Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Answer to Criticism re: McCain's "Pro-Life" Record

Since the last CRTL newsletter dealt directly and decisively with the myth that Sen. John McCain is pro-life, CRTL received quite a bit of criticism from certain "my party, right or wrong" Republicans who either have been fooled into thinking John McCain has "always been pro-life" (the campaign's mantra) or who think even if he's not strongly pro-life, he was better than Obama, and therefore principled Christians should still vote for him. We simply disagreed, on principle.

We spoke truth -- if you doubt our word on it, then look at the detailed white paper produced by Vision Forum (a major homeschool publisher, and publisher of books highlighting the Christian character of the American Founders).

Other things to consider: In 2002, Sen. McCain tied with Sen. Harry Reid (now the Democrats' Senate Majority Leader) on the National Right to Life scorecard, at 33%, and unlike virtually every other Republican Senator, McCain hasn't scored 100% on a NRTL survey in recent memory (averaging 66% over the past decade -- and consider that NRTL intentionally tries to give every Democrat a 0%, and every Republican a 100% rating). National Right to Life referred to McCain as "dangerous" and "not pro-life". James Dobson's statements against McCain, before his change of mind, were damning. Many other conservative sources confirmed that McCain was not very conservative on many issues at all, and certainly not on abortion.

Moreover, Sen. John McCain openly sought the support of the moderate wing of the Republican party as the "pro-choice alternative" to Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 Republican Primary.

To help illustrate our opinion of what Christians should say, when faced with the "lesser of two evils" argument, here is a reprint of an article by Bob Kyffin:

The Lesser of Two Evils

Is Still Evil

by Bob Kyffin

Why are we being urged by our Christian friends (and maybe we’re doing the urging ourselves) to “vote for the lesser of two evils?” Doesn’t that mean support for evil, no matter whether it’s the lesser or not?

And why is it our Christian friends doing the urging, and not our Republican friends?

The answer is that “Republicans” are used to making these choices. There’s no such thing as “Republican morality.” Morality comes from somewhere else, and there’s nothing inherently moral about being or voting Republican. It’s a value judgment over who’s better, who’s more like us, who’s less likely to do harm.

As Christians, don’t we have a higher standard? Or shouldn’t we? There’s morality, and then there’s immorality. Amorality – to choose neither – is not a definition God accepts. He draws “bright lines” between one and the other, and you’re either with Him, or against Him.

But doesn’t God encourage us to be “salt and light?” To participate in society and be a positive Christian example? And doesn’t He also encourage us to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s?”

In Romans 3:8, Paul teaches, “Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—‘Let us do evil that good may result?’ Their condemnation is deserved.”

So not just are we never to do evil that good may come of it, but those who do are to be condemned.

Don’t we face this choice every election? Choosing between imperfect candidates is the American way of life! Besides, “the lesser of two evils” is just a saying, right?

Often, it is just a saying. Often, we’re choosing between two Christians (nominal or otherwise) who simply have different political opinions. So when does a candidate go from a bad political choice to being an evil choice?

That really depends on where God draws His line, as to what is truly evil. Even Christian denominations differ on what they consider evil. Envy? Possibly. Adultery or contempt for God? Sure – and worth considering in your voting. But what stands at the top of everybody’s list for evil? Murder of the innocent.

So where does that leave a Christian, who might be wondering when the “lesser of two evils” really becomes evil? Where do you think?

Now, some parties, and some members of those parties, hold a definite position on evils like abortion. Other parties, remarkably, hold a variety of opinions on abortion, some candidates clearly opposing, others clearly supporting, and still more trying to split the difference.

So where should a Christian come down on a candidate whose position “splits the difference” on abortion? What if that candidate, say, supports federal funding for the destruction of embryos? Or thinks the abortion of innocent children is okay in some circumstances?

Germans once faced a choice between Hitler and socialism. Sadly, most Christians chose Hitler. Americans often faced a choice between pro-slavery candidates. What should a Christian do, if forced to choose between Hitler and Stalin? If there were only two candidates on every ballot, Christian moral reasoning might force you to not vote.

Thankfully, we live in a country where there are more than two candidates on most ballots. But isn’t that “throwing away your vote?”

It’s strange how, in congressional districts where one party normally gets 70 percent of the vote, voting for the major-party candidate who’s guaranteed to lose isn’t considered “throwing away your vote.” Those 30 percent, or 10 percent, of the votes become protest votes, and they are valuable for that purpose.

When faced with two major-party candidates who reject God’s teaching on morality, and who try to split the difference, we are blessed with alternate choices. We can still cast a vote for a person who takes their Christianity, and its moral imperatives, seriously.

And Christians cannot let fear of “the boogyman” lead us into voting for those who oppose much of what we believe. Hitler stood against most of what Christians believe, and yet it was fear of the socialists and communists that misled Christians into voting for Hitler. Fear is not an excuse in God’s eyes, who assures us that we are His, and His hand is on our shoulder, no matter what dangers or turmoil we face.

The world wants you to ignore some of the most important moral and ethical questions we face. The parties – most of them – surely want you to as well.

As Christians, we cannot ignore them. You must decide whether to do good in the polling booth, or whether to vote for the lesser of two evils “that good may [supposedly] come.”

What will you choose?

Next week: Is William Wilberforce really a standard-bearer for the success of "incrementalism"?

No comments: