From: William Gibbons Jr
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2019
To: 'william's email list 2018'
Subject: Saint Patrick's Day

graphic courtesy of

Greetings to each of you,

As earthy and common folk though apparently were his ways of sharing the Gospel with the people of Ireland, it still gives me pause each Saint Patrick's Day to wonder what reaction Patrick himself would have to the way we celebrate this special day bearing his name.       

In my Independence Day newsletter last year I suggested "I am not so certain Saint Patrick would be all that enamored by the way we have come to celebrate a day honoring him, but that is another newsletter altogether." Well, this is that newsletter.   

We were invited by friends recently to attend a free genealogy introductory class with them. It was interesting, but when Irish heritage came up in the conversation, I shared I have been told from an Irish perspective there are just two kinds of people in the world. Those who are Irish, and those who wish they were Irish. I also have been known to joke that with two grandfathers of Irish lineage, I am either still celebrating the last Saint Patrick's Day, or getting ready for the next one, regardless of the time of year. Actually, in my circle, it is my wife's family each year, none of whom are Irish to my knowledge, who like to have a party heavy with the color green around March 17. That party is at our house this year, which works nicely since we are on the parade route for the Saint Patrick's parade in Grand Ledge tomorrow (Saturday the 16th) at 2:00 p.m. They will make a number of food dishes including corned beef and cabbage, neither of which I care for. Evidently the primary DNA I inherited is a love of potatoes, and a quick temper. I still do eat potatoes more often than I should (at all three meals in a day sometimes), but the temper had to have some discipline applied to it so the reactive expression was not as frequent as the emotion itself. Corned beef, by the way, is not a traditional Irish food. If you are interested, I will expand on that, Patrick's life, and some other things which have come up in the last few days online at the following link . . .

God's peace,




Thank you for joining me on my website. The text on that opening graphic is a paraphrase of an excerpt from a prayer of Patrick's, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate." If I have space, I will include it later. Or, more accurately perhaps, if I feel this has not gotten too long. I had notes from one website I visited November 21, 2018 (last on the list) in my files, but it was more about what took place after Patrick. I ended up looking at an additional ten URLs in the last few days, once I knew I would be doing this newsletter. I do not like to stay connected to the Internet more than I have to, and some of the pages were quite lengthy, so I started copying and pasting the text into a Word document I could read afterward. The file ended up being 35 pages long. I am only going to include a little of that text, so here are the web addresses if you have further interest.

"In the 5th and 6th centuries (and even beyond!) the Celtic church was one of the most spiritually vibrant churches in the world. 

The Irish Christians were all spiritual children and grandchildren of Patrick, the man who brought Christianity to the Irish. If he had not come to Ireland, they would all still be lost in their idol worship. The Irish have never forgotten him. Sixteen hundred years after his death, he is still their national hero. 

However, the rest of the world had already forgotten Patrick by the time he died. In fact, outside of Ireland, few people had ever even heard of him. Those who had heard of him probably heard mainly negative things. If someone had told them that someday Patrick would be the most famous person of their age, they would have laughed derisively. Today, their names have all been forgotten, but his name lives on. The reason he is so well remembered is that he built his work out of 'gold, silver, and precious stones' (1 Corinthians 3:12). His name endured because his work endured. The church he left behind was a vibrant church eager to spread the Gospel throughout the whole world, regardless of the cost." 

Myth: St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland.

"In 431, before Patrick began preaching in Ireland, Pope Celestine reportedly sent a bishop known as Palladius 'to the Irish believing in Christ' — an indication that some residents of the Emerald Isle had already converted by then." 

"The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty, but there is broad agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the fifth century. Nevertheless, as the most recent biography on Patrick shows, a late fourth-century date for the saint is not impossible. Early medieval tradition credits him with being the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, and they regard him as the founder of Christianity in Ireland, converting a society practicing a form of Celtic polytheism. He has been generally so regarded ever since, despite evidence of some earlier Christian presence in Ireland." 

Myth: St. Patrick was Irish.

