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Why Obama?

I am a political independent.  And fiercely so.  I’ve voted for a couple Republicans and a couple Democrats and lots of Independents, including, proudly, Jesse “The Body” Ventura.  At the state level, most recently, I voted for a Republican state senator (Geoff Michel), a Republican congressman (Jim Ramstad), and a Democratic U.S. senator (Amy Klobuchar).

But I am supporting Barack Obama for president. Why? Because Obama has so many of the qualities that we need in a president. He is committed to uniting the country around a vision for the future, he is committed to foreign diplomacy rather than empty posturing, he plays politics by a different and more noble playbook.

Why not Hillary? Because I am convinced that the same amount of good would be accomplished with Hillary as president as has been accomplished with a Pelosi-controlled Congress: nothing. Pelosi is a polarizing figure and, thus, not an effective leader. Have you noticed? Nothing is happening in Congress; well, I shouldn’t say nothing, cuz they are passing Bush legislation that throws cash at Americans in a pathetic attempt to stem a recession when they should be attacking the real fiscal cancer in our country: too much personal and national debt, not enough personal and national saving.

Why not McCain? I have long admired John McCain.  I support his campaign finance reform packages, and I love that he has consistently worked across the aisle with people like Russ Feingold.  The fact that Rush Limbaugh hates him makes me love him more.  But I cannot abide McCain’s stance on the war in Iraq.  I just think that he’s too loyal to the military (as he should be) to see that this $9 trillion war is crippling my children’s future.

We need a president who unites.  And we need a president who has better judgment about military intervention.

We need Obama.


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  • http://life-inmotion.com Jeff

    That might be the most intelligent think I’ve heard in this whole election season.

    Completely agree about Hillary AND about McCain.

    Even though I am an independent who tends to vote Republican, Obama seems to be the one that stands out among all of these jokers.

  • http://burlyfamily.blogspot.com Burly

    You said “he’s too loyal to the military (as he should be).” That seems contradictory. Did you mean something like, “he’s too loyal to the military (and I can’t blame him)”?

  • http://www.MatthewMcNutt.com Matthew McNutt

    But I’m a Christian so I have to vote republican … ?

  • http://www.thoughtsofagyrovague.com Carl Holmes

    I am fiercely independent, and I share your concern on Hillary 100 percent. She is a socialist in a democratic country. She would do well in Canada.

    I am not sure who I am going with though. Obama seems to be a lot of slogan and talk. I have not seen a lot of concrete action and proposals though.

    The next two weeks aught to be interesting!

  • http://www.davidwierzbicki.com/blog David

    Hey Carl.. we’re still a democracy up here. The Democratic Socialist party (NDP) hasn’t had much of a grip on things in quite a while.

  • Sean LeRoy

    I’m up in the air on who I’m voting for…but I can pretty assure you it won’t be Obama…the unity thing is a joke – its just political rhetoric; not to mention what I’ve heard and seen written about his stance on the most basic justice issue is freaky.

  • http://www.davidwierzbicki.com/blog David

    Speaking of Canada… Tony.. why no book stop in Toronto?

  • http://www.knightopia.com/journal Steve K.

    This is perhaps the most important Obama endorsement since Ted Kennedy’s!

    Seriously though, I’m behind Obama 100% and I’m glad you are too, Tony.

    The folks who say Obama is all “rhetoric” and “no substance” aren’t paying attention, IMHO.

    And, hey, I voted for Ventura too, so you know what they say about “great minds” … ;-)

  • http://coffeewithchris.com Chris S.

    So I guess all of this talk here must mean that Romney really is out of it…

  • http://merginglanes.com jadanzzy

    TONY! I hope you got my email (Dan from Atlanta?).

    YES! THANK YOU FOR “ENDORSING” OBAMA!

    Now convince Doug Pagitt of this.

  • Blake

    Tony,

    Good to hear your thoughts! You mentioned a number of political issues but I noticed you did not reference what I believe to be the most imporant issue for Christians, Abortion. Is Abortion not an important issue for you? Do you think Jesus could support a candidate that was pro-choice? I have trouble believing He could. I know that Obama is the sexy pick is mainline circles, but I just see this moral issue as far more important than tax reform, border control, and the like. Your response?

    Thanks.

  • http://www.jakebouma.com/ Jake Bouma

    I’m still voting for Gravel.

  • -kp-

    I haven’t yet made up my mind, and living in Chicago causes me to want to like Obama. And I do like him – I loved his speech two years ago that brought him into the spotlight. I would easily vote for him over any Republican. He’s certainly right to use his position to push the American political imagination, such as it is, beyond the tragically polarized situation in which it finds itself. (Though whether America truly is “polarized” is questionable; perhaps that depiction is a fantasy of political polemics.) Yet the one thing that worries me about the rhetoric of “party transcendence” is that another individual once ran for and won the Presidency largely on the promise that he was “a uniter, not a divider.” That doesn’t seem to have worked out, exactly.

    Of course, you could say that Bush’s failure on his campaign promise is precisely what should motivate us to get behind Obama’s charge to transcend “enclave politics.” But that Barak Obama can really accomplish such transcendence is not a given. Even he (I almost wrote “especially he”) could get swept into world of two-party politics once he finds himself in the Oval Office. Perhaps we should stick to the more tangible positions (i.e., health care/economy/immigration, foreign policy, etc.) of the respective candidates for deciding who’s ready to take the reigns.

  • http://www.davidwierzbicki.com/blog David

    Blake, certainly abortion is not the only sanctity of life issue that surrounds us.

  • Sean LeRoy

    Julie,
    While I agree to the perils of voting on one issue only, I find it strange that justice talks seem to avoid the most basic of all justice issues –> life. I fail to see how Obama can truly stand for justice and vote it down – as the record shows – for those who desperately need it and do not have a voice of their own. I fear that many Christians who would declare themselves ‘counter cultural’ have simply followed the dominant culture in reducing the most fundamental issue of justice – life – to an autonomous, non-communal choice…

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  • Jason

    1. Empty posturing won the Cold War and accelerated communism’s demise to the ashheap of history. “Evil Empire” ring a bell? SDI was a pipedream and yet the Soviets cowered and broke because of it.

    2. Terrorism, energy, the US economy, and political tyrany are the defining issues on the world stage. Terrorism must be defeated or our children will live under fear, anarchy, and tyrany. Muslim extremists are not interested in religious conversion or being left alone–they are interested in political conversion and world domination. And believe me, you do not what to be under Sharia Law. Oil must be secured, until alternatives found, so that our military and economy can be fueled. Our US economy is the source of the generousity that the REST of the world enjoys, including HALF of all food aid and MOST of the HIV/AIDS research and support funding. Political tyrany is what has caused much of the turmoil in Africa, including Darfur, and has caused the breeding grounds for terrorism. The Bush Doctrine must be followed to its conclusion WHEN diplomacy fails because terrorism left unchecked will destroy the world as we know it. We must also take on moral issues such as Darfur and not just be concerned with our national security.

    3. Nobody is truly speaking to these issues. We need a president who can see clearly these issues and have a vision for America, her security (constitution anyone?), and her prosperity.

    4. Reagan did this, however imperfectly. The current recession threat is a result of people fooling with Reagan’s basic economic beliefs and action in the early 80′s. Reagan’s vision helped to pull us out of a horrible recession. Reagan also had a tremendous vision for our countries security and foreign policy–diplomacy through strength. Clinton left us with a broken military, poor economic policies, and a demoralized office–all because they thought Reagan was bad. Hindsight is 20/20… He was a man of character, tough and principled.

