Donny's Ramblings

Donald Miller’s Benediction at the Democratic National Convention

86 Comments

Donald Miller was asked to give the closing Benediction Monday night at the Democratic National Convention.  Here’s the prayer (around 1:44 into the video there is a 10 second silence for some reason):

Before the benediction was given, Don shared his thoughts with Christianity Today magazine.  I really enjoyed what he had to say:

Thoughts?

86 thoughts on “Donald Miller’s Benediction at the Democratic National Convention

  1. YouTube allows people to respond to videos with their own video. I just finished watching a video response to Donald Miller’s prayer.

    The guy in the video points out ways in which the Democratic Party often acts more like Jesus than the Republican Party. I found it quite interesting.

    Check this out:

  2. YouTube allows people to respond to videos with their own video. I just finished watching a video response to Donald Miller’s prayer.

    The guy in the video points out ways in which the Democratic Party often acts more like Jesus than the Republican Party. I found it quite interesting.

    Check this out:

  3. I have nothing but the greatest respect for Don Miller’s gift as a writer. And as a buyer of multiple copies of his books, I have certainly contributed to giving him the stature that now makes him the Christian worth courting by the DNC. But having said that, I take issue with at least one comment in his interview: “There are Democratic politicians who are not using us.” I am sorry, Don, name one…

    We are facing the alarming prospect of electing a Democrat whose legislative record is nothing short of extremist when it comes to a disregard for the sanctity of life. Who believes that it’s the bitter, provincial and ignorant who cling to their religion. Whose idea of Christianity is to spend 20 years under the teachings of a racist crackpot and then tell us: “Oops, I didn’t know he was like this.” (Dude if you can’t figure that out in 20 years, what are you going to get in 4 years?). And knowing that “he was like that” sticking around anyway, until it became absolutely impossible not to jump ship.

    All of a sudden the Dem. party falls all over itself in courting Christians. Why is that? Well, the answer is obvious. The wolves are getting fitted for sheep’s clothes, pretending to move to the right as they are getting more of the limelight, and figuring out that they may have a hard time making it in their own divided party situation without pulling in at least some Christian support. “If it worked for W, it should work for us too…”

    The problem is not just abortion. Despite Don’s plea these are the people who have consistently mocked us Christians, marginalized us, ridiculed us. If they had their way, they would gladly legislate us out of existence (if you don’t believe this, check out what is happening to free Christian speech in Canada. Don’t think it can’t happen to us!).

    These same people don’t think twice when it comes to insulting folks of most faiths (not just the “Christian right”) by promoting “gay marriage” or (in Obama’s tuned down version) “gay unions.” Their corrosive influence on our educational system and their effort to make sure that no kid may escape from it is equally upsetting. And, in the name of pluralism, rest assured that Christian freedoms of speech will be the first to go, particularly when Christians have the temerity to express some of Christ’s moral demands (although as Christians we need to show more compassion, realizing that non-Christians are in no way equipped to live up to those–and we aren’t doing that hot either).

    This election year, the Democratic party obviously found it unnecessary to present even one moderate candidate who would be sympathetic to Christian concerns. Intoxicated by their own exuberance that they will win this thing one way or the other (not due to their own strength but due to the weakness and unpopularity of the current regime), they gave us Obama and Hillary. When all the other voter demographics were tapped, Christians became an afterthought. Thus the phony outreach to us. Once these people achieve the “absolute power” that they are hoping for, both houses of Congress and the White House with a possible Supreme Court nomination or two thrown in for good measure, are we really naive enough to believe that they will remember Don Miller or any of the other Christians who fell for their scam? Be prepared to become the Democratic laughing stock at that point!

  4. I have nothing but the greatest respect for Don Miller’s gift as a writer. And as a buyer of multiple copies of his books, I have certainly contributed to giving him the stature that now makes him the Christian worth courting by the DNC. But having said that, I take issue with at least one comment in his interview: “There are Democratic politicians who are not using us.” I am sorry, Don, name one…

    We are facing the alarming prospect of electing a Democrat whose legislative record is nothing short of extremist when it comes to a disregard for the sanctity of life. Who believes that it’s the bitter, provincial and ignorant who cling to their religion. Whose idea of Christianity is to spend 20 years under the teachings of a racist crackpot and then tell us: “Oops, I didn’t know he was like this.” (Dude if you can’t figure that out in 20 years, what are you going to get in 4 years?). And knowing that “he was like that” sticking around anyway, until it became absolutely impossible not to jump ship.

    All of a sudden the Dem. party falls all over itself in courting Christians. Why is that? Well, the answer is obvious. The wolves are getting fitted for sheep’s clothes, pretending to move to the right as they are getting more of the limelight, and figuring out that they may have a hard time making it in their own divided party situation without pulling in at least some Christian support. “If it worked for W, it should work for us too…”

    The problem is not just abortion. Despite Don’s plea these are the people who have consistently mocked us Christians, marginalized us, ridiculed us. If they had their way, they would gladly legislate us out of existence (if you don’t believe this, check out what is happening to free Christian speech in Canada. Don’t think it can’t happen to us!).

    These same people don’t think twice when it comes to insulting folks of most faiths (not just the “Christian right”) by promoting “gay marriage” or (in Obama’s tuned down version) “gay unions.” Their corrosive influence on our educational system and their effort to make sure that no kid may escape from it is equally upsetting. And, in the name of pluralism, rest assured that Christian freedoms of speech will be the first to go, particularly when Christians have the temerity to express some of Christ’s moral demands (although as Christians we need to show more compassion, realizing that non-Christians are in no way equipped to live up to those–and we aren’t doing that hot either).

    This election year, the Democratic party obviously found it unnecessary to present even one moderate candidate who would be sympathetic to Christian concerns. Intoxicated by their own exuberance that they will win this thing one way or the other (not due to their own strength but due to the weakness and unpopularity of the current regime), they gave us Obama and Hillary. When all the other voter demographics were tapped, Christians became an afterthought. Thus the phony outreach to us. Once these people achieve the “absolute power” that they are hoping for, both houses of Congress and the White House with a possible Supreme Court nomination or two thrown in for good measure, are we really naive enough to believe that they will remember Don Miller or any of the other Christians who fell for their scam? Be prepared to become the Democratic laughing stock at that point!

  5. TES,

    We’ve been the Republican Party’s laughing stock for quite awhile now. As I’ve mentioned before, Republican’s made Roe V Wade possible to begin with (read this), yet they use that issue to control the Christian vote. And even if we someday are able to get Roe v Wade overturned, all that does is make it so that the states will be able to decide their own abortion policies. Here in California, there is no way abortion will ever go away.

    I’m going to tell you, at the moment I plan to vote for Obama. Should McCain choose Mitt Romney as his running mate I might reconsider. But I’m tired of being a laughing stock for the elephants.

  6. TES,

    We’ve been the Republican Party’s laughing stock for quite awhile now. As I’ve mentioned before, Republican’s made Roe V Wade possible to begin with (read this), yet they use that issue to control the Christian vote. And even if we someday are able to get Roe v Wade overturned, all that does is make it so that the states will be able to decide their own abortion policies. Here in California, there is no way abortion will ever go away.

    I’m going to tell you, at the moment I plan to vote for Obama. Should McCain choose Mitt Romney as his running mate I might reconsider. But I’m tired of being a laughing stock for the elephants.

  7. im sorry i am so not down with this. i think mostly what hell do is give them street cred now in the eyes of most people. im not saying go jump ship back to the rep’s either.

    Gosh i am so sick of the dems, i hate how they come off in the media as the righteous party, the peoples party…EVERY ROCK BAND hangs out at their conventions. its such a blind sheep thing. NOONE questions them

    basically old rich people go for republicans and young heartfelt hip people hang out with dems.

    i just dont think they represent me either. and what does donald mean by making abortion illegal isnt working?

    when was the last time it was illegal? 1972?

    N-O!

  8. im sorry i am so not down with this. i think mostly what hell do is give them street cred now in the eyes of most people. im not saying go jump ship back to the rep’s either.

    Gosh i am so sick of the dems, i hate how they come off in the media as the righteous party, the peoples party…EVERY ROCK BAND hangs out at their conventions. its such a blind sheep thing. NOONE questions them

    basically old rich people go for republicans and young heartfelt hip people hang out with dems.

    i just dont think they represent me either. and what does donald mean by making abortion illegal isnt working?

    when was the last time it was illegal? 1972?

    N-O!

  9. John, You MUST start using punctuation!!!! I got stumped with “I think mostly what hell do is give them…” !!!! Communication must be clear and your lack of use of proper punc. is NOT clear!

    Sorry, but I’m tired of trying to figure out what you’re trying to say!

    Donny: I checked out the Glass Priest and think he should stick with his self-taught violin lessons rather than go into the correct teachings of Jesus Christ. It isn’t cool to think studying the Gospels is “f**king cool”. Any truth he might have had just got dumped, for me. Call me old-fashioned, if you want.

    Also, as for voting for Obama just because you’re pissed at the Reps for not fixing abortion (in your opinion!) is cutting your nose off in spite of your face. They’ll not only keep it alive and well, but will proceed to murder “almost-newborns” with a clear conscience, led by Obama himself. Besides, I thought you didn’t want the election decided just upon the abortion issue. The Dems are far worse in more than abortion issues than the Reps, as bad as they are already – as stated by TES.

    McCain is far from perfect, but the lessor of the two evils. Too bad we have these choices this election.

  10. John, You MUST start using punctuation!!!! I got stumped with “I think mostly what hell do is give them…” !!!! Communication must be clear and your lack of use of proper punc. is NOT clear!

    Sorry, but I’m tired of trying to figure out what you’re trying to say!

    Donny: I checked out the Glass Priest and think he should stick with his self-taught violin lessons rather than go into the correct teachings of Jesus Christ. It isn’t cool to think studying the Gospels is “f**king cool”. Any truth he might have had just got dumped, for me. Call me old-fashioned, if you want.

    Also, as for voting for Obama just because you’re pissed at the Reps for not fixing abortion (in your opinion!) is cutting your nose off in spite of your face. They’ll not only keep it alive and well, but will proceed to murder “almost-newborns” with a clear conscience, led by Obama himself. Besides, I thought you didn’t want the election decided just upon the abortion issue. The Dems are far worse in more than abortion issues than the Reps, as bad as they are already – as stated by TES.

    McCain is far from perfect, but the lessor of the two evils. Too bad we have these choices this election.

