I promised myself I wouldn't do a political post. Apparently I lied to myself. I just can't take it anymore. I have to let it all out.
There are signs of fatigue among Christians on this issue. Some argue that the sanctity of life issue is simply one among many important issues. Without doubt, we are faced with many urgent and important issues. Nevertheless, every voter must come to terms with what issues matter most in the electoral decision. At some point, every voter is a potential "single issue" voter. Some issues simply eclipse others.
This is the case with the sanctity of human life. I can understand the fatigue. So little progress seems to have been made. So much ground has been lost. So many unborn babies have been aborted. The culture has turned increasingly hostile to this commitment, especially among the young. There is a sense that many want to get on with other issues.
There is fatigue and frustration with the Republican Party and with limited progress. There is frustration with mixed signals and missed opportunities. There is the acknowledgment that we have too often been told what we want to hear and then ignored.
There is the sense that the battle has grown old -- along with those who are fighting it. There are signs that the culture is closing its ears. We all have other concerns as well. Can we make any progress on those if we remain tenaciously committed to opposing abortion?
Yet, there is the reality that we face a choice. This is a limited choice. And we cannot evade responsibility for the question of abortion. Our vote will determine whether millions of unborn babies live or die. The Freedom of Choice Act, if passed, would lead directly to a radical increase in the numbers of abortions. The abortion industry has told us that themselves.
The question comes down to this: How many lives are we willing to forfeit -- to write off as expendable -- in order to "move on" to other issues of concern? There is no way to avoid that question and remain morally serious. The voting booth is no place to hide.
I'm not going to act like I have any idea who I'm voting for, because I don't. I do, however, know who I'm not voting for. I am not voting for Senator Barack Obama. Geez. Don't gasp so loud. You might suck all of the oxygen out of the atmosphere. I have been inexplicably ashamed to say this out loud to anyone but my husband lately. I don't know why. I usually just say "undecided" and move on. But thanks to my friend Melissa and her amazing blog I feel like I can come out of hiding and reveal my true self to the world. Thanks Melissa!
As far as reasoning goes, there is really only one reason. Abortion. That's not to say I don't disagree with other policies of his, but this one is a deal breaker for me. It really is. I can't get past it. I have heard so many arguments on the issue - about how all life is sacred and abortion and war both take lives so voting for one against the other doesn't pan out - about how the real way to save these babies is education over legislation - about how the president doesn't really decide these issues anyway, so voting won't make a difference. I respectfully disagree. I'm not that eloquent, but my friend Thomas is. He went to law school people. He passed the bar. Watch out. So, in light of his amazingness, I'm using his words:
Abortion policy in this country is set by the Supreme Court. The American people have no way to affect abortion policy other than voting for a president and sentators who we hope will appoint and confirm justices that will, someday, make pronouncements from the bench that we agree with. There are a lot of "ifs" in there.
Roe v. Wade, and the more important case that came after it, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, take abortion policy away from the people and vest it in the courts. Defending Roe is not defending abortion, it is defending a system in which it is impossible to even have a debate about abortion. For all the talk about "choice," defenders of Roe and Casey do not want the American people to get to cast a vote that reflects their choice.
Overturning Roe would not outlaw abortions. It would merely allow states to pass laws and regulations governing abortions, including laws that could prohibit the practice.
So I have a hard time with calling Roe's defenders "pro-choice." The overall thrust of the abortion lobby's agenda has been to insulate abortion policy from democracy.
Moreover, let me echo Melissa. I am a single issue voter, not because I ignore all other issues, but because I have weighed the issues and found that none of them even compare in importance. If you believe, as I do, that a newly-conceived embryo is a person, then abortion is murder, and murder on a truly horrifying scale perpetrated on the weakest and most defenseless among us. Every other issue is fluff compared with a million murders every year.
And I will assert with some confidence that if a candidate supported slavery or preemptive nuclear war, most of you would be single issue voters, too. I believe it is our mere familiarity with abortion as a policital issue that keeps us from seeing how horrible it is. We are, I am, calloused to its horrors.
I will end by showing that Senator Obama's view on this matter is absurd. In his conversaion with Rick Warren, Obama said that the question of when life begins is "above my pay grade." That sounds nice and humble, but remember that Obama supports abortions at least in the first trimester (he actually voted to support outright infanticide, but we'll set that aside). If he is unsure about when life begins, shouldn't he be concerned that it might begin at conception or at least sometime in the first trimester? If you are unsure if your fly is down, you double check. If you are unsure if your chicken is fully cooked, you leave it on the grill for a few more minutes. If you are unsure if there is a car in your blind spot, you look over your shoulder again. If you are unsure whether there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, you wait before invading. But it's fine to abort your fetus, even if you're unsure.
The glibness reflected in this answer appalls me. If you are willing to abort something, you had better be sure that you are not killing a person. I fear that the ease with which he punted that question reflects the fact that abortions do not primarily harm the mother, but rather cause the baby. If a doctor is unsure whether you have cancer of the right or left lung, would you prefer he know before operating? Or, if it were impossible to know whether a certain kind of drug could ever be administered without creating a large risk of sudden death, should the FDA approve that drug?
To those that support Sen. Obama: I encourage you to answer the question of when life begins. If you are unsure, consider whether you should err on the side of caution.
If you are like me, you have pureed green beans in your eyelashes and crusty snot on your jeans and you can barely find the time to pee let alone research presidential candidates. At the very least, you haven't found the time to do your research. Here is some reading for you - and all in one neat little package :) These links speak on Obama's record on the topic of abortion as well as discussion on the topic from some highly respected people. Please take the time to look into it. It is so important to educate yourself.
Info on Freedom of Choice Act
Obama on the Born-Alive Legislation (an article by Dr. Robert George)
A Blog By Randy Alcorn
An Interview with Donald Miller
Albert Mohler article
ProChoice America Stats on Obama
With that said, I just can't do it. I just cannot support a person that would rather risk murder than infringe on a woman's "right to choose." As a woman myself, I honestly don't believe that I have the right to choose life over death in any situation, regardless of legislation.
I hope you aren't offended by this post, but if you are I can only hope that the initial offense subsides and deeper thought is provoked on the topic. Many thanks to the Richies for letting me plagiarize :) Happy voting peeps.