I am excited that the Evangelical Christian world is acknowledged that there was more than abortion on the ballot this year (perhaps part of that is the realization that a President can’t just change the law because he believes what you believe, or perhaps the realization that the Presidential candidate that was on your side was really lying . . . I mean playing politics). There are a plethora of items that can and should be important to Christians. In reality there is not item of policy that we shouldn’t connect to our faith in some manner; from public transit to environmental management Christians must view politics through the lens of their Christian faith.
Although I welcoming this broadening of ideas also lament over the way pro-life stances on abortion is being treated. Many who believe that abortion is a hot button issues are being seen as ignorant, unloving, and inconsiderate. I think that we must allow citizens to believe what they wish in regards to this political issue. Each person has those items that hold the greatest level of importance.
I personally, lean more towards pro-choice, but with my version of pro-choice includes extensive pre-abortion therapy, a re-evaluation and overhaul of a woman’s right to choose, the allowance of only very early term abortion, a intensive improvement of the adoption/foster system and using adoption as a primary alternative to keeping a child.
For me, finding the balance between my Christian faith and a secular nation is difficult. My Christian faith believes that people should not get divorced. However, our current public policy not only allows for divorce, it allows for somewhat easy divorce. I don’t think we should ban divorce, but there should be a longer and more difficult process for those who wish to break their Marriage contract. My Christian faith does not believe in per-marital sex, but am I to push to create a law banning it? No, my faith evokes me to promote a morality in those around me in which pre-marital sex is an oddity.
Phil Loy, political science professor at Taylor University, spoke at the TUFW chapel a couple of weeks ago. Afterwards we spoke and he echoed some of the same emotions I have (which are also similar to Jim Wallis). Essentially, Loy and I believe that Abortion is an incredibility vile thing, however the best way to prevent abortions is to create a culture and atmosphere where abortion is not easy, is not commonplace, is not normal, is not an easy out and is the last rather than the first option. This sounds, almost unchristian, but I actually believe it is the Christian approach to not regulate everyone to Christian standards, which does not condone Christians to have abortions, but to promote a culture in which morality – ultimately rooted in biblical principles – are normal.
Again, what troubles me in this election year, is the de-emphasis we have put on abortion, as well as the stigma we give those that wish to emphasize abortion issues. Additionally, the ignorance of most people have about Barack Obama’s beliefs in abortion is slightly frustrating.
Obama is pro-choice yes, but he is extremely pro-choice. Obama believes firmly in a woman’s right to choose, and does not believe that the father or parents should have much say in the matter. Obama also believes in late-term abortion. Obama also does not believe that life starts at conception and is somewhat ambiguous about when he believes life is life. (links to Obama’s views on abortion)
Over on Urban Faith.com Eric Redmon, aurthor of Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men’s Questions About the Church (Crossway, 2008) and blogger at , A Man from Issachar, wrote a letter describing why he, a Black Man, decided not to vote for Obama. Essentially the crux of his argument against Obama was being unable to reconcile his views on abortion with the, now, President elect. Although I don’t agree will everything Redmon said, I think that his position holds validity and that Christians (especially Black Christians) need to recognize the reality of what Obama believes. Additionally, the Pew Forum has an entire section on Abortion, Faith & Politics. It is worth a view.
As Christians we have to wrestle with what this issue of abortion looks like with a President who is so extremely pro-choice. We must decide how to join the conversation about abortion and in such decide how to behave Christianly in a secular government and society.