a firm no. Is it final? Only to those who have decided that bible scholarship stopped with the KJV. And does Psalm 119:89 say that the bible is inspired, absolute and final? It says "Thy word is settled in heaven." But we — and the various versions of the bible — are on earth. In my view, 855 FOR TRUTH, once again, is not giving the truth. And it is dishonest to put forward a matter of faith as truth.
* A selection of previous writings based on billboards:
- Meditation 26: God's Billboards (These billboards, signed by God, appear to be now extinct.)
- Meditation 40: God's Billboards Revisited
- Meditation 84: An imaginary dialogue with the God of the Billboards (These billboards, signed by God and referred to in three Meditations, now appear to be now extinct.)
- Meditation 792: This time, the answer really is in Genesis
- Meditation 840: Praying & Staying Together
- Meditation 841: Is that red or white you are praying for?
** All billboard images obtained from 855 FOR TRUTH websites. (Easier and safer than 70mph photography)
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