Donald Miller is one of the better voices of the Emergent crowd. I liked most of Blue Like Jazz, and I think he’s a great writer. He led a prayer at the Democratic convention– no problem there; I would have gone if they’d asked. (They didn’t.) But he’s saying some really stupid things regarding his support for Obama.
CT interviewed Miller about being asked to pray at the convention. When asked about his stance on abortion, here are his strongest words:
The issue of abortion is a very sensitive one and it’s an important issue… I hope the Democrats will listen to those of us who lean toward pro-life and those changes can be made. [emphasis added]
Those of us who “lean toward pro-life”? Wow, way to take on the party line.
[Obama] is also standing up to his own party on the issue and moving the party forward to elevate the issue of the sanctity of life within the Democratic Party.
The best possible spin you can put on this is that Miller has no clue what he’s talking about. Let’s go over this again: Obama has a perfect 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. He has said his first act as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. He voted, at various times, either “no” or “present” on bills to protect infants who were born alive after abortion attempts. There is no sense in which he is “standing up to his party”– unless it’s to move them further to the left on abortion.
I simply do not see McCain’s stand on abortion being as strong as conservatives think it is. He changed his mind on the issue only a few years ago, in fact. I think it’s a ploy to get votes.
While I share Miller’s wish that McCain would speak more strongly on abortion, his voting record simply couldn’t be much better. He’s certainly the anti-Obama on this issue, with National Right to Life calling his voting record on abortion “one of the best in the Senate.”
I am willing to look uncool to help the first African-American become President.
Right, because supporting Obama is so uncool right now. I guess this one isn’t factually wrong so much as just stupid.
Most evangelicals polled will vote for Barack.
The myth of an evangelical migration to Obama has been repeatedly debunked. Obama doesn’t poll as well among evangelicals as Kerry in 2004. See here, here, and especially here. I have no idea why Miller thinks this statement is true.
Look, I’m all for robust discussion. And no, you most certainly do not have to be a Republican to be a Christian. But if you’re a believer supporting Obama, you really owe it to yourself to have a decent reason (just as you would for McCain). Vote for him because you believe the government should have a bigger role in health care, or because you oppose the war, or because you prefer his economic policy. But don’t vote for him and try to tell the rest of us it’s a valid pro-life move. That’s a sham, and well-informed people ought to know better.