    5. Reagan will never be again. But I pray for a man (or woman) who, like him, will have America’s best interest in mind and will rise to inspire us and our government to do the work of the people–OUR work. I pray for a person of character to lead our nation.

  • Ben Hunsberger
  • http://none Cris

    Blake,
    The issue on who Jesus would and would not endorse is a discusssion Christians should never enter with the mindset that they actually know answer to. Again, to say Obama is pro-choice is also a mistake. He is pro-giving-power-back-to-the-states. He doesn’t want to make a national amendment for things which, as a Christian, I agree with entirely. But lets follow your logic for a moment. Do you honestly think that just because Mike Huckabee is anti-abortion that that makes him pro-life? Hardly. Look at his views on Guantanamo Bay, war, and capital punishment. This man is hardly pro-life, and if he is elected I guarantee he will be solely responsible for more legalized murders than Obama would.(Really, that applies to most Republican candidates..not all, but most) While abortion is an issue, let’s not pretend for a moment that whether you’re for or against it defines you as pro-life or pro-choice. From what I can tell, Obama is the most pro-life candidate out there, regardless of his stance on abortion.
    Obama ’08

  • Jason

    Cris,

    War and capital punishment are NOT legalized murder. They are justice.

  • http://none Cris

    Jason,
    I firmly disagree.

  • http://mshedden.wordpress.com/ mshedden

    22 comments and nobody brings up the Dorothy Day: Don’t vote; it only encourage them.
    Where is the Duke Mafia?

  • http://cheekandbluster.com Derek

    Jason – am I missing something, or did you just describe the Iraq War as “justice?”

  • Jason

    Justice=Saddam Hussein dead and a tyranical regime. I wholely disagree with the idea of building a democracy and a nation. That’s stupid. However, I do believe that the oil of the Middle East–we import 20% from that region–must be secured and in Iran’s hands after a political vaccuum in Iraq and takeover if we would have pulled out would have threatened our national security.

    Ask the Kurds and millions who held their purple thumbs in the air about justice.

  • http://none Cris

    Jason,
    If killing innocent people is acceptable to you as long as we secure oil, then yes…the Iraq war was justified. Too bad that would be the only way to justify it, and certainly not the reason we went over there. Didn’t the results from a recent study come out and basically say that George Bush was on record lieing 935 times about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Lets face it, no matter the cause, there have been 1 million Iraqi deaths as a result of the war.(We didn’t kill them all, some killed each other) But wouldn’t that constitute this “war” as genocide? And if you say that war is justice, is genocide? Theres no logic in what you’re saying. We did everything we did for the sake of oil, and I’m not one who will say that trading comfort for human life is ok. THAT IS NOT JESUS. And by the way, I wouldn’t dare touch on the subject of us doing the world a favor by ending a tyrannical regime. We’re pretty much responsible for everything Stalin did, but oh wait…it was either aid him or Hitler. But Stalin was a good tyrant, right? Hardly since he killed far many more people than Hitler ever did. There is no justice in ever taking another human being’s life.

  • http://www.samandress.blogspot.com Sam

    Amen!

  • http://www.precipicemagazine.com Darren King

    Okay, I can’t help but comment on the Canada mention. Dude said, “She (Clinton) is a socialist in a democratic country. She would do well in Canada”

    First off, are you saying socialist and democratic ideals are mutually exclusive concepts?

    Democracy does not necessarily equal capitalism, my friend.

    Yikes, talk about your creative political science.

  • http://www.abductivecolumns.com Fred Peatross

    Try this. It’s fun. Spend 5 minutes at Glassbooth and you’ll have a better idea which candidate matches ur beliefs

  • Jason

    Cris,

    1. The war in Iraq is about three things–US and regional security, oil, and nation building–in that order as I have followed Bush’s morphing policy regarding Iraq (two have been stated, one has not). Just war is not against individuals–it is against political entities. Innocents are ALWAYS going to be caught in the middle.

    2. Oil is one of the reasons we went over there. It has been left unstated because it is so unpalatable to most people. Most people also don’t realize that no oil=no America.

    3. All politians lie. Don’t need a study for that. Most people do as well–we are sinful.

    4. Our ENTIRE government believed the current intelligence regarding Iraqi WMD’s at the time we went to war in Iraq. that intelligence was also exacerbated by the anthrax scare that went on for an entire year in 2002-2003–of which most people have forgetten the impact that it was making at the time. George W. Bush DID NOT lie about Iraqi WMD’s. Finding them or not IS NOT an issue, and is fabricated by a BIASED media that is spoon-fed their own talking points. They have their own Karl Roves on their side, too.

    5. Saddam Hussein was documented to have sought and developed anthrax based weapons. HELLO!

    6. I am sorry, but most Iraqi deaths in the war were by there own hands, by Al-Quaeda, or Iran. NOT by US troops and I am OFFENDED that you would accuse our military of anything but acting justly to carry out their ordered objectives. They are NOT murderers as you suggest. They are our heroes.

    7. Genocide? Please tell me who is trying to kill off a whole classification of people? Genocide does not refer to numbers. Get a dictionary. Iraq is not genocide. Ask the Kurds. Now THAT was a genocide by proper definition.

    8. Genocide would be justice if an entire race of people were trying to kill you and you happened to destroy them first to preserve your race. That’s the only instance I would consider genocide justice.

    9. Oil does not equal human comfort. Oil FUELS our economy. It’s a survival issue, not a comfort issue. We don’t have the convenience of not using oil–we have to. And if you really believe what you said, then get rid of your car and every petroleum product you have in your house. That will, unfortunately, mean taking your house, as well. It’s been a cold winter….

    10. God (including Jesus, the second person of the Trinity) traded human life for the land that Israel came to possess. Jesus will also return as prophesied in Revelation 19:11-19 and kill everyone who gathers against Him. That is the Jesus I know. Would you call that murder, as well?

    10.5. We do the world a favor EVERY time we topple an evil regime. Its one of the things America does best!

    11. Stalin’s atrocities were not known at that time, not until well after the USSR’s intentions to overtake much of Asia were revealed and the Cold War began. There are no good tyrants.

    12. Then, by your own definition Cris, God is not just. That does not jive with the Biblical portrayal of our God. Old or New Testaments. God and Jesus kill in both.

  • Sean LeRoy

    Cris,
    I don’t think you can substantiate all your claims about ‘why’ we went to war with Iraq. Saying that “We did everything we did for the sake of oil” really politicizes the issue, and is a comment that truly can’t be substantiated.

    The heart of the Biblical ethic is: a culture is only as great as it elevates the cause of those w/o a voice, those w/o ‘rights’, w/o power. Because of this, I don’t believe you can even start to talk about social justice, w/o nailing down a proper view of life for the unborn, recognizing that an improper view constitutes a grave injustice.

    Your candidate seems to be Obama, right? How many Obama’s would have been born if the 46+ million babies (not 1 million!!!) – or even some of them – had been spared the atrocity of abortion?!

  • http://pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com Bob Cornwall

    There once was a Candidate who promised to be a uniter not a divider, but as we all know, he became a divider not a uniter. That’s because he came under the influence of his two mentors — Dick and Karl.

    But now along comes a person who has a track record of uniting, someone who’ll likely do what GW promised, and that person, as you’ve discovered is Barack Obama! Yes, it’s time to support the visionary candidate who is thinking more about the future than fighting old battles from the 1990s.

  • Nick

    Tony, no! Barack would be a terrible president, compared to the Republican candidates. I grant you that he is a uniter and would be an excellent diplomat with his charm and smooth talking, but he falls far short on many issues. We need a candidate with Barack’s personal qualities, but not his positions on important issues.

