Don’t say I (and many others) didn’t warn you.

For better or worse, my posts on the election, especially re: abortion, are drawing to a close soon. But here’s another. This is a comment I posted on Abraham Piper’s blog, but I think I was too late and the thread’s pretty much died down. (Read it, though– interesting.) Since I might not get any responses there, thought I’d drop it here too.

Here’s something to think about: If one candidate wins (let’s call him Obama) is elected, the Freedom of Choice Act will very likely become law. This will eliminate all restrictions of abortion that are currently in place in many states (parental notification/consent and the like), as well as requiring gov’t (=taxpayer) funds to pay for abortions. If passed, and especially if Obama appoints the kind of Supreme Court justices we can reasonably expect he would, on a political level the pro-life movement will be dead in the water.

To those who are not voting, or voting for Obama, I’d like to hear what makes you think it’s OK not to do what we can, however small, to stop this. Personally, I don’t want to hear pro-Obama Christians (or non-voting Christians) be shocked and dismayed if and when it happens. A non-vote, or a vote for Obama, enables it. I’d love to know what other issues are important enough to trump this one.

Donald Miller on Obama

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.

In a more recent interview (HT: Challies), he says several things that are just flat-out wrong.

[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.

Abortion and the Gospel

One of my seminary professors, the late Dr. Harold O. J. Brown, was also one of the fathers of the pro-life movement in America. He told the story of speaking decades ago on abortion, and noticing a woman on the front row abruptly leave. When he asked someone about it later, he found out that she had had an abortion, and his speaking on the evil of abortion had overwhelmed her. After that day, he never failed, when speaking on abortion, to quote 1 John 2:1: “If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” and emphasize that no matter how grave our sin, there is forgiveness with God through faith in Christ.

I’ve been thinking– and therefore writing– about abortion a lot lately, and since that’s true I want to make it clear that I believe this. Abortion is a terrible evil, and is, like all sin, an offense against a holy God. But the same God who is infinitely holy, who is too pure to look at sin, has done what we cannot: he has bridged the gap between our sin and himself; he has provided for reconciliation through Jesus Christ. No sin– not abortion, not any other– is too bad for God to forgive.

If you’ve had an abortion, if you’ve encouraged someone to have an abortion, if you’ve performed abortions, know this: If you are in Christ, if you’ve repented before God and trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin, then this is his word for you: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). Your sin has been taken away from you as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12); God chooses not to remember it any more (Isa 43:25). And if you haven’t trusted in Christ, all this is for you when you repent and believe in him. There is no sin, including abortion, that is too powerful for the blood of Christ to overcome it.

I oppose abortion “even” in cases of rape and incest.

This is one of the things that pro-abortion people like to say as though it’s terribly shocking: a pro-life person opposes abortion “even in cases of rape and incest.” This makes you an anti-choice zealot. (Actually, you can’t really be pro-life without being an anti-choice zealot. The only way to make pro-abortionists happy is to say you’re personally opposed to abortion but have no problem with Roe v. Wade. Which makes you a pretty sorry pro-lifer.)

What pro-abortionists don’t understand is that for us, “choice” is not the issue. Indeed, we don’t stand for a woman’s right to choose to have or kill her child, because we don’t believe that right exists. We are against abortion because it is the killing of a human being. If they understood this (and I’m not even asking that they agree– just understand what they’re disagreeing with!), it should not shock pro-abortionists to see that we (most of us) oppose abortion “even” in the case of rape and incest. Because the circumstances under which the child was conceived have no bearing on the humanity of the child.

Rape and incest are terrible, ghastly things. Those who commit those crimes should be punished severely, and the mothers should be surrounded with loving care (as they frequently are at crisis pregnancy centers, most of which are run by Christians). But the unborn child hasn’t committed any crime. And as horrific as the ordeal is, to add the trauma (and moral evil) of abortion will not, in the long run, make it better. It will punish an innocent party, and in most cases haunt the mother the rest of her life.

So yeah, I guess you would say I’m an antichoice zealot. Especially when it comes to “choices” that I don’t think are legitimate in the first place.

A Pro-Choicer on Palin

Dick Morris tonight on Hannity & Colmes:

I’m pro-choice. But when I meet someone who knowingly bears a Downs syndrome child because she’s pro-life, I just melt with respect.

Not sure, but I bet there are a lot of pro-choicers outside New York and California who feel the same way.

Palin

A few months ago I came up with a strategy (or, if you prefer, a strategery). Not being a huge fan of Senator McCain, and knowing there are many conservatives like me who were feeling lukewarm, if not completely abandoned by the Republican Party, I came up with a compelling, if perhaps cynical, idea.

McCain, I knew, had as good a voting record on abortion as you could ask for, but he’s never made it a big talking point. Obama, as I’ve mentioned several times, is as bad as you can be on abortion. So it seemed to me that McCain could pick up some steam in the heartland and “energize the base” by pushing the contrast between the candidates on abortion. Push hard on Obama’s “present” vote on the Infants Born Alive Act, his comment about not wanting his daughters “punished” with a child, his perfect rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, etc. And push hard on McCain’s own voting record, as well as his commitment to appoint strict constructionist judges in the Thomas/Roberts/Alito mold. Bring abortion to center stage. It would be a good move morally, and a good move politically.

