‘I Will Never Apologize’ for Defending ‘the Unborn,’ Meghan McCain Tells Planned Parenthood

‘I Will Never Apologize’ for Defending ‘the Unborn,’ Meghan McCain Tells Planned Parenthood

Author and conservative commentator Meghan McCain pushed back Wednesday on criticism from Planned Parenthood by saying she will “never” stop defending the unborn.

McCain has become one of the more outspoken pro-lifers in America in recent months, partially because of her social media platform but also because of her co-host position on ABC’s The View.

Planned Parenthood criticized McCain’s pro-life views in a Wednesday tweet, pointing to comments by The View co-host Sara Haines about abortion. Haines was referencing her support for vaccine passports when she said this week, “I cannot argue privacy on a public health issue like this when I don’t understand how the most private thing in my body – my uterus – seems to be open for business when it is convenient politically.”

Haines did not reference McCain in the comment, and McCain did not respond. Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood quoted a tweet that said the comments were directed from “Sara to Meghan McCain.” Planned Parenthood’s tweet included fire emojis.

McCain defended her views in a tweet directed at Planned Parenthood.

“I believe life begins at conception – I will NEVER apologize or back down from defending the rights of the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn,” said McCain, who is the daughter of former GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

McCain’s tweet drew applause from the pro-life community.

“Thank you for standing up for women & children, Meghan!” Live Action tweeted.

“Life begins at conception and ends at Planned Parenthood,” Susan B. Anthony List wrote on its timeline.

McCain later added, “Always. Abortion is murder.”

When several commenters on McCain’s timeline said pro-lifers care about babies before they are born, but not after, Live Action chimed in: “In a single year, PRO-LIFE Pregnancy Resource Centers: Served 1.85M people, Provided $267M in FREE services, Gave parenting courses to 313,328, Provided 1,290,079 packs of diapers, Supplied 2,033,513 baby outfits. Not one is run by a ‘pro-choice’ advocate.”


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Cindy Ord/Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

20 Quotes from Jen Wilkin on the Ten Commandments

The following quotes caught my attention as I read Jen Wilkin’s insightful new book Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands (Crossway, 2021). For a limited time, it is on sale for only $7.49 through the TGCW21 bookstore.

The first word [she uses this synonymously with “commandment”] serves as the umbrella statement for the other nine. If we obeyed the first word, we would automatically obey the others. (28)

The second word portrays idol worship as progressive: do not make, do not bow down, do not serve. The second word portrays idol worship as contagious, causing trouble for generation after generation. The second word portrays God as zealous for his glory: deeply committed to being worshiped as he deserves. His jealousy is right and righteous because it is inflamed by the denial of what is rightly his. (34)

Any time we take the attributes of the gods the world around us worships and apply them to God to make him more palatable and less threatening, more accommodating and less thunderous, we produce a graven image. We whittle down his transcendence, we paint over his sovereignty, we chisel away his omnipotence until he is a pet-like version of the terrible pagan god we would never be so foolish as to bow down to. (39)

To misuse the name of the Lord—to take his name in vain—is to misrepresent the character of God. . . . Doing so misuses his reputation to suit our own ends, speaks of or to him without accuracy or due respect, and miscredits him for self-serving actions done in his name. To misuse the name of God is to commit an act of defamation against Yahweh himself. (49–50)

More than the deliberate cessation of work for the purpose of decompressing, Sabbath is the deliberate cessation of any activity that might reinforce my belief in my own self-sufficiency. In contrast to cultural ideas of rest marked by self-care, Sabbath rest is marked by self-denial. (65)

There is no such thing as a noncommunal sin, and there is no such thing as a noncommunal obedience. . . . Personal sin always results in collateral damage. . . . Personal obedience always results in collateral benefit. (68)

We remember the letter of the Sabbath command by resting from labor. We remember the heart of the Sabbath command by laboring for the rest of others. (70)

The fifth word is the hinge point in the Decalogue at which the discussion of showing honoring moves from God (1–4) to human authorities (5) to one another (6–10). . . . The Ten Commandments deal with matters of heavenly submission, earthly submission, and mutual submission—in that order. (76, 77)

Because the church is the family of God, we need be at no loss for fathers and mothers to honor. Nor need we be at a loss for spiritual orphans to parent. If your family of origin was a painful one, the family of God can be a haven and a recompense. If your family of origin was a happy one, how much more so the family of God? (83)

It is not just the pace that changes with the sixth word, but the focus. Having given five exhortations to honor God and elders, the Ten Words now turn their attention to the business of honoring one another as fellow image bearers. We progress from discussion of how we relate to our heavenly Parent, to our earthly parents (human authorities), to our brothers and sisters (our neighbors). Essentially, the last five words will speak to the proper treatment of siblings. (89–90)

