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« How to Help Your Students Evalute Media | Main | People of God »

October 15, 2008

Comments

Some time ago, I made the following comment on this blog:

It is, however, noteworthy that some Christians seem to suppose that a candidate's stand on abortion is so important that it overrides every other consideration. But Lumbergh does well to explain this sentiment: who is willing to vote for a Nazi--no matter how superior his health care plan may be?

When Melinda speaks of "the five million unborn children slaughtered every year," the comment I made doesn't seem so odd. What do readers think? Should differences in economic ideas, tax plans, gun rights, environmental policies - or any combination of these and other debated issues - matter in the face of Obama's position on abortion and human embryos?

As a Christian, we are called to use wisdom in all decisions. So to answer your question, yes, we are to consider economic ideas, tax plans, gun rights...

With that said, wisdom for a Christian places priorities that may be a little different from the secular individual - life being way up on that list. The thing is that secularist and Christians alike find that they have an emotional disconnect from the lives lost to abortion, it has become merely a statistic; an unnamed statistic at that. It is hard for many to picture that unborn as Little Tim or Precious Susan because of both the extreme emotional impact and distress it would cause and because the media never portrays it as such. But that is what we MUST do.

I don't know about you, but a $5000 tax cut kind of pales in comparison to the images of infanticide that are never on our news.

Granted, a leader that would give the keys of our country to the enemy through lenient foreign policy may cause even more turmoil when compiled with the abortion and infant-organ farming that is likely to follow liberal domestic policies.

You are right, if the leader uses the government to influence the philosophy the American people have with regards to "fairness;" if that leader would change fair to mean "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," we may end up in a society where morality is even more confused.

I don't see the benefit of clean air if the moral standard of the population is not able to distinguish between right and wrong with regards to the basic right to life.

Unfortunately, neither side seems able to articulate their own moral systems...

Greg Koukl for president 2012!

Oh man... I was just imagining Katie Couric interviewing Mr. Koukl on the specifics of his foreign policy...

Columbo tactic! "What do you mean by that?"

Hahahaha! Talk about stacking the decks; they don't really want to know what a person thinks about an issue, they want to know if the person has the vocabulary that they use.

Just the opposite from the science community, isn't it?

The science community faults Christians for having the wrong philosophy so they won't even listen to research done in the same language.

The media faults Christians for not using the same vocabulary so they won't even listen to ideas done with even-handed rationale.

Let me be a bit more direct:

If one issue distinguishing the presidential candidates was that only one endorsed legislation protecting the practice of yearly killing 1.2 million American school children, I might become a single issue voter.

One might be tempted to think that the present case with Obama vs McCain isn't any different - particularly when Melinda writes of "the 1.2 million unborn children slaughtered every year." (Note the editing of the OP)

I think Dean McConnell said it best on apologetics.com when he stated,

"When you are willing to give people a license to kill some other people and pretend that they are not people it effects EVERYTHING about your law and your government. It is not just an isolated issue."

Excellent quote - how true. Thanks Scott.

I am a single issue voter. When I consider a candidate and find that the candidate is not pro-life (anti-abortion), I cannot vote for that candidate. I look at it this way: If a candidate cannot consider a baby in the womb as being precious, then what could that candidate think of my rights? If my child, still inside me, is not something to be protected, considered, fought for, then why should my right to free speech, gun ownership, or due process be given any consideration at all by that candidate?

When considering a candidate, consider what the candidate's priorities are. If their priorities do not start with LIFE, then they can be no better than a hyena's and can not represent me as an elected official any better than that hyena could. After all, the Founding Fathers, writing our US Constitution decided that the Right to Life was so important that they listed it first amongst God-given rights listed in the preamble and it isn't in the US Constitution's delineated rights becuase it is considered so sacrosanct and such a given that the Founding Fathers thought it a given.

If not LIFE as the priority, IMHO, there is nothing that could be more important because without LIFE we have nothing else. Aborted babies cannot have other rights since they were not given the right to LIFE. Without that, there are no rights liberty nor to pursue happiness, nor to due process, nor to habeus corpus, nor to vote, nor anything else.