It’s certainly not because he heard it from me, but McCain might be doing that. His response at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Forum on when an unborn baby is entitled to human rights was dead-on. He floated some trial balloons about a pro-choice runningmate, but they were quickly shot down. And this morning came the news that he’s chosen Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his VP pick. Palin is reputed to be a solid conservative on all fronts, but she is especially known for her strong pro-life stance, which is made more poignant by her recent carrying to term of her fifth child, Trig, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. (Of course, simply not having an abortion isn’t heroic in itself, but 80% of Downs babies are aborted. So, sadly, carrying little Trig to term was a bold move.)

There’s lots of dissecting still to do, but at this point I’m encouraged by the Palin pick. I hope it’s more than a symbolic nod to social conservatives. I hope it signifies some sense of a conservative foundation to a McCain administration. We’ll see.

“Reducing the number of abortions”

The big thing to say now in “moderate” circles is that you’re personally against abortion, but you’re willing to support Democrats (especially The One) who support abortion (or, in the case of The One, refuse to vote for a bill protecting infants who are already born), because they want to “work to reduce the number of abortions.” And we can all agree on that.

Actually, no. Even if we grant that the pro-abortion crowd wants to reduce the number of abortions (which I believe is a lie), this is incorrect. Abortion is not an undesirable necessity that we want to reduce. It is a moral evil, an abomination. It is the taking of innocent life. It makes the claim to want to look out for “the least of these” an absolute sham.

Imagine arguing in the 1860’s that slavery should be legal, but that we should work to “reduce the number of slaveowners”. Imagine arguing in the 1960’s that while lynching should not be outlawed, we could all agree that we want to “reduce the number of lynchings”. There’s a word for this: Appeasement. And it’s not very effective in curbing moral evil.

We don’t want to “reduce the number of abortions” (although, contrary to Democratic talking points, the numbers have fallen steadily during the Bush administration). We want it gone. We want unborn children, created in the image of God, to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We want this awful stain removed from our country and from the rest of the world. May God grant that we don’t get bored with this pursuit and move on to a more hip cause.

Pro-Life Resources

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down nearly all laws restricting abortion. Since 1973 it’s estimated that nearly 50 million unborn babies have been legally killed in the womb.

I think abortion is the slavery of our day. God grant that in a hundred years our grandchildren will be astounded that it was ever permitted, and that as they did in the 18th and 19th centuries, Christians will lay down their lives to fight against this evil. If abortion is still legal in a century, let it not be because the church of Jesus Christ stood by and watched it happen.

I thought it could be helpful to point to some resources that aid Christians in proclaiming both the evil of abortion and the amazing mercy of Christ to those who have been or could be involved in it.

  • Abort73.com is a great comprehensive resource on abortion. Their site is well-researched scientifically and theologically.
  • Stand to Reason has lots of information about all sorts of ethical topics from a Christian perspective. They have a lot of great suggestions for kindly and winsomely arguing for the humanity of the unborn.
  • Care Net, which was started by one of my professors, is a network of pregnancy resource centers. These centers are the front lines in the battle over abortion, ministering to women who are in desperate situations. It’s vital that Christians demonstrate that we are pro-life, not just anti-abortion, and local pregnancy resource centers are a great way to do that in a very hands-on way. Care Net can help you find a local center and get involved.

Of course, the most important thing we can do is pray that God will have mercy on our nation (and others) by stopping this holocaust and convicting people of the importance of protecting the unborn, who are created in his image. Pray that the church will speak the word of God boldly, declaring that the taking of innocent life is detestable to God, and that his mercy is freely available in Christ, for abortion and every other sin.

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? –Proverbs 24:11-12

Abortion and 2008

Justin Taylor has a well-thought-through post on weighing pro-life options in the 2008 election. There’s a good chance we could have 2 pro-choice candidates: Guiliani and Clinton. If that happens, pro-lifers will have to decide whether to vote for a pro-choice candidate or vote for a third-party candidate, which would virtually guarantee a Clinton presidency.

I’ve previously thought I would never vote for a pro-choice candidate, and I’m also not excited about Guiliani because he seems to be just as much of a moral reprobate as Clinton the First. But Justin has some good points: Guiliani seems to be likely to appoint solid Supreme Court justices, and 8 years of Hillary Clinton would almost certainly be worse for the unborn, not to mention who she would appoint to the Court.

Yet another consideration: a defeat next year could lead to a genuine conservative resurgence among the Republicans, something like the one under Reagan. Of course, that might be worth it from a political standpoint, but it’s not worth the lives of millions of unborn children. This might turn out to be a case where you’d love to get the TD, but have to take the field goal.

Or they could nominate Huckabee and everything might be just fine.