Pastor Blake Bergstrom of One Church in Georgia made the truly outrageous claim that there is a law in Colorado that allows parents to “murder a baby” seven days after it’s born. He added to that by also claiming that in California they are making a law that would allow parents to kill their baby 30 days after it’s born.
Did he really made these claims?
Yep, here he is doing this …
Just in case Twitter is not rendering for you, here is a transcript of what he said …
I .. I have … I’m going to … I’m going to preach for just a minute, and this has been heavy on me all week. I type it and then I delete it. I type it in and delete it. But I feel like the Lord wants me to say it Okay. For example, I never have thought that I would see the day that lawmakers would choose that is perfectly fine and Okay to murder a baby after it’s been born. In Colorado it’s seven days. In California they’re making the law for 30 days after the baby is delivered. If a lawmaker is making a decision to murder the most vulnerable of our humanity, then how can we trust those lawmakers, and not just that, if we’re making laws that’s asking me to call a boy a girl
The above clip is just one minute long. You might wonder about the full context of it all. You can find the entire “One Church” broadcast on YouTube that contains this and was published on April 25th. (That link takes you to the 42 min and 30 second mark there where he says this). There you discover he gets a round of applause just after the extract.
Beyond the fact that his entire rhetoric is complete bullshit, there is also the rather blatant emotional manipulation. As he is saying all of this, there is a subtle low background music playing.
Quick fact Check: Is this guy just a lone nutter streaming this from his basement, or is he a pastor of a real church?
The answer that One Church is not small. No I’m not going to link to them, but if curious simply google “ONE Church Fayetteville GA”. To give you a quick idea of their size, they have a map of their Campus under “About Us”. Beyond the usual single worship building they also have an Academy and also a rather large lake and baseball field. Pastor Blake is one of a rather large team, so somebody should have been able to advise him that his claim was BS … but apparently not.
It is crazy that those listening will simply believe it. It is especially crazy when you consider that his listeners have phones in their pockets that they could use to fact check.
If you happen to live in CO or CA, then his “revelation” will be news to you. You will not have heard about such laws, not because they are being kept secret, but because no such laws exist.
Right at the end of the extract he then switches to “calling a bay a girl” as something that is equally as horrifying as murder.
If lies designed to instil an emotional fear of “them” is the only card you have to play, then that truly does encapsulate something somebody rather famous once said …
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?(somebody famous – don’t ask Pastor Brad who, he will not recognise it)
What is really going on Here?
Lies are often not greenfield lies, but instead are distortions of something.
What he is repeating is a right-wing talking point that did the rounds on various conservative websites. For example the Charlie Kirk show spewed this fiction on April 6th. Charlie Kirk has a well-established reputation for the promotion of crazy conspiracy theories. Don’t take my word on that, simply check his Wikipedia page.
There are of course other examples, just google “Colorado and California were legalizing infanticide” to find them if curious.
What you will also find if you google it all and various fact-checking sites robustly debunking this daft nonsense. For example …
- FactCheck Org : California Not Poised to ‘Legalize Infanticide’
But where did it all actually come from?
The alpha source was an online Miami Standard story. They ran with the headline: ‘California introduces new bill that would allow mothers to kill their babies up to 7 days after birth’ – see here – on March 24th
A twitter user picked it up and tweeted it on March 30th – see here – and this was perhaps the trigger that sent this viral.
The actual law this is all a reference to can be found here.
The section that generated all this flack is Section 7(a). That reads as follows …
“Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of their rights, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.”
It’s that last bit “perinatal death”, that has been interpreted as a license to murder babies without any fear of the law.
The truth is that it is a clause designed to protect grieving parents. The author of the draft bill explained all this and also tightened up the wording to make this wholly clear …
“Anti-abortion activists are peddling an absurd and disingenuous argument that this bill is about killing newborns, when ironically, the part of the bill they’re pointing to is about protecting and supporting parents experiencing the grief of pregnancy loss.” “No person should face prison time for a tragic pregnancy outcome, and this bill will ensure that prosecutions and investigations have no place in reproductive health care.”
The section within the bill was amended to read as follows …
“Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of their rights under this article, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause”.
This draft bill in CA is a response to the anticipated attack upon reproductive rights by right-wing activists. They are planning ahead. The current expectation is that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade, or at least so undermine it that it kills it. As a response to that, states such as CO and CA strengthening their legal framework to ensure that abortion remains legal within their states and are attempting to ensure that there are no backdoors that can be used to criminalise reproductive rights.
The clause of concern is to protect parents from being prosecuted by religious nutters if a child dies shortly after birth due to a pregnancy related reason. It’s a wholly reasonable extension to the law.
The claim that it becomes a license to murder babies is nonsense. That is illegal and remains illegal, yet the claim that it would be legal went viral on right-wing conspiracy sites.
Pastor Blake Bergstrom of One Church in Georgia has been clearly digesting conspiracy websites as “truth”.
Within that clip he says … “I type it and then I delete it. I type it in and delete it.” … he should have fact-checked it.
If you are a Pastor then ethically and morally you have a duty of care to those that look to you for guidance. Spouting absurd and utterly ridiculous conspiracy theories as “truth” is a catastrophic failure.
This is perhaps just one more of the many many examples that seeing the word “Pastor” is a heads-up that you are most probably about to be lied to. If he can’t read and grasp the actual intent of legislation, then why should anybody assume that he can read and correctly understand anything else such as the bible.
How has he responded?
As they usually do.
When it was pointed out that he had lied, Brad simply pulled the video from his Facebook page to eliminate the negative comments.