South Dakota Rallies on Abortion, Marriage Protection Kick Off
By Bob Ellis
RAPID CITY--The rally “For Such a Time as This” was held in Rapid City tonight, featuring Dr. Alan Keyes, Dr. Laurence White and Dr. Rick Scarborough.
The evening began with a dinner for pastors and their spouses at South Canyon Baptist Church where several pro-family leaders spoke during the meal.
Rob Regier, executive director of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, opened the meeting and said that going all the way back to the beginnings of our country, whether it was the Revolution or abolition or civil rights, it was Christians who got the push started to do what was right.
Father Brian Christensen introduced Geri Riggs of Sturgis, a rape and abortion survivor who went through a trying time after her abortion before coming to forgiveness and healing. Riggs rejected the idea that it was helpful to allow abortion in the case of rape, stating, “That is not compassion.” Telling of the devastating toll her guilt took on her, she called for South Dakotans to stand up and bring an end to “the victimization of women in America.”
Rep. Larry Rhoden, the South Dakota state House majority leader, said that twelve or more states are standing by, waiting to see what happens on November 7 in our state, and spoke of the impact that South Dakota can make for America.
John Ligtenberg of Love INC in Rapid City introduced Dr. Laurence White who is senior pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas.
“Right now,” said White, “South Dakota is the most important place in America. The courage and conviction of you people has allowed God to put you in the position to lead this fight!”
“We’ve come to a moment of divine destiny,” White continued, “Which is a time God has chosen. He said such a moment could be for blessing or cursing.”
Dr. White condemned the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in America as a day when the court said of the unborn: “They are not human. They do not have the right to life.” White said of the 50 million aborted children since 1973 that, “God knows every one of those little ones by name.”
White told the gathering of pastors that at the Judgment, God would not ask them how successful or popular a pastor they were, but would ask, “Are you faithful? Did you speak for those who could not speak for themselves.”
Dr. White told of his German roots and said that he often thought back to the evil that occurred in Germany several decades ago because “God’s pastors in Christ failed to be faithful.”
He quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of a handful of pastors who defied Adolf Hitler: “We the church must confess…our timidity…we have been silent when we should have cried out…by her own silence she [the church] has rendered herself guilty.”
White then said that, “America is in the mess it’s in because America’s pastors have looked the other way.” Further, he said that the failure of Christians to condemn this evil of abortion “not only condemns America but discredits Jesus.”
White challenged pastors to rise above allegations that the abortion issue is “just politics” and to take a stand. “We have been cowed and intimidated too long! This isn’t politics. This is theology. This is life and death.”
Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, also spoke at the dinner. Scarborough commented on how Catholics, Lutherans and Baptists were coming together to speak at this event, and said that if such a group “can’t get it right, then we deserve to become the next example like Germany of what happens when a people ignores their duty.”
Scarborough called on pastors to preach to their people, encouraging them to be the “salt and light” they are called to be. He also encouraged pastors to make sure their congregations are registered to vote, then lead the way in voting themselves.
“As the church goes, so goes the nation,” Dr. Scarborough told them. “As the pastor goes, so goes the church.”
Pastor Gabriel Medicine Eagle from the Rosebud Indian Reservation said God wanted to establish himself in this nation once again. He spoke of the millions of Native Americans who died between 1492 and 1900, and of the Sand Creek Massacre when women’s wombs were cut open to kill the babies inside, and likened this to the plague of abortion.
As the main event was about to get underway at 7:00 pm, about ten pro-abortion protesters gathered along West Chicago Street in front of the church to greet the nearly 800 people who attended the rally, but they were gone soon after the event began.
Geri Riggs again spoke to the gathered crowd, telling them that there was not a good reason to have an exception for rape in Referred Law 6. “The opposition is playing on your sympathy,” she told them. “Abortion is not the answer for rape victims.”
“There are many women who have been raped but haven’t turned these men in, and that has to end,” Riggs continued. “Rapists are getting off and some others are getting rich, but the innocents are paying the price.”
When Rep. Rhoden rose to speak, he received a hearty standing ovation for his role in getting Referred Law 6 (HB 1215) passed, and for his continued defense of the bill. Rhoden also recognized a number of the other representatives who had worked for passage of the bill and who were present; Gordon Howe, Elizabeth Kraus and Don Van Etten.