Thus, when I vote, I vote single issue. No Right To LIFE: NO VOTE!

I actually don't think that many of the pro-choice individuals hold to the idea of the babies life in the same manner as a reasonable pro-life individual. Note that I say a reasonable pro-life individual. The problem is that many pro-life supporters do not know how to articulate their opinion. You can see this problem most evidently when you put many of the pro-lifer's in the position of being raped or something emotionally charged like that. I know many pro-lifers who would change their view when in that position.

My point is that there are people on both sides that don't understand the debate of life. We need to do a better job in our presentation of our view.

"Granted, a leader that would give the keys of our country to the enemy through lenient foreign policy ..."

Perhaps we should also take a moment to reflect on a past leader who has demonstrated, through his push for hate crime legislation, that he confuses vengeance on behalf of a group with justice, that he does not understand the meaning of justice. After 9/11 it was reported that al-Qaeda members stated that it was the unjust American foreign policy that caused them to attack. Oddly enough, this is something that the media no longer wants to report about. If the foreign policy reflected the views on justice of the Clinton administration, then just maybe, the charge that American policy as pushed by someone who does not understand the meaning of the word justice, might have indeed been unjust. Now, that does not make the action of the terrorists right, but it may just point an accusing finger at the person at least partially responsible for some 3000 people being killed within the US boarders.
This is just one example of why it is critically important that we elect someone who has a clear understanding of the moral issues that are at play, in the upcoming elections. There is no question that lives, whether born or unborn, are in the balance.

Obama gave McCain the perfect opportunity last night to strike at the root of the pro-choice position and McCain blew it with his "I'm a federalist" statement.
(Strange, he's only a federalist when it comes to abortion, otherwise he's quite the opposite)

Obama made a comment that I haven't heard anyone say anything about yet. He said that no one is really pro-abortion. I think he's right. It's not that they want to kill babies, it's some other self interest that they have in mind.
Christians (in the US at least) have blemished their stance on abortion by supporting the killing of other people in war. Why is it ok for us to kill babies (or anyone else for that matter) on the other side of the world but wrong for us to kill them here?
Christianity's schizophrenic view of killing has renedered our arguements against abortion meaningless.
When we can stand up against the status quo, Christian or otherwise, and advocate what Jesus taught--the unconditional love of friends AND ENEMIES--then people might start taking our arguements seriously. Until then, people will only see us as committing the same philosophical error we are always quick to condemn--MORAL RELATIVISM.

"Christians (in the US at least) have blemished their stance on abortion by supporting the killing of other people in war. Why is it ok for us to kill babies (or anyone else for that matter) on the other side of the world but wrong for us to kill them here?"

Even if the pro-lifer is inconsistent, does not mean that the pro-life position is false. The largest casualty list on the web lists the number of casualties in the Iraq war as 1.1 million. What about the five million killed in America through abortion in the last four years? You are right to be upset about killings in wars, but please do not forget that the one that is being waged against the unborn takes a larger number of lives.

"Christianity's schizophrenic view of killing has renedered our arguements against abortion meaningless."

I respectfully disagree.

Do we really go to war in order to "kill babies ... on the other side of the world?"

Puh-leaze. You know better than that.

Killing someone who is shooting at you or would like to shoot at you(ie war)is a just. Killing a human (embryo) because it would "screw" up your life is quit different. War sucks but necessary at times.

A Former Marine

"The problem is that many pro-life supporters do not know how to articulate their opinion."

Augustine, do you see evidence of this problem in anything being expressed on this blog?

I'm not saying the pro-life position is false. It is most certainly true.
We undercut our argument if we only apply it in certain situations instead of taking a principled stand even when it's unpopular.

