In this #asiaforlife podcast, Joe shares about visiting the United Nations Headquarters. (Actually, it was a coffee shop nearby—but it was still cool! The discussion includes:
—Donald Trump helps religious freedom (even if he might not be a religious believer himself)
—There are people praying at the United Nations
—America is speaking up for countries that want to keep their anti-abortion laws
I was in New York during the United Nations General Assembly recently. I hadn’t planned to be there at that time, so it was a surprise. And it also meant that the normally bad traffic was awful, especially if you were anywhere near the United Nations offices.
I didn’t go to the United Nations–there was no way I could have gotten a pass. But I did meet up with some people at a coffee shop, very close to the action at the United Nations. (It was an interesting place to be, because a lot of the people at the coffee shop were getting ready for meetings at the General Assembly.)
The people I went there to meet are intercessors, and they shared testimonies from the day before. One of them does lobbying there, and another does office work there. (And this is not really relevant to the podcast, but somebody I met at the coffee shop later does pro-life ministry in New York. And she said her husband used to take trips to Hong Kong, to smuggle Bibles into China, back in the 1990s when a lot of missionaries were doing that. It was very cool to hear about that!)
A “trigger warning”
Before I go on, I want to “warn” you: this episode contains information about Donald Trump. I’m going to discuss what he said at the United Nations, in relation to the pro-life movement.
Like a lot of people, I have very mixed feelings about Trump. It’s easier not to talk about him at all. But his statement at the General Assembly will affect the future of the pro-life movement, so it’s worth paying attention to.
I also want to point out that Donald Trump has never said he is a Christian, and he’s never said that he is personally pro-life. But I think he sincerely cares about religious liberty. And I think that he is personally opposed to late-term abortion.
Trump’s speech at the UN was unusually dull and powerful
With those provisos out of the way–I think his speech at the United Nations was important for religious freedom, human rights, and for the global pro-life movement. After he talked about religious liberty, this is what he said about the pro-life issue:
Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child—born and unborn—is a sacred gift from God.
Trump read his entire speech—over 36 minutes long—in a slow monotone. It was uncharacteristically dull. But it was good. Even though I don’t agree with everything he said in the speech, I personally think it’s his best speech yet.
Praying for the United Nations
And here’s why my friends thought it was an answer to prayer, when Trump made his very public declarations about religious liberty, and about support for countries with pro-life laws.
Before Trump’s speech, a group of intercessors was at the United Nations, praying for the General Assembly meetings, and praying for global leaders to focus on what really mattered. They said everybody was really surprised that Trump made his very interruptive statements about religious freedom. And it did turn people’s attention to an issue that really matters for many millions of people who are suffering persecution. With China
leading on the Human Rights Council at the United Nations this year, any substantive discussion of human rights and religious freedom at the United Nations didn’t stand a chance.
A pro-human extinction activist holds a sign at a “Climate Strike” protest in Beverly Hills, California, September 26, 2019. While complaints about environmental problems were encouraged at the United Nations, human rights issues were largely ignored.
I sat in the coffee shop with these intercessors, and we prayed earnestly for the week of meetings and deliberations at the UN, and for God’s heart of justice to turn the hearts of leaders towards the poor, the oppressed, the persecuted–and also towards the preborn child. (One of them told me that she arranges small prayer meetings inside the United Nations. This is very encouraging!)
I’ll close by saying again–I want to be honest about Trump. I don’t think he’s personally pro-life, and I don’t think he wants to restrict abortion, except perhaps late-term abortion. Even though he shows support for the pro-life movement, he has not actually said that he believes that America should have pro-life laws.
But, during his speech at the United Nations, he was willing to stand up for countries that do want pro-life laws. And he said this because there are a lot of people at the United Nations who want unrestricted abortion access to be a global “human right”. And they want it to be protected by international treaties.
This is why I’m paying attention to this. If the world continues to move in that direction, it’s not impossible that pro-life organisations could be criminally outlawed in many countries, because of the idea that they oppose a “fundamental human right”. Regardless of what Trump personally believes about abortion, he does support national sovereignty, and the right of nations to make their own laws. Regardless of what motivated him to say that, his statement was actually very important for protecting the international pro-life movement.
Radical pro-choice lobbyists are trying to make unrestricted abortion a globally enforced “human right”, and America is helping other nations to push back
Also during the General Assembly, pro-life lobbyists at the United Nations were able to form a coalition of 20 nations to make a public statement, simply saying that there is no “international right to abortion”. Even though America has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, their support of this coalition is extremely important.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Let me know if you have an idea for a podcast episode, or someone I should interview.