“Every man, woman and child has an opportunity to make a major contribution in this battle,” Rhoden said. “Let’s seize the moment!”
When Dr. White spoke to the crowd, he addressed the ongoing national discussion about the current scandals going on right now, and the question of whether it would reduce voter turnout of “values voters.”
“With evangelicals, it’s not about candidates but about issues,” he said, to which there was enthusiastic applause. “You are being given a unique opportunity to begin something here that can sweep across the nation.”
Dr. Don Oliver, a Rapid City pediatrician, spoke about the rarity that a doctor would have to choose between the life of a mother and the life of her child, and said, “All children deserve the life that God has planned for them.”
Oliver said no South Dakota doctors perform abortions, therefore allegations that doctors in the state would be in danger of being prosecuted under Referred Law 6 are not valid. He pointed out that the only abortions done in South Dakota are done by four doctors that Planned Parenthood flies into the state periodically. HB 1215 says in Section 4 that doctors are protected from unintentional death of the unborn child.
Dr. Oliver spoke of the patients he has come to know through his practice, some of which are women who have been raped or have been the victims of incest. He said that most of them testify that their child has brought them healing. He also said that abortion in cases of rape and incest just protects the perpetrator.
“Apathy is wickedness,” Dr. Scarborough said when he got up to speak. “If ever there was an opportunity to see the tragedy of Roe v. Wade overturned, it is now.”
Scarborough discussed the moral downfall in the fabric of our society, stating in the span of just one generation, “We’ve moved from a nation under God to a nation at war with God. If you remove the foundations of God’s word, who’s to say what’s wrong and what’s right?”
Speaking of the intimidation of churches by secularists, Scarborough mentioned the letters frequently sent out by Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and said, “It’s time for preachers of this nation to throw off those shackles.”
Scarborough challenged people to get active in the fight against abortion and homosexual “marriage,” telling them, “We’ve been able to hide behind the judges, but on November 7 in the state of South Dakota, the people decide. To fail to vote is to vote for abortion.”
Dr. Alan Keyes spoke of the founding documents of the United States, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and how they illustrated that the rights of the people come from their Creator, and the importance of “consent of the governed.” He took listeners on a tour of the First Amendment and illustrated how the amendment is being twisted to silence faith in the public square. Keyes also examined the Tenth Amendment and how it reserved powers for the states and people that have not been expressedly laid out in the Constitution.
Keyes said that when the U.S. Supreme Court decided to allow abortion in 1973, they violated the Constitution, pointing out that the Constitution was established to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, and asking, “How can the Constitution be consistent with killing our posterity in the womb?”
Keyes also said that abortion and marriage are not separate issues. He said that abortion deals with the product of what should come only from marriage. He said that the female was created by God to complete the male, and that this reflected the completion of God’s image in humans. Keyes said the human act of creating another human being was like sharing in a tiny bit of the wonder of God’s creativity. “What a gift!” he said.
Addressing the question of homosexual “marriage” directly, Keyes said that two people of the same sex can’t procreate and thus cannot by design fulfill God’s design for marriage. He said that abortion does at the physical level what homosexual marriage does at the institutional level. “It suppresses the procreative gift God has given us.”
Keyes commended the people of South Dakota for what they have already done, and challenged them: “People are being drawn to South Dakota because one person, one legislature, one state will stand against the tide!”
Dale Bartscher, former pastor of First Christian Church in Rapid City and now working for the South Dakota Family Policy Council, encouraged pastors and others to come to the “Capitol Rally” in Pierre on October 26. A “Gideon’s army” of 300 pastors are being called upon to stand on the steps of the state capitol to take a stand for life and truth that evening. All Christians are invited to attend. Those who attend will be meeting at Community Bible Church, 1516 N. Harrison at 6:00 pm before going to the capitol building at 7:00 pm.
Congregational worship during the event was led by Bob
Thyren, the worship leader at South Canyon Baptist Church.
Keyes, Scarborough, White and several of the same speakers will be at similar events in Aberdeen on October 17 and Sioux Falls October 18. The Aberdeen event will be at First Baptist Church at 1500 East Melgaard Rd, and at First Assembly of God at 6300 West 41st St. in Sioux Falls.