I know we don't go to war to kill babies but, the result of our actions is that we are killing innocent people. And as Christians, we should not be killing anyone. The New Testament instructs us to LOVE our enemies...do good to those who persecute us...give them food and clothing, etc... NOT kill them.
If you knowingly do something that is certain to harm someone, especially an innocent bystander, then you are culpable for that harm. For a Christian to support wholesale slaughter is counter to what Jesus and the whole New Testament teaches.
To dismiss that harm as necessary because it protects some self interest is EXACTLY the argument that the pro-choice crowd uses. That's why Obama said no one is pro-abortion...no one has an abortion because they just like to kill babies. They do it to protect some self interest. Their reputation, their career, etc. at the expense of some else's life--the baby.
So it is with war. We are protecting OUR way of life, OUR political system, OUR families, etc. at the expense of someone else's life.

Trust what Jesus taught...love your friends AND enemies. Even if it costs you your life. Your eternity is secure with Jesus so, you have nothing to fear.

Former Marine...self defense is jut in the world's eyes.
Jesus however condemned violence.
How is killing someone loving your enemy?
As a Marine, how many times did someone come to your country and home and try to kill you or your family?
How many times did you go to someone elses country and home and then in "self defense" kill them?

What happens when you kill your enemy? Is it God's will that all should be saved or that we should kill OUR enemies when we know they could end up in hell?
Should we be trying to reach out with Jesus' message of love and mercy?
Remember, an enemy of a country is not an enemy of God. God sent his son to die for them, too. It's not our job to define who is worthy or not to receive the Gospel. And we are not to value our lives more than others.

With all due respect to men and women serving us in Iraq (as well as to the former Marine), it's not at all clear that our war in Iraq is a matter of self-defense, justice or necessity. Sure, the Bush administration got many Americans to think that our military aggression was about these matters, but the case for war now appears to have been both erroneous and irresponsible. This irresponsibility is an injustice to our fighting men and women (not to mention many Iraqis, American taxpayers, and the families of those who have lost their lives).

One point, it seems, of the anonymous post is that many right-wing Christians are quite hypocritical when they so blindly trust George W Bush and his reckless military agendas. The indictment sharpens when we see that right-wing Christians have apparently failed to learn any lesson - their support for Palin looks much like their blind support for Bush. It is a shame that McCain had to pander to their agenda.

If we look at the testimony of Christians in the New Testament and in the first three centuries of Christianity, we do not see Christians taking up arms to defend themselves. To the contrary, we see them willingly giving up their lives. Hebrews 12:36-39; the apostles, Polycarp, etc...
No where in the New Testament are we instructed to take up arms.
Jesus told Peter to put away his sword and that all who live by the sword shall die by the sword.
Waging war does not bring peace.
The means you use will determine the ends you get. You can't sow violence and reap peace.
It's true that we may face death for standing as Jesus taught. He told us to expect to be persecuted. We are to confront evil with the power of love. Love does not kill.
All the worldly wisdom goes against Jesus' teaching regarding love. And Jesus pointed this out when he said to love your enemies.
What is so different about you if you just love your friends and family? Even the lost people do that. We are to love everyone as Christ loved us. He loved us first, even though we did not deserve it. We should do the same.

Regarding the present war and Bush's lying us into it...
IF war was ok (i'm not granting that it is...JUST IF) we would have to make sure it was for just reasons. If truth is the first casualty of war, how could the Christian determine if he should be fighting? Our military instructs it's pawns to follow orders without question. Not much different than the Mafia.

Google up Mark Twain's War Prayer and see war from a different perspective. Is that what Christianity is all about? Certainly not.

> Regarding the present war and
> Bush's lying us into it...

Your pronunciation of "shibboleth" gives you away as a kool-aid drinker..

Mr. Westfall,
Any reader of STR should know that name calling is not an acceptable way to refute someone's argument.
Whether Bush knowingly deceived some people into supporting this occupation is irrelevant. The government was responsible for taking us into Iraq (and other places) and he's at the top. It was his call...and many Christians were more than happy to support killing THOSE people.

