Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dr. Burk on A Resolution on Protecting Human Life
Nathan (or anyone else):

How do you think this will drive a wedge (sorry I paraphrased)? I guess I'm coming from a church that's not within a denomination. I think it similar to how the ECUSA is fracturing (with the biblically more prone to schism to the African Cone), right? I suppose the question is essentially what kind of teeth (other than pure, stand alone merit) would this have?

I like the statement and think it makes just that, an impactful statement.

I dig the new site. I am now not just "leaving a comment", but I'm going to "join the discussion"!

BTW, John, don’t you think that reducing abortion to simply a political issue is amiss?

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John H: Just a quick note of correction. You did not say (in post 3) that abortion was simply a political issue. I meant to post this earlier but just didn’t. Sorry for misrepresenting what you said.

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Perhaps I’m being na├»ve here, but how does this issue differ from slavery? There were many Christians during that time saying that we should just give up, after all slavery is (was) already legal and there’s the Dred Scott decision. I bet the laundry list was longer for slavery than it was for abortion.

Or, juxtapositioned (sic) another argument championed by some Christians (and to quote Scott Klusendorf):

“Imagine a candidate who said he was personally opposed to spousal abuse while he had a 100% voting record in favor of men having a right to beat their wives. Suppose he told the public the underlying cause of spousal abuse is psychological, so instead of making it illegal for husbands to beat their wives, the solution is to provide federally funded counseling for men.”

Or worse, what if a tenet of that federally funded counseling was to tell men that beating their wives was OK and here’s a smaller, safer belt with which you can beat.

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One more and I’ll stop discussing. I think the quotes thing (not parentheses) is a silly argument, personally. And it winds up being an easy distraction. Two things disturb me (three that are puzzling ;-). First is that Dr. Burk is rebuked for his (quotes needed here) “particular political ideology”. But I think part of it is the simple fact that abortion is above political affiliation. It is stated as though it’s an excuse for voting republican. But the consistency is that abortion is the view, not a political affiliation (if you think otherwise, see comments on Giuliani). What I think would be delicious to see is a democratic representative that is for making abortion illegal (running against a Giuliani). If Christian leaders such as Dr. Mohler, et al decried that candidate, then the political ideology argument would hold water. Until then, it’s simply a diversionary tactic. And, BTW, I will boldly (emphatically?) state that Dr. Mohler, Dr. Burk, Dr. Moore, etc. would have the same vehemence for that pro-life candidate.

Second is abortion as a policy issue. This is not a policy issue, it is a moral issue. When I hear the argument that abortion should be reduced by this program or that program, suddenly it becomes a policy issue. Just something more that can be debated. Something that we should just accept that it will be around.

I dare not attach an “evil” tag to anyone who voted for Obama. When I talk to my mom and dad (die-hard democrats), in fact, they are far from giving their views lip-service (they state they vote the way they do b/c of policies for helping the downtrodden). But it just seems that because we can’t hear the silent screams of the unborn we can more easily sink into a comfort of voting on other things. Again, I don’t think the other reasons that people vote one way or another are bad or even unimportant (in fact, they are quite noble). But many of them are not the equivalent of the equivalent of an entire generation of people. I think that collectively, Christians had an opportunity to say that abortion really means this much. Ignoring the protection of the most innocent means this much. And it was shunned (in a grand, outspoken, obvious manner).

In the end, our Christian tenets should hold form. We should not expect our thinking our ideologies to be carried out by government. While at the same time our ability to impact the nation around us should be informed by those same tenets. That is why our concerns today are the same as they were November 3rd, they are the same as they will be November of next year, etc.

PS: Darius, thanks for the highlight, that was the crux of that discussion post.

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1) I don’t know how voting Nader is a pro-life vote (I think he’s pro-abortion, isn’t he?).
2) Darius already said it, but I'm sure there were many Christians who said the same thing after Dred Scott.
3) 2 and 2a should have nothing to do with this aspect. Shouldn’t affecting abortion in any way (including how we vote) be and in addition to? I would have put quotes around that, but I got confused.
4) I can’t help but think that stating “You cannot be serious if you expect me to vote for someone that I watched gut my industry” is exactly that to which Dr. Mohler, Dr. Burk, et al pointed. The way you said that is that the right for a fetus to live doesn’t trump the comfort I would have gotten or would have been denied (given deregulation, which, perhaps was not right). This seems to be the shining example of how people weighed this election. Of course I could be completely wrong.

Paul is spot on that we need to “get our hands dirty”. But the fact is that we should do all we can for this. Voting was one way of doing it and, obviously (and as Darius stated), many millions opted not to do this. The election is hind sight. Nothing we can do about the election. I’m still dumbfounded, though at the chest thumping of Christians who say they voted Obama. And no, this doesn’t change the way I pray for the president. Although what I pray will be to let FOCA and crisis pregnancy center funding be among the promises that Obama doesn’t keep (that’s a reflection that all politicians fail on some promises, not an indication that Obama would be unique in that aspect!)

Sorry for the liberal use of quotation marks. That doesn’t make me liberal does it?

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How is abortion not like slavery (other than the fact that we can’t hear the unborn children)? Or how would Scott Klusendorf’s example not be the same?

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If you are saying one is based on one attribute (skin color), the other is based on another (walking and talking), then, yes, they are different as they discriminate based on different inherent attributes. But both are a denial of rights based on attributes inherent to that person (that they are unable to change). Abortions are because the child in the womb is seen as inferior and has no rights (or else the child might speak for himself). They are denied a right to even exist (and aren’t even viewed as 3/5’s human). If you’re going to support abortion 0 to 9 months, then yes, ALL babies lacking the attribute of functioning outside of the mother’s womb are then seen as inferior (actually less since they are not even acknowledged as humans).

I don’t see your connection in the next part. Abortion is an evil that we ignore. The comparison is very applicable in that those who support a candidate who promotes (not simply turns a blind eye to) providing abortion would never think the same in the analogous situation (of slavery). The point I was making was not one of why abortion is or isn’t an evil. It clearly is. The argument some were taking was that though abortion is evil, it takes an equal (or secondary) place to protecting the environment, feeding the poor, etc. Or, in other cases, an argument that we may as well give up as look at the decisions against the pro-life movement.

BTW, adorable kiddo.

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I agree in particular with one item you mention (I do agree with others and disagree with some still, but I really don’t want to belabor a point any further than it should be). Slavery was about power and abortion is about life and death. And yet folks will still support someone who doesn’t merely support, but seeks to expand the ability, reduce funding against while providing more funds for killing the unborn. The parallel is that the same people would never consider supporting someone who supported slavery. And as you rightly say, slavery was about power, abortion about life and death, yet the latter is downplayed in favor of health care, environment or other not-quite-as-important issues.

And regarding the last part, yes, I’m sure he is a gift. My little one stood a shot at having curls like that, alas my straight hair was the dominant gene there.

Thanks so much for the exchange!

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