  11. Oh, I forgot to mention that Mr. Miller used “prayer” as a platform to express his political beliefs, which he obviously read so as to not forget them all.  Sorry, lost me again.  I thought prayer was communication with our Almighty God….silly me!Was the 10-second “blip” censorship???

  12. Oh, I forgot to mention that Mr. Miller used “prayer” as a platform to express his political beliefs, which he obviously read so as to not forget them all.  Sorry, lost me again.  I thought prayer was communication with our Almighty God….silly me!Was the 10-second “blip” censorship???

  13. Jean,

    It’s not uncommon to have one’s prayer written out if it’s to be read in public.

    As for voting Democrat, besides the abortion and same-sex marriage issues, their party goals align more to what Jesus spoke than those of the Republicans. And since the Republicans don’t really practice what they preach anyway…

  14. Jean,

    It’s not uncommon to have one’s prayer written out if it’s to be read in public.

    As for voting Democrat, besides the abortion and same-sex marriage issues, their party goals align more to what Jesus spoke than those of the Republicans. And since the Republicans don’t really practice what they preach anyway…

  15. I’ll take a benevolent dictatorship under God rather than a socialist one under man any day. And the dems do practice what they preach? Come on, Donny!

    Reminds me of the Pharisee praying in the square….

  16. I’ll take a benevolent dictatorship under God rather than a socialist one under man any day. And the dems do practice what they preach? Come on, Donny!

    Reminds me of the Pharisee praying in the square….

  17. I’m in trouble, I know it…..

  18. I’m in trouble, I know it…..

  19. Oh, you’re definitely in trouble. 🙂

    Can you tell me the reasons you vote Republican?

  20. Oh, you’re definitely in trouble. 🙂

    Can you tell me the reasons you vote Republican?

  21. Donny,

    I don’t disagree with your idea that Rep’s have coopted Christians and ultimately failed to deliver on many issues. At the same time, “other than abortion and same-sex marriage” (other than the systematic murder of the unborn and the total undermining and perversion of the first institution God created in the scriptures)… those are some pretty huge exceptions.

    Furthermore, I fail to see where those issues are where they really line up with Jesus. “Social justice”, some say. I fail to see that. Jesus asked us to show kindness, generosity and charity. He never suggested that it was the elimination of poverty was ever possible in this life. Nor that it should be delegated to the gov’t. Nor that it should become an underwriting of entitlements, more than the occasional laziness (I know, not all…) and professional indigence, bankrolled by the middle-class while generously administered by rich , privileged Obama and his rich friends. It’s become entitlement traded for votes. How corrupt! How uncharitable to those who actually work for a living!

    The environment? I find most environmentalist views quite suspicious. They seem more pagan (mother earth) than truly respectful of the “crown of creation” whom this earth is supposed to serve and who will be responsible to account to their Creator for it. Furthermore, I find it hard to look to politicians here either. Who? A hypocrite like Al Gore who makes up environemntal alarmist data and then retreats to his environmental disaster of a mansion?

    I am deeply concerned how more and more gov’t continually erodes our liberties. Political correctness, multi-culturalism, liberalism–all at the expense of our freedoms. I agree there is a ton of selfishness and corruption in any political party. But that does not mean I have to climb in bed with the worst, most ungodly and most hypocritical of them all.

  22. Donny,

    I don’t disagree with your idea that Rep’s have coopted Christians and ultimately failed to deliver on many issues. At the same time, “other than abortion and same-sex marriage” (other than the systematic murder of the unborn and the total undermining and perversion of the first institution God created in the scriptures)… those are some pretty huge exceptions.

    Furthermore, I fail to see where those issues are where they really line up with Jesus. “Social justice”, some say. I fail to see that. Jesus asked us to show kindness, generosity and charity. He never suggested that it was the elimination of poverty was ever possible in this life. Nor that it should be delegated to the gov’t. Nor that it should become an underwriting of entitlements, more than the occasional laziness (I know, not all…) and professional indigence, bankrolled by the middle-class while generously administered by rich , privileged Obama and his rich friends. It’s become entitlement traded for votes. How corrupt! How uncharitable to those who actually work for a living!

    The environment? I find most environmentalist views quite suspicious. They seem more pagan (mother earth) than truly respectful of the “crown of creation” whom this earth is supposed to serve and who will be responsible to account to their Creator for it. Furthermore, I find it hard to look to politicians here either. Who? A hypocrite like Al Gore who makes up environemntal alarmist data and then retreats to his environmental disaster of a mansion?

    I am deeply concerned how more and more gov’t continually erodes our liberties. Political correctness, multi-culturalism, liberalism–all at the expense of our freedoms. I agree there is a ton of selfishness and corruption in any political party. But that does not mean I have to climb in bed with the worst, most ungodly and most hypocritical of them all.

  23. Put simply, I’d rather go with the party that is more for the people and less government, than more government at the expense of some (as TES said – those who actually work for a living!). BTW – amen again to TES!

    I’ve lived long enough to see that the Repulican party is very much like the Democratic one when JFK was president. Not good seeing that means they BOTH have slid even further toward socialism. Scary.

  24. Put simply, I’d rather go with the party that is more for the people and less government, than more government at the expense of some (as TES said – those who actually work for a living!). BTW – amen again to TES!

    I’ve lived long enough to see that the Repulican party is very much like the Democratic one when JFK was president. Not good seeing that means they BOTH have slid even further toward socialism. Scary.

  25. Jean,

    Don’t tell me that you think social services are only for those who don’t work…

    Republicans for the people? Huh?

  26. Jean,

    Don’t tell me that you think social services are only for those who don’t work…

    Republicans for the people? Huh?

  27. I wasn’t going to comment but I’ll just say one thing.
    I agree with Jean and TES.
    Well, two things- Donny I’m kind of stunned that you’re voting for Obama.

  28. I wasn’t going to comment but I’ll just say one thing.
    I agree with Jean and TES.
    Well, two things- Donny I’m kind of stunned that you’re voting for Obama.

  29. Donny, please, I didn’t say Reps are for the people, I said they are more for the people than the Dems. Big difference! None of the parties are very good today. Don’t you read all that I put down?????

    Social services? What are those? Aren’t we all to be responsible for ourselves??? My “social services” now is paying tons of taxes!! And we’ve never been beholden to anyone else for our health insurance, nor university fees, nor education (except taxes) and my children went to private schools, neither was I paid by the baby….. and we have had periods of unemployment, too, with only help from our families, not the government. I praise God for the blessings He’s poured on our family, but we trust Him and not the social services our govenment bestows on just about everyone asking!

  30. Donny, please, I didn’t say Reps are for the people, I said they are more for the people than the Dems. Big difference! None of the parties are very good today. Don’t you read all that I put down?????

    Social services? What are those? Aren’t we all to be responsible for ourselves??? My “social services” now is paying tons of taxes!! And we’ve never been beholden to anyone else for our health insurance, nor university fees, nor education (except taxes) and my children went to private schools, neither was I paid by the baby….. and we have had periods of unemployment, too, with only help from our families, not the government. I praise God for the blessings He’s poured on our family, but we trust Him and not the social services our govenment bestows on just about everyone asking!

  31. Tons of your taxes are funding a war, the funding of which could easily make health care for everyone a reality.

    The Republicans are definitely not more “for the people” as you suggest. You’re simply buying into the lie they’ve convinced the churches to believe. It’s garbage. I’d highly recommend reading both sides with an open mind. Turn off the Rush Limbaugh and pick up books written by “Liberals”. You don’t have to swallow what they’re saying, but at least get an idea of where they’re coming from. You just might find yourself more in the “middle” than you’d previously believed possible.

  32. Tons of your taxes are funding a war, the funding of which could easily make health care for everyone a reality.

    The Republicans are definitely not more “for the people” as you suggest. You’re simply buying into the lie they’ve convinced the churches to believe. It’s garbage. I’d highly recommend reading both sides with an open mind. Turn off the Rush Limbaugh and pick up books written by “Liberals”. You don’t have to swallow what they’re saying, but at least get an idea of where they’re coming from. You just might find yourself more in the “middle” than you’d previously believed possible.

  33. Hey Donny, thanks for your comment over on my blog. That interview was great. Also, as a side note, my wife and I were married in Arcade Baptist Church, and my in-laws attend church there (I saw in your “about” section that you did an interview there with Jake).

    Peace,
    Brian

  34. Hey Donny, thanks for your comment over on my blog. That interview was great. Also, as a side note, my wife and I were married in Arcade Baptist Church, and my in-laws attend church there (I saw in your “about” section that you did an interview there with Jake).

    Peace,
    Brian

  35. Brian,

    Besides being the Lead Pastor at Arcade, Jake is on the board of XXXChurch. Did you listen to that interview? I was really glad Jake invited me to speak there.

  36. Brian,

    Besides being the Lead Pastor at Arcade, Jake is on the board of XXXChurch. Did you listen to that interview? I was really glad Jake invited me to speak there.

  37. Some interesting quotes… this first one was posted in response to the YouTube video of Don’s Prayer:

    Jesus Christ would not be an advocate in a very earthly self-serving foundation like politics which just proves my point. Out of both sides, the conservative right uses Christianity as a tool more so than any other party. I don’t measure person’s loyalty to Christian principles by how they vote for social programs, I measure a person’s loyalty to how they adhere to the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ. Both sides fall short; but the right wing truly warp the message of Christ.

    This next quote is from Cameron Strang, the founder and CEO of Relevant magazine. He had been asked to give that prayer and ended up backing out and recommending Don. Here are his reasons for doing so:

    “As a pro-life voter, I never intended my participation to imply unequivocal endorsement, and the DNC knew that and were fine with that. I viewed it simply as an opportunity to continue positive dialogue, show support for a continuing emphasis on faith issues, and pray in a forum where faith isn’t typically thought to be emphasized. I wanted to show that this generation of values voters doesn’t necessarily need to draw battle lines politically the way previous generations have, that we can work through areas of disagreement to further the common good.

    “However, the reality is, through RELEVANT I reach a demographic that has strong faith, morals and passions, but disagreements politically. It wouldn’t be wise for me to pick a political side, when I’ve consistently said both sides are right in some areas and both sides are wrong in some areas. My desire is to keep an open dialogue with both campaigns and talk about the issues that matter to my generation of Christians. If my praying at the DNC was perceived as showing favoritism and incorrectly labeling me as endorsing one candidate over the other, then I needed to have pause. And that’s what was happening.