Back to my point. As Christians, we appear hypocritical when we talk about the sanctity of life, oppose abortion, and then support killing in war...and torture...and any other unloving acts toward those we or our government deem our enemy.

What did Jesus say about those who would try to save their life in this world?
What did he say about trying to add another day to your life?


Mike, this has nothing to do with relativism. In the Bible (Romans 13), the government is not called to love the people who are its enemies. The government is called to use the sword to keep order and punish those who do wrong. The sword. Physical violence, if necessary, to stop those who would hurt others. God did not condemn violence in this instance. Ever. Are the police wrong to fight the criminals, even though it would be wrong for you to take it upon yourself to mete out punishment? No. You have to be able to distinguish between the roles and prescriptions God has given us as individuals vs. those given to particular institutions. As soon as you have individuals taking on the role of government or of government taking on the role of individuals, a massive amount of problems erupts.

>>and many Christians were more than happy to support killing THOSE people.

Actually, many Christians were more than happy to support helping "those people" by removing Saddam. But leave the current war aside for a moment. Here's where we show our love to our enemies: After necessary wars are finished (just go back to the Civil War and WWII), we go out of our way to do what we can to help--build hospitals, schools, do what we can to restore a functioning society. God assumes the sword is necessary at times, according to Romans, but there are still ways within that to show love and mercy when possible as a country, as well.

Anon2:
You're reading Romans 13 out of context. Go back and start at Romans 1:1 and read it through. The point of ch. 13 is not that God is giving govt. a specific job within this world. It will help greatly if you throw out the chapter and verse designations...they aren't in the originals. I don't mean to be rude here but, without looking it up, do you know what Romans ch. 12 says? and how that relates to ch.13? and how it relates to the rest of Romans? How does the Bible characterize human governments? Who does the Bible say is in control of worldly governments...look up the temptation of Jesus in Luke.
We "helped" the people of Iraq by destroying their country, killing more than a million of them and creating more than a million refugees. Then after we destroyed what little they did have, we have gone back in and rebuilt very little and what has been built is substandard.
You don't help people by making their situation much worse, killing large portions of the population and then building a school or two.
Jesus said no where for us to destroy and kill and then put a band-aid on the wounds.

You speak of the govt as if it is a distinct entity...distinct from the people. Individuals make up the govt. Individuals carry out the business of the govt.
And in the US, our govt. is supposed to follow the Constitution.
Is it wrong for the police to fight criminals and wrong for me to mete out justice? the police are people just like me. what if i was a cop? does God excuse me from his command to love my enemy just because i wear a little tin badge and brutish costume?
Putting on a uniform and working for the local gang (police) does not excuse you from following Jesus command to love one another.

Our Govt threw out the Constitution a long time ago and they only pay lip service to it to fool the electorate.

It's odd to me how people routinely throw out Jesus' command to love and substitute worldly philosphies that have been Christianized with religous jargon.
It's odd to hear Christians defending killing...indiscriminate killing...dropping bombs from planes on cities...whether it's Dresden or Baghdad.

And that just makes my point.
You support killing, supposedly for a good cause. That's the same argument that the pro-choice crowd uses. They are trying to protect some self-interest...what they deem a good cause. Then you come along and tell them that abortion is wrong for any reason...especially because of some self-interest. They see that as hypocritical and then they tune us out.
They see us defending murder when it suits us but when they try to use the same argument, we won't let them.

We can't have it both ways.

Anon 2 makes a good point.

Mike says this:
"Back to my point. As Christians, we appear hypocritical when we talk about the sanctity of life, oppose abortion, and then support killing in war...and torture...and any other unloving acts toward those we or our government deem our enemy"

How naive to omit the word innocent to your rant here and above.

Did John the Babtise love here: Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Did Jesus love here: Mat 23:13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Mat 23:14 ["Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]
Mat 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Did God love here:Psa 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?
Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3 "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!"
Psa 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.
Psa 2:5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying,
Psa 2:6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
Psa 2:7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
Psa 2:8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the {very} ends of the earth as Your possession.
Psa 2:9 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.' "
Psa 2:10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish {in} the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Hating evil is loving your neighbor. Stopping evil is loving your neighbor. Your misuse of the word enemy to make your case suffers from a serious conflict with historic Christian thought. Your position exalts evil and tries to love where God wouldn't even. He wouldn't because He loves righteousness too much to refrain from delivering just wrath toward evil.

