Categorized | News, Opinion


I interrupt my campaign for Sarvis for Governor (still a possibility he can win but that’s another story!) to take up for Bishop E. W. Jackson.

I was watching TV a few days ago and I was interrupted by a poorly done commercial saying that Jackson saying that sin causes birth defects.  A fervent mother shows her outrage saying something like our child is a gift not a punishment!  Here’s a blog post on this ad.  I’ll not publicize the ad further – go find it yourself.

I think first Sen. Ralph Northam owes Jackson an apology.  He also owes all followers of Christ one too.  For in effect the senator has said:  If you believe the Bible you are unfit for public office.

Let’s start with the quote that is grainily shown in the ad from Jackson’s book at page 101:

In his book, on page 101, Jackson wrote: “It is the principle of sin, rebellion against God and His truth which has brought about birth defects and other destructive natural occurrences.”

Jackson never said that birth defects are the result of individual sin (unless as Jackson said, the sin was the direct cause of the birth defect such as illegal drug use) and this is clearly taken out of context.

There is a principle called Original Sin that was directly caused by the sin of Adam.  It caused all of us to die spiritually until Christ came to make it right.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  Romans 5:12 (KJV)


For if through the offense of one many be dead, more more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”  Romans 5:15 (KJV)

By the way, if a reader wants to know how to avoid this judgment, here’s how to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

But the question is:  How did Jackson get to birth defects as a result of sin.  I am no theologian but here’s where I think it is:

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

It’s from here, by the way.  Now, it is true that birth defects are not (usually) the effects of sin.  Jesus was asked by the disciples in John 9 if the man born blind was that way because he sinned or was it his parents’ sin.  (Sounds like the Northam campaign team!)  Jesus said no it was so that the works of God might be made manifest in him.

Certainly we can agree that the God would not have created a world with birth defects.  So where did they come from?  They came as a result of Adam’s rebellion, not as the Northam ad implies the sin of the individuals.

In fact, the ancient world was not friendly to disabled children.  The Romans would leave severely disabled babies out to die of exposure:

The birth of a disabled child was regarded by the Romans as a great misfortune. A high percentage of disabled children were abandoned outdoors immediately after birth and left to die because many Romans felt it was pointless to prolong lives that could prove to be a practical and financial burden on the rest of the family. Dionysios of Halikarnassos wrote about the founder of Rome: “Romulus demanded that all the city’s residents should raise all their male children and the first born of the girls and not kill any child under three unless the child was disabled.”

Ruined your lunch?  Guess what, it was the Christians, that right, the evil CHRISTIANS that proclaimed all children (This is a profoundly disturbing article to read) to have dignity and rights.

Christianity rejects infanticide. The Teachings of the Apostles or Didache said “You shall not kill that which is born.”[39] The Epistle of Barnabas stated an identical command.[40] Apologists Tertullian, Athenagoras, Minucius Felix, Justin Martyr and Lactantius also maintained that exposing a baby to death was a wicked act.[3] In 318 AD, Constantine I considered infanticide a crime, and in 374 AD, Valentinian I mandated the rearing of all children (exposing babies, especially girls, was still common). The Council of Constantinople declared that infanticide was homicide, and in 589 AD, the Third Council of Toledo took measures against the Spanish custom of killing their own children.[34]

So I find particularly offensive the idea that somehow Bishop Jackson thinks that individual sin causes birth defects.  Senator Northam, who I had always thought was an honorable man, well, maybe I was wrong about that.  He has in effect said that followers of Christ are unfit to serve in public office.  If Senator Northam is an honorable man, he should repudiate his ad and apologize publicly to Bishop Jackson and all Christians.  And if you are a believer and considering voting for Northam, I’d reconsider that intention.

UPDATE:  Someone has actually made up a video version of the beginning of this biog post.  I am sorry it is not better quality!




About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Gene Lefty says:

    A copy of a paragraph of yours from your post. You may find the verses below it interesting, regarding Adam.

    “There is a principle called Original Sin that was directly caused by the sin of Adam. It caused all of us to die spiritually until Christ came to make it right.”

    1 Timothy 2:14, Genesis 3:12, 17. In fact that whole 1 Timothy Chapter 2 is interesting. Keep in mind that The Word of God is never changing, Hebrews 13:8. I can provide more verses to substantiate that if you would like . Hebrews 13:4-5 are very interesting reading also I believe.

    I would rather not get into the business of judging people. I will freely admit to not always being successful in avoiding that pothole.

    I suspect that Religion should be keep separate from politics as much as possible. That being said, speaking of no one in particular, I am not convinced that today’s politicians can, or will, follow even the most basic of Christian teachings.

    I guess even a practicing bank robber could claim to be a Christian. So, does the Bible not address that when it tells us that we are not saved by works, Ephesians 2:8, however, we shall know Christ followers by their works. Matthew 7:16-20. Matthew 7:23 seems important reading while one is there.

    Even more important, would enough people vote for anyone who was a follower of Christ?

    Speaking of works, I tend to believe that all the politicians that I am familiar with through the media, seem to be professional liars of some sorts. Or, at the very least, artists of deception. Most seem to be far more interested in financial gain, or power, more than anything else. I have my doubts that a Christian would want any part of the lifestyle or works required of today’s politicians. I have no faith in politicians because of their works.

    It is not a Democrat or Republican problem, it is a people problem. We need to elect Chris as our leader! Is there a write in candidate space on this years ballot?

  2. sac says:

    i find your video and article very interesting. keep writting such articles.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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