    “So I brought that concern up to the DNC, and they understood. I recommended bestselling author Don Miller as a much better representative of our audience than I am, and they were glad to invite him to give the invocation in my place. I think this will ultimately be much better for the DNC. The campaign and I still have positive dialogue, and I’m thankful for that.

    “Like I mentioned, they’ve invited me to participate in a “Faith in the ’08 Election” panel on Thursday, which seems to be a perfect fit. It allows me to continue a positive conversation with the DNC and be involved a bit more behind the scenes. I want to make sure our generation of Christians has a place at the table, so to speak, and this will afford us that chance — even moreso than if I was to give a prayer onstage.

    “As an aside, in a “put your money where your mouth is” move this week, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Independent. I want to vote because of values and convictions, not party affiliations. To me, that’s an important part of being a thinking, values-minded Christian.”

    I think I’ll follow suit and change my own party affiliation from Republican to Independent as well…

  38. Some interesting quotes… this first one was posted in response to the YouTube video of Don’s Prayer:

    Jesus Christ would not be an advocate in a very earthly self-serving foundation like politics which just proves my point. Out of both sides, the conservative right uses Christianity as a tool more so than any other party. I don’t measure person’s loyalty to Christian principles by how they vote for social programs, I measure a person’s loyalty to how they adhere to the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ. Both sides fall short; but the right wing truly warp the message of Christ.

    This next quote is from Cameron Strang, the founder and CEO of Relevant magazine. He had been asked to give that prayer and ended up backing out and recommending Don. Here are his reasons for doing so:

    “As a pro-life voter, I never intended my participation to imply unequivocal endorsement, and the DNC knew that and were fine with that. I viewed it simply as an opportunity to continue positive dialogue, show support for a continuing emphasis on faith issues, and pray in a forum where faith isn’t typically thought to be emphasized. I wanted to show that this generation of values voters doesn’t necessarily need to draw battle lines politically the way previous generations have, that we can work through areas of disagreement to further the common good.

    “However, the reality is, through RELEVANT I reach a demographic that has strong faith, morals and passions, but disagreements politically. It wouldn’t be wise for me to pick a political side, when I’ve consistently said both sides are right in some areas and both sides are wrong in some areas. My desire is to keep an open dialogue with both campaigns and talk about the issues that matter to my generation of Christians. If my praying at the DNC was perceived as showing favoritism and incorrectly labeling me as endorsing one candidate over the other, then I needed to have pause. And that’s what was happening.

    “So I brought that concern up to the DNC, and they understood. I recommended bestselling author Don Miller as a much better representative of our audience than I am, and they were glad to invite him to give the invocation in my place. I think this will ultimately be much better for the DNC. The campaign and I still have positive dialogue, and I’m thankful for that.

    “Like I mentioned, they’ve invited me to participate in a “Faith in the ’08 Election” panel on Thursday, which seems to be a perfect fit. It allows me to continue a positive conversation with the DNC and be involved a bit more behind the scenes. I want to make sure our generation of Christians has a place at the table, so to speak, and this will afford us that chance — even moreso than if I was to give a prayer onstage.

    “As an aside, in a “put your money where your mouth is” move this week, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Independent. I want to vote because of values and convictions, not party affiliations. To me, that’s an important part of being a thinking, values-minded Christian.”

    I think I’ll follow suit and change my own party affiliation from Republican to Independent as well…

  39. Wow, I must say this is a very good/interesting discussion. I am not going to put a lot of my two cents in right now, maybe in the future, but I did want to say it is nice to see people actually talking about these issues (hopefully opened -mindedly). The funny thing to me is, this is pretty much what Miller wanted people to do, talk about the issues. I feel many people have lost sight of that in this discussion. Am I wrong in this view?

    Jean, you talk about choosing the “lesser of two evils” in this election year and are disappointed in our choices. I want to put out there that there are multiple parties to choose from, but unfortunately we only hear about the major two. Looking into some of the third parties. Some people may see this as throwing a vote away, but in reality, it is a call from a minority that they are dissatisfied with the status quo that is set up. If there is enough of this, things could change and, though it is slim, third parties could have a chance in the future.

    Donny. I have been reading you faithfully for a while. I appreciate your openness to question things and to get people into discussions. Again, I think this is part of what Miller was talking about. It is refreshing to me to see that evangelicals are looking to something other than the Republican Party, (as much as I feel that abortion and gay marriage issues are important, I despise that they are the litmus test for voting among the so called “religious right”) As someone who is changing thinking on things as I grow up and mature as well as taking a broader look at things, it is always good to see people that you agree and respect saying the same things you think, I.E. you and Miller.

  40. Wow, I must say this is a very good/interesting discussion. I am not going to put a lot of my two cents in right now, maybe in the future, but I did want to say it is nice to see people actually talking about these issues (hopefully opened -mindedly). The funny thing to me is, this is pretty much what Miller wanted people to do, talk about the issues. I feel many people have lost sight of that in this discussion. Am I wrong in this view?

    Jean, you talk about choosing the “lesser of two evils” in this election year and are disappointed in our choices. I want to put out there that there are multiple parties to choose from, but unfortunately we only hear about the major two. Looking into some of the third parties. Some people may see this as throwing a vote away, but in reality, it is a call from a minority that they are dissatisfied with the status quo that is set up. If there is enough of this, things could change and, though it is slim, third parties could have a chance in the future.

    Donny. I have been reading you faithfully for a while. I appreciate your openness to question things and to get people into discussions. Again, I think this is part of what Miller was talking about. It is refreshing to me to see that evangelicals are looking to something other than the Republican Party, (as much as I feel that abortion and gay marriage issues are important, I despise that they are the litmus test for voting among the so called “religious right”) As someone who is changing thinking on things as I grow up and mature as well as taking a broader look at things, it is always good to see people that you agree and respect saying the same things you think, I.E. you and Miller.

  41. Nancy,

    What I find stunning is that Christians consistently vote Republican. This current administration is grotesque. It really changed my mind entirely about the party. I registered Republican when I turned 18 in 1991. I have voted every time the polls were opened. And until GWBs re-election campaign I always voted the Party lines. Always.

    But that first term of his… wow! And the second term is even worse than the first!

    The actions of this administration opened my eyes. We’ve been lied to for a very long time. I am planning to vote Obama, quite honestly, simply because I feel the Republican Party has betrayed my trust.

    But as I mentioned before, should McCain choose Mitt Romney as his running mate I might reconsider. I have a lot of respect for the things Romney has accomplished.

    In our country we have a system of checks and balances. I don’t believe Obama wants to make abortion more widespread than it already is. I choose to believe him when he says he thinks it should be rare. And while I don’t believe it should happen at all, I am confident that (1) Obama isn’t going to do much of anything on this issue – the same can be said for his opponent and (2) even if he were to try to “loosen the strings” I don’t think our system of checks and balances will allow it.

    Since Roe v Wade became law we’ve had the following REPUBLICAN Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr. Add up all the years they severed and tell me which one overturned Roe v Wade (it happened on Nixon’s watch!) ? So if McCain were actually to do something the last 5 Republicans we’ve had have not done, abortion would STILL not go away… it would go back to a state by state basis. I’m not sure how many states would outlaw the practice, but I’d guess it wouldn’t be many.

    The point is that abortion won’t be an issue if we work on EDUCATING people, changing their hearts, and providing better options. Legislating morality won’t work. Hearts have got to change. And if we change them, it won’t matter if abortion is legal or not… it won’t be an issue!

    As for gay marriage and civil unions… at this point it doesn’t really matter what the President thinks of such things, because the States still have the power to decide for themselves on the matter.

    So what it boils down to is that Obama has contradictory views to my own on two issues that he likely won’t influence in any way should he become President and it is my opinion that anyone who says otherwise is either scare-mongering or believing a scare monger.

    But he’ll likely have a lot of influence over an issue that bothers me greatly: Iraq. We’ve killed a whole lot of innocent Iraqi civilians, and that needs to stop ASAP. And we need a President who is not going to be so quick to go to war with yet another country during his years of service. The amounts of dollars spent on killing Iraqi civilians for their country’s oil could have medically insured all of us. Or it could have been put to other good uses.

    John McCain is a war hero. I love him. I am very happy he is able to afford 7 houses. He deserves it, most likely. But I don’t want him to be my President. He agrees with George W Bush way too much of the time for my tastes, and I am (almost) convinced “Dubya” is the worst President in our country’s history.

  42. Nancy,

    What I find stunning is that Christians consistently vote Republican. This current administration is grotesque. It really changed my mind entirely about the party. I registered Republican when I turned 18 in 1991. I have voted every time the polls were opened. And until GWBs re-election campaign I always voted the Party lines. Always.

    But that first term of his… wow! And the second term is even worse than the first!

    The actions of this administration opened my eyes. We’ve been lied to for a very long time. I am planning to vote Obama, quite honestly, simply because I feel the Republican Party has betrayed my trust.

    But as I mentioned before, should McCain choose Mitt Romney as his running mate I might reconsider. I have a lot of respect for the things Romney has accomplished.

    In our country we have a system of checks and balances. I don’t believe Obama wants to make abortion more widespread than it already is. I choose to believe him when he says he thinks it should be rare. And while I don’t believe it should happen at all, I am confident that (1) Obama isn’t going to do much of anything on this issue – the same can be said for his opponent and (2) even if he were to try to “loosen the strings” I don’t think our system of checks and balances will allow it.

    Since Roe v Wade became law we’ve had the following REPUBLICAN Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr. Add up all the years they severed and tell me which one overturned Roe v Wade (it happened on Nixon’s watch!) ? So if McCain were actually to do something the last 5 Republicans we’ve had have not done, abortion would STILL not go away… it would go back to a state by state basis. I’m not sure how many states would outlaw the practice, but I’d guess it wouldn’t be many.

    The point is that abortion won’t be an issue if we work on EDUCATING people, changing their hearts, and providing better options. Legislating morality won’t work. Hearts have got to change. And if we change them, it won’t matter if abortion is legal or not… it won’t be an issue!

    As for gay marriage and civil unions… at this point it doesn’t really matter what the President thinks of such things, because the States still have the power to decide for themselves on the matter.

    So what it boils down to is that Obama has contradictory views to my own on two issues that he likely won’t influence in any way should he become President and it is my opinion that anyone who says otherwise is either scare-mongering or believing a scare monger.