"Though one of Ireland’s patron saints, Patrick was born in what is now England, Scotland or Wales (interpretations vary widely) to a Christian deacon and his wife, probably around the year 390. According to the traditional narrative, at 16 he was enslaved by Irish raiders who attacked his home; they transported him to Ireland and held him captive there for six years. Patrick later fled to England, where he received religious instruction before returning to Ireland." 

"Patrick was born in Roman Britain (claims have been advanced for locations in both present-day Scotland and Wales). Patrick was not an active believer. According to the Confession of Saint Patrick, at the age of sixteen he was captured by a group of Irish pirates. They took him to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for six years. Patrick writes in the Confession that the time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. He explains that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance, and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven his sins and convert to Christianity. While in captivity, he worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer, eventually leading him to convert to Christianity. 

After six years of captivity he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he traveled to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and with difficulty persuaded the captain to take him. He returned home to his family, now in his early twenties. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. During the time he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people, lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.) 

After returning home to Britain, Patrick continued to study Christianity. Patrick recounts that he had a vision a few years after returning home: I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: "The Voice of the Irish.” As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea — and they cried out, as with one voice: "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us." 

Myth: St. Patrick was British.

"His birthplace doesn’t mean Patrick was a Brit, however — at least not technically. During his lifetime the British Isles were occupied by the Romans, a group that included Patrick’s parents and thus the saint himself. It is unknown whether his family — thought to have been part of the Roman aristocracy — was of indigenous Celtic descent or hailed from modern-day Italy. When Patrick penned the two surviving documents attributed to him, he wrote in Latin and signed his name 'Patricius,' but according to some accounts he was born Maewyn Succat." 

"The only name that Patrick uses for himself in his own writings is Pātricius, which gives Old Irish Pátraic, Modern Irish Pádraig, English Patrick, Welsh Padrig, and Cornish Petroc." 

"Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation — an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.) 

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. 

Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick’s life became exaggerated over the centuries — spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life. 

Careful to deal fairly with the non-Christian Irish, he nevertheless lived in constant danger of martyrdom. The evocation of such incidents of what he called his 'laborious episcopate' was his reply to a charge, to his great grief endorsed by his ecclesiastical superiors in Britain, that he had originally sought office for the sake of office. In point of fact, he was a most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped 'idols and unclean things' had become 'the people of God.'

The phenomenal success of Patrick’s mission is not, however, the full measure of his personality. Since his writings have come to be better understood, it is increasingly recognized that, despite their occasional incoherence, they mirror a truth and a simplicity of the rarest quality. Not since St. Augustine of Hippo had any religious diarist bared his inmost soul as Patrick did in his writings. As D.A. Binchy, the most austerely critical of Patrician (i.e., of Patrick) scholars, put it, 'The moral and spiritual greatness of the man shines through every stumbling sentence of his ‘rustic’ Latin.”


St. Patrick banished snakes from the Emerald Isle.

"Legend has it that Patrick stood on an Irish hillside and delivered a sermon that drove the island’s serpents into the sea. While it is true that the Emerald Isle is mercifully snake-free, chances are that has been the case throughout human history. Water has surrounded Ireland since the end of the last glacial period, preventing snakes from slithering over; before that, it was blanketed in ice and too chilly for the cold-blooded creatures. Scholars believe the snake story is an allegory for Patrick’s eradication of pagan ideology." 

(I mentioned in my last newsletter my affinity for the characters of the Hundred Acre Wood. I was delighted to find a graphic, or two, of them celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Piglet looks like he is rejoicing about no snakes even if the legend is not true!) 

"St. Patrick continued until his death to visit and watch over the churches which he had founded in all the provinces in Ireland. He comforted the faithful in their difficulties, strengthened them in the Faith and in the practice of virtue, and appointed pastors to continue his work among them. It is recorded in his Life that he consecrated no fewer than 350 bishops." 