    1) He wants to take more money away from people and redistribute it so that everyone can have healthcare. That is not the government’s proper role. Universal healthcare is not a human right that governments should provide.

    2) He would not do less to reduce abortions than the republic candidates, indicated by his voting record and statements. He supports the killing of innocent life. This should not appeal to anyone who values human life (if they consider a fetus a human life worth saving). He also support embryonic stem cell research, which involves the killing of young humans (embryos).

    3) He also is for the death penalty. The death penalty does not deter murder and can put to death innocent people by mistake.

    4) He does not support the use of torture (or harsh treatment, whatever you want to call it) to save innocent lives. In certain circumstance, harsh interrogation techniques such as water-boarding can be the moral option because it may be necessary to save innocent lives (as they have done in the past). He also is against wiretapping, which can save innocent lives, and can be done responsibly.

    5) He supports a path of citizenship for illegal immigrants (and drivers’ licences). Rewarding people for committing crimes is usually a bad idea! The rule of law needs to be enforced. From all indications, Obama would not seal the borders – he says he will but has not set forth a plan. Its plainly not fair to allow illegals a path to citizenship, bypassing people around the world who have been waiting for years to legally immigrate and become citizens. His policies on illegal immigration would encourage more illegal immigration.

    6) He supports a phased-withdrawal from Iraq. We need to provide security for Iraq, no matter how long it takes. We started a war there and it is our responsibility to provide security until their police and military can provide it. His policy is irresponsible and would lead to more innocent Iraqi deaths.

    7) He is against drilling in ANWR. ANWR is a huge land area with natural resource we can sustainably obtain. Obviously, Barack is a tree-hugger. Oil is not evil. Global warming is complicated. We can capture CO2 and store in in deep sedimentary basins anyway. We need that oil!! Gas is getting expensive!!!

    8) Barack is young and inexperienced in critical areas. For example, he as not had much experience in foreign policy.

  • http://www.davidwierzbicki.com/blog David

    Nick.. you are the absolute reverse of me.

  • http://www.precipicemagazine.com Darren King

    Nick,

    Your assumption is that your description of Obama’s positions on these various issues would dissuade us from voting for him.

    All I can say is, don’t assume so much.

  • http://www.thedowngrade2007.blogspot.com Pastorboy

    Anybody who believes that Obama is the best candidate that A Christian can vote for better take the advice of Paul:

    EXAMINE yourselves…..to see if you are in the faith.

    I say “professing to be wise, you have become fools”

    And in the process, you have joined other non believers in the media and in the press in slandering our soldiers and their commander in chief. All in the name of social justice, by your definition.

    And the thing is, I even hear women chirping in! Women who had no rights in Iraq under sharia law. Women who were defiled in rape rooms. Women who were lower than dogs during Saddam’s regime. Women who, as a result of George Bush and America, now can vote and participate fully and equally in society! I guess Bush HAS done a lot for social justice!

    And I hear ‘Christians’ chirping as well! How soon we forget that our Kurdish brothers and sisters were gassed! That until Bagdad fell, the Christian church was forced underground! And, Bush has not brought about the same religious tyranny; Muslims and Christians and Jews etc. can now all freely worship! I guess this war has done a great deal for religious freedom!

    I could go on and on….But I say it again…Examine yourself.

  • http://www.christiansincontext.org Matt Wilcoxen

    Tony,

    I don’t know if I agree with your assessment or not, but it was nice to hear some cool logic, devoid of the empty rhetoric that is so rampant.

    Matt

  • http://www.precipicemagazine.com Darren King

    Pastorboy,

    We were examining ourselves before you ever gave us the heads up. But thanks for assuming we’re all acting without thoughtful, prayerful consideration. I guess you know a lot about us.

    Did it ever occur to you that our prayerful, thoughtful, biblically-informed consideration might bring us to different conclusions than you?

    Hmmm….

  • http://flyministry.blogspot.com Jeff Moulton

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    Nick – 1. How is healthcare for all not a “life” issue? It doesn’t make logical sense. Universal Healthcare should be a primary focus of the government, based upon the reasons that it was founded in the first place.

    2. If all the “pro-life” people would quit their infantile whining about “government-this”, and “government-that”, expecting the government to take away a liberty (regardless of it’s inherent “justness”) because it offends their sensibilities, and got about to the business of the church, that is reaching people with love and grace and compassion, abortion wouldn’t be an issue in this country, regardless of it’s legality. The abortion problem is a failure of the church – quit expecting the government to bail us out.

    3. [Senator] Obama wrote in his recent memoir that he thinks the death penalty “does little to deter crime.” But he supports capital punishment in cases “so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.” – Washington Post. He and I would disagree on this, but can appreciate his stance. However, being from Illinois and knowing the conflicts we have had over this issue and the role that Senator Obama has played in them to make it tougher to execute a person makes him (in my mind) much different than a pro-death penalty person say, from Texas.

    4. Torturing someone is ok? The end justifies the means? I don’t even know where to start with this.

    5. Until we address the inherent inequalities created globally by our economic base (predatory business practices, gluttonous over-consumption, etc) and by our geographic position (tremendous natural resources, amazing farmland, both of which are not natural rights but merely products of “luck”), by saying essentially that “this is my side of the fence, and that is your side of the fence” you sound just like the seagulls from Finding Nemo – “Mine, mine, mine”.

    6. So instead of planning to get out, we should foster a co-dependent relationship?

    7. Can you give me one example of where we have “sustainably obtained” resources from any protected area? And who says we “need” that oil? Perhaps you should consider the difference between “need” and “want”. Under no possible definition could I classify that as a need.

    Speaking as a registered Republican (and I have been since the first time I could vote, that being Bush I), I don’t see that any of the Republican candidates are as appealing as Governor (and now President) Bush was eight years ago. These Republican candidates in my mind would be a step backwards, and that is saying something considering how far my respect for our current president has dropped.

  • http://whatiskingdom.blogspot.com joe troyer

    hey tony, why not ron paul??

  • Nick

    Universal healthcare essintially forces people to be charitable! Shouldn’t people should be free to decide how much and to whom they give their money? The government should not determine an individual’s moral obligation to others. True charity, in which individuals give out of their own hearts, is what our society needs. No one should ever be forced to pay for another person’s benefit.

  • Karen Butler

    Our country is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. It was intended to be governed by the rule of law based on the Constitutioin.

    Universal health care is just another form of socialism, a redistribution of wealth, a step awa from communisim.

    For all that the founding fathers pledged their lives and sacred honor for, for the sake of our future and our childrens future, we’ve got to fight to keep our liberties and remain a free people.

    Not to mention the huge mess with the Federal Reserve and the devaluation of the dollar.

    Please, in all humbleness I implore you to consider RON PAUL.

    BTW, I’ve had 3 sons serve in Iraq. Ron Paul has the received the most monetary support from the troops than any other candidate. In case you don’t know, he has consistently voted against the war.

  • http://www.chrismc.net Chris Mc

    I want to like Obama. I want to believe what he says. I want to believe he sees a way through “politics as usual”. But I just can’t.

    I am not a “one issue voter”. I am concerned with the same issues as Tony and many of you. Poverty, debt, the war, terror and immigration are all critical issues.

    While I would love for the war to end. There were nearly a million abortions performed last year. Before we go to bed tomorrow there will be a couple of thousand more. Kind of makes the war in Iraq seem rather small in comparison. Yet neither are small. Both are sad. We rightly are saddened when an American soldier or Iraqi child is silenced. Yet we say nothing about the six thousand abortions performed over the weekend. We are so strange.