Brad B

Yes, I'm familiar with Romans. For the sake of everyone else, I want to quote Romans 13:1-6.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.

There's no way to take this out of context. The government is God's servant, ordained by God to be "an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." They are ordained to carry out God's wrath. As individuals, we do not have this authority. They have the sword for this purpose. This means God has granted them the authority to use the sword (violence) to keep order in society. I'm sorry, but there's no way around this.

If anyone is interested, I listened to these recently and found them interesting.

Christ Overcame Evil with Good--Do the Same (Rom 12:20-21)
Subjection to God and Subjection to the Sate (Rom 13:1-7)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

These are best in conjunction with the rest of the sermons on Chapter 12 which you can find here.

>>You support killing, supposedly for a good cause.

No, not for "a good cause." I support the government using the sword to maintain order and punish the bad. Killing done for this purpose by an institution that was granted the authority to do so by God is different than killing an innocent human being on your own who's going to cost you some money. If you can't tell the difference, I don't know what to tell you.

There's a lot of cavalier scripture referencing being done here. It is utterly deficient of the spirit of Christ.

Compare and contrast: Christ's vs the religious leaders' use of scripture.

sandpaper, I'm sure you know that people who frequent STR are a different breed of Christians/Pro-lifers. In fact, it is because of STR that I still hold out hope for the future. What I hear from both sides of the political spectrum is an appeal to what tickles peoples' ears. Being exposed to so much ungrounded arguments has planted many-a-feet in midair.

Mike, I'm sorry but you are misinformed. Although there have been innocent casualties in Iraq, there has never been any attempt to kill without precision and accuracy those shooting at us. Casualties happen in any war and I hate it. I can't help but believe if I we didn't kill the "bad guy" he would have killed far many more innocents.(ie market bombings etc). As far as bombing their country and leaving it in rubble, that's not true either. We've erected many many builings (hospitals, parts of neighborhoods)but the enemy would destroy them over and over again. As a matter of fact, our country's record shows that we do help others rebuild whenever it's possible. I can see where you think Christians should be pacifist but I believe you're mixing up the role of government and individuals (as is stated well above). Please believe me, NO ONE wants to use the sword but in this case it is our duty to defend this nation against those who would seek it's destruction(although maybe not as imminently as we had thought--and no i don't think we were deceive by our President--recent happenings and poor intelligence were at play here) We may never know why this war happened this side of heaven, but I do know God is sovereign and this was for His purposes/ self glory and our (Christians) good.

Peace be with you my brother.

Former Marine

“There's no way to take this out of context. The government is God's servant, ordained by God to be "an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." They are ordained to carry out God's wrath”

I’m curious about how this applies in a representative democracy. Suppose there are two candidates for Commander in Chief: one thoroughly enjoys the role of “avenger”; the other is a peacemaker, going to great lengths to find diplomatic solutions because he despises the atrocities of modern warfare. What should I, the Christian voter, do? Since it is “government by the people” does the status of “God’s avenger” trickle down to me, thus licensing me to help elect a candidate who will act wrathfully towards the unbelievers in Iraq?

Imagine a missionary in pre-war Iraq trying to explain all this to his Iraqi acquaintances: “as an individual I’ll love you unconditionally, but as a citizen of a powerful democracy I’ve cast my absentee ballot to bring wrath upon you, in the bombing of your cities. Though as a voter I’ll have you bombed, as an individual I really love you.”

Timing as it is, Ron Gleason has this:

http://rongleason.blogspot.com/

on his blog today. I commend it to Mike, the title being ["Pro-life or Pro-glock?"].

Brad B

To anyone who hasn't been to Chris Arsenault's site, it is a must see. Great job Chris.