Contempt may win followers, but it is not pastoral. It masquerades as righteous anger, but it is, in fact, self-serving and self-elevating. It may make a point, but it always has a victim. (96)

Lust itself is an act of contempt, reducing someone to a source of sexual gratification and nothing more. If the sixth command prohibited regarding our neighbor as expendable, the seventh prohibits regarding our neighbor as consumable. (102)

Satan has succeeded in convincing believers that lust is just something to be managed instead of something to be slain. (105)

Our offending eyes and hands and feet and ears and lips and tongues and noses serve at the pleasure of our hearts. What our hearts delight to do, our members rush to accomplish. (106)

Delight yourself in lawlessness, and your disordered desires will govern you. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you new desires. (109)

There are two ways of living: as a taker or as a giver. When it comes to matters of wealth, do you perceive yourself as a terminus or a distribution point? If a terminus, you will labor without rest to acquire that which you cannot keep. If a distribution point, you will labor to give away that which was never truly yours to begin with. When we hear others praying for their daily bread, does it occur to us that we might be the means by which that bread is supplied? (120)

While flattery, silence, and misattribution are the subtle pickpockets of reputation, reviling stands in the lobby of First Reputation Bank spraying bullets and sacking the vault. In the modern church, perhaps nothing attests more to our current levels of biblical illiteracy than our casual, thoughtless, and frequent commission of the sin of reviling. (128)

When the good name of our neighbor is run through the mud, the silence of his friends can be as brutalizing as the reviling of his enemies. We must not use the command to be slow to speak as an excuse for never speaking (James 1:19). God help us if we claim to be wise in our silence, when in fact we are masking cowardice. . . . There are times when we are unsure whether to speak or remain silent. But if we know our words are needed and yet withhold them, we are as guilty of bearing false witness as the reviler who began the lie. . . . Who trades in sinful silence? Satan. He likes nothing better than the silence of those who know they should speak. When we silence truth-tellers, or remain silent ourselves when called to speak courageously, we conform to Satan’s image instead of to the image of Christ. When false witnesses speak  against our neighbor, we must speak up to bear true witness on their behalf. (131, 132–33)

Idol-making, Sabbath-breaking, dishonoring authority, murder, theft, adultery, and slander can all be identified by an onlooker, but not so covetousness. Covetousness hides in the heart. The Ten Words progress from “Don’t do it” to “Don’t say it” to “Don’t even think about it.” (139–40)

The Bible provides us a lengthy cautionary tale about comparison to our neighbor. We might title it “Keeping Up with the Canaanites.” It shows us that Israel as a whole soon forgot the tenth word in a rush to compare with her neighbors. In a scene that reads like a middle schooler asking for the latest pair of shoes, Israel asks God to give her a king like the other nations. God decides to teach his people contentment the hard way, by giving them what they want. (144)

The great loss of a covetous life is that it keeps love of self as our primary concern. . . . What is more like Satan than to want what belongs to another? (147)

Day 2: The Fastest-Growing Church in the World

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 established a hard-line Islamic regime. Over the next two decades, Christians faced increasing opposition and persecution: all missionaries were kicked out, evangelism was outlawed, Bibles in Persian were banned and soon became scarce, and several pastors were killed. The church came under tremendous pressure, and many feared it would soon wither away and die. But the exact opposite has happened.

In the last 20 years, more Iranians have become Christians than in the previous 13 centuries—since Islam came to Iran. In 1979, there were an estimated 500 Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today, there are hundreds of thousands—some estimate more than 1 million. According to the research organization Operation World, Iran has the fastest-growing evangelical movement in the world. The second-fastest-growing church is in Afghanistan—where Afghans are being reached in large part by Iranians.

Ways to pray:

  1. Thanksgiving for the miraculous growth of Iranian Christians
  2. More trained leaders to serve as evangelists, church planters, and pastors in Iran
  3. Endurance and comfort for those being persecuted and suffering for their faith in Jesus

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

Download the 40 Day Prayer Guide


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How to Be #Blessed (A Lesson from Psalm 84)

Charles Spurgeon called it the sweetest psalm. He even gave it a nickname: “the Pearl of the Psalms.” And it is indeed sublime.

But Psalm 84 is a cry of desperation. The psalmist yearns to be in Jerusalem, worshiping at the temple in the presence of God’s people: “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD” (v. 2). 

He wants to be there so badly that he’s even jealous of the birds who nest in the temple rafters (v. 3). It’s unclear why he can’t embark on the pilgrimage, but this much is plain: the psalmist is not where he wants to be. Life’s circumstances have conspired to thwart his heart’s desire.