    But he’ll likely have a lot of influence over an issue that bothers me greatly: Iraq. We’ve killed a whole lot of innocent Iraqi civilians, and that needs to stop ASAP. And we need a President who is not going to be so quick to go to war with yet another country during his years of service. The amounts of dollars spent on killing Iraqi civilians for their country’s oil could have medically insured all of us. Or it could have been put to other good uses.

    John McCain is a war hero. I love him. I am very happy he is able to afford 7 houses. He deserves it, most likely. But I don’t want him to be my President. He agrees with George W Bush way too much of the time for my tastes, and I am (almost) convinced “Dubya” is the worst President in our country’s history.

  43. Donald Miller has a new blog, and the first entry includes his thoughts on praying at the end of the DNC’s opening day, as well as emails between he and Barack Obama (hee hee). Check it out here:

    http://donmilleris.com/2008/08/27/donald-miller-barack-obama/

  44. Donald Miller has a new blog, and the first entry includes his thoughts on praying at the end of the DNC’s opening day, as well as emails between he and Barack Obama (hee hee). Check it out here:

    http://donmilleris.com/2008/08/27/donald-miller-barack-obama/

  45. Joe Biden gave a pretty good speech tonight. Bill Clinton did “okay” too. You can see both on this page:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/27/dnc.main/index.html?eref=rss_topstories#cnnSTCVideo

  46. Joe Biden gave a pretty good speech tonight. Bill Clinton did “okay” too. You can see both on this page:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/27/dnc.main/index.html?eref=rss_topstories#cnnSTCVideo

  47. TES —

    You REALLY need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, kiddo. Your foaming at the mouth anti-Dem rants are, well, great material for late night comedy routines.

    For example you write: “… professional indigence, bankrolled by the middle-class while generously administered by rich , privileged Obama and his rich friends. It’s become entitlement traded for votes.”

    What the…?? Just what kind of bank accounts do you think the silver spoon in the mouth Bushes and Cheneys and plundering rich oil men have? These, and their corporate fat cat buddies, are the ones raping the economy. It’s CORPORATE welfare that is dragging the country into the economic pit of hell. In the 70’s the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker was 20 to 1… today, thanks to Bush and the a string of GOP handouts, that rate is 200 to 1!!

    Obama, rich? Compared to the average household salary, yes. Rich compared to the GOP leadership? Not even close. McCain is so stinking rich he can’t even remember how many houses he has.

    Your pathetic, empty headed ramblings are a great example of why the GOP will continue to be party with its head up its…

    Do you REALIZE that the GOP leadership LAUGH at supporters like you? Yes, they do. They think you’re all mindless idiots; you continue to support them, they grow rich and powerful and you… well, you troll obscure blogs and waste what little intellectual power you have trying to convince others that the GOP isn’t just “right” it’s RIGHT.

  48. TES —

    You REALLY need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, kiddo. Your foaming at the mouth anti-Dem rants are, well, great material for late night comedy routines.

    For example you write: “… professional indigence, bankrolled by the middle-class while generously administered by rich , privileged Obama and his rich friends. It’s become entitlement traded for votes.”

    What the…?? Just what kind of bank accounts do you think the silver spoon in the mouth Bushes and Cheneys and plundering rich oil men have? These, and their corporate fat cat buddies, are the ones raping the economy. It’s CORPORATE welfare that is dragging the country into the economic pit of hell. In the 70’s the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker was 20 to 1… today, thanks to Bush and the a string of GOP handouts, that rate is 200 to 1!!

    Obama, rich? Compared to the average household salary, yes. Rich compared to the GOP leadership? Not even close. McCain is so stinking rich he can’t even remember how many houses he has.

    Your pathetic, empty headed ramblings are a great example of why the GOP will continue to be party with its head up its…

    Do you REALIZE that the GOP leadership LAUGH at supporters like you? Yes, they do. They think you’re all mindless idiots; you continue to support them, they grow rich and powerful and you… well, you troll obscure blogs and waste what little intellectual power you have trying to convince others that the GOP isn’t just “right” it’s RIGHT.

  49. Tes-

    You cannot have it both ways. If you want to assign Christian beliefs to government policy (i.e. the systematic murder of the unborn and the total undermining and perversion of the first institution God created in the scriptures), then do not do it half heartedly. James says this, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” So why are you so against welfare, helping those in need? If you want us to be a Christian nation with laws guided by the Bible, then we need to stop judging the single girl who gets an abortion and try to help her.

    Let’s stop harping on the abortion issue, until we address the thousands of adoptable children that are within foster care right now. It’s easy to protest thousands of innocent white babies that are being aborted, but its a lot harder to look at a dark-skinned child who has experienced more hurt and abandonment in his five years of life than you can imagine and say that he is wanted.

    Marriage? I have a hard time looking a gay person in the eye and telling him that he will destroy the sanctity of marriage when today 2 out of 3 marriages end in divorce. If you were not aware, the divorce rate for Christian couples is just as high as the national average. Apparently, even a legal union is bad in your eyes.

  50. Tes-

    You cannot have it both ways. If you want to assign Christian beliefs to government policy (i.e. the systematic murder of the unborn and the total undermining and perversion of the first institution God created in the scriptures), then do not do it half heartedly. James says this, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” So why are you so against welfare, helping those in need? If you want us to be a Christian nation with laws guided by the Bible, then we need to stop judging the single girl who gets an abortion and try to help her.

    Let’s stop harping on the abortion issue, until we address the thousands of adoptable children that are within foster care right now. It’s easy to protest thousands of innocent white babies that are being aborted, but its a lot harder to look at a dark-skinned child who has experienced more hurt and abandonment in his five years of life than you can imagine and say that he is wanted.

    Marriage? I have a hard time looking a gay person in the eye and telling him that he will destroy the sanctity of marriage when today 2 out of 3 marriages end in divorce. If you were not aware, the divorce rate for Christian couples is just as high as the national average. Apparently, even a legal union is bad in your eyes.

  51. Richard: TES doesn’t deserve the venom you’re spouting off. At least, the opinions were stated in a civil manner, unlike you.

  52. Richard: TES doesn’t deserve the venom you’re spouting off. At least, the opinions were stated in a civil manner, unlike you.

  53. Jean–thank you for reading my posts with an open mind. You’re getting what is and is NOT there…

    For the record, nowhere in my post am I endorsing Republican or any other party as a fix to our problems as a nation. I have never believed that Republican-led government would bring about Christian consciences or leadership. However, I shudder at the idea of a president whose voting record is so openly anti-Christian trying to sucker us in with his pretense of being middle of the road and loving anything Christian other than our votes. Like just about any election, this one comes down to the lesser evil. AndI could never in good conscience endorse a candidate who is so openly mocking Christian values and concerns. I don’t expect McCain to overturn abortion or lead us into a golden era of Christian revival. But his values are definitely not as out there as Obama’s. I also believe that he represents his convictions a lot more openly and honestly. Other than that, my expectations remain limited.

  54. Jean–thank you for reading my posts with an open mind. You’re getting what is and is NOT there…

    For the record, nowhere in my post am I endorsing Republican or any other party as a fix to our problems as a nation. I have never believed that Republican-led government would bring about Christian consciences or leadership. However, I shudder at the idea of a president whose voting record is so openly anti-Christian trying to sucker us in with his pretense of being middle of the road and loving anything Christian other than our votes. Like just about any election, this one comes down to the lesser evil. AndI could never in good conscience endorse a candidate who is so openly mocking Christian values and concerns. I don’t expect McCain to overturn abortion or lead us into a golden era of Christian revival. But his values are definitely not as out there as Obama’s. I also believe that he represents his convictions a lot more openly and honestly. Other than that, my expectations remain limited.

  55. Abby, you are so right about the failure of Christians to demonstrate their convictions in action in either issue that you are discussing. Our track record in marriage is shameful. There is no doubt about it. At the same time, legislating a much compromised form or marriage or “unions” is hardly an answer.

    We don’t live in a Christian world. I am perfectly clear on the fact that this may mean having to endure ungodly government (believe me, I know, I live in CA). But I believe that as Christians we must vote our conscience according to clearly stated scriptural principles. Anybody opposed will certainly vote theirs. And the chips will fall as they may…

    As to social issues, once again, I totally agree with your points. In fact, they say exactly what I was trying to express. We need to put our money where our mouth is. We are individually (and as churches) responsible for bringing about positive change in a messed up world, even if it hurts.

    I am happy to say for my church and for myself as an individual (at least I can do so anonymously) that I strive to do exactly that. We/I are involved in numerous efforts to reach out to the hurting and abandoned.

    We are only given that one option: to reach out and give of ourselves. If we fail to do so, it will show and we are held responsible.

    What I am opposed to is delegating this responsibility to ungodly governements and anti-godly officials such as Mr. Obama. If we look to gov’t to step up for us, they just might. But along with that will come all kinds of other baggage and evils. As I see it, we can either sacrificially give or turn more of our pocketbooks over to the tax-and-spend representatives of social change. If we do the latter, we better be prepared for programs that will replace charity with entitlement and with creating folks who should be receiving freely and instead become dependents of gov’t (not because of charity in the hearts of their friendly officials; those merely trade our tax dollars for gov’t indoctrination and bought votes).

    Nevertheless, your point is understood. We are to lead by example. Some of us do, some of us don’t. The church has stepped up throughout history in the cause of making a better world. We have no right to clamor for the gov’t to do it for us. Unless we’re willing to accept all that comes with it, including the gradual erosion of Christian freedom in this country.

  56. Abby, you are so right about the failure of Christians to demonstrate their convictions in action in either issue that you are discussing. Our track record in marriage is shameful. There is no doubt about it. At the same time, legislating a much compromised form or marriage or “unions” is hardly an answer.

    We don’t live in a Christian world. I am perfectly clear on the fact that this may mean having to endure ungodly government (believe me, I know, I live in CA). But I believe that as Christians we must vote our conscience according to clearly stated scriptural principles. Anybody opposed will certainly vote theirs. And the chips will fall as they may…

    As to social issues, once again, I totally agree with your points. In fact, they say exactly what I was trying to express. We need to put our money where our mouth is. We are individually (and as churches) responsible for bringing about positive change in a messed up world, even if it hurts.

    I am happy to say for my church and for myself as an individual (at least I can do so anonymously) that I strive to do exactly that. We/I are involved in numerous efforts to reach out to the hurting and abandoned.

