Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama, Abortion & Young Evangelicals

There is a pretty heated discussion over on Tony Jones blog about this very topic.

If I understand the commentators correctly...

The Obama supporters think that his presidency will actually reduce abortions even though Obama is a strong Freedom of Choice Act supporter. They feel that Bush has done nothing to lower the amount of abortions and that by not developing a stronger economy and by not helping the poor he has contributed to more unwanted pregnancies.

The McCain supporters think that McCain will continue to nominate conservative justices and will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. They believe that Bush has helped the cause by appointing conservative justices and has taken a strong stand on stem cell research.

Again, I'll ask a question I asked all the way back in February about Obama and abortion.

How can a person who believes that abortion is morally wrong justify voting for a person who believes abortion can be morally acceptable?

This is an honest question. I really am interested in people that are holding to this view.

8 comments:

Jacob said...

The same reason a person who believes preemptive strikes is wrong can vote for someone who advocates that.

Travis Penn said...

If I follow your reasoning correctly - this is kind of a good outweighs the bad scenario.

Which we probably all have to vote this way at some time or another.

What good would outweigh the bad of a preemptive strike?

What good would outweigh the bad of abortion in America?

Thanks for chiming in.

Jacob said...

Not quite sure there is any good that outweighs the bad of abortion.

You see the disillusionment with the way a stereotypical fundie republican thinks though--abortion is wrong, so I'm republican, and republicans are right, democrats are sinful. Even though republicans obviously do not have everything figured out.

It's not like people like Tony Jones and young adults are saying abortion is ok. They're not. It is upsetting for them to think that the GOP would use abortion as a "you have to vote for us because it's your moral obligation" card. They are looking at what the party is actually doing to decrease the number of abortions. They feel like the Bush admin has not done much and is fighting a battle they're not going to win (Roe vs Wade).

So since Obama says he wants to decrease the number of abortions, and he uses evidence like the number of abortions during Clinton's term was less than Bush's term, people (even YA evangelicals) listen.

From my observation, this is the vein of thinking from YA evangelicals.

Jeff Myers said...

I've been wrestling with this lately. For example (and I'm not saying this is the current situation, just a hypothetical situation) do you vote for a someone you believe to be a good man, an honest man, and that shows tremendous leadership skills, but is pro-choice? Or, as a Christian, do you vote for someone who claims to have similar theology and moral standards, but appears to be a weak leader, often dishonest, and is pro-life?

I still believe that the best Christian isn't always (and some would say "isn't usually") the best leader. I believe it's entirely possible for a candidate to be an incredible person of faith, and a horrible candidate for president.

I'm not going to say which candidate I'm supporting. I believe both are good men, but both have hang-ups that Christians need to wrestle with and pray about.

Travis Penn said...

I guess I'm in a similar spot. I agree that the person of faith may not always be the best leader. And I'm also tired of people thinking that Evangelical Christian is the same thing as Republican.

On the flip side, when I think about the abortion issue it seems so strong to me that I have a hard time looking at the other issues.

I guess what I'd like to hear (even hypothetically) are the reasons why pro-life evangelicals might vote for a pro-choice candidate of either party at any level of office.

So one reason might be that the candidate is a "stronger" leader.

Another reason some have expressed is that there may be less abortions with Obama in office. So even though he is ok with Choice, the practical outcome is better.

What other reasons would be used to "justify" voting against your own personal position on abortion?

Thanks again for all the comments.

Jacob said...

Here's another question. Why shouldn't people who aren't Christians have the choice of whether or not to do wrong? Why should we as Christians tell non Christians that they have to do something we feel is morally in line with the Bible? This is a question, so please don't call me a heretic. :-)

Travis Penn said...

I won't be bringing you to council anytime soon. ;)

I've thought the same thing. When do you hold unbelievers to a believer's standard?

It appears to be the same truth/grace tension. We talked about this in our UnChristian study this morning. We have to stand for truth, but we must demonstrate love in action. It's so hard to find the right balance sometimes.

I am really excited though, our study group has set out a project to DO something for somebody, not just talk about it.

Jeff Myers said...

Honestly, Christian voters who see things so black and white really dodged a bullet. With McCain being the "moderate" he is and the potential of Guiliani being on the ticket at one time, it was entirely plausible that we would have two candidates who are both pro-choice. This WILL eventually happen, so what will be the Christian response? Hide our heads in the sand and not vote?