    It is hard to believe Barack when he so passionate about ending the war and yet has nothing to say about the fact that almost half of African American pregnancies end in abortion. Abortion is the leading killer in the African American community. (There is not space here to even talk about the psychological impact abortion is having on men and women who have chosen abortion) Yet Barack is pro choice. This is not an issue even presented on his website. This is very disturbing to me. It is disturbing to many of our African American brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Isn’t this an issue of justice as well? If Barack can’t be trusted to stand up for the innocent what makes you think he will stand up for you?

  • Nick

    I have noticed that the liberal media often portrays pro-life conservatives as being only concerned about abortion, neglecting other important issues. This is an inaccurate portrayal of most conservatives. But even if it is true for some, isn’t it understandable that for them, the protection of innovent human life is the most more important than all others issues? Why do some view that deciding to take up one important cause and focusing one’s energy on one critical issue in order to bring about change, be a negative thing? It is admirable. What is so sad is that so many people do not seem to care much that as a society we allow babies to be killed. Where is the compassion for young babies. Why does there seem to be more compassion for the irresponsible teenager who doesn’t want to have to “deal with it” than compassion for the innocent baby who doesn’t even get to live?!! My hope is that in decades or centuries from now, we will look back on history with dismay, wondering how in the freaking world could people kill their own babies for the sake of convenience and moreover, that most people, including many followers of Jesus Christ, quietly went about their business as baby-killing legally continued, or voted for pro-choice politicians. The apparent pro-choice trend and generally apathetic attitude toward the mass-killing of babies among emergent church leaders is messed up! What’s up with that Tony J.?

  • Nick

    Tony, I am curious why you didn’t mention Barack’s pro-choice position. Do you believe all humans, even those in the womb, have a right to be born? Do you fully state your views on abortion anywhere on the web?

  • Nick

    Sorry, the above comment was worded poorly.

    I just read your interview with Sean McDowell. You seem to imply that you believe human fetuses are less valuable than human adults and consequently, do not deserve the same legal protection from being killed. Am I wrong to infer this?

    If fetuses don’t deserve legal protection from being killed in your view, what about infants? Infants are very similar to fetuses, except they are outside of the womb. They cannot communicate, are dependent on parents for survival, have virtually no personality, have undeveloped brains, etc. Should a pain-free form of infanticide be legalized as a choice for parents who are dealing with a tough situation, such as financially or emotionally? What are the substantial differences between abortion and infanticide that make them so ethically polar that abortion is legal and infanticide punishable by death or life in prison? I realize few people would support infanticide – I am using it to make a point that the criteria upon which the pro-choice view is based is shallow and irrational.

  • http://sweptover.blogspot.com Scott Lyons

    #21, Cris: You say that Huckabee would be solely responsible for more deaths than Obama. I’m not sure how you figure these numbers considering that, even with a national decline in abortions, there are still well over a million babies killed every year in America alone.

    And to Tony and others: I agree that there are other social-justice issues to consider, but it seems we’ve thrown out the issue of abortion completely in some circles – as if we’re tired by it, or we don’t want to be defined by it.

    I am for life: I am against the war in Iraq. I think the Republicans, except for McCain, were disappointingly quiet about the use of torture. I am against the death penalty. I like the Democratic ideas concerning immigration (Mexicans should not have to go to the “back of the line” – they are our poor neighbors).

    While failing on many important issues, Bush has done well with abortion issues. Under his term, partial-birth abortion has been banned, he has elected conservative justices, and he has stayed the destruction of countless embryos for stem-cell research. And now those same pluripotent cells can be gleaned from the skin cells of adults. This is a victory for life. And yet, as inspiring as I find Obama, he would most certainly still allow researchers to kill babies for embryonic stem-cell research. Isn’t this polarizing? Is this justice for all? For the voiceless?

    I don’t want to be defined only by what I am against. I want to have an affirmative orthodoxy. But even as we try to speak about the excellent things that we are for, we must also, in some instances, say No. I do not want to be a participant in the destruction of innocent human life. And I wonder how culpable I would be if I gave over my vote.

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  • Timbo

    Obama opposed the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. If a fetus *survives* an abortion, and thus is alive outside the womb, that fetus was not deserving of legal protection, according to Obama. Thankfully, President Bush signed the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act into law.

  • Ben

    War, torture and capital punishment? How can support for these awful things come from the mouths of Christians? Don’t let our culture infiltrate your beliefs like that. Our “security” is never worth knowingly sinning against God.

    On abortion, this is not an issue of law, but of love. You can’t simply legislate Christian principles and expect everyone to just fall in line. We must love everyone with such tremendous love that they can’t help but love Christ. When this happens, the abortion problem will be solved. Remember the words of Christ – it is not simply the action, but the heart’s desire that is sin. The only solution to sin is Christ, not legislation.

    Arguing against providing health care to the poor because “it’s not the government’s job”? Once again, you’re letting the world skew your religion. Where ever you see the poor, you see Christ. If we can provide for the poor via the government, then so be it. We should not let the world’s rules stand in the way of caring for our brothers and sisters (more importantly, God’s children!).

    I don’t even want to know how many here would support building and guarding a wall between the US and Mexico. It is unfathomable to me that people can stand here in the extraordinary wealth and abundance of America and say that we have no more room for our poor neighbors who desire only a meager living. How selfish!

    We are so blessed to have a God of love who wants us to love as well. We should not be so selfish as to kill and torture in the name of security, to deprive the poor of health care in the name of limited government or to build a fence around our wealth for no reason other than greed. The example for us was set much higher than these selfish positions.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith

    I plan to vote for Obama on Tuesday — here in Connecticut where, at least according to what I’ve heard about the polls, things are about as close as they can be. I was a natural Obama supporter, at least as opposed to Clinton, b/c I wasn’t all that happy with Bill Clinton’s presidency, and Hillary Clinton often holds that up as her model. One of the most disappointing aspects of the old Clinton administration was their political failure to get health care reform passed, despite a lot of support (at least initially, before they started losing the battle for public opinion & failed to respond adequately to worries about “socialized medicine”) from the public. Much of the problem, I believe, is that the Clinton administration didn’t make health care reform a high enough priority. I’d have much preferred it if they had spent their most focussed efforts & political capital there, rather than on getting their ’93 budget passed (nice & sensible as that budget was, so far as such things go). Of course, Hillary was very involved in that failure, though, of course, the fault does not lie just with her. Though I tend to like Clinton’s current plan slightly more than Obama’s (& liked to old 90s plan better than either of them), a) they’re pretty close, b) they’re both likely to be changed a lot in the legislative process if they get enacted at all, so c) the important thing is getting it through. I like what Obama’s said about strategy (though I’d like to have heard more), and am hopeful that he’ll have a better chance. At any rate, it seems reasonable to give someone new a shot at this.

    A potentially important difference between the two was well described by Lani Guinier. This is from today’s New York Times [ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/02/us/politics/02race.html?pagewanted=2&hp ]:

    Professor Lani Guinier of Harvard Law School, who is supporting Mr. Obama, said the key distinction between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton lies in how they view their relationship to power. In doing so, Ms. Guinier, whose nomination as assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1993 was pummeled by conservative groups and aborted by the White House, referred to their respective biographies.

    Mrs. Clinton “is the talented lawyer serving her clients,” Ms. Guinier said. Mr. Obama is the organizer, she said, “who sees the source of his power as the ability to inspire people to mobilize.”

