There is again a clear correlation between beliefs and the one receiving the vote. I don’t perceive this as particularly insightful: it isn’t brain surgery to deduce that one’s beliefs impact where one puts their vote. However, my proposed solution doesn’t seem as obvious to the Christian church as it does to me: if you want to transform the culture, raise up more educated, informed, passionate Christians.
The Obama victory offers us a grand opportunity. Let’s face it, Obama can make the matter only slightly worse, at least in the near term. We are all already acclimated to a world in which a million unborn children die each year in America alone. For so long we pursued legislative means to change this and as legitimate and as important as these efforts were, and are, legislative efforts are successful by persuading more individuals to support your views then there are against them. This individual persuasion is the area where the ultimate solution lies and the area that has chiefly been lacking.
In my email box I have a letter from a Christian pastor saying that he is voting pro-life, which means he is voting for Obama, on the grounds that protecting the environment is protecting everyone’s life. McCain, of course, is on the global warming band wagon, so on its face the comment seems unnerving. In light of what abortion is and the scale of which it occurs in our country, though, complaining about the environment while the abortion issue is on the table seems to me like complaining about the pollution made by the furnaces of one of Hitler’s death camps as it incinerates tens of thousands of Jews a day. I guess what I’m saying is that I agree that the environment is important, but set against the deaths of millions of people a year before they’ve even had a chance to take their first breath… well, first things first, is all I’m saying.
The dreadful reality is that we are always only a moment away from the collapse of civilization. We act as though we have a right to peace and security, prosperity and plenty. We do not. It is true that we had peace and prosperity in large part because of our Christian heritage. This is a blessing, not a right. It was a gift, not an inevitability. And it never was the case that it could substitute the church acting out in a Love so fierce and noble that none could mistake it for something other than supernatural.
Because I believe that the unborn are really persons abortion is a huge issue for me. I am generally sympathetic to some pro-choicers… some of them lack the imagination required to treat as a human person something that doesn’t quite look like a human. I still vehemently reject the position but I’m sympathetic. But what …
For these reasons and more, I am a proud one issue voter. I am under no illusions about the other things I have to tolerate that I don’t like nor am I unaware that political candidates may decide to take advantage of this, opposing abortion with their lips but never acting. That is still better than voting for someone who with both lips and action perpetuate the American Holocaust.
One might think then that this is simply a question of shifting one’s presuppositions and evidence has nothing to do with it. Certainly assumptions have a lot to do with the matter. I think my point is that the question of abortion belongs in a different class than the question of atheism or theism. After one has decided where they stand regarding God, conclusions about abortion more or less follow. That doesn’t mean that one’s stand regarding God needs to rest only on assumptions!
The South Carolina chairwoman of the Democrat party said yesterday that Sarah Palin’s “primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.” This has apparently inspired a firestorm but this is an observation that was made in the conservative camp already from the reverse: that in the liberal (feminist) mind, Sarah’s primary disqualification was that she hasn’t had an abortion.
Sarah Palin is proof that carrying your baby to term is not ‘punishment’ and does not destroy your life and keep you from succeeding as a woman. Sarah Palin has been described as the perfect example of the ‘American Taliban.’ This is moral equivalency writ large, moral sense perfectly unhinged.
There is no dispute here that life begins at conception. The philosophical question has to do with when we believe that the entity is a person, and consequently entitled to the rights we ascribe to persons. There is no non-arbitrary objective measure other than conception by which to say “before there wasn’t, but now there is.” There is no place in the stages of pregnancy where one can say “Aha! Now it is a person!”
But to the central issue: does Bristol’s behavior undercut the moral position of her parents? I say no. If the Palins had disowned their daughter, that would have undercut their moral position. For the Christian faith has never been about being perfect and always about owning up to one’s mistakes and receiving forgiveness.
I think credit has to be given to McCain for being willing to suck it up and listen to his base. McCain’s annoyance with the so-called ‘Christian Right’ is well known and the annoyance has been reciprocated, illustrated for example by James Dobson saying he would not vote for McCain. I believe the tide changed in McCain’s mind after he realized that it might be possible to win the Christian and conservative vote after all, and this happened after the Rick Warren interview.