It’s startling, therefore, to hear him repeatedly speak of being blessed.

I’ve appreciated Psalm 84 over the years, but the challenges of pandemic life have led me to rediscover its beauty and wisdom. Here are three timely lessons from this ancient song.

1. Blessed Beats #Blessed

When I searched the hashtag #blessed on Instagram today, I got more than 133 million results. Generally these are selfies, photos from fun places, or, more specifically, selfies from fun places. Most of the posts share a common theme, even if it’s not said outright. The underlying message is often: Hey, everyone! Look at my great life! And accompanying the photos, there it is: #blessed.

What are we to infer about what it means to be blessed?

To be sure, God showers tangible blessings on us in all kinds of ways. What happens, though, when the latest thing he’s handed you is not a picture-perfect vacation but, say, a global pandemic? A pay cut? A fractured relationship?

What’s the hashtag for that—#cursed?

Thankfully not. In this brief chapter, the psalmist refers to blessing three times:

  • “Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!” (v. 4).
  • “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion” (v. 5).
  • “Blessed is the one who trusts in you!” (v. 12).

Those who praise God, who find their strength and trust in him: those are the blessed. The psalmist is resolved to remind us that the good life is not about having everything you wanted; it’s about having God—even if it’s in the midst of nothing you wanted.

The good life is not about having everything you wanted; it’s about having God—even if it’s in the midst of nothing you wanted.

And in Scripture, this primarily spiritual meaning of “blessed” only intensifies after the coming of Jesus. Of the New Testament’s 112 references to being blessed, do you know how many focus on material things? 


That’s astonishing. And it demonstrates that being truly blessed runs so much deeper than the concept we see plastered beside pretty photos on social media.

2. Don’t Settle for Following Your Heart

In verse 5, the psalmist prays: “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” Isn’t that a fascinating phrase? 

Just like the biblical definition of being blessed, this language is strikingly countercultural today. The world is constantly telling you to look within yourself, to study the compass of your heart, to follow wherever your passion leads. “You do you,” we hear.

Psalm 84 has no patience for such nonsense. True joy, it insists, is not having an internal compass that says, “Follow me,” but one that says, “Follow God.” In which direction do the highways of your heart run?

Happy is the heart that isn’t a cul-de-sac of self-regard—I must discover myself, express myself, be true to myself—but rather that contains highways leading out of that congested city, in pursuit of God and in service to others.

When we pursue his agenda over ours, we are blessed.

3. God Supplies Strength to Anxious Hearts

Have you ever feared you wouldn’t have the strength to face a particular challenge? I sure have. And, according to the Bible, we can’t face the future . . . yet.

In 1956, C. S. Lewis corresponded with a woman who struggled with worry—worry that she wouldn’t have the ability to endure if this or that occurred. At one point, Lewis simply wrote: “Remember, one is given strength to bear what happens, not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen.”

And when will the strength you need arrive? Just in time.

A little over a decade before Lewis’s letter, a Dutch Christian named Corrie ten Boom was barely holding on in a Nazi concentration camp. In her classic autobiography years later, she reflected on the timing of God’s provision. As an illustration, she recounted her own anxiety as a 6-year-old girl:

Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?”

I sniffed a few times, considering this.

“Why, just before we get on the train.”

“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of him, Corrie.”

God will not be rushed, and spiritual growth cannot be microwaved. The Christian life is a long and arduous pilgrimage, one trusting step at a time.

True Temple

Of course, for the Christian, the temple looks different than it did for the psalmist. A thousand years after Psalm 84 was written, a man arrived in Jerusalem and began saying radical things like, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). 

The Jewish leaders scoffed: “It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” (v. 20). But he was referring to his body (v. 21)—soon to be destroyed by crucifixion, then raised to resurrection life.

True joy is not having an internal compass that says, ‘Follow me,’ but one that says, ‘Follow him.’

What the psalmist so longed for was just a precursor to the true meeting place between God and men—Jesus Christ. And the pages of the New Testament rustle with the news: every person who trusts in him becomes a living stone in a new spiritual temple (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:22; 1 Pet. 2:4–5). The temple of God is no longer a towering structure in Israel. His temple is the person of Jesus and, by extension, his gathered church—the arena where his glory specially resides.

Do you desire to be #blessed or blessed? Do you want a heart that’s really free? Do you long to gather strength as you endure life’s long and perilous road?

If so, then Psalm 84 is for you. Anchor your hope in God. He will never fail you.

Editors’ note: 

A version of this article appeared at Explore God.