    This may turn out to be just a difference in style of campaigning, which doesn’t cash out to any real difference in office. But I hope (& Obama’s success on the campaign trail, especially in getting enthusiastic support from younger voters supports this hope) that it’s not just something that sounds nice during the campaign — that Obama really will challenge Americans to get involved & will be more of an enabler than a goody-provider. I think there a lot of younger Americans who are ready to take up such a challenge if it’s made in the right way. Of course, many of them are going to be doing their thing anyway, regardless of who occupies the White House. But a president ready & able to tap into & promote that could be a great thing right now. Well, there’s always room to hope…

  • Timbo

    Interesting argument, Ben. What happens when I invert it?

    ‘[Abortion]? How can support for [this] awful [thing] come from the mouths of Christians? Don’t let our culture infiltrate your beliefs like that. Our ["right to choose"] is never worth knowingly sinning against God.

    On [war, torture and capital punishment], this is not an issue of law, but of love. You can’t simply legislate Christian principles and expect everyone to just fall in line. We must love everyone with such tremendous love that they can’t help but love Christ. When this happens, the [war, torture and capital punishment] problem will be solved. Remember the words of Christ – it is not simply the action, but the heart’s desire that is sin. The only solution to sin is Christ, not legislation.’

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  • Nick

    Ben, I don’t think war, harsh interrogation techniques, limited government, and the building of a security fence between the US and Mexico are necessarily motivated by national selfishness. If war and harsh interrogation techniques are intended to protect our citizens and innocent people around the world, how is this selfish? If limiting the government’s role in providing healthcare, and thus lowering taxes, is intended to encourage personal responsbility and to give people to more freedom to use their income the way they want to, how is this selfish? If building a fence on the US-Mexico border is intended to protect our citizens from bad people (i.e. criminals, terrorists, etc.) that could come into our country illegally and unknowingly, and to make sure there is a fair and orderly system for people to legally immigrate into our country, how is this selfish? I do not understand you claim that these policies are selfish and lacking compassion. Can you explain?

  • http://adamcopeland.wordpress.com adamjcopeland

    For a more thoughtful–rather than ranting–theological take on Obama, check out my post on Obama as the eschatological candidate here: A Wee Blether

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jason Dye

    Wow. this is pretty divisive. i guess that’s not a surprise at all. the downward mood of the comments in here, however, are.

    and i probably won’t help much, but i just want to put these out there.

    abortion is a sad and wrong act. most americans would agree that it is at the very least sad. however, most americans are not convinced that it is wrong. and part of the reason that they are not convinced that it is wrong is because they equate those who condemn the act with those who condemn in general. we try to legislate abortion, we have (mostly males) who harass those who enter into the clinics, we preach against the sin of abortion and condemn – whether or not we talk about forgiveness and love, we don’t seem to be acting in love and forgiveness.

    at this point, it would not be a good idea for us to regulate abortion – or to make it illegal. it would be a good idea for us to offer viable alternatives for those who are presently choosing to abort their pregnancies. the ability to pay health care is a real issue that affects many of these same women. we live in a world where we declare war on our enemies and as a result, people live in fear. christians should be the first ones living out the kingdom message of Jesus (esp through the beatitudes). and that is not happening through our antiabortion rhetoric, sadly.

    because i do think we need to end abortions. but i think our policies and the direction we’re headed in it is wrong.

  • cj

    1) He wants to take more money away from people and redistribute it so that everyone can have healthcare. That is not the government’s proper role. Universal healthcare is not a human right that governments should provide.

    this is a horrible statement. that’s like saying food or shelter aren’t a human right…what sort of belief system makes that ok? it seems to me that as christian we would want everyone to receive proper healthcare…rich or poor?

    universal healthcare may not be the right answer to this problem but that statement is shameful.

  • http://www.themattscott.com Matt Scott

    Wow, I love the narrow focus on abortion. Seriously.
    According to focus on the family abortion has killed 43 million since Roe V Wade was passed 34 years ago. Fine, it’s well over a million a year, which is a steep number.

    Let’s look at another number shall we?

    11 million.

    That’s the number that die each year due to poverty related causes.

    So lets compare… 1 million for abortion, 11 million for poverty. Let’s put a guy in office that’s focused on social justice related issues.

  • Nick

    Shameful eh CJ? I think you misunderstand me. I don’t mean that I don’t want everyone to have healthcare, I just don’t think people should be forced to pay for it. I believe charity (voluntary giving) could provide the safety net so that everyone, whether they can afford it or not, can receive the healthcare they need. Is that shameful as well?

  • http://www.christiansincontext.org Matt Wilcoxen

    Ronald J. Sider’s new book “The Scandal of Evangelical Politics” just came out yesterday. Some friends and I have started a blog discussion based on the book…

    We’d love to have some of you weigh in on the post…since you’re so politically inclined!

    http://www.christiansincontext.org/2008/02/evangelical-politics-discussion-1.html

  • http://sweptover.blogspot.com Scott Lyons

    Matt, #60:

    We all care deeply about poverty issues in our world. And if memory serves me correctly, Bush has worked to ease the suffering of those who are impoverished. Though, understandably, many think he has not done enough. Nevertheless, he has not worked to further poverty or turned a blind eye to the issue – an important point when comparing candidates and what they do or fail to do.

    Perhaps it would also be fairer to compare how many babies are killed each year worldwide, and not just in America, before we think the deaths of poverty and abortion are so ponderously one-sided.

    One other thing, 11 million died because of poverty. Perhaps even, you could argue, because we do not do enough. (Either way, tragic and unacceptable.) But, Matt, we chose to kill that other 1 million. We voted. We walked into clinics. We shunned and disowned our pregnant daughters and stole away their options.

    Abortion and poverty are evils. Torturing prisoners is an evil. And we need to care about each of these issues – be Christ where we are when confronted with whatever issue we are confronted. But let’s not turn away from the abortion issue because its suddenly so unpopular, so hidden. Or because it’s supported by brothers and sisters who embarrass us.

    It would be wise for believers to begin doing even more in these other areas – to begin being a louder voice for the poor and the stranger and alien. To visit the prisoner, rather than torture him. We can work to do all of these things as well as speak out about the intrinsic value and dignity of life, from conception to death. And perhaps we can have an Obama, someday soon, who is also pro-life.

  • Nick

    Matt Scott, I’m glad you brought up poverty. Let’s discuss it. But I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that because we have been discussing abortion, that we are narrowly focused on it. To me, your comment seems to imply that we (the ones who have commented about abortion) don’t care much about poverty, but are only concerned about abortion.

  • Chris

    Isn’t Acts 2 and the “common” sharing of those early Christ followers a step away from communism?? Isn’t our tithing, offerings, and gift-giving in the church a ‘re-distribution’ of wealth?

  • http://www.davidwierzbicki.com/blog David

    I love these thoughtful words from Karen Armstrong..
    “The one and only test of a valid religious idea, doctrinal statement, spiritual experience, or devotional practice was that it must lead directly to practical compassion. If your understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathetic, and impelled you to express this sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology. But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, or self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God’s name, it was bad theology.”

  • http://paulsponderings.blogspot.com Paul Steele

    This is been an interesting discussion. It is very clear that there are different ideas of what the role of government should be. Personally I would like to see less government in the lives of people. I think that, more than anything, would free people to be charitable.

    I also would like to point out to Chris that in no way what the the early Church did in Acts like communism. Communism is forced by government, but the early Christians were compelled by the Holy Spirit to give. They weren’t even expected to give, but they gave as the felt they needed to give. Look at what Peter said to Ananias in Acts 5. The land and the money was at their disposal to use how they saw fit, they were not forced to sell and give the money. Compassion happens when we choose to give not when we are forced to give. Again that is the difference between tithes and offerings and taxation. Taxes are taken from us, but offerings are given.

    I for one don’t what the government forcing me to be compassionate, I want to be compassionate because I have chosen to be compassionate. Apparently not everyone agrees with that idea.

  • http://www.themattscott.com Matt Scott

    Nick @ 64

    My statement of a narrow focus was more towards conservatives, not necessarily this group here.

    I know from my discussions with friends and family (most of whom are conservatives) they can boil an election down to two deciding factors, abortion and homosexuality. I realize that if you’re reading Tony J, you probably have more of an open mind, but lets be honest, the topic of Abortion is to often the deciding factor.

  • Timbo

    Matt Scott @ 68

    Too often? Abortion is a non-negotiable. The thing is, though, we all have non-negotiables. Things that rule a candidate out. Would you vote for a racist? A segregationist? A person who takes bribes? A person who thinks it’s fun to torture animals?

    Conservatives include those who support abortion on that list.

  • Nick

    Timbo, that was a great point. Everyone has non-negotiables – but when abortion and/or gay marriage are non-negotiables for some conservatives, liberals often try to portray this as in a negative light as narrowly focused, without concern from broader issues of social justice, envrionmentalism, etc. We could make more progress if liberals debated the issues of abortion and homosexual marriage with conservatives, rather than disengenuously condemn conservatives for sincerely having non-negotiables.

  • Korey

    In my attempts to persuade friends and acquaintances about Obama, I have sometimes led with the first excerpt Tony shared from his new book about the cancellation of Crossfire and the left/right farce. I think I’m drawn to Obama for similar reasons that I’m drawn to the emerging conversation.

    I have thought dismissively in years past about those who have non-negotiable issues. I no longer think that way. It doesn’t mean lack of concern for other issues (though sometimes it may whether liberal or conservative). I know a family that has protested abortion several times outside the Supreme Court, but then they also frequently volunteer in a soup kitchen. My own views on abortion are less settled or certain, but for those who consider abortion to be murder, it doesn’t surprise me that it is non-negotiable.

    Also, there was an article that was in December’s Atlantic Magazine by Andrew Sullivan about Obama. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200712/obama

  • Ben

    Nick,

    “If war and harsh interrogation techniques are intended to protect our citizens and innocent people around the world, how is this selfish?”

    You can’t “protect” by breaking God’s law. That’s simply not acceptable.

    “If limiting the government’s role in providing healthcare, and thus lowering taxes, is intended to encourage personal responsbility and to give people to more freedom to use their income the way they want to, how is this selfish?”

    Lower taxes aren’t going to help people get health care. It’s simply too expensive. You’d rather people simply die than pay a little more in taxes?

    “If building a fence on the US-Mexico border is intended to protect our citizens from bad people (i.e. criminals, terrorists, etc.) that could come into our country illegally and unknowingly”

    I’m beyond bored with the “terrorists” argument. It’s an excuse for all kinds of despicable behavior. Don’t fantasize for a second that you can somehow prevent a determined person from enacting terror here or anywhere in the world. Please, go down to the Mexican border and tell the hungry that they can’t come in because a bad guy might come in as well. In case you haven’t noticed, there are thousands of ways into this country. There’s no reason to make a wall between the wealthy and the hungry and pretend it’s about keeping the terrorists out. It’s about being greedy.

    “make sure there is a fair and orderly system for people to legally immigrate into our country”

    There’s little that’s fair about it. It is full of quotas that were politically determined for the purpose of making the people that are already in happy. We have no right to protect our wealth in this entirely selfish manner. The only reason for such limits is selfishness.

    Jesus never promised us safety or security. We should not break God’s law in order to try to give them to ourselves.

    I understand that it’s not what the world tells us, but it’s what Jesus tells us. He was so contrary to the world that the disciples repeatedly failed to understand what He meant.

  • Ben

    Timbo – I have no idea what you’re saying.

  • http://shanevanderhart.wordpress.com Shane Vander Hart

    As likeable as Senator Obama is, and as inspiring as his speeches are I could never vote for him because of his position on abortion. That isn’t my only issue, but it is primary.

    I know that the sanctity of life doesn’t just encompass the abortion issue, but the unborn are voiceless if we don’t stand up for them.

    That said, I do appreciate the tone of the Obama campaign.

  • Nick

    I think we could provide healthcare for everyone voluntarily through charitible organizations, churches, and other associations, and by encouraging competition between healthcare providers, driving down prices. One reason not to support universal healthcare is that the system should encourage people to set aside money in case of a health emergency and not rely on everyone else to pay for their health needs. For instance, why should I be forced to pay for the healthcare of somone who chooses to smoke cigarettes despite knowing the risks? But I support the use of taxes to pay for the healthcare of children (such as in Obama’s plan) because their health problems are generally not their fault, being mostly dependent on their parents.

    Why should the rich be taxed at a higher rate in order to benefit the poor? If we want a society based on fairness, shouldn’t all pay an equal percentage of their income (or of their purchases according the the Fair Tax)? Shouldn’t the poor be encouraged not to rely on others, but instead work hard so that they can provide for themselves? How does universal healthcare support personal responsibility and productivity? If we want to take away money from the wealthy to give it to the poor, why don’t we just follow this line of reasoning further and make everyone equally wealthy in order to elminate poverty and inequality? The concept of the federal governement taking money from the rich to give it to the poor seems to me a slippery slope from capitalism to socialism to communism.

  • Daustin

    Why even worry about what leader comes to power? Aren’t there more important things to Christians, something Jesus said about making disciples…?

    Christ did not commission Christians to be involved politcally but to be involved personally. Remember what happened when the Roman Church was both the political and religious powerhouse of the 5th through 15th Centuries?

    Build people’s faith in Christ, not faith in your candidate.

  • Nick

    Though making disciples of Jesus is important, doesn’t Jesus call us to be involved politically by calling us to love our neighbor as ourselves because political issues significantly impact peoples’ lives. Can’t an active political life be part of obeying the Great Commandment? Being politically invovled does not necessarily mean you have shifted your faith away from Christ and onto a political figure or group.

  • http://www.iamjoshbrown.com/blog josh

    how the hell did you get 77 comments by mentioning obama. i go out of town for a few days and come back to a comment thread that i can’t even catch up on? this moves you from casual blogger to elite status.

  • http://www.faithprogression.com Mike L.

    It is super tuesday and I’m about to go vote for Obama. It is an exciting day.

    For all those that think Jesus message was personal and not public, you are missing the point. If Jesus message was personal then he would never have been killed by the empire. He was a political revolutionary! He was running for office in the only way a 1st century peasant could run for office. He was attempting to be the messiah. That is a pretty big office. The only difference is that there were no elections. You had to march to the capital, flip off the Roman Governor, and stage a protest in the temple. Those are the kind of things that get you killed.

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  • anniebullock

    well…no one has said it so I will: i think your attitude toward Senator Clinton is sexist. You suggest here that she would be an ineffectual leader–as Pelosi is–and that because she’s polarizing. Your comparison with Pelosi reveals the source of controversy: both are women. Either women are necessarily polarizing or these two are doing it “wrong” somehow. Either way, their femaleness is here used as an (indirect) reason not to support them.

    My question for you is do we wait for our cultural hatred of women to subside so that women can hold positions of power? Frankly, I’m a little tired of waiting.

    I’m sure I’ll get skinned alive here and told it’s Sen. Clinton, not her femaleness that is the problem but I’ve got to call it like I see it. And what you said in the post above, the comparison with Pelosi, and your rationale for why Sen. Clinton would be a poor president..? Sexist.

  • http://www.precipicemagazine.com Darren King

    Wow,

    Tony- sexist? Don’t think so. Really, really, don’t think so. What a bizarre, unfair, and completely unwarranted accusation.

    Careful where and when you asign blame, anniebullock.

    You wouldn’t want us calling you a racist if you support Clinton over Obama, would you?

  • Nick

    I doubt Tony is sexist in his opposition to Hillary. He probably just sees attributes in Obama that he likes. But I think we sometimes have underlying sexist attitudes that we don’t even realize. I have met many conservative Christians who believe men are designed by God to be natural leaders compared to women. They believe men are supposed to be leaders in the household and the church. I would guess that the majority of evangelicals view (whether conciously or subconciously) women as weaker than men regarding leadership, which is sexism.

  • http://marciaford.blogspot.com Marcia Ford

    Oh my. See, this is why I don’t tell anyone who I’m voting for. Not since McGovern, anyway. The thing is, people start to see you through one grid: sexist, racist, pro-abortion, you name it. I’m an independent voter, and I’m affiliated with two independent voter groups. Neither one endorses candidates. We keep our focus on political reform, believing that until the system is reformed, we won’t see the kind of change this country needs.

    Electing a president is no simple matter in the face of our complex political and social problems. I would hope that any thinking voter, especially a Christian voter, has already considered his or her own personal bias regarding race, gender, and the like, and will decide on the best candidate for the job, period. And yes, pray about it.

    ~~Marcia Ford, author of “We the Purple: Faith, Politics, and the Independent Voter”

  • http://www.thedowngrade2007.blogspot.com Pastorboy

    If Obama is elected, would that make this an…Obama Nation?

  • http://www.precipicemagazine.com Darren King

    anniebullock,

    I’d like to see you own up as a follower of Christ and admit that your accusation of Tony being sexist was unwarranted and irresponsible.

    How about it?

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  • http://www.tbushrecording.com Tim Bushong

    Wow- I can’t believe that I’m reading how Christians want to continue to empower the government to break the 8th commandment (no stealing), politically endorse a man who is in FAVOR of legalized baby-killing, a man who has also proposed to give (GIVE) a certain percentage of the USA’s GNP to alleviate poverty world-wide (it hasn’t worked so far- let’s try the same thing again), and to top it all off, no one has answered Joe Troyer and Karen Butler’s question regarding Ron Paul. The one person in this ENTIRE race who actually has legitimate and biblical (and Constitutional) answers to all these issues- and what do we get from this blog? Abject silence.

    Forget about sexism, race (gag- enough already), rhetoric (“Change! Change!”), and all the other pollyanna nonsense that accompanies politics- there is no such thing as a free lunch, and until you have a grasp on biblical economics you will continue to try to spend your way into prosperity. Doesn’t work- can’t work- and God has the good ol’ USA under judgement as we speak. We will all stand before Him as our works are judged by His penetrating Word- can you honestly say that you can defend lawbreaking (His law, not just ours) as a way to justice?

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  • Jana

    @ Tim Bushong

    The one person in this ENTIRE race who actually has legitimate and biblical (and Constitutional) answers to all these issues- and what do we get from this blog? Abject silence.

    ALL AMERICANS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS, SAD BUT TRUE.

    We will all stand before Him as our works are judged by His penetrating Word- can you honestly say that you can defend lawbreaking (His law, not just ours) as a way to justice?

    SO WHAT DO WE DO, NOT VOTE. EVERY CANDIDATE IS FLAWED AND HAS SINNED AND IS PROBABLY STILL SINNING, FOR WE FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD.

  • http://www.tbushrecording.com Tim Bushong

    91 Jana

    @ Tim Bushong

    The one person in this ENTIRE race who actually has legitimate and biblical (and Constitutional) answers to all these issues- and what do we get from this blog? Abject silence.

    ALL AMERICANS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS, SAD BUT TRUE.

    Huh? I’m not following the chain of reasoning here. What does the rest of America’s spiritual state have to do with our faithfulness to Christ?

    We will all stand before Him as our works are judged by His penetrating Word- can you honestly say that you can defend lawbreaking (His law, not just ours) as a way to justice?

    SO WHAT DO WE DO, NOT VOTE. EVERY CANDIDATE IS FLAWED AND HAS SINNED AND IS PROBABLY STILL SINNING, FOR WE FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD.

    No- you vote, work, play (“whatever you do, whether in word or deed”) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And do it in obedience to His commands.

  • Ken V

    I’m not trying to be harsh when I write this, but I just don’t see how any informed Christian can vote for Senator Obama given his willingness not only to ensure the continuation of pro-abortion policies, but who has in the past argued strongly to deny life-saving medical care to babies who survive abortions. When he was in the Illinois state senate, he vigorously argued in favor of a bill that would deny medical care to babies who survived abortions. This would leave innocent, helpless babies to die – all in support of some perverse ideal of absolute individual autonomy for adults – and at the expense of live, helpless infants.

    What evidence is there that he has changed his position? What sort of people do you think he will appoint to the Supreme Court?

    In light of this, I just cannot imagine why any Christian would support such a candidate when there is also at the same time a credible, qualified candidate running who has been consistently pro-life.

    I would respectfully urge any Christian to reconsider their support of Obama.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith DeRose

    When he was in the Illinois state senate, he vigorously argued in favor of a bill that would deny medical care to babies who survived abortions.

    The transcript of that is here (at pp. 85-87):
    http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans92/ST033001.pdf

    How “vigorously” he’s arguing is each reader’s own call to make. It’s the nature of the argument that’s important. Obama is arguing that the bill under consideration in unconstitutional and will be struck down by the courts as such. He expresses a willingness to compromise on a bill that would address the situation but would also pass “constitutional muster.”

    I just cannot imagine why any Christian would support such a candidate when there is also at the same time a credible, qualified candidate running who has been consistently pro-life.

    I can’t speak for Tony, but many Christians fear that the election of the “consistently pro-life” candidate you speak of will result in many, many more needless deaths in Iraq, and they realize that while the President has little control over what happens on the abortion front, s/he has great control over what wars we fight & how.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith DeRose

    First: I’d like to elaborate on that last part of my above comment (#94). I realize that to those for whom the criminalization of abortion is the dominant political priority, it makes sense to focus attention on the office of the president. They want to overturn Roe, and the President appoints new Supreme Court justices (subject to Senate approval). So they might take issue with my saying that the president has “little control” here: He has more control than anybody they might vote for or against. I’m not making the case that their focus makes no sense, but, in response to Ken V’s comment (#94), I’m explaining why voting for Obama can also make sense for other Christians. Here, the issue of comparative levels of control is key. For while the president may have more influence than any other elected official over the criminalization of abortion, his influence there is still extremely limited as compared with the realm of waging war, where the president’s power is immense.

    Second: I’d like to emphasize that in my above comment (#94), I was just explaining one of the possible rationales that Christian voters might have for choosing Obama, and I didn’t mean to be implying that that’s the only sensible reason Christians might have. Other Christians might sensibly think in a very different way. Many others, for instance, just aren’t convinced that criminalization is the best way to approach the abortion issue, and so are not “pro-life” as that term is used in our nation’s political debates.

    [Explanation: As I understand that use (particularly as it's used by "pro-lifers" themselves), "pro-life" means pro-criminalization. No matter how committed one might be to stopping abortions by other means (moral persuasion, providing & supporting alternatives to abortion, the promotion of contraception and/or abstinence, whatever), if you don't approve of and support efforts to criminalize abortion (probably because you don't think criminalization is the best way to go), you will not be counted as "pro-life," while someone who does nothing against abortion other than consistently support (however non-energetically: simply voting the "correct" way when occasions present themselves suffices) efforts to criminalize abortion does count as "pro-life." **Please** note that I'm here just trying to explain what the term seems to mean, and am not implying anything like that Obama works tirelessly to prevent abortions by other means, or that McCain is not very energetic in his support of criminalization. I'm just using extreme examples of possible people to illustrate the point that "pro-life" seems to mean pro-criminalization as it's used in our political debates.]