    We are only given that one option: to reach out and give of ourselves. If we fail to do so, it will show and we are held responsible.

    What I am opposed to is delegating this responsibility to ungodly governements and anti-godly officials such as Mr. Obama. If we look to gov’t to step up for us, they just might. But along with that will come all kinds of other baggage and evils. As I see it, we can either sacrificially give or turn more of our pocketbooks over to the tax-and-spend representatives of social change. If we do the latter, we better be prepared for programs that will replace charity with entitlement and with creating folks who should be receiving freely and instead become dependents of gov’t (not because of charity in the hearts of their friendly officials; those merely trade our tax dollars for gov’t indoctrination and bought votes).

    Nevertheless, your point is understood. We are to lead by example. Some of us do, some of us don’t. The church has stepped up throughout history in the cause of making a better world. We have no right to clamor for the gov’t to do it for us. Unless we’re willing to accept all that comes with it, including the gradual erosion of Christian freedom in this country.

  57. Dear Richard,

    Nevermind…

  58. Dear Richard,

    Nevermind…

  59. Tes,

    I completely agree that we as individuals and the church need to step up and turn out our pockets to help those in need. I think this is what the church is called to do and not just leave it to governments. This would be such a great example for people and it would make us such a brighter light in the dark world.

    However I would also like to throw out there that governments are set up to help people, well most of the time. What FDR did during the great depression was a great thing and very much needed. Despite a lot of that faults that it has caused today, in our current reality, I think that we as the church can also try and use the programs that are out there to our benefit as well in helping us spread love to others. Obama has talked about wanting to give more money to faith based initiatives. As long as terms are acceptable on what is expected in these situations, why not use them to help more people. Now, if it calls to go against our beliefs don’t do it and go completely grass roots. A lot of that money is our tax dollars though, so I think the church should try and use it to the advantage of God.

  60. McCain said he would appoint judges who judge by the text of the Constitution. This usually infers judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Supreme Court judges used to be appointed on the basis of qualifications and experience rather than ideology; almost all of them ruled on the text of the law and stare decisis rather than the more subjective “intent” of the law. That was before we saw so much “legislation from the bench.” The court has changed, and, since Bork, the process for nominating judges has changed with it. That’s why we have stealthy picks like justice Alito (who is suspected to be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade). Either way, McCain is strongly pro-life. It would be difficult for a person who legitimately has that stance to turn their back to it. Also, the presidents who appointed judges who would eventually rule on Roe v. Wade had a long history of a pro-life America with steady/predictable court rulings and probably never considered that the judges would overthrow that legislation. I’ve known pro-choice folks who agree that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision in terms of legal procedures.

    At first, a Roe v. Wade overturn would put it to the states. However, after Roe v. Wade is overturned, Congress could make a law (if singed by the President, of course) banning abortion in the US.

    Also, look at NARAL and Planned Parenthood, the premier pro-abortion groups in the US. Look at who they support and why.

    If abortion is considered a cause of death, then it is the top cause of death in the US. Less than 5,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq (round 2). The US has over 16,000 homicides every year. Double that to get the approximate number of suicides. We have over 1,000,000 abortions every year. I’m not shortchanging death due to combat, but it pales in comparison to some other issues. Making abortion illegal won’t stop all of them. Other plans of action won’t either, but they’re worth doing, too, and they’re not mutually exclusive with making it illegal. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not a sufficient condition for making it illegal, but it’s a necessary one. Making abortion illegal won’t do enough. Relying on other methods wont’ do enough either. Do both.

    Also, there’s an argument to be had that justice requires making abortion illegal even if it doesn’t result in a drop in how many are done. Murder is illegal (we still have over 16,000 of those in the US every year…), and we do a number of other programs to reduce homicides. We should keep it illegal because that’s what good government does. If the Democrats are so big on sticking up for people who can’t stick up for themselves, why the omission of the unborn? If anyone deserves our support, it’s defenseless children. Their quantity alone makes a compelling case. The Republicans are far from perfect on this criteria (helping the helpless), but can you claim the Democrats are so far superior as to just give up on a million dead children? I don’t believe the talk about reducing abortions because as long as I’ve watched, the vast majority of Democrats are against things like parental notification and disclosures aimed at reducing abortions (at least that’s how they were/are in MN). Know what would work wonders? A mandatory high-quality ultrasound with a disclosure on exactly how human that child is (own DNA, blood type, heart beat, etc.) before the child is killed. Think that’s more likely with self-declared pro-lifers in charge or self-declared pro-choicers in charge?

    As a final note, the million figure doesn’t come directly from the CDC, but if you note on their figures the states that are excluded and assume that abortions take place there in proportion to the population of the state, we get estimates around a million. This doesn’t count things like RU-485, also, so a decline in measured abortions doesn’t necessarily mean a decline in abortions. Either way, it’s a lot of blood. When you look at a porn site, you contribute to porn production. When you vote, you contribute to policy, and that blood is on millions of hands.

  61. Tes,

    I completely agree that we as individuals and the church need to step up and turn out our pockets to help those in need. I think this is what the church is called to do and not just leave it to governments. This would be such a great example for people and it would make us such a brighter light in the dark world.

    However I would also like to throw out there that governments are set up to help people, well most of the time. What FDR did during the great depression was a great thing and very much needed. Despite a lot of that faults that it has caused today, in our current reality, I think that we as the church can also try and use the programs that are out there to our benefit as well in helping us spread love to others. Obama has talked about wanting to give more money to faith based initiatives. As long as terms are acceptable on what is expected in these situations, why not use them to help more people. Now, if it calls to go against our beliefs don’t do it and go completely grass roots. A lot of that money is our tax dollars though, so I think the church should try and use it to the advantage of God.

  62. McCain said he would appoint judges who judge by the text of the Constitution. This usually infers judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Supreme Court judges used to be appointed on the basis of qualifications and experience rather than ideology; almost all of them ruled on the text of the law and stare decisis rather than the more subjective “intent” of the law. That was before we saw so much “legislation from the bench.” The court has changed, and, since Bork, the process for nominating judges has changed with it. That’s why we have stealthy picks like justice Alito (who is suspected to be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade). Either way, McCain is strongly pro-life. It would be difficult for a person who legitimately has that stance to turn their back to it. Also, the presidents who appointed judges who would eventually rule on Roe v. Wade had a long history of a pro-life America with steady/predictable court rulings and probably never considered that the judges would overthrow that legislation. I’ve known pro-choice folks who agree that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision in terms of legal procedures.

    At first, a Roe v. Wade overturn would put it to the states. However, after Roe v. Wade is overturned, Congress could make a law (if singed by the President, of course) banning abortion in the US.

    Also, look at NARAL and Planned Parenthood, the premier pro-abortion groups in the US. Look at who they support and why.

    If abortion is considered a cause of death, then it is the top cause of death in the US. Less than 5,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq (round 2). The US has over 16,000 homicides every year. Double that to get the approximate number of suicides. We have over 1,000,000 abortions every year. I’m not shortchanging death due to combat, but it pales in comparison to some other issues. Making abortion illegal won’t stop all of them. Other plans of action won’t either, but they’re worth doing, too, and they’re not mutually exclusive with making it illegal. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not a sufficient condition for making it illegal, but it’s a necessary one. Making abortion illegal won’t do enough. Relying on other methods wont’ do enough either. Do both.

    Also, there’s an argument to be had that justice requires making abortion illegal even if it doesn’t result in a drop in how many are done. Murder is illegal (we still have over 16,000 of those in the US every year…), and we do a number of other programs to reduce homicides. We should keep it illegal because that’s what good government does. If the Democrats are so big on sticking up for people who can’t stick up for themselves, why the omission of the unborn? If anyone deserves our support, it’s defenseless children. Their quantity alone makes a compelling case. The Republicans are far from perfect on this criteria (helping the helpless), but can you claim the Democrats are so far superior as to just give up on a million dead children? I don’t believe the talk about reducing abortions because as long as I’ve watched, the vast majority of Democrats are against things like parental notification and disclosures aimed at reducing abortions (at least that’s how they were/are in MN). Know what would work wonders? A mandatory high-quality ultrasound with a disclosure on exactly how human that child is (own DNA, blood type, heart beat, etc.) before the child is killed. Think that’s more likely with self-declared pro-lifers in charge or self-declared pro-choicers in charge?

    As a final note, the million figure doesn’t come directly from the CDC, but if you note on their figures the states that are excluded and assume that abortions take place there in proportion to the population of the state, we get estimates around a million. This doesn’t count things like RU-485, also, so a decline in measured abortions doesn’t necessarily mean a decline in abortions. Either way, it’s a lot of blood. When you look at a porn site, you contribute to porn production. When you vote, you contribute to policy, and that blood is on millions of hands.

  63. Jeremy,

    As for you last statement, the same thing could be said for people who vote for those who are pro-war, pro-capital punishment, and so forth. Why are these not bigger discussions?

  64. Jeremy,

    As for you last statement, the same thing could be said for people who vote for those who are pro-war, pro-capital punishment, and so forth. Why are these not bigger discussions?

  65. In a two-party system such as we have, it’s pretty much one choice or the other. We don’t have a party that’s anti-war (if that would even save lives), pro-life, anti-capital punishment, pro-reform for quality in health care, pro-enforcement for speed limits and the like (traffic fatalities are huge but overlooked), etc. Quantity matters for deciding which ones to elevate over the others; that’s the whole point of the numbers I put up. Should the US have bombed Auschwitz during WWII even though that would have killed hundreds (perhaps thousands) of innocent Jews? Visit the Holocaust museum in DC, and the displays point that direction. Why? It could have saved tens of thousands more. In God’s view, every life is precious. Unfortunately, human decisions aren’t always between life and death, but between death and death (given the chance, should we kill members of the Taliban? Would that save lives or ruin them?). Should get get involved in Darfur? Certainly, we’d have more death from wars/conflict. Is that worse than death from genocide? The numbers have a very important role.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html

    I remember looking at at this a few years ago and an important trend caught my eye. The WHO splits it up by income now, but they used to be all together and a show a trend (maybe that’s on a different page now…). “Wars and conflict” was a top 10 cause of death worldwide in the 90’s but it reduced off the list when Bush became president. Did Bush cause that? I don’t think so. Look at the numbers now? Where do you see “wars and conflict”? Doesn’t even make the list. It’s gotten better from a macro view even though war is more on our radar now (it feels different when it’s our own country’s soldiers, but isn’t every life equally precious to God and shouldn’t we [and I’m in our armed forces] be willing to sacrifice our lives to save others especially if they’re still lost? When you think about “pro-war” and wars we’ve been involved in, it doesn’t usually mean “pro-death.” When you consider abortion, it’s highly preventable (all mom has to do is say “no”) and it’s unnecessary death.