Brad B

this is the url in case you missed his post above

http://www.thrufire.org/

Here are my thoughts:

One thing that is essential when discussing the abortion issue is remember who the least of these really are in Matthew 25. Melinda is right when she says that they are the weakest and most vulnerable (there were a few others adjectives but you get the point). People who are in poverty, without health care, who are disabled are also amongst the least of these and all of us know this. But there is a fundamental difference between improving the quality of one's life versus granting life to an unborn baby. That's why abortion is such a big issue: because the least of these really are those with no voice or presence of their own.

If a candidate is pro-life we ought to support him and keep him accountable once he is in office. Yes, push him to bring legislation to outlaw abortion, but when certain bills that deal with abortion come before the senate or the house we ought to closely follow how this person votes. It is absolutely crucial to strongly urge pro-life candidates to take action and continually put forth legislation banning abortion or restricting it from being practiced. How? Email your representatives, call them, send them a letter, do whatever it takes and realize it will be annoying, and that it's good.

I recently heard Brian McLaren speak in Marion, IN and he said that many people who are pro-life don't understand what it means (I disagree by the way). But this is what he said: If Roe v. Wade is overturned there are currently about 16 states that are ready to criminalize abortion. However, they account for only 10% of the number of abortions in the country. Pregnant women could just go to another state to get an abortion. So he supports Obama because he thinks Obama is willing to unite people on this and reduce the number of unwanted babies by promoting sexual education and treating sex sacred. When has he done this? How will he do this? I disagree with McLaren completely

The number one way to promote the pro-life movement is to vote for John McCain. He is by far the most likely to pick a justice who will hold to a strict interpretation of the constitution and be willing to find constitutional grounds in favor of approving legislation that overrules Roe v. Wade. Please realize that at least one supreme court justice will be appointed by the next President and theoretically that is a key piece of banning this atrocity. Although the Democrats have control of Congress, slowly more of them are becoming pro-life as well. Much of the time it's not that people who are pro-choice hate babies or human life, but that they have a different set of facts and don't consider the baby alive (this is in Greg Koukl's and Francis Beckwith's book, Relativism: Feet Planted in Thin Air)

Do not disengage from the world. Prayer for God's justice regarding abortion is pivotal. We should specifically praying for it everyday: alone, with our families, and fellow believers. We cannot and should not rely solely on the government to "outlaw" abortion. There are many hurting people all around us. Be willing to engage with them and discuss these issues with them. If we have all this information and sound logic but don't engage people...we miss the point! Sinners are blind to there sin and we are the light by God's grace.

Keep pushing your representatives and befriending your neighbors-you cannot help but shine when you are with them. You don't have to do anything except walk over and talk to them or invite them over for dinner-your light will shine. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth...not we can be or might be.

One final thing: Why not pray every time before we log onto str? Why not make a covenant to pray after we give our opinion or learn something? Let's do it and let God work! Praise Jesus Christ for his great sacrifice and giving us life! God bless all of you!

Be all things to all people - shouldn't we find some commmon ground with people no matter the side of the issue of abortion they sit on? I think Obama is trying to do this - maybe he is sick of the divide?

The thing about abortion - it's not Obama's fault these are happening - that needs to be made crystal clear. Certain women are choosing this procedure when they are getting pregnant (1.5 million a year apparently) - Obama isn't making that choice for them. What is happening in these women's lives that they require this procedure?

I am not sure why Obama is to blame for actions he is not committing nor can committ (he is not a woman and 1.5 million women at the same time). Obama had nothing to do with Roe v. Wade (and even if this over-turned - abortion will still happen). People are failing to forget these obvious things.

I second the motion proposed by Brad B. That is the two videos everyone should see. It puts a face on abortion in a way I have never seen before. Every unwanted child, and I count myself among them, HAS THE GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO LIFE. PERIOD!!!!
The life that God has joined with flesh, may no man put asunder.

