I recently received an email from a friend asking for my take on John McCain, and I replied in some length. Most of the email was of relatively little importance as we (I) mostly dialogued about things not necessarily related to core moral values…but I did want to pull the part of the email (modified and lengthened) in which I explain the most important reason I am supporting McCain. I have posted it below and hope that agree or disagree, you find it edifying in some way.
P.S. I would welcome any comments, but would especially welcome disagreeing comments. I didn’t touch on everything and didn’t explain everything I did touch on in full, so disagreeing comments might touch on something that would call for addition elaboration. You can judge for yourself if that is a good thing. 😉
Why I believe those supporting the pro-life agenda should vote for John McCain
Over the past four years the American people have been so pre-occupied with things like the war in Iraq and the economy that we (as a group) have tended to overlook one thing of vital importance; the advancement of the pro-life agenda. Love George Bush or hate him, it seems hard to deny that he, when all is said and done, has been true to his pro-life position. Not only has his appointment of Justices Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court (both strongly pro-life) opened up the opportunity to challenge the validity of Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court level, but his many appointments to the lower judiciaries have made it possible to keep lower courts from legislating pro-choice laws on the people and likewise made it possible for conservative pro-lifers to defeat organizations like Planned Parenthood. In short, the grass roots pro-life movement has not faced anywhere near the government sponsored impediments under George W. Bush they have faced for years. As a result, the pro-life movement has been advanced and thousands upon thousands of babies have been saved from grizzly deaths (don’t forget the partial birth abortion issue). 10 years ago it would have been almost unthinkable to think that we would have such pro-life legislation on the ballot as Amendment 48 in Colorado. Today it is not unthinkable. Even the Republican Party platform has become more conservative on the abortion issue thanks to grass roots activists.
All these advancements, though significant, are precarious at best and small at worst. If a liberal government and court system imposed their pro-choice agenda once they can and will do it again.
In Barak Obama we have the most radically pro-choice Presidential Candidate ever. If elected to office he will undo all the progress made by the pro-life movement in short order and will further cement the security of the pro-choice agenda. In short, if the pro-life movement doesn’t want to see all they have accomplished go by the way-side…they must defeat Barak Obama. Enter John McCain. John McCain is not 100% pro-life. His support for abortions in the case of rape and incest is troubling in light of the fact that those babies deserve to live just as much as others, and his support of embryonic stem cell research has rightfully raised red flags for many (I don’t happen to have as much of what I call a working concern with his support of embryonic stem cell research as some, but in the interest of time I’ll leave that issue untouched for now).
McCain is not the candidate the vast majority of the pro-life movement supported in the primaries, but unfortunately, he won anyway. Now, pro-life advocates are faced with two sets of consequences if they vote for either Obama or McCain, assuming they will hold true to their word.
If they vote for Obama the consequences will be:
-the legalization (again) of partial birth abortion
-continued tax payer subsidies for Planned Parenthood and their sister organizations
-the continuation of Roe v. Wade
-the appointment of young, pro-choice, liberal judges to the US Supreme Court and the various lower courts
-increased government support for sex education in public schools
-government intervention in the adoption field, including the disallowance of discrimination on religious lines for adoption agencies
-no requirements for parental notification and/or consent for minors in obtaining an abortion
-the death of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) more babies
That isn’t even an exhaustive list of the consequences of an Obama presidency. The consequences of a McCain presidency (also not exhaustive) are:
-the overturn of Roe v. Wade
-the freedom of the states to pass such legislation in regards to abortion as they choose
-no more tax payer support for Planned Parenthood and their sister organizations
-possible government support for embryonic stem cell research (I say possible because I don’t think it will happen if it hasn’t already)
-exception clauses in anti-abortion laws providing for abortion in the case of incest and rape
A McCain presidency would not allow for the total advancement of the pro-life movement, but it would A) fight for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the first all important step in allowing straight up pro-life legislation, B) allow the opportunity for states to pass outright bans on abortion (it is not clear if states would be forced to include McCain’s exception clause), C) cut the funds abortion clinics use to prey on young girls.
In short, John McCain has an imperfect pro-life stance, but the pro-life movement would still have tremendous opportunity to advance their cause under a McCain presidency, and most importantly, they would not lose the ground they have already gained and their opposition would not be strengthened.