The legends and stories of Patrick's time in Ireland are way too numerous to get into in this newsletter. I have often said that if even only a very small percentage of what is said about his life were true, it would still be a miraculous thing to behold. St. Patrick: The Irish Legend is a 2000 television historical drama film about the saint's life. Patrick is portrayed by Patrick Bergin. Several years ago it was my first real introduction to the broader story of Patrick, and some of the incredible legends connected with him. I am pretty sure we have a copy of it in the library at the Center, but it might be in a VHS format. Even so, we have a VCR there to play our VHS tapes on. 

St. Patrick Was Never Canonized as a Saint

"He may be known as the patron saint of Ireland, but Patrick was never actually canonized by the Catholic Church. This is simply due to the era he lived in. During the first millennium, there was no formal canonization process in the Catholic Church. After becoming a priest and helping to spread Christianity throughout Ireland, Patrick was likely proclaimed a saint by popular acclaim." 

"17 March, popularly known as Saint Patrick's Day, is believed to be his death date and is the date celebrated as his Feast Day. The day became a feast day in the Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, as a member of the commission for the reform of the Breviary in the early part of the seventeenth century. 

For most of Christianity's first thousand years, canonizations were done on the diocesan or regional level. Relatively soon after the death of people considered very holy, the local Church affirmed that they could be liturgically celebrated as saints. As a result, Patrick has never been formally canonized by a Pope; nevertheless, various Christian churches declare that he is a Saint in Heaven (he is in the List of Saints). He is still widely venerated in Ireland and elsewhere today. 

Patrick is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) and with a commemoration on the calendar of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, both on 17 March. Patrick is also venerated in the Orthodox Church, especially among English-speaking Orthodox Christians living in Ireland, the UK and in the US. There are Orthodox icons dedicated to him." 

Popular St. Patrick’s Day festivities
have their roots in Ireland.

"Until the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day was a Roman Catholic feast only observed in Ireland — and without the raucous revelry of today’s celebrations. Instead, the faithful spent the relatively somber occasion in quiet prayer at church or at home. That started to change when Irish immigrants living in the United States began organizing parades and other events on March 17 as a show of pride. For many people around the world, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a secular ode to Irish culture (or at least an oversimplified version of it), characterized by parties, music and iconic foods." 


"St. Patrick may be the patron saint of Ireland, but many St. Patrick’s Day traditions were born in the United States. Every March 17, the United States becomes an emerald country for a day. Americans wear green clothes and quaff green beer. Green milkshakes, bagels and grits appear on menus. In a leprechaun-worthy shenanigan, Chicago even dyes its river green. Revelers from coast to coast celebrate all things Irish by hoisting pints of Guinness and cheering bagpipers, step dancers and marching bands parading through city streets. These familiar annual traditions were not imported from Ireland, however. They were made in America. 

In contrast to the merry-making in the United States, March 17 has been more holy day than holiday in Ireland. Since 1631, Saint Patrick’s Day has been a religious feast day to commemorate the anniversary of the 5th-century death of the missionary credited with spreading Christianity to Ireland. For several centuries, March 17 was a day of solemnity in Ireland with Catholics attending church in the morning and partaking of modest feasts in the afternoon. There were no parades and certainly no emerald-tinted food products, particularly since blue, not green, was the traditional color associated with Ireland’s patron saint prior to the 1798 Irish Rebellion. 

Boston has long staked claim to the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the American colonies. On March 17, 1737, more than two dozen Presbyterians who emigrated from the north of Ireland gathered to honor St. Patrick and form the Charitable Irish Society to assist distressed Irishmen in the city. The oldest Irish organization in North America still holds an annual dinner every St. Patrick’s Day. Historian Michael Francis, however, unearthed evidence that St. Augustine, Florida, may have hosted America's first St. Patrick’s Day celebration. While researching Spanish gunpowder expenditure logs, Francis found records that indicate cannon blasts or gunfire were used to honor the saint in 1600 and that residents of the Spanish garrison town processed through the streets in honor of St. Patrick the following year, perhaps at the behest of an Irish priest living there.

