HOT TOPIC: Do Christians have a moral obligation to always vote for a pro-life candidate?

So I’ve been meaning to do this Hot Topic thing and just haven’t gotten around to it, but since apparently my  last post about abortion and the election stirred-up a few thoughts, I figured why not start-off with a bang!  OK, so here’s the idea:  I’ll give you my thoughts and we’ll discuss in the comments section.  So many of my readers are friends I know in real life, many of whom don’t know each other, and I know that you all could really benefit in the ways I have from hearing each other’s thoughts. (And we want to hear from those of you I’ve gotten to know just through this blog as well!)  So even if you’ve never commented before, if you have an opinion, we’d love to hear it.  

OK, let me first start by saying one more time:  I’M AN UNDECIDED VOTER.  I DON’T KNOW WHO I WILL VOTE FOR.  In the past month or so since I’ve written a handful of political posts, I’ve gotten several comments from people who make big assumptions on where I stand politically and then insult me for a position that I don’t even have.  My faith has been called into question by those who think I’m an Obama supporter, and I’ve been called stupid for supposedly supporting Palin.  (I think I deleted that comment because it was so vicious.)  So let’s get this clear, people, I’m not trying to sway you to vote one way or another, I’m simply trying to write-out some of my thoughts and process what I’m learning through this election season.  Consider this me thinking “outloud.”  Just because I write an opinion or direct you toward someone else’s opinion doesn’t mean that it’s a hard and fast belief of mine, just something I’m processing through.  I learn best by questioning, and I’m trying to ask myself (and you!) the hard questions that I previously avoided thinking about because it was much easier to go with the flow and let other people do the thinking for me.  So please understand that I’m just throwing some ideas out there, I’m not writing a manifesto on “THE WAY YOU SHOULD VOTE AND WHY YOU’RE STUPID IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE.” 

OK, so now that we have all that cleared-up.  

Do Christians have a moral obligation to always for a pro-life candidate?  Obviously this is a huge issue, one that’s very controversial and touchy for many people.  In the past I would have said, “Yes, absolutely.  Always and forever.  In fact, can you really even be a Christian and vote for someone whose pro-choice?”  So voting has always been easy for me, all I did was figure-out which candidate was pro-life and then get gung-ho about him.  I never really had to learn all of the other positions or policies since they really didn’t matter much in the face of what I thought was one of the most black and white issues I could think of.  (Please do not take this as an insult, you touchy people in cyber-world, I’m not saying that if you vote pro-life that you’re ignorant and don’t care about other issues, I’m just saying that’s what I did.)  My opinion was definitely swayed by the fact that I was going along with the Christian herd mentality and everyone else I knew pretty much felt the same way.  There were whispers about people who voted Democrat, and thus implicated themselves in the deaths of millions of unborn babies, but I just wrote them off as “liberal” (and not spiritual enough, probably not taking God or the Bible seriously), and that was that.  The Republican party was good and righteous since we chose to be on God’s side by fighting for the unborn, and the Democrats were pretty much just a bunch of liberal wackos.  It was a pretty black and white decision as long as abortion stood as the defining ground for how I would vote.  Until recently.

I know there’s lots of press these days about how there’s a growing Christian contingent that’s concerned about more than just abortion in this election.  I’ve come across people I really respect asking questions about what it means to really be pro-life and not just anti-abortion.  How do we as Christians affirm life everywhere and in all stages, not just for the unborn?  While I know some will write this off as a fad of Christians “turning liberal,” I think they’ve got a serious point.  While I would agree that we should do all we can to protect the innocent, abortion isn’t the only case of injustice in this country.  It comes naturally to me to say, “Yeah, well, but half of the poor people on the streets deserve it and what’s a little healthcare issue in the face of BABIES who are DYING?!”  That’s my initial thought.  But what biblical criteria are we using for saying that?  Jesus spent a lot of time talking about our responsibility to care for the poor in our midst, he didn’t say anything about abortion and infanticide.  (which did occur in His day)  And forget the poor for a second, what about greed and idolatry and consumerism?  There’s a lot in the Bible about that.  I’m not trying to be simplistic about it, there’s a great biblical case for why abortion is wrong, but it’s not the only sin in there that God takes pretty seriously.

 Now I’m NOT saying that voting for a Democrat pro-choice candidate offers a solution to these problems, but am I correct in my understanding that the Republican party is just as guilty of leading us in these sins as the Democrats?  I am saying that I think it’s important that we lay-out the sins of our nation in addition to abortion and recognize that there’s much more that is way screwed-up with us than just legal abortion.  Many of these are very clearly laid-out in Scripture, and while I’m not trying to make a case that such-and-such is worse than abortion, I am wondering if we’ve been correct in our assumption that abortion is the absolute worst thing that’s going-on in America right now.  It’s a physical/outward sin and much easier to put into facts and statistics than something intangible like greed…  but it’s those intangible things that were often condemned in the Bible.  (And didn’t greed ultimately get us into this financial situation anyway?)

OK so my point is this:  Maybe God sees all of our national sins as equal.  I feel pretty confident that He abhors the sacrifice of millions of babies every year.  But I’m not sure that He doesn’t feel just as strongly about our other corporate sins.  We’re a lot more screwed-up than just a law for legal abortion.  Even if Roe v. Wade gets overturned (and I have a hard time believing it will), that won’t solve America’s biggest moral problem.  It would be a great stride in justice, but we won’t suddenly convert to a humble and godly nation just because a piece of legislature was overturned.  And if the website I previously mentioned is correct, who knows if it will even reduce the number of abortions by a drastic number since it’s likely that many states will keep it legal and women will just drive over state lines.  I tend to think that progress in reducing the number of abortions is going to be best accomplished in a grassroots effort as we start to actually care for the women who make this decision and begin to act like the Church who should be loving them and not just their unborn child.  

