Monday, October 27, 2008

How pro-life voters like me justify an Obama vote

Newsweek did the heavy-lifting on this one. This article, The Catholic Case for Obama, articulates why pro-lifers are moving toward Obama and away from the GOP which has traditionally "owned" the pro-life vote. George Weigel wrote an essay last week that suggested a vote for Obama would contradict a pro-life viewpoint. This week's article is the rebuttal. Here are a few snippets that stand out to me:
In the closing weeks of this election, abortion is among the crucial issues for Catholic voters, but promoting a culture of life is necessarily interconnected with a family wage, universal health care and, yes, better parenting and education of our youth. This greater appreciation for the totality of Catholic teaching is at the very heart of the Obama campaign; it is scarcely a McCain footnote.

In a perfect world, the pro-life argumentation of George Weigel is unassailable. He counsels having constitutional law align absolutely with the defense of innocent human life; to which we say, "Amen." The problem for Weigel is that even our collective "Amen" will not make it so. In the meantime, millions of children are being aborted.

Mr. Weigel is an intellectual and for him it's a simple matter of accessing the objective truth of the human person as explicated in Catholic natural law and saying, "Follow me." For 35 years, however, pro-lifers have followed that intellectual siren call, asking the Supreme Court on multiple occasions to reverse Roe v. Wade. We have no objection to pursuing this legal avenue, which does not depend on who occupies the White House—though we have no illusions about it, either. The legal path has not worked to date, and it may never work.

The church asks its faithful to find meaningful—not hypothetical—ways to promote human life. While getting the law and philosophy right might eventually do that, it does bring up the question: What are you doing for the cause of life now? The McCain answer: not much.

(snip)

By contrast, Obama does make provision for universal health care and recognizes abortion for what it is: a tragic moral choice often confronted by a woman in adverse economic and social circumstances (without spouse, without steady income, without employment prospects, and a particularly stigmatic and cumbersome adoption procedure). Obama proposes to reduce the incidence of abortion by helping pregnant women overcome the ill effects of poverty that block a choice of life. A range of new studies–using U.S. rather than Swedish data–affirm this approach.
To me this is the crux of why I can no longer support a slogan of pro-life versus the real meaning of those words. I am pro-life - pro babies being born, pro-children getting educations (educations of parody, not rich suburban educations versus impoverished war zones disguised as schools for the inner city poor), pro-women getting the information and resources they need to govern their sexual lives, pro-families having the resources to provide medical care to their children, and so on.

The Republican party has acted as though "believing in a plank" called pro-life is the same as actually fostering a culture of life, as being those who see others as valuable. It intrigues me a lot that when I canvass I hear Republicans say they can't vote for Obama because of abortion (they care about protecting the unborn!), but then they turn around and say that they don't want the democratic platform because it would "force them to care" about the underprivileged (whom they see as dead weight on our economy). So apparently, for some of them, human beings are precious in the womb, but once they've emerged, they're on their own.

Many of us are saying, "Not this time."

16 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks for the link Julie.. good article.. articulates why so many of us are embracing a new definition of being pro-life.. not that everyone agrees with it :)

fever dream said...

I agree...

So many times I have noticed that people who loudly protest abortion simultaneously vote for people giving the wealthy tax breaks, slashing government funding for programs for those less fortunate, and totally for the death penalty and the war. It reeks of hypocrisy.

It's refreshing that not all pro life people think that way.

Matthew 25 Network said...

Great post.... we included a snippet here:

http://www.matthew25.org/blog.htm

Cheryl said...

Nicely articulated.

CalledByTheKing said...

" a new defenition of pro-life"??? Pro-life encompasses a lot-there is no 'new definition' But you sure as heck ain't pro-life if you would support legalized murder. So maybe you just aren't really pro-life....
McCain might not end up doing much for the pro-life cause at all, but at least things might stay the same. If Obama is elected things will get much worse. And hopefully y'all know better, but every other human right depends on the right to life! this is really shocking for me to actually see Catholic Christians( so-called) supporting Obama when you know his stance on killing babies. Not only killing unborn babies, but killing the ones that survived the 'attempted murder' too! I mean really... do you actually believe someone who is so anti-life. Someone who has such evil views like Obama would make America any better...the answer is no. And it's not "hypocrisy" to stand for life no matter what the cost. There is a huge difference between murdering an innocent baby and punishing a murderer or defending your country.I don't think anyone likes those things like war or the death penalty, but at least we are smart enough to know the difference! If anyone who supports Obama claims to be a Christian thay need to seriously look into what a Christian really is! I'll be praying for y'all!

julieunplugged said...

Aubrey, thanks for coming to my blog. It's great to see your passion for these issues (at 17, that's impressive!). I've worked with Operation Rescue, donated to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, have five of my own children and have cared passionately about the pro-life agenda for over 30 years.

You don't know much about Senator Obama. I recommend you read his book The Audacity of Hope. You may still disagree with him, but you can't say he is campaigning to increase abortions. McCain doesn't show much caring at all about women or babies.