    As for capital punishment and so forth, it’s the numbers. Why spare 1,000 lives a year (it’s not even that high now for Iraq/Afghanistan) by voting Democrat at the potential expense of 1,000,000? When we pulled out of Vietnam, the communists killed more people in 3 years than we killed during the decade of war. Wars do not always mean more deaths. Often, they save lives. That’s really tough to measure, so I don’t claim that’s the case here. Hussein was a very bad guy and it’s good he’s gone. We found mass graves. People “disappeared” and never came back and there was a suspicious correlation with those Hussein disliked. Did we kill more than we saved or did we save more than we killed? I don’t think either side can make that claim because we don’t have enough info even after the fact. Even if you think we killed far more than we saved, it doesn’t point to one party being better than the other as clearly as abortion does. After all, most of the Democrats in Congress voted for the wars (back when opinion polls showed over 90% of Americans in favor of it — most anti-war Americans have changed their mind…), and then later to cut of funding for it (and if anyone tells you that cutting off those funds came without expense to American lives, they’re lying).

    Now, Donny had some great points about how Republicans have been disappointing for pro-lifers in appointing judges who would make a difference on this issue. We don’t know for certain how many more will die (and be saved) when it comes to capital punishment, wars, etc. But we know cutting abortion in half (just in half!) would add up to more lives than all these other issues combined (that is, if an unborn child is human — if “it’s” rubbish, then I’m wrong).

  66. In a two-party system such as we have, it’s pretty much one choice or the other. We don’t have a party that’s anti-war (if that would even save lives), pro-life, anti-capital punishment, pro-reform for quality in health care, pro-enforcement for speed limits and the like (traffic fatalities are huge but overlooked), etc. Quantity matters for deciding which ones to elevate over the others; that’s the whole point of the numbers I put up. Should the US have bombed Auschwitz during WWII even though that would have killed hundreds (perhaps thousands) of innocent Jews? Visit the Holocaust museum in DC, and the displays point that direction. Why? It could have saved tens of thousands more. In God’s view, every life is precious. Unfortunately, human decisions aren’t always between life and death, but between death and death (given the chance, should we kill members of the Taliban? Would that save lives or ruin them?). Should get get involved in Darfur? Certainly, we’d have more death from wars/conflict. Is that worse than death from genocide? The numbers have a very important role.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html

    I remember looking at at this a few years ago and an important trend caught my eye. The WHO splits it up by income now, but they used to be all together and a show a trend (maybe that’s on a different page now…). “Wars and conflict” was a top 10 cause of death worldwide in the 90’s but it reduced off the list when Bush became president. Did Bush cause that? I don’t think so. Look at the numbers now? Where do you see “wars and conflict”? Doesn’t even make the list. It’s gotten better from a macro view even though war is more on our radar now (it feels different when it’s our own country’s soldiers, but isn’t every life equally precious to God and shouldn’t we [and I’m in our armed forces] be willing to sacrifice our lives to save others especially if they’re still lost? When you think about “pro-war” and wars we’ve been involved in, it doesn’t usually mean “pro-death.” When you consider abortion, it’s highly preventable (all mom has to do is say “no”) and it’s unnecessary death.

    As for capital punishment and so forth, it’s the numbers. Why spare 1,000 lives a year (it’s not even that high now for Iraq/Afghanistan) by voting Democrat at the potential expense of 1,000,000? When we pulled out of Vietnam, the communists killed more people in 3 years than we killed during the decade of war. Wars do not always mean more deaths. Often, they save lives. That’s really tough to measure, so I don’t claim that’s the case here. Hussein was a very bad guy and it’s good he’s gone. We found mass graves. People “disappeared” and never came back and there was a suspicious correlation with those Hussein disliked. Did we kill more than we saved or did we save more than we killed? I don’t think either side can make that claim because we don’t have enough info even after the fact. Even if you think we killed far more than we saved, it doesn’t point to one party being better than the other as clearly as abortion does. After all, most of the Democrats in Congress voted for the wars (back when opinion polls showed over 90% of Americans in favor of it — most anti-war Americans have changed their mind…), and then later to cut of funding for it (and if anyone tells you that cutting off those funds came without expense to American lives, they’re lying).

    Now, Donny had some great points about how Republicans have been disappointing for pro-lifers in appointing judges who would make a difference on this issue. We don’t know for certain how many more will die (and be saved) when it comes to capital punishment, wars, etc. But we know cutting abortion in half (just in half!) would add up to more lives than all these other issues combined (that is, if an unborn child is human — if “it’s” rubbish, then I’m wrong).

  67. But Jeremy, if the correlation between abortion rates and poverty exists — and I would say that they do, as this link suggests — then having a person in office who’s committed to raising people out of poverty will reduce the number of abortions. It’ll also have the effect of, well, raising people out of poverty.

    I’d also like to see your source concerning the statement that the Communists killed more people after the Vietnam War than died during it. Looking at this, we’re talking about possibly as many as three million people being killed in that war.

  68. But Jeremy, if the correlation between abortion rates and poverty exists — and I would say that they do, as this link suggests — then having a person in office who’s committed to raising people out of poverty will reduce the number of abortions. It’ll also have the effect of, well, raising people out of poverty.

    I’d also like to see your source concerning the statement that the Communists killed more people after the Vietnam War than died during it. Looking at this, we’re talking about possibly as many as three million people being killed in that war.

  69. Barack Obama spoke so very eloquently in his acceptance speech when he said that we must do much more to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies. I wrote here before that while parents need to do more to educate their children about using birth control along with abstinence, this must also be taught in the schools because many parents don’t teach this. Bush, McCain and his VP pick Palin and the Republicans tout outlawing abortion but they oppose all of what I wrote above. While the Republicans claim to be “pro-life” they really are not. They are simply PRO-BIRTH. They’re for spending our money to wage wars for the benefit of the oil and other corporations, and for the death penalty. They don’t care about people AFTER they are born. They oppose spending more money to re-build our infrastructure which will provide jobs for millions of unemployed people, more money for education, national health care. You name it and they oppose it. If you really care about LIFE, vote for Barack Obama in November.

  70. Barack Obama spoke so very eloquently in his acceptance speech when he said that we must do much more to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies. I wrote here before that while parents need to do more to educate their children about using birth control along with abstinence, this must also be taught in the schools because many parents don’t teach this. Bush, McCain and his VP pick Palin and the Republicans tout outlawing abortion but they oppose all of what I wrote above. While the Republicans claim to be “pro-life” they really are not. They are simply PRO-BIRTH. They’re for spending our money to wage wars for the benefit of the oil and other corporations, and for the death penalty. They don’t care about people AFTER they are born. They oppose spending more money to re-build our infrastructure which will provide jobs for millions of unemployed people, more money for education, national health care. You name it and they oppose it. If you really care about LIFE, vote for Barack Obama in November.

  71. That was exceptionally well said, Walter!

  72. That was exceptionally well said, Walter!

  73. Re: Bonnie

    Thanks for the citation question and counterpoint.

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/WSJ.ART.HTM
    One source of many. Vietnam is addressed after the article’s midpoint, and there’s some dense prose to get through before the relevant numbers hit (i.e. patience is a fruit of the Spirit). I’ve had history teachers who thought the numbers were higher for Stalin, Mao, and communist SE Asia. There is no way to be sure with so many dead, but these are some conservative educated guesses.

    Correlation does not prove causation. Does poverty cause abortion? Does something else (e.g. risky behavior) cause both abortion and poverty? Is it that young people who are students or starting their employment are more likely to get pregnant and be in poverty with no causal relationship?

    Let us assume that poverty is a cause for abortion. I personally think it is, but I can’t prove it. For a strategy of voting for Democrats to reduce abortion better than the Republicans through poverty reduction, we need for their proposed poverty reduction to work better than the markets (the usual Republican favorite). I am too young to have lived through it, but history gave us President Johnson’s war on poverty. Did that end poverty? Not even close, but it made a dent in it. Most of the programs are alive today (even after Clinton’s welfare reform, which was also imperfectly successful), and have done a lot of good. We have generous social welfare programs; I was raised by a very broken family dependent on them. Western Europe’s are even more robust… and they have a higher abortion rates than the US (correlation does not prove causation but this casts some doubt). We would also need to have this method work better than making it illegal, the usual Republican position that most Democrats do not share. This seems unlikely. Further, adoption has always been an option. The choice is far easier on vulnerable and desperate moms when the death penalty for their child is off the table. My severely mentally ill and impoverished mom turned me over to my grandma who was not much better off. Dad disappeared after pushing mom & family HARD for an abortion. She was 18 & had every excuse to abort. On a personal level, poverty is not an excuse. It never has been. On a macro level, will poverty reduction attempts by increased government intervention do a better job than a legal ban and the welfare status quo? I doubt it. I only limited it to these choices because that is what we have to vote for/against (instead of addressing doing both an abortion ban and more welfare). Also, thousands of abortions are done at the order of people who are not impoverished.

    At the end of the day, common sense tells me that pro-lifers will probably do a better job of reducing abortions than pro-choicers. If a person thinks a mom’s right over her child is stronger than the child’s right to live, it’s a good predictor that their policies will not be as targeted at reducing abortions as the person who believes that the unborn child is fully human with rights that trump mom’s. There are limitations to this idea (you’ll see some of it in my reply to Walter). Either way, I hope this helps further our understanding. Thanks again for the counterpoint.

  74. Re: Bonnie

    Thanks for the citation question and counterpoint.

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/WSJ.ART.HTM
    One source of many. Vietnam is addressed after the article’s midpoint, and there’s some dense prose to get through before the relevant numbers hit (i.e. patience is a fruit of the Spirit). I’ve had history teachers who thought the numbers were higher for Stalin, Mao, and communist SE Asia. There is no way to be sure with so many dead, but these are some conservative educated guesses.

    Correlation does not prove causation. Does poverty cause abortion? Does something else (e.g. risky behavior) cause both abortion and poverty? Is it that young people who are students or starting their employment are more likely to get pregnant and be in poverty with no causal relationship?