So do we really do our faith justice by determining what we think is the most important issue to God and then discarding everything else?  I’m just wondering if it’s remotely realistic to keep believing that there’s a real chance of Roe v. Wade being overturned after 8 years of a strong pro-life president who hasn’t made much progress with it.  (not to mention the several decades before that)  Weren’t we all saying these same things 8 years ago and believing that George Bush would bring godliness to the country and abortion would go out the window?  I just don’t know if it’s responsible to virtually ignore every single other issue this country is facing and every single other policy the candidates hold (which, if you’re a one-issue voter, by default you are doing since no matter what you think, you have to vote McCain) just because one of them spouts the party-line of being pro-life. The President does not hold the controls for overturning a law like Roe v. Wade, but he can directly control many other things that are wrong and evil in this country.  I’m wondering if it makes sense to vote for a President who has a slim-to-none chance of affecting abortion by outlawing it instead of voting for a President who can make significant strides in other areas of morality and justice rather decisively, in addition to making conditions more conducive to life for mothers who would otherwise abort.  

I think the life of the unborn is important to God, but so are the lives of those of us who were born.  Being pro-life is more than just being anti-abortion, but Christians have rarely been challenged to open to that reality.  What would it look like for us to affirm life wherever we see it…in the unborn, in the Iraqi casualties of war, in the homeless person I saw yesterday sleeping on the wet ground, in the dying cancer patient who has no access to life-saving surgery because she can’t afford it…???

***Please comment, but PLEASE be very aware and sensitive to the fact that this is an in-house issue.  We’re discussing something that is an important topic among believing brothers and sisters.  There is no place for doubting the sincerity of each other’s faith in Christ because some of us hold different opinions than others or demonizing someone’s political standings.  As black and white as this may look to you, it doesn’t appear that way to everyone. Both the Republican and the Democrat parties are human institutions that will never accomplish what American needs from Jesus.  So when you comment, please be respectful of the fact that there are other Christians who love God just as much as you do and are voting according to their conscience in the best way they know how, whatever that may look like.  Any rude or disrespectful comments will be deleted.  

Another pro-life Christian voting for Obama in spite of his pro-choice stance.

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39 responses to “HOT TOPIC: Do Christians have a moral obligation to always vote for a pro-life candidate?

  1. Em, You bring up lots of very important issues for this presidential debate: Foreign Policy, Healthcare, the Economy, as well as social issues. I think it is dangerous to be a “one-issue” voter (especially when you see things in both parties that go against your beliefs) and it’s sad that Christians brand one another as sinful for voting for a certain party. Great topic – can’t wait to read the other posts!

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  2. Ah man this is such a tough issue. This is an excellent post, and I am encouraged to read it. My head is spinning with all the political rhetoric flying around…I also am undecided.

    What I’ve been recognizing lately is that America is not what I always grew up to think it was (shocking!). Along with you, finally realizing that abortion is not the only violation of humanity going on. There are human rights violations on either side of the coin, but we learned to be good Christians and vote republican because that’s how Jesus would vote.

    I think the biggest thing I’m realizing is the Church’s responsibility to care for those who need care. We were never called to be successful, rich or political. We were never told that “God will be on our side if…” We are called to care for the needs of others and to love our enemies, no matter who is in power. This is a huge calling.

    When I look at Acts and see that there was no one among them who had need, and I look at the movements over time that were intended to pull away from the corrupted systems (Desert Fathers/Mothers, Benedictines, Fransiscans, etc) in order to seek God and have something different to offer than the Empire, I am convinced that there must be a better way! I just don’t know what it is yet. In that light, I am for the first time in my life (I know, shocking and humiliating), doing research and trying to vote responsibly, AND keeping in mind my responsibility to those in my community.

    I just ran out of steam and this is about all of got in the way of discussion…a rambling rant that started with the topic, but seems to have diverged and abruptly ended…sorry!

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  3. Well this is DEF. a good start to your new segment.

    I am 100% against abortion. Life starts at conception, no doubt about it. However, I don’t think that we should vote one way or another bc someone is for or against abortion. Afterall, it’s legalized and there’s nothing we can do to overturn that law.

    If someone I knew was ever struggling with that choice, I would strongly advise against it and counsel them on their options. But a candidates views on this won’t t sway my choice to vote for them either way.

    -Another very undecided voter – Keren

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  4. I will join the ranks by saying I am leaning one way but still undecided…this election is a tough one. I was raised in the Church, in a Christian home, my father is a minister and I find it funny that I seem to have grown up with a different thought. For as long as I can remember (which isn’t that long) my parents taught me to not vote for a party but for a candidate. They were Independent and said that that both R & D parties had good and bad ideas. So I found it funny that their was such an emphasis on the Christian blogs about abortion…I am against it but I was also raised that as Christians we are to show love and acceptance and to take care of one another so I didn’t put it on the top of my priority list. Woman are going to do it either way….and we come up with all these stats for reasons why they did it and often the excuse is money. I find stats to be (pardon my potty mouth) crap. Money or lifestyle change is a great excuse….but as Christians we are so judgemental. “She is too young to be a mom, she can’t even take care of her kids..and so on”. I thave no idea where I was going with this other than I think we need to look at the candidate as a whole and if we are voting strictly on his pro-life/pro-choice view we are doing a dis-service to ourselves.

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  5. yes, i know…SHOCKING to see a comment from me! ha! it’s rare that i make time to sit and respond to any blog…but i do keep up with them…especially yours!

    anyway, i don’t have any profound comment…i know, “shocking” again. 😉 i’m uneducated when it comes to politics… thus very interested to read the (many and interesting, i’m sure) comments to come.

    i just wanted to thank you for the post…thought-provoking as usual…so many of us, including myself, are confused…and are trying to THINK through political issues that we haven’t really questioned before… and i’m encouraged that you are trying to create a safe place for people to think out loud.

    i miss you like crazy, but i am so glad to still be able to hear (read, anyway) your thoughts. and i love that you are getting so brave with your hot topics in this scary and intimidating blog world!

    keep ’em coming!

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  6. I don’t think that we should necessarily be one-issue voters. I don’t think that I could ever find myself supporting a pro-choice candidate if there’s a pro-life one also running, but who knows.

    What I think is important is that we develop a biblical world view and allow that to influence where we stand on politics. I find it alarming (yes, I said alarming and I mean it) that so many Christians are embracing socialism, marxism, and other liberal ideology. I think that is the result of the church doing a poor job of communicating how faith affects politics and why Christians have traditionally been conservative.

    The republican party is far from perfect and is riddled with corruption just like the democratic party, so I don’t want to defend a political party. I do want to defend an ideology that these days is more embraced by the Republican Party (although once, many democrats would have embraced it).

    Socialism comes from humanism and claims the government is the solution to all of man’s problems. People who adhere to that ideology may be genuinely concerned about the poor, but their policies keep people in poverty, reward laziness, and hurt the economy. More importantly, I believe socialism to be anti-Christian. We are to care about the poor and give to the poor, but a system that forces people to give money on behalf of others to receive free handouts so that we can all live in equality is not what Jesus taught. Socialists tend to say things like you can’t impose your morality on me, but in taxing me to spend money on government programs that “help” the poor, the socialist is imposing his/her morality on me.

    Sometimes, loving the poor and caring for them may look a little bit more like tough love. For example, if you are able to work and choose not to, then you shouldn’t eat. Just something to think about: Would the prodigal son have come home if he received housing, food, and medical from the government? Note: I’m not advocating that we only take care of the “deserving poor.” God will sometimes call us to care for the poor who are lazy and will take advantage of us, but that should be something that we are sensitive to as children of God and not something that we are forced to participate in across the board.

    For the record, Obama and McCain both embrace socialist ideology, but to different degrees. For Obama, it’s a lot, and for McCain, it’s a little bit.

    Also, I’d like to point out that the Bible has Jesus telling people to repent frequently and speaking about the poor occasionally.

    Additionally, the early church as described in Acts 2:42-47 is often used to defend “Christian communism.” This is a descriptive account, and not a prescriptive account. Yes, they were together and had everything in common, but that was more because of necessity than anything. We also read that they met together in the temple courts every day, but we don’t feel the need to follow their example in that regard. I do believe that as Christians, we are to take care of other believers. I don’t think that this means we need to become marxists to follow God in that area, and I don’t see that finanical equality is taught here. I only see that needs within that community were met.

    I could write much more, but I’ll stop now. My bottom line is that what you believe about God and the Bible should shape your world view and your politics. As believers, we should all be informed on these topics because they are really of tremendous importance.

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  7. Well, I think it’s no secret that I am decided in who I’m voting for, but it’s not just because one candidate is pro-life (although that is an important issue to me). And I guess you do run the risk when you announce that you’re “Decided” of seeming like you’re close-minded and that seems to ruffle feathers more than anything these days.

    One of the things that I wanted to point out, which is kind of a beef of mine, is that I do think the Republican party gets a bad rap for not being socially conscious. I feel like people think that voting Democrat over Republican is their way of voting with a party that takes care of the poor people. Do you not think there is the possibility that Republicans do just as much for the impoverished but do it in a “don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing” kind of way? And not to get on a soapbox about the media, but do you really think that the leftist media really wants you to be exposed to the good things that conservatives take part in? It’s so sad to me that unless you are a reader and a researcher, you really don’t see the generosity on the other side.

    I think the other thing that doesn’t settle with me is the fact that you can “give” irresponsibly. You can promise so much to so many people and that’s all fine and good, but if you’re spending money that we don’t have as a country, that’s only going to mean that future generations are going to pay for it. I mean, one could argue that it was very generous for Bill Clinton to want people of all races and economic backgrounds to have the opportunity to purchase housing, but in retrospect, there were many aspects of his plan that were irresponsible and has led to the crisis that we now face today. I think that’s the difference that I see even when I hear the candidates speak now. Obama and Biden promise the world (and what’s hilarious is that if they win, the media will paint the picture for the next 4 or 8 years that will make everyone think they’ve delivered on every one of those promises), but does it not seem blatantly obvious that it’s when things swing back to power on the other side and they’re having to clean up those messes that they’re made to look like inept leaders.

    I guess to answer your question, I don’t think we’re “required” to make a pro-life position the only position that we base our vote on, but I think someone’s perspective on the value of the unborn (and in some cases the partially born) can reveal a lot about that person’s worldview, and I do evaluate the candidate’s worldview along with many other things.

    Don’t even get me STARTED on how if the church was doing what it should be doing, how politics would pale in comparison. I mean, really, if we as the church were caring for the body and the community, it would render politicians powerless.

    Okay, the last thing I want to give you to chew on is what our government will look like with every single branch of the government being of one political persuasion. At least if McCain gets elected, there will be the balance of power in that the House and Senate are both under democratic majority right now. If it’s going to be an Obama/Biden presidency, there will be very little accountability in terms of a representation of all views. I mean, do we REALLY want Nancy Pelosi to have that much fun? 🙂 I say that sort of kidding (sort of not) – she really makes me nervous.

