Archive for October, 2012

Election 2012: Abortion Considered

In my desire to vote with a clear conscience and a sincere faith and in my desire to help Christians to be thoughtful voters, I have looked into the topic of abortion in order to discover the history of each candidates’ position on the matter. I have commented briefly about the Christian perspective on abortion in a previous post. I will not rehash that discussion here, although the comment section is certainly open to discussing that topic.

Now let me share this as well. My source for gaining an understanding of what each candidate has said and how each candidate has voted is this: The website seems to present information from a neutral position in order to fairly inform the voter; however, if someone has substantial, provable information otherwise, I would hear it.

First, consider Romney. I invite you to look historically at his voting record on abortion, his quotes concerning abortion, and the timeline that On the Issues provides. My brief an initial summary is this. Over the last two decades, Romney claims to have shifted personally from a moderate pro-choice position to a moderate pro-life position. Neither his former nor his current position should be labeled extreme from what I understand and read. This is his personal position. However, what is not as clear is his public position. While he states that the reversal of Roe v. Wade would be a great day in America, he also states on numerous occasions that he thinks that the federal government should stay out of the conversation on abortion.  Thus, conservatives who expect Romney to go “guns-ablazin'” into the White House and move the federal government to make substantial changes with regard to abortion are jaded. He is truly a conservative, which means that he believes that smaller government is better and that the federal government should not be legislating things that touch the personal lives of Americans – such as this personal decision of a family and their physician. States, local governments, doctors, and patients should figure this out on their own. What’s interesting is that both Gingrich and Santorum called out Romney for this approach at the state level in Massachusetts.

Consider incumbent President Barack Obama. There are no secrets here. I learned that he seems to favor preventative approaches to unplanned pregnancies; however, his personal and public pattern regarding post-conception approaches to ending pregnancies can only be described as murderous. As part of the Democratic party, he views the role of federal government very differently than Governor Romney. Obama believes that the federal government must legislate in order to provide freedom for the American people; for Obama, this includes legally securing a woman’s right to choose life or death for an unborn child in almost any circumstance. Further, he is on record as standing against protective rights for babies born alive after failed abortion attempts.

So, Romney is personally converted to a pro-life stance, and somewhat neutral in the public arena of federal legislation, in hopes of leaving such decisions in the hands of citizens and possibly local governments. Obama’s personal and public positions are located far left on the liberal spectrum. He believes the federal government must secure the right to choose for the individual citizen. So, the real difference here seems to be the difference between Romney and Obama and the role of the federal government and its involvement in the abortion issue.

Here’s a helpful question, I think. With his neutral stance on the federal government’s role on this issue, will Romney overturn any previous legislation that he feels attributes too much power to the federal government on the abortion discussion? Will it be a battle to which he commits?

In addition and for those interested, you can read the position of the Mormon LDS on abortion here:

Please pray for God’s mercy on our nation. We have become murderous, violent, and numb in our quest for convenience – both in our hearts and in our actions. We need a fresh wind from God to blow through our nation more than anything.

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Quoting Bonhoeffer #12

On September 23 the parents heard their son preach on a theme central to him throughout his life, supporting the accurately earthly, incarnational aspect of the Christian faith against the Gnostic or dualistic idea that the body is inferior to the soul or spirit. “God wants to see human beings,” he said, “not ghosts who shun the world.” He said that in “the whole of world history there is always only one really significant hour – the present. . . . [I]f you want to find eternity, you must serve the times.” His words presaged what he would write to his fiancée from his prison cell years later: “Our marriage must be a ‘yes’ to God’s earth. It must strengthen our result to do and accomplish something on earth. I fear that Christians who venture to stand on earth on only one leg will stand in heaven on only one legged too.” In another letter to her he wrote that “human beings were taken from the earth and don’t just consist of thin air and thoughts” [Metaxas in Bonhoeffer, 80-81].

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Quoting Bonhoeffer #11

Anyone who has gone through graduate school can feel the truth of this statement:

It is quite a remarkable experience for one to see work and life really come together – a synthesis which we all looked for in our student days, but hardly managed to find. . . . It gives the work value and the worker an objectivity, a recognition of his own limitations, such as can only be gained in real life [Metaxas in Bonhoeffer, 80].

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