    Let us assume that poverty is a cause for abortion. I personally think it is, but I can’t prove it. For a strategy of voting for Democrats to reduce abortion better than the Republicans through poverty reduction, we need for their proposed poverty reduction to work better than the markets (the usual Republican favorite). I am too young to have lived through it, but history gave us President Johnson’s war on poverty. Did that end poverty? Not even close, but it made a dent in it. Most of the programs are alive today (even after Clinton’s welfare reform, which was also imperfectly successful), and have done a lot of good. We have generous social welfare programs; I was raised by a very broken family dependent on them. Western Europe’s are even more robust… and they have a higher abortion rates than the US (correlation does not prove causation but this casts some doubt). We would also need to have this method work better than making it illegal, the usual Republican position that most Democrats do not share. This seems unlikely. Further, adoption has always been an option. The choice is far easier on vulnerable and desperate moms when the death penalty for their child is off the table. My severely mentally ill and impoverished mom turned me over to my grandma who was not much better off. Dad disappeared after pushing mom & family HARD for an abortion. She was 18 & had every excuse to abort. On a personal level, poverty is not an excuse. It never has been. On a macro level, will poverty reduction attempts by increased government intervention do a better job than a legal ban and the welfare status quo? I doubt it. I only limited it to these choices because that is what we have to vote for/against (instead of addressing doing both an abortion ban and more welfare). Also, thousands of abortions are done at the order of people who are not impoverished.

    At the end of the day, common sense tells me that pro-lifers will probably do a better job of reducing abortions than pro-choicers. If a person thinks a mom’s right over her child is stronger than the child’s right to live, it’s a good predictor that their policies will not be as targeted at reducing abortions as the person who believes that the unborn child is fully human with rights that trump mom’s. There are limitations to this idea (you’ll see some of it in my reply to Walter). Either way, I hope this helps further our understanding. Thanks again for the counterpoint.

  75. Blake,

    It’s interesting that you bring up that promise of support for faith-based initiatives. I have to be honest with you but I am not very optimistic about that for the following reasons.

    1. I doubt the sincerity of the promise. As his own VP candidate, the Clintons and many others who should be in his corner will agree, here’s a candidate with an exceptionally scant set of qualifications. Of course, he promises to be everything to all people. But will he be able to follow through? Does he even have a clue how to?

    2. If he is elected we can be assured that taxes will be raised. In turn, he’ll give some of that back to faith-based causes? That’s like saying: give me $100, and I’ll refund you $75. If you replay today, I’ll make it $80. Sounds like a deal? Churches and reputable private charities have proven track records that will always exceed the bang for the buck that actually reaches the needy. Why turn our hard earned money over to the government and in the process also not exercise the spiritual discipline of charity?

    3. I doubt the quality of the causes that would be supported by someone whose idea of church is listening to 20 years’ worth of hate-filled, America-hating tirades.

    4. Government (especially the liberal variety) support of charities always comes at a price. For example, in my hometown of San Francisco (regrettably a predictable haven of predictably liberal politics), one of the greatest charities if the Salvation Army. They feed the homeless, take in drug addicts, provide numerous programs to the community. However, their financial government support has been revoked since they refuse to extend partnership benefits to homosexuals in their employ. Are these the choices that faith-based initiatives should have to make? Thankfully, the Salvation Army did not fall for this and carries on without the public aid. Some of the other so-called churches and Christian charities have not been so wise…

    Check out this guy’s voting record and you find a liberal extremist (by comparison to other liberal senators) masquerading as a man for all constituencies. But the truth becomes evident all too easily although the media chooses to ignore it. Why? Because the man may be an empty suit, but, boy, can he talk…

    If talk would fix our country (and a lot fo fixing is needed at this juncture), I’d be the first in line to vote for Mr. Obama.

  76. Blake,

    It’s interesting that you bring up that promise of support for faith-based initiatives. I have to be honest with you but I am not very optimistic about that for the following reasons.

    1. I doubt the sincerity of the promise. As his own VP candidate, the Clintons and many others who should be in his corner will agree, here’s a candidate with an exceptionally scant set of qualifications. Of course, he promises to be everything to all people. But will he be able to follow through? Does he even have a clue how to?

    2. If he is elected we can be assured that taxes will be raised. In turn, he’ll give some of that back to faith-based causes? That’s like saying: give me $100, and I’ll refund you $75. If you replay today, I’ll make it $80. Sounds like a deal? Churches and reputable private charities have proven track records that will always exceed the bang for the buck that actually reaches the needy. Why turn our hard earned money over to the government and in the process also not exercise the spiritual discipline of charity?

    3. I doubt the quality of the causes that would be supported by someone whose idea of church is listening to 20 years’ worth of hate-filled, America-hating tirades.

    4. Government (especially the liberal variety) support of charities always comes at a price. For example, in my hometown of San Francisco (regrettably a predictable haven of predictably liberal politics), one of the greatest charities if the Salvation Army. They feed the homeless, take in drug addicts, provide numerous programs to the community. However, their financial government support has been revoked since they refuse to extend partnership benefits to homosexuals in their employ. Are these the choices that faith-based initiatives should have to make? Thankfully, the Salvation Army did not fall for this and carries on without the public aid. Some of the other so-called churches and Christian charities have not been so wise…

    Check out this guy’s voting record and you find a liberal extremist (by comparison to other liberal senators) masquerading as a man for all constituencies. But the truth becomes evident all too easily although the media chooses to ignore it. Why? Because the man may be an empty suit, but, boy, can he talk…

    If talk would fix our country (and a lot fo fixing is needed at this juncture), I’d be the first in line to vote for Mr. Obama.

  77. Tes,

    Thanks for the response. I find this blog is very stimulating and definitely gives people something to think about. Though I disagree with you a bit, I respect what you have to say and I think it is great that you are someone who stands up for that. So, on to your points.

    1) No, Obama doesn’t have the best qualifications in the world and everyone knows it. It is silly to even pretend he isn’t as qualified for certain things about the position that others may be, say McCain, or Bob Bahr. I don’t believe this means we can discount him though. We don’t know someone’s true potential till that person is put to the test. I promise I am not trying to be cliché, but the bible is full of people who were not ready to be in a position to do something and yet God choose them for the task. Also, did you know that Abraham Lincoln tried to be indifferent forms of government multiple times before he was elected president? He jumped from being a lawyer to the highest position in the country. I think we can all agree, though he had mistakes, he did a pretty damn good job. I think as Christians we have to be hopeful, but intelligent in decisions. So, with the promise of Rom. 13:1 that authorities exist because of God, we can know the one who wins is the one who is suppose to win. Now, I will point out on my point that that doesn’t mean the person will be good, I.E. Hitler, but I want to be hopeful about Obama.

    2) Yeah, taxes will probably be raised. And he has promised to put some back into faith based initiatives. Again, I want to trust him. I don’t look at what he is saying like it is a late night infomercial. But, with that, I think we should, as the church, continue to work with what is available to us, and with open hearts. By no means do I think that we should stop just because the government is doing something. In all honesty, I believe the government should be more hands off on some issues and I think the church needs to be taking care of those in need, we are called to. But with the way things are going right now, I believe that the government needs to step in and fix some problems, granted many of them are made by them. But if the government doesn’t start doing something different, who is? People are just as guilty for getting things screwed up as the government is. Anyway, I digress. Bottom line, I want to believe in his promises, but the church still needs to be charitable.

    3) I will admit I am still struggling with this one. I don’t know what to think about it. So, I am not really going to respond. It does trouble me though.

    4) As for the supporting of the charities, yes it comes at a price. But it does with the Republicans too. Did you know many organizations who wanted to do work in Africa couldn’t get government support to help the quality of life because they would not commit to an abstinence only curriculum? Abstinence only education DOES NOT WORK! We see this in our own public schools. So, if we are even more educated here in America and this doesn’t work, can we expect it to work somewhere that has even less education? So, it is deciding. As for the Salvation Army, I think it is a shame that organizations can’t choose who they want to help… to some extent. Why is the Salvation Army not helping homosexuals? This is a shame and a waste. What better way to show God’s love to someone than by loving them and helping them? Homosexuality is not a sin. The act is. Plus, we are not supposed to judge people outside of the church. That is for God to do. We are supposed to love.

    Yeah, he may be liberal, and inexperienced, but again, it all comes down to I want to hope in him. Without speaking for Donny, I think that is his point too. (Please correct me Donny if I am wrong). Talk is all we have right now from both parties, and we will see with action later. Either way, I know God is in control.

  78. Tes,

    Thanks for the response. I find this blog is very stimulating and definitely gives people something to think about. Though I disagree with you a bit, I respect what you have to say and I think it is great that you are someone who stands up for that. So, on to your points.

    1) No, Obama doesn’t have the best qualifications in the world and everyone knows it. It is silly to even pretend he isn’t as qualified for certain things about the position that others may be, say McCain, or Bob Bahr. I don’t believe this means we can discount him though. We don’t know someone’s true potential till that person is put to the test. I promise I am not trying to be cliché, but the bible is full of people who were not ready to be in a position to do something and yet God choose them for the task. Also, did you know that Abraham Lincoln tried to be indifferent forms of government multiple times before he was elected president? He jumped from being a lawyer to the highest position in the country. I think we can all agree, though he had mistakes, he did a pretty damn good job. I think as Christians we have to be hopeful, but intelligent in decisions. So, with the promise of Rom. 13:1 that authorities exist because of God, we can know the one who wins is the one who is suppose to win. Now, I will point out on my point that that doesn’t mean the person will be good, I.E. Hitler, but I want to be hopeful about Obama.

    2) Yeah, taxes will probably be raised. And he has promised to put some back into faith based initiatives. Again, I want to trust him. I don’t look at what he is saying like it is a late night infomercial. But, with that, I think we should, as the church, continue to work with what is available to us, and with open hearts. By no means do I think that we should stop just because the government is doing something. In all honesty, I believe the government should be more hands off on some issues and I think the church needs to be taking care of those in need, we are called to. But with the way things are going right now, I believe that the government needs to step in and fix some problems, granted many of them are made by them. But if the government doesn’t start doing something different, who is? People are just as guilty for getting things screwed up as the government is. Anyway, I digress. Bottom line, I want to believe in his promises, but the church still needs to be charitable.

    3) I will admit I am still struggling with this one. I don’t know what to think about it. So, I am not really going to respond. It does trouble me though.