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  8. Very well stated Emily. I have long felt that the “Evangelicals” in this country have given the republicans carte-blanche to do whatever so long as they say they are “Pro-Life/” When other moral issues are on the table they seem to be disregarded by these same “Evangelicals”. I believe that this is how we came to be living under the Patriot Act among other things. Good luck in coming to a decision before voting day.

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  9. sarah christoph

    No. thats the short answer to my question…. I do not believe that either candidate or party has an evident moral foundation that anchors to our votes. I do not see Christ as “being IN” either option … Just listen to the debates. Christ is in those who put their trust in Him, and that should be reflected in our choices. But to tie our moral obligations to a person or party is dangerous no matter how sensitive the issue. Having a moral obligation to a government party sounds like white washed religous-political garbage.
    Love your blog! 🙂

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  10. sarah christoph

    …short answer to YOUR question… is what I meant.

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  11. Pingback: A Pretty Mess » Blog Archive » Not Sure Who To Vote For? You’re Not Alone

  12. sarah christoph

    Ok… I hate to reply 3x in a row,,, but I want to clarify what I am saying and what I am not saying. I am not saying that the candidates don’t belong to the Lord (no one would know that but the Lord) What I am saying is that I don’t believe Christ is in (or pushing for) a particular person. I am pro-life and I tend to believe (since reading “Jesus for President” I might add) that He is not confined to opperate within our government leaders, but as seen throughout history, seaks to opperate through the unexpected and insignificant to the world. Can He opperate in both? Well, of course! And lets pray for that, no matter who is elected! But obligations to a person or party doesn’t make sense… and the question you pose itself was great in helping me see this clearer. If anything, those who’ve placed their own views and chosen obligations to their candidate on other believers, makes us question that person and their party even more! To make it personal, I am not able to vote for either candidate this year because I am strongly for and against issues on both sides. I have registered to vote in case I change my mind (which happens sometimes 😉 ) but instead of voting I’ve signed up to work on election day as an election day volunteer to couter act my own felt responsibility/obligation to even vote at all! Emily, I appreciate your courage to talk about politics! I have gotten attacked for asking my own questions and feel discouraged and a little “ouch” about the responses and assumptions from people I care about. They were just QUESTIONS I had… have. Anyways, thank you for blogging. 🙂

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  13. After more careful consideration, I don’t think that I could vote for a candidate that is pro-choice. I can support a candidate that I disagree with on some issues, but not abortion. I believe abortion is murder, and murder is not something that I can compromise on. Is it okay for a Christian to vote for a racist, white supremist, or Nazi? What about a candidate who says that it’s okay to kill all the Jews? We’d say, “Absolutely not!” Why is it okay, then, to support the candidate who wants to permit the killing of unborn babies?

    I think this issue is much different than casualties in war. I think that war can be just, and because evil people use women and children as human shields, some “innocent” people are caught in the crossfire. These “innocent” people, however, are not the targets. Their deaths are sad, but they’re the result of living in a fallen world and fighting evil people (by that I mean terrorists).

    Further, I believe that protecting life in the inner city begins not by making them comfortable or economically equal to us, but by preaching repentance to them and showing them love. Why is that person homeless? Is it because of his own laziness? Has he made poor choices? How will giving him government handouts help his situation? Is there a better way to encourage him to give his life for Christ? I’m not saying that we don’t ever meet the physical needs of the poor and homeless, but let’s try and find a way to meet their needs that points them to Jesus. I don’t believe the government’s social assistance does that.

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  14. I am gonna go a bit of a different route on this and say that Christians, as those who exist in the world as strangers and aliens serving the God of the universe and living in the reality of God’s Kingdom, have no moral obligation to vote at all and that any decision to do so is always as act of condescension and compromise. It is not unlike Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s decision to conspire in an attempt to assassinate Hitler – a decision which he found sinful, yet unavoidable. This doesn’t speak to the complicated issue of the best way to reduce the number of abortions women have, but hopefully casts the way in which we discuss the issue in a bit of a different light.

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  15. Emily, I applaud you for tackling the two things you aren’t suppose to bring up with dinner guests – religion & politics. I would encourage you and the rest of us with Col 2:8 as the discussions take place.

    With that said, scripture does say that those in power (governing authorities) have been established by God, see Romans 13. At the end of the day those in government will give an account to God for the decisions they make – as will we.

    Personally, I not only look at the resume of the politician, but even more so, I look at their value system and their philosophy in governing. Because when a tough decision is required, I think all christians would want a governing authority that will search his/her own soul and God for the wisdom to make the proper decision for the good of all men and women. So, I tend to vote for the person whom I think will do what is best in the eyes of God and not what is best in the eyes of men, NO MATTER WHAT THE ISSUE IS – abortion, war, economy, cabinet members, education, relief aide, supreme court judges, etc.

    I assume the bigger debate per issue is what is best in the eyes of God versus the eyes of men? Should government be held responsible or should individuals? Are we a society with shared values? Do we uphold collectivism or individualism ideaology? ….sorry, I’m opening up a can of _____ and I’m getting off topic.

    Remember, there is a God and I am not him. But the good news is there is (as JR inferred) a spiritual kingdom where we are kings and rulers, co-heirs with Christ, thank God!

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  16. I need to respectfully disagree with JR’s statement:

    “Christians, as those who exist in the world as strangers and aliens serving the God of the universe and living in the reality of God’s Kingdom, have no moral obligation to vote at all and that any decision to do so is always as act of condescension and compromise.”

    Although I agree, and there is scripture to support, that we are aliens/foreigners in this world and citizens/adopted sons and daughters of God’s kingdom. I disagree with the statement that we have no moral obligation to vote at all because this somehow compromises ourselves.