Many people would call support for McCain a compromise on the life issue because he isn’t as solid as others. There is some amount of truth to that position, but I would remind all who believe such that this is not about us the living; this is about the unborn. This (abortion) shouldn’t be considered the same way as taxes…I would be happy to pay more taxes if I was confident that it would somehow result in the betterment of unborn babies…if I need to compromise on things like taxes, immigration, etc. in the interest of preserving the gains of the pro-life movement then I would be more than happy to, and (at the risk of being repetitious) I believe John McCain represents the best chance we have on the ballot for preserving the gains of the pro-life movement. As John Piper has said, the issue of life is always the foremost issue for our consideration. Everything else is secondary. If you would like to throw your vote to a perhaps more solidly pro-life candidate like Chuck Baldwin at the risk of Obama winning the presidency (or being emboldened by a significant popular vote victory) then I would encourage you to think of how you would explain to an aborted baby that the reason you didn’t support their best chance was that the chance was imperfect. I am sure the millions of babies that will lose their lives by way of abortion under an Obama presidency and the subsequent battles to undo the damage will understand. I am much more willing to pin my chances of lower taxes or immigration reform (to name a couple for instances) to a lost cause (the Baldwin presidential campaign) then I am the chances of unborn babies.
The pro-life movement must support John McCain. If they don’t, I believe they will be indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of additional babies under Obama’s radical agenda and for not saving the millions of babies that would be saved by McCain’s policies.
Is that too extreme a statement? Perhaps…I certainly don’t want to appear judgmental towards those who don’t support McCain as I recognize that different people of equal sincerity will often arrive at different conclusions…but I do feel that the burden of responsibility is heavy and in the case of abortion we must be as clear as possible in articulating our views. So, I have.
This is the reality of where this election stands. The only person on the ballot with a more conservative stated position on abortion is Chuck Baldwin. Baldwin is polling what? .5%? 1%? 2%? You can decry all you want that Baldwin is not polling better then he is…the fact of the matter is that he isn’t and we owe it too the unborn to do the best we can to protect them, and “the best” in this case isn’t voting for Chuck Baldwin. I don’t personally feel comfortable playing political chicken with baby’s lives. It’s good to hold to principle; but when innocent lives are lost because of it by way of abortion then I would suggest the principle should be seriously re-examined.
Until recently I was seriously contemplating withholding my vote on the grounds that there was no candidate I would feel good supporting. I didn’t like the thought of walking away from the voter’s booth feeling anything less than glad support for whoever had received my vote. Frankly, I just differ too much with McCain on things like McCain-Feingold, immigration, the environment (and the political ramifications), and other important issues to “feel good” about voting for him. But this last Sunday, I shared my thoughts and feelings with one of my church elders, Mr. Hale. This is the essence of the council he shared (I will try not to put words in his mouth).To conclude: I don’t think I need to say anything else. But again, please don’t take this post as a harsh condemnation of everybody who doesn’t agree with me. I don’t expect everyone to disagree with me…but I believe the things I believe for reasons, and if those reasons aren’t worth putting forward in no uncertain terms then they aren’t worth believing.
We all want to feel good about who we vote for. This is not a wrong desire, especially if feeling good is determined by how closely we agree with the person in question. But, if we operate on a feel good basis we operate on selfishness and naivety. Neither of us wanted McCain to be our nominee and neither of us will “feel good” if we vote for him. Due to our disagreements with him on policy issues, it would probably feel better if we voted third party (then we wouldn’t be responsible in any way for what happened under a McCain presidency if he won) or didn’t vote at all (for the same reasons). But our decisions should not be based on what feels good…they should be based upon what is best for others…not our feelings. The ability to separate our feelings from our decisions when they threaten to mar our decision making process is the mark of a good leader and a wise person.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, McCain represents the best hope for the unborn, and that is the overriding issue of importance. If we seek to protect those who can’t protect themselves then we should vote for their best hope.
I agree with Mr. Hale 100%. I am not making a negative judgment on people for supporting Baldwin; but understand that the reason I support McCain is not because I agree with him as much as I would like or that I will skip out of the voting booth whistling and with the best of feelings. I support him because I believe he is the best hope for the unborn in seeing that their immediate needs and threats are dealt with. The life issue is far too important to take out grudges on the GOP for not being the party you want them to be or that they claimed to be…and unfortunately I believe many people are.
Again, I won’t “feel good” voting for McCain, but I will vote for him nonetheless with the conviction that it is the right thing to do for the sake of others who need protection more than I and the preservation and furtherance of the gains made by the pro-life movement is of monumentally greater importance than taxes, immigration, etc.
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