A few days back I asked How Partisan should a pastor be%3F. Some of the comments there have been quite insightful.
I showed my ignorance by asking what Bush had done for foetuses. I guess from this side of the pond I am used to a prime minister who can do more or less what he wants. So, the idea of a president not being able to significantly alter abortion legislation if he was genuinely against it is somehow surprising to me.
I am educating myself on this by watching West Wing and reading my comments. The following was especially enlightening.
No, abortion laws (and laws that lend financial and medical support to unborn children) have changed in at least four areas under the Bush administration. (1) We now have a ban on partial birth abortions – the kind where they deliver the baby feet first, then suck the brain out before the head is born, (2) Bush limited stem cell research so that it would exclude research on aborted babies and embryos, (3) he put into affect laws that make the murder of a pregnant woman a more serious crime because it involves 2 lives, and laws that provide medical care to aborted children who are accidentally born alive (state and federal courts are attempting to overturn all of these changes). In Congress, all of the above abortion votes have been very close, with nearly 100% of the Republicans voting to limit abortion and nearly 100% of the Democrats voting for no restrictions on abortion, up to and including the moment of birth, and have passed only because Republicans currently hold a slim majority. Kerry has vowed he will overturn the partial birth ban and the stem cell research restrictions when he becomes president.
I should say that when it comes to people who actually get an abortion, it is probably equally split between the parties (and, I fear, between Christians and nonchristians), but the biggest difference to me is that key Kerry supporters tend to be proud of abortion (and wear buttons or tshirts saying as much), plus Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of Kerry speaks volumes. So I would say while Bush has accomplished quite a bit, it may be just temporary, and is sure to be overturned under a new president. So on the abortion issue, I come down squarely in favor of the current president. Has he done anything that will permanently affect abortion? No, because no Supreme Court justices have resigned during his term, and Democrats in Congress, as well as Kerry, have made it clear that in the future only pro-abortion justices will be considered.
So that should answer your question about Bush and abortions.
Regarding the items you raised, I know trade is a big item in the UK because I see the term “free trade” whenever I am on UK websites or listening to some UK rock band anxious to give their opinion on a country they know nothing about) and most of us simple folk don’t understand what it means, except that, in some circumstances, it may or may not involve coffee. Regarding trade, it is position of both candidates, I believe, is to protect the US economy (which may result in harming other countries), and to that extent most unions support Kerry. Kerry accuses Bush of sending millions of jobs overseas.
We also rarely hear anything about the “international court” (hopefully you can explain this to me, as well).
Scientists disagree over whether global warming exists and to what extent, or whether that situation is improving, but most environmentalists are opposed to Bush.
Regarding justice, American law is based on Engli….
Unfortunately the post was truncated! About abortions, I concede the point. About ‘free trade’ there are always fights and I guess some UK people take a different view- for example many dont want to be forced to import US Genetically Modified produce. On the international court- this referred to a war crimes court the USA wont sign up to- something about not wanting their soldiers to be judged there. On global warming, almost every Eurpopean believes that this is a real issue- although during hot summers I wonder if it might be a good thing……
Anwyay, it is quite understandable to me why many Christians would want to vote Bush. I am just pleading for room to be made for democrats to be Christian too (even if you feel they are misguided!). Mind you I am not over there and perhaps the distinctions between the parties are a lot stronger than over here.