    This seems like a dangerous statement because applying that philosophy would mean christians are not to participate in any activities of this world because we belong to God’s kingdom.

    God from the beginning created us to have authority, he commanded us to ‘rule’ over the earth and gave Adam the authority to ‘name’ creation(Gen. 1:28; 2:19-20), and because of Christ’s redemption to all of creation, we are adopted sons/daughters, aliens of this world, but until we get to heaven, we represent God’s kingdom on earth.

    As a follower of Christ I suggest we subscribe to the belief that God created us to be stewards of creation and cocreators of culture by what we say and do. God also holds us accountable for the kind of culture we create. Call it moral obligation, duty, choice, whatever – but I believe God would expect us to cocreate culture that honors God and serves our neighbor. Voting is as much a part of taking care of our world as is caring for orphans, widows, family, picking up trash, planting a tree, healing the sick, encouraging a friend, or doing your job to the best of your ability to glorify God, etc.

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  17. Good stuff Trey, respect your thoughts and think this is a valid push back as re-reading my thoughts from above, I am not even 100% sure I agree with myself. Let me try and clarify a bit and see where that puts us.

    Can you imagine Jesus stepping into a voting booth to help select America’s next President? I just can’t. Rather, Jesus dedicated his life (literally) to the end of creating a new humanity – one which exists based on its faith in God above all – not just in ranked order – first God, then nation-state, but in God alone. Therefore, it is when followers of Jesus go about living in the ways of the Kingdom that they are at their most political. This, I would say, is our truest moral obligation.

    I am no escapist. In fact, I think that it is when we really understand the full import of what it means to be the people of God that we will be most radically engaged in the affairs of the world. But it will not be on the world’s terms, it will be on God’s terms.

    Or, let me try and make the point this way. I just don’t see God saying to Mother Theresa (pretend she was an American citizen for a minute)… “That was really great the way you cared for those orphans and all, but couldn’t you have also paused to vote for a pro-life candidate.” Her life would have been the fulfillment of her moral obligation.

    A final word, it’s not as though I think Christians who engage in worldly politics are wrong or even wasting their time. But to be co-creators as you suggest, and I agree wholeheartedly with, it is Christians who must lead the way and invite the world along for the ride (I take this again from the way Jesus seemed to have led his life), not the other way around. Otherwise, this is where I say we get into gradations of compromise.

    OK, keep it comin. I love the discussion.

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  18. JR –

    “it is when followers of Jesus go about living in the ways of the Kingdom that they are at their most political. This, I would say, is our truest moral obligation.”

    Wow – very well put. I totally agree.

    Can I see Jesus pulling a lever? hmmm….I don’t know, but if he did we wouldn’t have had all those hanging chads in Florida a few years ago:)

    Mother Theresa – even if she voted or didn’t vote, it doesn’t matter. I’m not championing that you must vote or you are evil. I’m saying that voting or communicating to public authority figures your desire to be lead by christian values is a good thing and shouldn’t be shunned.

    You may not have meant it that way, but that’s the way I felt when reading your statement: “Christians…have no moral obligation to vote at all and that any decision to do so…”

    I think we are closer than we think – peace – just don’t be a hater to the politicians – remember we are to pray for them 1 Tim 2:1-2.

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  19. I have othing to add other than I can totally see Jesus voting….I can see him walking up to the booth with a HUGE crowd behind him. Wouldn’t that be awesome.

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  20. and that is supposed to say nothing….not othing.

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  21. This was a great blog post, we really appreciate the honesty in posting your process of thinking through this vote… and you raised what we think are great questions.

    We posted an excerpt of it over at our blog:

    http://www.matthew25.org/2008/10/great-questions.html

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  22. I have just begun reading my sister’s blog and and really enjoying it. Emily and I have discussed this topic before and am glad she posted it on here.

    As an undecided voter, yes I’m still on the fence, I see things a few different ways. I am 100% pro life, but I see that platform fall short because it seems like people just want to get a child born, and once they are it’s someone else’s problem. I think being pro-life constitutes caring for them before and after they are born. I ask myself, which candidate would do a better job of taking care of the single mother who is thinking about abortion because of financial strains? (which, by the way, almost 80% of all abortions take place because of this reason) It seems the Democratic party focuses more “on the little guy” than the Republican party does, but that still doesn’t address how we can care for these mothers and their children.

    I know that Obama is personally against abortion, but just doesn’t think gov’t should intervene in a woman’s decision to have an abortion. This is where my dilemma rests. I have heard many women say they don’t want the gov’t to control what they do with their body. Now, I’m being a devil’s advocate, because I am staunchly against abortion. But, is it the gov’t’s job to regulate it? Just a question.

    Lastly, and a little off topic, my biggest reason for supporting Obama is because of his stance on labor. Now that I am part of a union in the airline business, I have seen first hand how greedy, selfish, and irresponsible “big” management has literally sucked the life out of its employees. The Republican party has generally been against unions and anything that has the evil word “strike” associated with it. I am sick and tired of our CEO’s and VPs making millions and driving the airlines into the ground while we are struggling to make ends meet. I DO think the Democratic party will help in this respect more so than the Republicans. So, there my problems lies. I’d love to hear anyone’s comments, disagreements, etc.

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  23. Keren – Yes, there is something that can be done to change law or at least what is consitutional. Obama will appoint judges that will not limit abortion. McCain will appoint judges who interpret the constitution – which generally means the right of privacy is derivative and not direct as the first amendment.

    Obama favors taxpayer funding for abortion and McCain does not.

