Have you ever seen live cancer cells at work? I have.
Some years ago, while I was in Seattle, Wash., to host an annual celebrity golf tournament out at Ocean Shores, I took a tour through the renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Clinic, a major beneficiary of our tournament. Dr. Fred himself escorted me through the impressive clinic and research facility. He and his team were conducting important research into cancer’s causes and potential cures, and at the same time treating victims who were already caught in its grip.
Walking down the hall toward a main laboratory, he introduced me to a hospital-robed patient. We chatted briefly with this engaging gentleman – Nels, in his early 70s – and then proceeded toward the lab. Quietly, Dr. Fred informed me that Nels had less than six months to live, because his cancer was too advanced for the hospital to do more than make him as comfortable as possible in his last months on this earth.
He then asked me, “Would you like to see some of the very cancer cells taken from Nels’ body?” When I said I would, he sat me in front of a high-powered microscope and placed a slide under the viewer. What I saw gave me chills. I was looking at what looked like a microscopic Darth Vader!
It was a bulbous, amorphous blister, black but strangely iridescent, almost glowing with an evil luster. Subsequent slides showed the blisters multiplying, corrupting and destroying the functions of the tissues they inhabited, apparently invincible. Dr. Fred explained that these cells were multiplying like healthy, normal cells, being nourished in the usual way by body fluids – but programmed by a different blueprint. A renegade, largely out of control cluster of cells wreaking havoc in the healthy tissues, if continued unchecked, would destroy organs and body functions and eventually cause wracking death to the whole body.
Naturally, I asked, “What in the world can stop these filthy things?”
He said, “I’ll show you,” and he put several more slides under the microscope.
The first showed a few little harmless-looking cells that looked (I’m not kidding) like Little Orphan Annie’s eyes – perfectly round white circles. He told me they were white blood cells, lymphocytes. Before I could ask, “How can these little innocent white cells combat those evil black blisters?” he showed me how, in succession, these lymphocytes surrounded and enveloped the cancer cells and literally absorbed them out of existence! Again, I was astounded.
Dr. Fred informed me that we all, from time to time, experience the presence of cancer cells in various organs in our bodies, but that in most cases, the white cells discover and confront the invaders and surround them, neutralizing them, dissolving them and expelling them from our systems. And we never even know we’ve been invaded! “What we’re trying to discover in our research is how to marshal these white blood cells in sufficient quantity to wherever the cancer cells are growing, so that they can do what they’ve been created and empowered to do. When we do that, we can conquer cancer!”
And as I looked through the slides again, I felt an invisible subtitle passing underneath them, “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” I’ve never seen a more dramatic illustration of God’s grace and goodwill toward man. He’s placed in every one of us, created in His image, the resource to overcome the destructive powers arrayed against us – if we care enough to seek out the ways to employ the resource.
That’s not the end of this story, and how it relates to the ACLU I’ve yet to say.
I was so moved by what I’d seen, and also the knowledge that I’d seen actual cells from the nice man I’d met in the hallway, that I couldn’t let it go. When I got home from Seattle, I discussed this with my wife, Shirley. We prayed for Nels, and a couple of days later I called the clinic and asked if I could speak to him.
When he got on the phone, I asked if he remembered our meeting, and when he assured me he did, I told him what I’d seen in the lab. Then, somewhat hesitantly, I continued, “Nels, this may seem presumptuous, and you can just ignore this if you want to; I’ll understand. But my strong feeling is this: We’re talking about your body, and the army of white blood cells is under your command. If you, as general over this army, actually command this host of lymphocytes to seek out the evil, cancerous renegades in your body and descend on them in superior numbers and attack them, disarm and dissolve them … and expel them from your body, you may win this battle yet. If I were you, I’d repeat this command over and over, all day and every day. You’ve told me you’re a Christian believer, and Shirley and I feel God will honor your authority over your own body!”
Almost surprisingly, Nels seemed to “get it.” He promised me he’d do it immediately, and thanked me for caring and calling.
A year went by and I heard nothing.
When I returned for the annual golf tournament, I saw Dr. Fred, and after a little friendly chat, I asked, “By the way, what happened with Nels, the man you introduced me to at the clinic?”
He responded: “Funny you’d ask about him, Pat. He’s in total remission! Two or three months after your visit, he seemed so healthy to us that we examined him again – and found no evidence of cancer in his system! We sent him home, and he’s evidently doing fine right now!”
Three years went by, and I got a letter in the mail from his wife. She knew about my interest in Nels, and she wanted me to know that he had just passed away, but not from cancer, just old age. “And I just know he’d want me to tell you that this last three years were the happiest of his life. He was in wonderful health and spirits, and we visited all our kids and grandkids, traveled together and enjoyed life to the full. He died a happy man, and I just want to thank you and your wife for taking the interest in him that you did. God bless you.”
So, what’s all this got to do with the ACLU?
Surely it’s obvious. To most Americans – whose “civil liberties” have always included the freedom to express their faith in unrestricted ways, publicly and privately, as guaranteed by the First Amendment – this rampaging anti-religious organization has been revealed as a societal cancer. It is growing in power and funding and in crazed opposition to any and all public reflections of Judeo-Christian faith – especially and particularly Christian, down to little crosses on county seals and even innocuous Bible references on school walls and mentions of Jesus in valedictory addresses and school papers!
In Spanaway, Wash., the president of the local ACLU chapter angrily censured the superintendent of Bethel High School for permitting the production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” – a wildly popular secular musical, but no favorite of many Christian believers – as its spring play! According to the ACLU president, the school was “engaging in religious instruction”! Ominously, his parting shot was nothing less than a threat, entirely typical of ACLU tactics: “Further violations of this kind may result in more direct and more drastic action by the ACLU.”
Increasingly, though many young attorneys link up with the organization in the idealistic belief that they’ll be defending civil liberties, they find that they’re much more often deployed in depriving Americans of their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
Their own ACLU historian, Samuel Walker, spoke frankly about its founder, Roger Baldwin, and his “elitist view of his role in society.” He says in his book, “Baldwin had no contact with working-class or immigrant life and was always a bit of a snob”! Further, as he recounts Baldwin’s souring perspectives in his latter days and his abandonment of a majoritarian view of democracy, he couldn’t even handle the democratization of the ACLU itself in the mid-1960s. “Elitist to the end, Roger Baldwin warned that too much democracy could ‘water down our principles.’”
In another perceptive and thorough study, “The Devil’s Advocate,” author F. LaGard Smith says, “The march began with ACLU founder Roger Baldwin’s personal commitment to political anarchy and will not end until, through the seductive notion of ‘privacy,’ it has won the final victory for personal autonomy.”
Personal autonomy for what? Not to put too fine an edge on it – for licentious behavior. Enter stage left, the devil. It should be shame enough that the ACLU actively and proudly facilitates the abortion of 1.5 million unborn each year in the United States. But, if the ACLU has its way, there will also be no barriers to homosexual marriages, gay adoptions, prostitution, kiddy porn or the unrestricted use of recreational drugs.
Is that sordid list of “civil liberties” what the framers of the Bill of Rights had in mind when they agonized over what ought to constitute our fundamental freedoms? Was it to secure the “right” merely to do as one pleases for which the founders of this great nation dedicated their lives?
Friend, fellow American, old Nels took charge and commanded his little white blood cells to find, confront and dissolve the invaders, those cancerous rebel cells in his body, and expel them before they robbed him of his life. If the great majority of us who still understand and honor our Constitution and the liberties it has guaranteed don’t rise up and confront this insidious, out of control organization, it will surely destroy our civil liberties – even as it claims to defend them.
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