Ironically, it was a band of Redcoats who started the storied green tradition of America’s largest and longest St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762 when Irish-born soldiers serving in the British Army marched through lower Manhattan to a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at a local tavern. The March 17 parades by the Irish through the streets of New York City raised the ire of nativist, anti-Catholic mobs who started their own tradition of 'paddy-making' on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day by erecting effigies of Irishmen wearing rags and necklaces of potatoes with whiskey bottles in their hands until the practice was banned in 1803. 

After Irish Catholics flooded into the country in the decade following the failure of Ireland’s potato crop in 1845, they clung to their Irish identities and took to the streets in St. Patrick’s Day parades to show strength in numbers as a political retort to nativist 'Know-Nothings.' 'Many who were forced to leave Ireland during the Great Hunger brought a lot of memories, but they didn’t have their country, so it was a celebration of being Irish,' says Mike McCormack, national historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians. 'But there was also a bit of defiance because of the bigotry by the Know-Nothings against them.'

McCormack says attitudes toward the Irish began to soften after tens of thousands of them served in the Civil War. 'They went out as second-class citizens but came back as heroes,' he says. As the Irish slowly assimilated into American culture, those without Celtic blood began to join in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations." 

Abraham Lincoln was among the many Americans disturbed at the rise of the nativist movement as he explained in an 1855 letter: “As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” 


Saint Patrick and Irish Identity

"Patrick features in many stories in the Irish oral tradition and there are many customs connected with his feast day. The folklorist Jenny Butler discusses how these traditions have been given new layers of meaning over time while also becoming tied to Irish identity both in Ireland and abroad. The symbolic resonance of the Saint Patrick figure is complex and multifaceted, stretching from that of Christianity's arrival in Ireland to an identity that encompasses everything Irish. In some portrayals, the saint is symbolically synonymous with the Christian religion itself. There is also evidence of a combination of indigenous religious traditions with that of Christianity, which places St Patrick in the wider framework of cultural hybridity. Popular religious expression has this characteristic feature of merging elements of culture. Later in time, the saint becomes associated specifically with Catholic Ireland and synonymously with Irish national identity. Subsequently, Saint Patrick is a patriotic symbol along with the color green and the shamrock. Saint Patrick's Day celebrations include many traditions that are known to be relatively recent historically, but have endured through time because of their association either with religious or national identity. They have persisted in such a way that they have become stalwart traditions, viewed as the strongest 'Irish traditions.'" 

Myth: Corned beef is a classic St. Patrick’s Day dish.

"On St. Patrick’s Day, countless merrymakers in the United States, Canada and elsewhere savor copious plates of corned beef and cabbage. In Ireland, however, a type of bacon similar to ham is the customary protein on the holiday table. In the late 19th century, Irish immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side supposedly substituted corned beef, which they bought from their Jewish neighbors, in order to save money. That’s not to say salt-cured beef isn’t a traditional Irish dish; pork, however, has historically been more widely available on the Emerald Isle." 

We actually discovered the truth about corned beef well over a decade ago. A friend, Seamus Byrne, who is an Irish monk, was visiting from Ireland. Donna was telling him about how her family liked to have a Saint Patrick's Day gathering with numerous foods including traditional corned beef and cabbage. He looked at her a little puzzled and asked, "what is corned beef?" 

I am going to wrap up the Saint Patrick's part of this newsletter with his "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate" prayer. I am leaving out an unbelievable amount of details from those 35 pages of notes, including peripheral topics like shamrocks, leprechauns, and traditional Irish music. made mention of a 1999 historical novel Let Me Die in Ireland by Anabaptist author and attorney David Bercot. Indicating it is based on the documented facts of Patrick's life rather than the legend, and suggests implications of his example for Christians today. Unfortunately, we do not have that in our lending library at the Teaching & Sharing Center of Grand Ledge. 

"The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as 'St. Patrick's Breast-Plate,' is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for [a] victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text: 

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.






“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

“No one can serve two masters . . . . You cannot serve both God and money.”

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day. 

(For 25 years, these Matthew 6:19-34 excerpts have been a key influence in all I do.)