    Obama favors the Freedom of Choice Act which would eliminate restrictions (parental notification, informed consent laws, etc.). McCain would not sign FOCA.

    There is a lot at stake here.

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  24. Here’s a better answer than what I could ever give: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2008.10.14_George_Robert_Obama%27s%20Abortion%20Extremism_.xml

    I hope people will read this…it was totally shocking to me.

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  25. “It’s deeper than politics…” -Ramoth-Gilead “The Really Bad”

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  26. Although I agree with some of what you’re saying aboutcaring for the poor, there are some things I would like to point out. I am very passionate about the protection of the unborn. However, not until recently. I am a Christian with two children of my own and my feeling on this issue was, “Well, it’s not something I would do, but who am I to judge?” And then I found some things out about abortion and the organizations that promote abortion, and I don’t have time on this post to explain it all, I will sum it up. I encourage you to check out Planned Parenthood’s website and you will begin to see that abortion is promoted to those who are from a financially lower position. How do I know this, because of the locations of their clinic. If Planned Parenthood was here to help women, how come they charge for their abortions, and how come they don’t perform breast exams or pap smears? How come their organization and others like them have a “quota” to meet? How come the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a believer in a science called Eugenics. This is where they believe that genetically “undesireable” people should be sterilized. How come their website promotes teenagers to travel across state lines with out their parents knowledge to obtain an abortion by providing them with lists of states where they do not need permission? And how come the condoms they supply are the dead last in effectiveness on the market?
    As a Christian voter, you have to ask yourself; if we can decide who lives and who dies because it is small and defenseless and “isnt’ really a human being until it’s born.” What is going to stop us from eliminating those who are not contributing to society the way we think they should? What is going to stop people from euthanizing their adult parents who can no longer care for themselves because it has become an “inconvenience”? The answer is nothing. If we as Christians do not take a serious stance and protect those who cannot protect themselves, then we are not Christian. Jesus gave his life for ALL of us. Protecting the unborn, IS protecting those who are suffering all over the world for all reasons.
    I still believe that I am not to judge anyone, but I do believe I need to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. I hope this has helped.
    God Bless You.

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  27. Lindsay, I agree with you in your pro-life stance, and I’m NOT a fan of Planned Parenthood either. (especially now that I live in an area of the country where they have commercials on tv all the time!) I’m not in any way saying that abortion is ok or that it should be supported, I’m just questioning the effectiveness and single-mindedness of voting based-on that one issue. I tend to think that grassroots efforts like crisis pregnancy centers and Christians who are actually willing to invest themselves in the lives of those women who are abortion risks will do more to save the lives of the unborn than a wish and a prayer for pro-life legislation.

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  28. After reading your blog, I decided to learn more about abortion . I know what abortion is, but I really didn’t know much about partial birth abortion until I decided to research. I saw pictures of how this procedure is actually done. It made me sick and made me cry. I thought about Austin and Taylor and imagined if that was done to them. How horrible! It wasn’t done to my children but the sad truth is that it is being done to other helpless children around the country.To think that this procedure is actually allowed causes me to question a lot. When I first read your post I thought you made some very good points about voting based on this one issue. But after learning that Obama supports this procedure and other beyond cruel methods of treating little babies, I can easily say I could never ever vote for a man that would support this. Not to be gross but Obama thinks it is OK to crush a baby’s skull and suck out his or her brain. He opposes care for a baby who has survived an abortion. It is murder in the cruelest way and to look past that and look to other issues because we think nothing is ever going to change, seems to me as if we are being irresponsible. It comes down to character. When I place my vote for president, I am hoping to vote for the person who holds the same values that I hold. I know we won’t have everything in common, but after what I learned about abortion, it’s really hard for me to think that I could truly have many values in common with someone who supports this. Before researching, I focused more on the economy, tax plans, foreign policies, and other issues that are important to me. But after I saw those images of a helpless little baby being killed just moments before delivery, those issues mattered not one bit. Thanks for the blog and bringing up an issue I might not have researched otherwise. Through this I have learned that when it comes to voting , I can look at this one issue and decide who my candidate will be.

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  29. For what it’s worth, here is my take.

    The questions abortion bring up are deep both politically and spiritually, which is why this is always such a hot topic. I, as a Christian, have to admit that my thoughts on the subject come from the Christian perspective. I don’t think that is a handicap. I think people have to recognize that they must have a certain set of core beliefs or morals and that these morals are the base of all decisions that they can make. That way, we can be disciplined enough to engage in an open minded and honest discussion. Notice I did not say that core set of beliefs must be Christianity. That’s just where (I hope) I’m coming from.

    When I think about how I vote in reference to abortion I realize this is much, much more than just an issue about a single woman making a single, painful, decision. It’s not that simple. It’s not like our votes will mean “abortions are allowed” or “abortions are not allowed”. (Abortion was made legal nationally by the the Supreme Court and not by voters in the first place.) Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the nation, reports each year that it receives HUNDREDS of millions of dollars from our government. When we vote yes to abortion, for whatever reason, we are sending a message to the government to spend some of the money we give as taxes to fund abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood. These votes for pro-abortion advocates are regarded by our politicians as pro-abortion votes, even when many of these “ok with abortion” votes come from good people that just don’t like the conservative side. In my opinion there is still personal responsibility with that sort of vote though.

    I also think, as for this specific election, that Obama is the biggest abortion advocate in the history of republican and democratic presidential candidates (that I can tell). If the question is about how we vote in respect to abortion, it is vital that we know our candidates stances on the issue.
    McCain says he’s pro-life (from conception). He seems to have been pretty straight on that.