There is no "Christian" vote. There is a vote of conscience. I can't in good conscience pretend that the Republican platform is pro-life. It no longer is. It is a charade to get votes.

Kansas Bob said...

"There is no "Christian" vote. There is a vote of conscience."

Well said Julie.. I am so tired of people insinuating that voting for Obama is analogous to sinning.

CalledByTheKing said...

I agree that there is no "Christian" vote. But as a Christian I still would never vote for someone with such anti-christian, anti-life views.You're right , I don't know an awful lot about Obama, but I think I know enough about his views on abortion and the pro-life cause. I'm surprised that after everything you've done for the pro-life cause that you would support Obama!
I also agree w/ you that it's no use to pretend that the Republican party is as pro-life as they say.
In that case I would vote on my principles. Even if it means voting for someone who prob. won't be elected. At least that way I would know that I had not voted in someone like Obama who does not believe in the sanctity of life and who could( prob. will) do great harm to the pro-life cause! As a Christian, asking another Christian....What do you believe Jesus thinks about the murder of innocent babies or the people that support murdering babies? Do you seriously think He would support your decision to vote a man into office who strongly believes in this right to kill the innocent? Cause ater all, if you vote for Him, you are helping him in his cause to stop other women from being "punished" w/ a baby. His solution- one you obviously support by supporting him- is to brutally murder them! How can you, claiming to be a Christian support someone like this?

Kansas Bob said...

Aubrey, have you ever thought about the idea that only one candidate has ever publicly confessed Christ? Both have had plenty of opportunity to do so but only one has even said the name of Jesus out loud. Just a different thought for your consideration.. if you are interested in a Christian perspective.

CalledByTheKing said...

Hi Bob. Thanks for inviting me to consider this thought. And yes, I am def. interested in a Christian perspective, since as a Christian I'm trying to follow Him. :) Well, here's my opinion....If you're saying Obama has publically confessed Christ that makes no difference to me, except to offend me.
How dare a baby murderer claims to have anything to do w/ Christ! I'd rather they not mention His name at all if their beliefs are so contradictory to Jesus and His message. I'm not so easiy tricked into believing(like some gullible Christians) that just because they say the name of Jesus, that it's all good...because it's not and its a great shame that so many so-called Christians are going for this! Remember, even the demons believe in Jesus....

Kansas Bob said...

Aubrey, one day you may understand that phrases like "baby murderer" are part of the "Christian" hate speech that so many of us find distasteful in civil discourse.

Blessings to you as you grow in Christ.

CalledByTheKing said...

Bob,I regret to learn that you find the truth distastful. What, sir, would you you call someone who murders babies? That was no "hate speech", it was truth. I guess I could have said SUPPORTER of baby murdering, but in my opinion, there's not much difference. Bob, you have yet to understand the truth of the issue, but one day you may understand that abortion is murder and God hates murder and anyone who supports those who murder innocent babies are NOT on God's side! btw...there is nothing civil about abortion... One more thing... people y'alls age are supposed to be setting a good example for young people like me, not leading them in the wrong direction. Maybe one day you will understand the harm you're doing us... Blessings to you on your journey.

julieunplugged said...

Called, you don't know enough about Obama's position on abortion. You need to read what he says about it directly.

I suggest The Audacity of Hope.

The comments you make reveal that you are reading an interpretation of his record that is deliberately skewed to make him appear eager to support abortions. That is not the case. His aim is for fewer abortions. But he does not achieve that goal through legislation against abortion, but through positive changes in how women are able to choose to keep their pregnancies.

Also how do you feel about the nearly 1 million Iraqi civilians who've died in the illegal war?

For me, the war is equally a moral issue and I can't stand by and support a President who would continue to cause Iraqi deaths.

julieunplugged said...

Okay, I see Aubrey that you have continued to post on this entry. I usually welcome all comers, but it is patently false to call Obama a baby-killer. I will delete any future postings that mistreat his record and skew the facts to suit an anti-abortion agenda.

I know you feel passionately about this issue and I commend your passion. I think you need to be more careful in broadbrushing a person's political positions with labels when you haven't even read what he says for himself on this issue.

CalledByTheKing said...

hi julie. thanks for putting up w/ me this far. i'm not happy about innocent people dying in war and i don't want more to die, but there is a difference between war and not even allowing a baby to have a chance at life because we kill them before they can even be born....w/out the right to life there are no other rights. besides how do you justify his voting to kill babies if they survive an abortion? i've gotten everything i know about Obama's views on abortion from unbiased sources- nothing i said was untrue. since this is not going to go anywhere i prob. won't comment again. thanks and i'm sorry we couldn't agree...

julieunplugged said...

Aubrey, this is what I mean. He didn't vote for babies to be killed if they survived an abortion.

Read the case itself and the facts about it:

http://fightthesmears.com/articles/15/wildaccusations