The other day, I started reading the book of James in the Bible during my morning prayer time. I have not been writing poetry for quite a while, but the first reading in James lead to this reaction. 



In this clipart I found online
Snoopy and Woodstock

look like they are just
persevering to me.

The other two things which came together these past few days are seemingly unrelated except for how the timing worked out. I used an Abe Lincoln quote above. Partly because I saw a lot of him recently as I watched again the 9 part Ken Burns PBS special on the Civil War. Then, just yesterday, a Right To Life email arrived which was quite disturbing to read. There was much talk on the Civil War DVD set about it being so tragic as the bloodiest conflict in American history. It was mentioned Abraham Lincoln came to believe the reason for it befalling us had to do with the many sins of slavery we tolerated for so long. Around 650,000 Americans died over the four years of the Civil War. Abortion takes that many lives in a year. Year after year. A very high percentage of them black lives. I would most likely be called a pro-life choice person if people actually took the time to listen instead of jumping down your throat at the first sign you might not agree entirely with them on what are good choices and bad choices. I have often pointed out that God is pro-choice. How do you think we got the gift of free will in the first place, rather than just basic instinct? It does not mean He approves of abortion. I am becoming more and more appalled by our choices relating to abortion day by day. I cannot even imagine how God sees that many deaths justified as simply being a choice to make. I cannot help but be reminded how easily it was for slave owners to justify their choices. The ultimate being it had nothing to do with the human beings involved (their personal property), it was all about states rights, and the individual rights of owners. I cannot help but wonder if all the random killing cropping up in our country is connected in that bigger picture to our rather casual attitudes to life and death choices across the board. I am sure there have been no shortage of psychological studies on mental attitude relatedness, but woe to us if we think there is no spiritual component which comes into play. 

I wrestled with whether to share the email. Yet people who are truly pro-abortion would prefer to keep the details hidden from the mass of people who fall someplace in the middle. So, here it is. If, like me, you find such truths emotionally disturbing, you might want to scroll right past the email to a graphic I received in a different email, and thought was a unique perspective on hope. 

From: Right to Life of Michigan []
Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:36 AM
Subject: Michigan's Response to NY


Legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan was introduced Tuesday in the Michigan House.

House Bills 4320 and 4321 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure, also known as a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E).

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “These bills are Michigan’s response to New York’s abortion law and other states seeking to explicitly allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy accurately described dismemberment/D&E abortions in his opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).

In Gonzales, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman.”

In Stenberg, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

Listing said, “In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy rightly said that dismemberment abortions are ‘laden with the power to devalue human life.’ Tearing the arms and legs off children in the later stages of pregnancy is not a good reflection of our Michigan values.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently-used late-term abortion procedure in America and Michigan. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 98 percent occurred in the second trimester, between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 study, the authors admitted, “But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Listing said, “Opinion polls routinely show a majority of Americans believe late-term abortions should be illegal. Dismemberment abortions are obvious violence and that’s not how we should be treating our own children.”


Michigan and New York offer two visions of a very different future. When Roe v. Wade is overturned, the people will once again have the life and death fate of our future generations directly in their hands. Michigan's law reflects an understanding that the right to life is real and not exclusively enjoyed by only a select group. Our state's law protects unborn children.

New York's law is now clear that abortion-on-demand will continue there once Roe goes. Their law hides behind words like "health," but makes it clear that your value as a human being is subjective and erasable, even during the process of birth.

What will Michigan do once Roe is gone? Until that day, we'll continue to educate people about the violence of abortion and save as many unborn children as we can.

(I eliminated all of the links to sources of information in the email to reduce the clutter they create in HTML code. Anyone who would like to challenge the statements made can request I forward them the actual email intact.)


When speaking about the importance of history, someone once said if we do not learn the lessons of history, we are bound to repeat them over and over again. Maybe we could use all the fancy little electronic gadgets we are so fond of to pause and look back as we move forward, so we can avoid looking quite so bad to future generations, as others have, once the nightmare has passed. 

courtesy of




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