    Obama’s words:
    “Throughout my career, I’ve been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.”
    – and –
    “When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include — which should include abstinence education and teaching the children — teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include — it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16. You know, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.”
    How many “punishments” or people who were conceived unexpectedly do you know? I know quite a few – even some in my own extended family. They are loved and loving, and in every case they are people who are huge parts of many lives. They could have been aborted. But they weren’t, Thank God. But this candidate thinks that unexpected babies are punishments. He even compared unexpected babies directly to STDs as if getting a case of crabs is the same as getting pregnant. This says a lot. Consider that Obama continues to say that abortion is a must for the poor who have no ability to sustain another human life. But his family is very well to do and yet he would still consider an abortion over an unexpected baby. He can afford a nanny. This was not a slip of the tongue – this is what Obama believes.
    Another thing he in on the record saying (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR1RD2-fabA) is that his first act as president would be to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act” which essentially eliminates states-rights in deciding their stance on abortion. In addition – it also aims to eliminate parental consent for abortions. So not only is Obama ok with his daughters aborting an accidental baby, but he doesn’t want to know about it.
    It’s one thing to vote for a candidate that says “Abortion is something I do not like, nor do I want it to be a first choice solution, but I have to say I will not oppose abortion as it is now”. Obama is 100% committed to the abortion rights lobby by his own words. It’s not just that he is for abortion – it’s that he is extreme in his advocacy of abortion and he will make abortion more attainable because it is something he has done all his life. Just look up his record as a Senator in Illinois where he would not vote to allow doctors to save babies that accidentally survived abortions. Obama defines the extreme abortion position. I’m not saying we have to be one issue voters here, but if you are even slightly pro-life, the negative potential of Obama’s presidency must be weighed very, very heavily.

    I also think the blogger got one thing pretty mixed up during the paragraph that started: “I think the life of the unborn is important to God, but so are the lives of those of us who were born.” This blogger is trying to say that we, as Christians, will cry about aborted babies, but not raise a hand to help those of us who are here already. I think this is a thinly veiled insult at Christianity and categorically untrue. I bet each of us know tons of Christians personally that have put their lives or finances on hold to help others locally and globally. But I’ll go farther – Christians know this life isn’t easy. There is no guarantee by God of a convenient life. In fact, it’s the opposite. Being Christian means that we must often take the narrow and rocky way. That means – specifically in the case of abortion, we must put up with the “inconvenience of a baby” when we make a mistake. Obama says “If they make a mistake, I don’t want my daughters punished with a baby”, we say “If they make a mistake, I don’t want my daughters punishing a baby”.

    I’ll also agree, but with an added comment, on the blogger’s thought that maybe all sins may be weighed equally in Gods eyes as they are all instances of turning away from him. But if we know it’s a sin and we continue to fund it and make it easily available then we have missed the value in repentance.

    As far as the one-issue voting thing: It is nobody’s right to tell you why to vote. It is no ones right to put you down as simplistic for voting based on a single issue due to your personal convictions. There are many issues besides abortion that people consider make-or-break when deciding on who to vote for. If the abortion issue is important to you, then it must be weighed heavily in your heart and mind. If not, – so be it.

    Also, it is no one’s right to tell you that any one issue defines you as a person (good or bad) if you don’t vote based solely on it. In my case, Obama’s idea’s on abortion would repulse me even if I liked his other ideas because he is simply too extreme and promises more abortion. Luckily I disagree (for good reason) with him on taxes, past associates, the war, security spending, constitutional interpretation, his intimidation of average people, his affinity for labor unions, socialistic tendencies, the economy, middle eastern connections, etc, etc, etc…. So this is easy for me.

    The only thing I would say that a voter must do is get informed and know what the candidates want to do in office. We have to research the issues deeply, and get away from the main stream media, to get to the bottom of them.

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  30. Sounds like you are trying to rationalize voting for THE MOST liberal candidate in history… Please think long and hard before getting sucked into voting for Obama because he is young and cool. McCain is old, but we KNOW where he stands, and we KNOW he loves our country and what it stands for.

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  31. Anonymous- Sounds like you didn’t read closely enough to the part in all caps where I said that I’m an undecided voter. Those are some pretty big assumptions to make about my political standings and reasonings, particularly when I’ve given clear explanations for where I’m coming from and others who feel the same way. Feel free to disagree with my opinion within the discussion, but questioning the motives of someone you don’t know despite what I’ve written in black and white just isn’t very nice.

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  32. If you are truly undecided, then please think it over carefully and prayerfully. I am obviously Decided, and I have been truly worried about what we are headed for. I think this is one of the most important elections in history since Obama is as far to the left as they come. He can truly change what our country stands for if given this power. We should all be on our knees praying that God will allow us to handle what we are given.

    I meant nothing unkind in my other posting. Sometimes words don’t come with voice tone. It was simply an urging to think it over if you are a conservative person…

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  33. Hi Emily! I don’t know you personally but have found your blog through a friend…hope this isn’t stalking! 🙂

    I want to ask “When did it become the government’s job to enforce morality?” to some of the commenters. A lot of times we expect people who are of this world to “fix” sin or things we see as sin. But is that really their job? What can we expect from unbelievers except sin? Why doesn’t the church, the body of Christ, those that Christ died for, preach the gospel and strive for holiness and quit expecting the world to do the job for them?

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  34. I, for one, have never been in favor of abortion and never will be. As hard core as people are for McCain on here, it might be time to succumb to the fact that he will not win this election. I am a decided voter and have voted Republican and Democratic in the past.