As in most elections, people on both sides make decisions "against" one candidate - rather than "for" the other candidate. Regrettably, John McCain is a very limpid option when it comes to articulating and defending the Biblical worldview. However, he's miles ahead of the alternative.

From Sandpaper:
"If one issue distinguishing the presidential candidates was that only one endorsed legislation protecting the practice of yearly killing 1.2 million American school children, I might become a single issue voter.

"One might be tempted to think that the present case with Obama vs McCain isn't any different - particularly when Melinda writes of "the 1.2 million unborn children slaughtered every year." (Note the editing of the OP)"

Here's a reason for thinking that the situation isn't the same: BOTH candidates endorse legislation protecting the practice of killing the unborn. McCain, recall, supports overthrowing Roe v Wade and continuing to allow abortion as long as the residents of the state where it occurs agree to allow it.

So, both candidates are morally corrupt when it comes to the issue of the murders of over a million unborn humans every year.

So, either we vote for neither candidate, voting for a real Pro-Life 3rd party candidate instead, or we vote based on a number of issues, including the issue of which morally corrupt candidate is most likely to make decisions that will result in fewer abortions.

To put the point about McCain's position somewhat differently:

Obama thinks abortion should be legal if the woman chooses it.

McCain thinks abortion should be legal if the woman chooses it and her state doesn't outlaw it.

>>What should I, the Christian voter, do?

Carmine, if you're seeking to follow Christ, you should begin by representing people fairly.

Carmine: "one thoroughly enjoys the role of “avenger”; the other is a peacemaker, going to great lengths to find diplomatic solutions because he despises the atrocities of modern warfare."

McCain: "I hold my position because I hate war, and I know very well and very personally how grievous its wages are. But I know, too, that we must sometimes pay those wages to avoid paying even higher ones later."

>>“as an individual I’ll love you unconditionally, but as a citizen of a powerful democracy I’ve cast my absentee ballot to bring wrath upon you,

I used to do this very thing every week when I would help lead Bible studies in a jail. I loved them, but I cast my ballot for the government to maintain order by bringing wrath on them, putting them in jail. The government has a different role than we do as individuals. And yes, individuals carry out the role of the government when they're part of the government. Individuals put people in jail as representatives of the government. Those same individuals may very well also visit the people in jail and bring them the Gospel when they're acting as individuals and not as the state. You accept different roles for individuals and government every single day.

Please keep in mind that I am not arguing about the Iraq war, here. I'm simply trying to explain why it's legitimate for a country to wage war even if an individual not representing the government is called to not wage war.

Carmine, there are many people who believe as you do. The idea of institutions, authority, and separate roles has been all but obliterated over time by the left's insistence that everyone and everything be exactly the same--men and women must be exactly the same and do the same things, everyone must have the same amount of wealth, etc. We've lost our ability to think about distinctions.

I'm not sure how this happened. I suspect it goes back to the materialist roots of the left. In a Christian worldview, humans are equal even when they're different and have different roles. But if there is no God, then the equality of all human beings can't be grounded in their shared image of God. There's nothing equal that all humans share. Therefore, the materialist left must make them all equal in their outward characteristics--wealth, status, roles, etc. Thus, we end up with totalitarianism. It's no accident that the Soviet Union and China are both atheist countries.

Amy, if you're seeking to contribute to a discussion, "you should begin by representing people fairly."

Carmine doesn't come out and say that McCain thoroughly enjoys the role of avenger. In fact, it looks like she is setting up a hypothetical situation.

I'm going to make one more comment and let this one go...

I don't think either political party will ever decisively address the abortion issue. They WANT to keep it alive because it polarizes people in each direction and gets people all whipped up and ready to write a check and cast their vote.
If they were to settle this issue once and for all, they would lose a very hot issue that brings them power. Political power is what drives those people (the politicians).

Ed Dobson and Cal Thomas wrote an excellet book (Blinded By Might) a few years ago about Christians' involvement in politics and where it has gotten us. Give it a read and see how Christians have squandered their energy trying to save the US through political action instead of loving their neighbor.

