Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote for Life

Approximately thirty years ago, Evangelicals, no longer satisfied sitting on their hands as part of Nixon's silent majority, decided to speak up. The Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition and some of their companion groups arose with a vision of preserving America's religious roots and returning her to them through political engagement. I've always seen that ideal as a selective reading of history, because America has always been a land of booze, getting rich quick, and the guy at the bottom of the food chain getting the shaft from the guys at the top. For the bulk of our history, Africans have been held against their wills in slavery and women have had no political or legal say-so. Are those roots we want to return to?

I do believe, however, (at least in this country where people are the government) that Christians should be politically engaged, and in both of the major parties. We the people are responsible for what our political leaders do on our behalf. We're responsible if we don't vote, because we could have, we should have. We're responsible if we do vote, particularly if the candidate we voted for wins and is seated in office. Other people in other times in other places in the world didn't have this responsibility, we do! There's no running or hiding from it, it's the cost of living in a representative democracy.

So how should we handle that responsibility? How about very carefully? Not so much about the whos of who's elected, but at what cost to our allegiance to God do we support and promote those whos. No politician is the answer to what ails us, Jesus alone has that power. No singular politician, at least under our form of governance, is going to change everything. Most of what passes as politics is bluster and lie, and needs to be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, the sooner we get these folks back to productive life after their public service the better!

There is, however, one issue that stands above all others in my viewpoint, and one for which we cannot lose heart in the struggle. When the most innocent among us are cold-bloodedly murdered day in and day out, nothing else can be right in the land. Being anti-abortion is not about returning to some fantasy about some former golden day in America, it is about life and death and we cannot shirk our responsibility. Christians must vote pro-life.

You may strategize about how to do that, whether by party affiliation or the individual candidate's stance, but make no mistake about it: you are the government and you are responsible for the choices government makes. What you can do to influence those choices is good and right for you to do, so long as it's not rebellious. The easiest thing you can do is vote for life.

Take a look at this! (HT to Paul Grabill)

9 comments:

  1. In your post you speak of voting "pro-life" which I take to mean that a Christian must vote for a candidate that is against Roe v. Wade. While the specific result of Roe v. Wade is unfortunate, its underlying premise is that the Government may not intrude (dictate) basic issues of personal privacy and conscience. It seems dubious to advocate that the "official" Christian position is Government intrusion into the private lives of Christians.

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  2. Anonymous,
    You pose a flawed argument. Should a person choose to mame and torture puppies and kittens in his/her personal privacy would you then object to the Government intruding on that privacy in order to stop that behavior? The answer obviously is yes! Human life is a precious gift from God. Enough so that God Himself came to Earth and died to save us. God tells us through His word that He knows us before we are conceived. That tells me that a human life begins at conception. I for one can not vote for any candidate whether republican/democrat/other who supports abortion.

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  3. Anon,
    henous well makes the applicable point on the argument itself.

    I agree with him that technically, objectively (should I say scientifically?) human life begins at conception. From a legally actionable standpoint, that life should be protected once implanted in a mother's uterus. Various aspects of fertility medicine and research have made it necessary to state that (although I think IUDs should be illegal too).

    Abortion is not an issue of privacy, or even conscience, but of life. There is an innocent, helpless, and silent human life lost in every single abortion. Does the state have a compelling interest in stopping individuals from slaughtering innocents in their private domains? Absolutely! Can an individual assert the right to privacy in killing an inconvenient dependent? Absolutely not! Honestly, this ought to be a no-brainer.

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  4. henous,
    Excellent point. It is sad that pets get treated better than children in the womb in this country!

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  5. Heanous,

    It is not a flawed argument at all. The Supreme Court is a court of law, not one of theology. Its mission is to interpret the Constitution, a political man-made document, not the Bible. Roe v. Wade is mostly an extension of Griswold v. Connecticut which invalidated a law proscribing contraceptives. Many Christians, especially Protestant Christians, would not like to see Griswold overturned.

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  6. anonymous,
    Griswold v Connecticut gave protection for people in terms of contraceptives because of "marital privacy". I am fine if you want to protect a couples right to buy and use contraceptives, but I have two things to say:
    1. The word "privacy" is not written in the Constitution . . at all. There are 4,400 words and not once is privacy mentioned. So if it is a supreme court judges job to review the Constitution and make a decision based on that document (judicial review), how can you back up your decision with the words privacy? It seems like judges have expanded their powers to not just look at the Constitution, but their own beliefs.
    2. I'll be the first to stand and tell you that I want the government as far out of my life as possible. I do not want to wake up in the morning and think "What do I have to do for my government today?" But in all conciousness, how can we just think a 1965 case about contraceptives can be a springboard to roe v wade. I dont see roe v wade as a small extension, but a huge leap that goes from protection for contraceptives to the death of millions, approximately 3,000 children every day. I believe privacy should be way down on the list of priorities in terms of this genocide. We need to be a voice to the millions of innocent children who can't speak up for themselves.

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  7. Pops,

    True, there is no explicit "right of privacy" in the Constitution, but that is not to say that our Republic hasn't recognized such a right. For instance, I'm sure that most political conservatives would be up in arms if the Government passed a law mandating that certain folks marry certain folks. Such a law is not explicitly prohibited by the Constitution.

    Griswold cuts to the question of whether the implied right of privacy cuts to the decision of wanted or unwanted pregnancies. One factor behind the Connecticut law was the "pro-life" factor, hence the proscription against contraceptives.

    The Early Church Fathers had it right when they wrote that "Christians shouldn't practice abortion."

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  8. protecting the lives of the unborn must be something we all strive for. however, i am no longer convinced that the us supreme court is the avenue through which we will reduce the abomination that is abortion. why is it the number of abortions decrease MOST when we have democratic presidents? i voted for GWB soley because of this issue, and i do not see how any lives were saved. jesus did not rule through the law, but through love. perhaps its time we all gave love another chance.

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  9. Ed G,
    You may be right, but ultimately, we don't want to reduce abortions, we want to stop them completely. Every abortion is premeditated murder. Love may well diminish the number of murders, law certainly won't stop every incidence, but I think the threat of the noose goes further than either alone.

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Any comment in ill taste or not germane to the post may be deleted without warning. I am under no obligation to give anyone an opportunity to call me names or impugn my motives or integrity. If you can't play nice, go somewhere else and play.