    With the abortion issue, everyone seems to complain about the gov’t funding millions to Planned Parenthood, etc. Now, we’ve had a PRO LIFE President in the White House for 8 YEARS and he does nothing about this. So, why does someone not bring this up? Seems like people on here would be just as concerned about that because he is allowing this spending to go on. He signs off the budget everytime, so to say Bush doesn’t know about this is ignorant. As pro life as any candidate might be, they don’t stick up for it on Capitol Hill and probably claim pro life just to get votes.

    Having said that, I agree with Emily in that it’s hard for me personally to justify single issue voting, because there are so many other important issues for me. As was said a couple of posts ago about Obama and “his affinity for labor unions”, I have to ask, have you ever been in a labor union? Probably not if you hold that kind of stance against them. I am currently in a pilot’s union with the airlines and if people had any idea how badly we are treated, might have more tolerance for others in unions. Not to get off topic here, but I have to address this.

    Most people think airline pilots are overpaid and stuck up, etc. Well, just to fill those in who don’t know, my family qualifies for food stamps. I’m not whining or complaining, but it is the greedy, selfish, corporate America that is draining the pockets of the middle class. I work my butt off and have gone through years of training to make what a manager at McDonald’s makes (no offense to them). But, airline management sucks the life out of hard working people and drives companies into the ground while making millions in bonuses. John McCain will continue to allow the rich to get richer…he has been on the record many times about his disdain for unions, especially airline pilot unions. So, the choice is clear for me and my family and for our future. Sorry to get off topic but I had to mention that since someone brought up unions, when most people are completely uneducated about them. Unions created the middle class in this country.

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  35. Speaking to the Andrew Taylor about the union question.

    Three things:
    1. I have been a member of a union. I have enough experience in this matter to be considered well educated considering my entire family has worked in and around unions for the last 50 years. For my part, during my college years I worked at LTV Steel, a steel works company in East Chicago, Indiana. I remember my first week vividly when I actually (gasp) worked a full eight hour day pushing a broom. The next day I was approached by two union members that not-so respectfully told me that my approach to the job was unacceptable. I was requested to “slow down”. I had a number of other things happen while a member of the United Steelworkers union. Trust me, it is corrupt, and it is the reason I worked doubly hard to get out of that position.
    2. Obama and other Democrat’s stance on labor unions is very scary and very easy to look up. As it is today, the ability to unionize is voted on by secret ballot. Obama wants to have an open ballot, meaning you would have to list your name and your decision. Intimidation is the rule with unions (I’ve been there).
    3. Look as some facts – the steel industry, airlines, car industry (to name a few) are the most hard up industries right now, and they are unionized. Unions literally killed Northern Indiana and Detroit. If it was the other way around, GM and US Steel would be enjoying record numbers while paying unskilled workers pathetic salaries. Instead, these companies are going bankrupt while overpaying unskilled workers. Why is it that the most succesful organizations are not unionized?
    Follow the money – just like my abortion post. Unions pay HUGE amounts of money to Democrats and the Dems are now returning the favor. All this can be verified.

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  36. Well, it is nice to see someone has some sort of knowledge of unions. But, one thing you addressed is the “slow down” method that you were pushed into. For one, that is an illegal action and if that were exposed a lot of legal consequences would follow.

    Also, I think the airline industry is a little more cut throat than other industries, trickling down from the CEO’s. Look at the facts, which companies nickle and dime more than anyone else when fuel goes up? Which customers are more dissatisfied with the service than with the airlines? Sure car companies feel the pinch of high gas, but they can just make different kinds of cars, etc. But, airlines don’t really have much of a choice…jet engines will only run off Jet A, which is pretty much refined diesel fuel. All this to say, all these companies are like this not because of the unions, but because of the greedy CEO’s. I guarantee you these GM and US Steel companies management are still getting millions in bonuses while the little guy gets screwed. I think Obama will keep these guys in check more than McCain will.

    I’m not pinning anyone the bad guy here, trust me. But, the “successful organizations” you speak about, I can think of plenty that are unionized. FedEx, UPS, and many others to name a few. Companies are not where they are now because of unions. Also, maybe these “overpaid unskilled workers” are people you might have worked with, maybe not. I would like to think that I am not an unskilled worker, having gone through 5 years of training and paying my dues to fly people 30,000 feet at 500 mph and getting paid like I ride people around on a moped. So, I guess to make one last point, is that I want to see greedy management who are driving companies into the ground to be held accountable and pay their employees livable wages. Good post though.

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  37. Andrew – good post as well.

    Just as clarification – when I said “overpaid unskilled workers” I was really refering to those people who make wages that were not in proportion to their skill sets or what they were actually capable of bringing into the company.

    I’m not so against organizing. I’m against corruption and intimidation. In my experience (steel and car industry) you could use those words to define the unions. And a Democrat-backed bill to make ballots no longer secret would definitely further that extreme.

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  38. Kevin,

    Ok, I see what you’re saying. Maybe I’m being ignorant in saying this, but to me I believe the corruption and intimidation factor is minimal if not non existent in the airline industry. All unions are governed under the Railway Labor Act, and being so outdated really hinders a lot of unions. We can’t just walk off the job and say we’re striking, that would be illegal and we’d all lose our jobs. The National Mediation Board determines who can strike and who can’t. We’ve been in contract negotiations for over 3 years, where no pilot has received a raise even with cost of living skyrocketing. Our management claims they don’t have the funds to pay us, but they still get millions in bonuses for on time performance and are still purchasing airplanes at $20 million a pop. I’m just frustrated, that’s all. Also, I’m not for the open ballot because, you’re right, you do get into the “black balled” politics at work, and there’s no place for that. Again, it’s good to see someone with union experience/knowledge because most people have no idea what we’re about. Keep the thoughts coming though, I’m enjoying hearing your thoughts. Sorry everyone for getting this off topic.

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  39. I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

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