I honestly think that Barack Obama is being disingenuous when he talks about seeking common ground on abortion. He is trying to seem reasonable to pro-lifers without losing support from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, abortion providers, and others. And people are more interested in his rhetoric than his record, possibly because learning about his record requires effort. Robert George's essay should be read by everyone who cares about the abortion issue.

I think Amy was right on with the comments she made regarding Carmine's latest post. The false dichotomies and frankly unrealistic "hypotheticals" that Carmine attempts while trying to present Christians in the worst possible light aren't even worth commenting on until the characterizations are cleaned up. Attempts to do that are usually followed up by some anonomous poster criticizing the clean up attempt making clarification for Carmine...hmmmm.

Brad B

It occurs to me that if a segregationist were to run for President-a whole lot of people would turn into "one issue voters" and rightfully so. Not many would be interested to hear about the individuals health care plan! The disdain for a one issue voter inis a Red Herring to stop people from focusing on the importance of the one issue.

"Much of the time...people who are pro-choice...don't consider the baby alive (this is in Greg Koukl's and Francis Beckwith's book, Relativism: Feet Planted in Thin Air)"

Is this really how Koukl and Beckwith represent the pro-choice position - pro-choicers don't consider the fetus to be ALIVE?

I will answer the question that no one wants to answer, Carmine.

"Suppose there are two candidates for Commander in Chief: one thoroughly enjoys the role of “avenger”; the other is a peacemaker, going to great lengths to find diplomatic solutions because he despises the atrocities of modern warfare. What should I, the Christian voter, do?"

Well, it depends. I know that this wasn't the answer you wanted, but it is the most true. Just because an individual enjoys avenging doesn't necessarily mean that the individual in question can't bring about the greatest good. In some circumstances, the enemy is such that diplomacy is not wise. Sometimes wisdom asks for one type of leadership, sometimes it asks for the other. This is where experience comes into play.

"Is this really how Koukl and Beckwith represent the pro-choice position - pro-choicers don't consider the fetus to be ALIVE?"

In the book Relativism, pro-choicers are represented as not considering the fetus as a human person. I think?

"Just because an individual enjoys avenging doesn't necessarily mean that the individual in question can't bring about the greatest good."

That's of course right. But what's the lesson here? Surely it is not that Christians are to guide their votes by purely consequentialist considerations.

The fact that an evil action brings about the greater good doesn't license me to do it. With the intention of bringing about the greater good, am I, however, licensed to empower another to commit the evil action? Does it all depend on whether or not the person is in "government"?

Surely the thought must rather be that in doling out divine wrath (in the form of Tomahawk missiles), the president isn't necessarily committing an evil action - and that this is why we're permitted to empower someone who would so act. But this wouldn't mean that we'd be permitted to empower someone who was highly disposed to doling out divine wrath, especially if we had another option. I expect Augustine will agree.

I am frankly baffled by the number of posts that are critical of Christians that are in support of the Iraq war. It is quite clear to me that a tyrant was deposed because of it. It is clear that a whole bunch of terrorists that were emboldened by the 9/11 attacks were herded into an area that was militarily easier to control by the American forces than Afghanistan and were subsequently either vanquished or send running for the boarder. This fact allowed fewer American forces to lose their lives. The tenacious enemy that is bent on Islamizing the world, not through persuasion, but through the use of violence, murder, intimidation and blackmail, has been stopped before breaching U.S. boarders and been made to duke it out within the boarders of Iraq. Yet, some feel that somehow (I’m at a loss to know how), it is morally inconsistent when a Christian stands up for some 40 million murders-in-the-womb that were committed from the time of Roe vs. Wade. What is going on here? What have some of us become? Are we so wrapped up in the fabric of our society that we see every other society as resembling ours?
Wake up American!!! There are cultures out there that have a core of pure evil within their fundamental structure. The radical Islamists belong to such a detestable culture. There is nothing to be salvaged from it, the wrath of God abides on it and those who cling to it.

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