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith DeRose

    in response to Ken V’s comment (#94),

    Oops. That should be: #93

  • http://benburch.blogspot.com Ben

    I just, I’m baffled that so many Christians say over and over again “I just don’t know how any christian can support obama when he supports abortion.”

    What about other life issues? Do you REALLY think a Christian can support those?

    You see here is the actual issue. War and capital punishment are issues we can nip in the bud, and cannot stand for. However, abortion, is not the MAIN problem, the MAIN problem is unwanted pregnancies, right? If there were no unwanted pregnancies, there would be no more abortion right? Obama has clearly made a promise to actively work to see an end to poverty at a near date, and education is a huge part of his agenda. If we can EDUCATE our kids better and get rid of this nonsense bullshit of “only gov’t funding if you teach ONLY abstinence.” Our kids need taught abstinence FIRST, AND contraceptives. Obama is a STAUNCH supporter of the FAMILY teaching values to their kids. You give our children in the poorer areas a good education and a hope for a future and abortions will most certainly decline DRASTICALLY. Eventually, because of a better education for our poor, eventually they will cease high drop-out rates, get into colleges and NOT need race-based scholarships, will get good jobs, getting rid of the need of welfare, and once poverty is gone, and education is quality across the board, abortion will be gone with no help from the courts. Why do people not see this? I know that’s an “idealistic” appraoch, but the FACT is that all of this MUST START with a complete overhaul of our inner city public schools and getting them all the proper funding.

    Sociologically the largest contributor to single motherhood and unwanted pregnancy is wealth (or lack there of) which usually you can follow and find a low quality of education. Fix those and abortion will be taken care of.

  • http://benburch.blogspot.com Ben

    oh yea i forgot, making laws against rap music would be great too. It is tearing apart our inner cities and teaching them the WRONG way out of poverty, and into jail. See, i’m not completely liberal.

  • http://catholicbiblestudent.com Mark

    “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”
    -Thomas Sowell, http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3864

    “Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.” -http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html

    Abortions per day in USA: 3,700 (abortionno.org)
    US Casualties in Iraq War to date: 4,124 (icasualties.com)
    Abortions since beginning of Iraq War 3/31/03: 7,196,500

    Do the math. Obama has made clear he will sign every piece of pro-abortion legislation that comes to his desk and appoint pro-abortion justices to the Supreme Court who will never overturn Roe v. Wade. Every unjust death is tragic, but the holocaust of abortion far outweighs the Iraq War and our nation’s need for a unifying leader.

  • Wendy

    I’m sorry but I just think Mr. Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing…he has to many very liberal acquaintances and I feel his – well he is a puppet as well as the rest – interests will not be positive for this country but could very well take his change in the wrong direction. Plus the fact that he has NO experience in leading for this very serious and difficult position.

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  • SamG

    Obama the uniter, us using the race card with the Hispanic. Saying that McCain is against them by taking things out of context. At least we have Obama’s pastor promise, that Obama is only saying what people want to hear now in order to get elected, then Obama will return to his Preacher’s racist theology of destroying white people in order to uplift black people. Oprah had good sense to leave that church, but Obama didn’t because he believed what his racist pastor preached.

  • http://www.mobiuslounge.com Tom

    So, after all this time…who is the real Obama? Do we even know him? There’s the shiny and polished rhetoric that seems to have caught people’s ears. I mean, puppies are cute, babies smell good, warm cookies with milk is great, and world peace at the drop of a good heart to heart talk with your enemy would be great. But, talk is just that…a bunch of hooey, especially when the other side knows that talking is your primary weapon of choice.

    My only question is: who is the real Obama? I think the media’s not done its homework. Oh, I forgot, it all died after drinking the kool aid.

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  • http://politicsofjoy.blogspot.com kimber

    some of the comments here are amazing… others… well, never mind.

    i do want to echo the sentiments of Darren in #40:

    Did it ever occur to you that our prayerful, thoughtful, biblically-informed consideration might bring us to different conclusions than you?

    I have had so many people making assumptions that I am not educating myself thoroughly before I made the decison to vote for Obama. This vote, for me, goes against 24 years of marching lockstep with the Republicans. I just can’t do it another year!

    As far as the abortion issue goes, it also galls me that people think that the Republicans should get four more years to do NOTHING!

    Matthew 25 is an excellent resource of information. Here is a link: http://prolifeproobama.com/

  • Lula

    I can not believe that you christians, or should i say, you hypocrites, and may I add you racist people are so narrowminded. They have been so many Demacratic Presidents over the years that was also Pro choice. I did not hear you hypocrites calling them names and putting them down. I know the reason you are putting Obama down is because he is black I think hate is worth than someone having an abortion. When you hate someone because of the color of their skin. that is racist Mr Obama is half white, and was raised by his white mother and white grandparents, that means he may think like all of you racist white people, but I certainly hope not. I hope he thinks like his black half and we all will be alright.Because black people do not hate. We were taught better and have more moral and values than you Racist Whites.

  • Patrick

    Wow, talk about prescient. Impressive, Nick.

    Nick February 1, 2008 at 2:53 am
    Tony, no! Barack would be a terrible president, compared to the Republican candidates. I grant you that he is a uniter and would be an excellent diplomat with his charm and smooth talking, but he falls far short on many issues. We need a candidate with Barack’s personal qualities, but not his positions on important issues.

    1) He wants to take more money away from people and redistribute it so that everyone can have healthcare. That is not the government’s proper role. Universal healthcare is not a human right that governments should provide.

    2) He would not do less to reduce abortions than the republic candidates, indicated by his voting record and statements. He supports the killing of innocent life. This should not appeal to anyone who values human life (if they consider a fetus a human life worth saving). He also support embryonic stem cell research, which involves the killing of young humans (embryos).

    3) He also is for the death penalty. The death penalty does not deter murder and can put to death innocent people by mistake.

    4) He does not support the use of torture (or harsh treatment, whatever you want to call it) to save innocent lives. In certain circumstance, harsh interrogation techniques such as water-boarding can be the moral option because it may be necessary to save innocent lives (as they have done in the past). He also is against wiretapping, which can save innocent lives, and can be done responsibly.

    5) He supports a path of citizenship for illegal immigrants (and drivers’ licences). Rewarding people for committing crimes is usually a bad idea! The rule of law needs to be enforced. From all indications, Obama would not seal the borders – he says he will but has not set forth a plan. Its plainly not fair to allow illegals a path to citizenship, bypassing people around the world who have been waiting for years to legally immigrate and become citizens. His policies on illegal immigration would encourage more illegal immigration.

    6) He supports a phased-withdrawal from Iraq. We need to provide security for Iraq, no matter how long it takes. We started a war there and it is our responsibility to provide security until their police and military can provide it. His policy is irresponsible and would lead to more innocent Iraqi deaths.

    7) He is against drilling in ANWR. ANWR is a huge land area with natural resource we can sustainably obtain. Obviously, Barack is a tree-hugger. Oil is not evil. Global warming is complicated. We can capture CO2 and store in in deep sedimentary basins anyway. We need that oil!! Gas is getting expensive!!!

    Barack is young and inexperienced in critical areas. For example, he as not had much experience in foreign policy.

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