    4) As for the supporting of the charities, yes it comes at a price. But it does with the Republicans too. Did you know many organizations who wanted to do work in Africa couldn’t get government support to help the quality of life because they would not commit to an abstinence only curriculum? Abstinence only education DOES NOT WORK! We see this in our own public schools. So, if we are even more educated here in America and this doesn’t work, can we expect it to work somewhere that has even less education? So, it is deciding. As for the Salvation Army, I think it is a shame that organizations can’t choose who they want to help… to some extent. Why is the Salvation Army not helping homosexuals? This is a shame and a waste. What better way to show God’s love to someone than by loving them and helping them? Homosexuality is not a sin. The act is. Plus, we are not supposed to judge people outside of the church. That is for God to do. We are supposed to love.

    Yeah, he may be liberal, and inexperienced, but again, it all comes down to I want to hope in him. Without speaking for Donny, I think that is his point too. (Please correct me Donny if I am wrong). Talk is all we have right now from both parties, and we will see with action later. Either way, I know God is in control.

  79. Hi Blake,

    What a kind and thoughtful response. This certainly says a lot about you. If only I could be as hopeful as you are…

    A couple of notes though.

    On 1: I find your response interesting and thought-provoking although I have problems with two parts. Your observation that God chose totally unlikely people is dead on! In fact, those are indeed his favorite people for the job (this is not just a theory to me; as one whose life has been redeemed in many practical ways, I cannot help but agree). If only someone could convince me that the candidate in question is seeking God and were willing to submit to His guidance… That’s the tricky part. Unfortunately, he seems to have a very superficial and bent interpretation of Christianity which seems to include the idea that bitterness motivates people to cling to their Bible (and some other things). Also, let’s not forget that Lincoln was “failing forward.” While he was “failing” at several political efforts, he marked his time and gained useful experience. That’s very different from electing someone severely lacking in qualifications anyway, first time around.

    As to 4: Your distinction between the area of temptation and the act is absolutely correct. I did NOT in any way mean to convey the impresion that the Salvation Army distinguishes whom they help in that way. I know for a fact that they provide wonderful ministry to people of all backgrounds and areas of fallenness (and I agree that we have no business judging non-believers by Christian standards–ever!. However, they should not be forced to EMPLOY people whose lifestyle and deliberate and continued unrepentant practices clearly disqualify them for Christian ministry as a prerequisite for receiving funds designed to help the less fortunate.

    This brings me to the heart of the problem with government. In the Bible and thereafter, governments have often had no problem with Christians worshipping and obeying their God as long as they were also willing to bow down to the emperor of the times (and their false ideas and gods, eg Rome) or accept state regulations compromising their worship (eg. Soviet Union). The wise course of action has ALWAYS been (as Biblical examples demonstrate) not to fall for these compromises, worship God alone and uphold His principles.

    Thanks again for a most thoughtful response.

  80. Hi Blake,

    What a kind and thoughtful response. This certainly says a lot about you. If only I could be as hopeful as you are…

    A couple of notes though.

    On 1: I find your response interesting and thought-provoking although I have problems with two parts. Your observation that God chose totally unlikely people is dead on! In fact, those are indeed his favorite people for the job (this is not just a theory to me; as one whose life has been redeemed in many practical ways, I cannot help but agree). If only someone could convince me that the candidate in question is seeking God and were willing to submit to His guidance… That’s the tricky part. Unfortunately, he seems to have a very superficial and bent interpretation of Christianity which seems to include the idea that bitterness motivates people to cling to their Bible (and some other things). Also, let’s not forget that Lincoln was “failing forward.” While he was “failing” at several political efforts, he marked his time and gained useful experience. That’s very different from electing someone severely lacking in qualifications anyway, first time around.

    As to 4: Your distinction between the area of temptation and the act is absolutely correct. I did NOT in any way mean to convey the impresion that the Salvation Army distinguishes whom they help in that way. I know for a fact that they provide wonderful ministry to people of all backgrounds and areas of fallenness (and I agree that we have no business judging non-believers by Christian standards–ever!. However, they should not be forced to EMPLOY people whose lifestyle and deliberate and continued unrepentant practices clearly disqualify them for Christian ministry as a prerequisite for receiving funds designed to help the less fortunate.

    This brings me to the heart of the problem with government. In the Bible and thereafter, governments have often had no problem with Christians worshipping and obeying their God as long as they were also willing to bow down to the emperor of the times (and their false ideas and gods, eg Rome) or accept state regulations compromising their worship (eg. Soviet Union). The wise course of action has ALWAYS been (as Biblical examples demonstrate) not to fall for these compromises, worship God alone and uphold His principles.

    Thanks again for a most thoughtful response.

  81. Tes,

    Thanks for the response.

    I honestly haven’t decided what I think about that comment yet. I agree it was out of place from Obama. I once read a report somewhere, and unfortunately I don’t know where it is, but it talked about when he starts speaking outside of his preset speech, he seems to say the wrong things, this instance being one of them. That has given me cause to think about what he really thinks at time. Is he being real or is he simply speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    As for the bitter part though, him being a self-proclaimed progressive, I can see to some extent where he is coming from. I have a friend who is just so hard-headed and I really believe he clings to the bible but never really thinks through things, just a gut reaction. And I know for a fact he is bitter about how things have turned out in this country, i.e. feeling like he is becoming the minority in “his own country” instead of just embracing that things are going to change, and that the US is a melting pot. It is interesting to me how many people seem to forget this over time. It was happening back when the Irish were coming over, and it is happening now with Hispanics and others as well. (This is in no way a hit on you or anything, since I don’t even know where you stand, just more of me rambling on after my point was already made) 🙂 My friend considers himself an evangelist and I have even brought up the point to him before that he should see immigrants as a good thing because that is just more people that are accessible to him to spread the love and word of God too, but he just doesn’t want to see it that way. It is very disheartening to me. And just to be straight, I don’t think we should let anyone and everyone in. There needs to be rules and restriction, but we should be more open to new foreigners coming in.

    Also, nice comment about Lincoln, I liked the failing forward. Though, I don’t know if Obama is severely lacking in qualifications. He has been a lawyer, a community activist, a state legislator, as well a senator. Plus he and Lincoln are only about 8 years age difference from when Lincoln was elected compared to when Obama will potentially be elected. I think he may be under qualified in some areas, but I think it could also be argued that many presidents are under qualified in some area or another.

    As for the Salvation Army part, I must apologize. I missed the part about employ. I am sorry. And I completely agree with you. They should be able to hire who they want and it is a shame that it is perceived as discrimination on their part when they are standing up for what they believe.

    I completely agree with your last part. Maybe this is the time when Christianity is going to fall in America because hopefully good theologically minded groups of people will stand against. Now, I hope this isn’t the case, but I think we should really be prepared for anything. But, like you said, we should cling to God more than anything.

    Also, just so you know, I read this on another blog I enjoy.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1370_abortion_is_about_god/

    It really got me thinking about my stance on abortion with the Democratic Party.

    Thanks for the good comments back. You make me think.

  82. Tes,

    Thanks for the response.

    I honestly haven’t decided what I think about that comment yet. I agree it was out of place from Obama. I once read a report somewhere, and unfortunately I don’t know where it is, but it talked about when he starts speaking outside of his preset speech, he seems to say the wrong things, this instance being one of them. That has given me cause to think about what he really thinks at time. Is he being real or is he simply speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    As for the bitter part though, him being a self-proclaimed progressive, I can see to some extent where he is coming from. I have a friend who is just so hard-headed and I really believe he clings to the bible but never really thinks through things, just a gut reaction. And I know for a fact he is bitter about how things have turned out in this country, i.e. feeling like he is becoming the minority in “his own country” instead of just embracing that things are going to change, and that the US is a melting pot. It is interesting to me how many people seem to forget this over time. It was happening back when the Irish were coming over, and it is happening now with Hispanics and others as well. (This is in no way a hit on you or anything, since I don’t even know where you stand, just more of me rambling on after my point was already made) 🙂 My friend considers himself an evangelist and I have even brought up the point to him before that he should see immigrants as a good thing because that is just more people that are accessible to him to spread the love and word of God too, but he just doesn’t want to see it that way. It is very disheartening to me. And just to be straight, I don’t think we should let anyone and everyone in. There needs to be rules and restriction, but we should be more open to new foreigners coming in.

    Also, nice comment about Lincoln, I liked the failing forward. Though, I don’t know if Obama is severely lacking in qualifications. He has been a lawyer, a community activist, a state legislator, as well a senator. Plus he and Lincoln are only about 8 years age difference from when Lincoln was elected compared to when Obama will potentially be elected. I think he may be under qualified in some areas, but I think it could also be argued that many presidents are under qualified in some area or another.

    As for the Salvation Army part, I must apologize. I missed the part about employ. I am sorry. And I completely agree with you. They should be able to hire who they want and it is a shame that it is perceived as discrimination on their part when they are standing up for what they believe.

    I completely agree with your last part. Maybe this is the time when Christianity is going to fall in America because hopefully good theologically minded groups of people will stand against. Now, I hope this isn’t the case, but I think we should really be prepared for anything. But, like you said, we should cling to God more than anything.

    Also, just so you know, I read this on another blog I enjoy.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1370_abortion_is_about_god/

    It really got me thinking about my stance on abortion with the Democratic Party.

    Thanks for the good comments back. You make me think.

  83. As a Christian, I often find myself doubting the sincerity in others’ pro-life rage targeted against Obama and his party. Are people who are against Obama mainly for abortion reasons serious about stopping abortion, or are they more concerned with having the law reflect their values regardless of whether abortions still occur?

    We now have decades of data on women who seek abortion. We now know for sure that outlawing abortion doesn’t get rid of it — or even cut the rate of abortions by half. Like drug use, it’s just one of those behaviors that isn’t seriously deterred by laws. As we economists like to say, the demand for abortion is “inelastic.” It doesn’t lend itself to supply-side control (e.g., closing abortion clinics).

    Thank God it is VERY easy to control with demand-side policies. (Denmark, which has a strong social security system, has the world’s lowest abortion rate despite its liberal abortion laws.), This is why I think Obama should be applauded for finally talking about reducing unwanted pregnancies. If women don’t have the healthcare and financial support they need to deliver a baby, they tend to seek abortion whether it’s legal or not. The un-Christian destruction of the welfare system and constant demonization of the poor by the Republicans have caused FAR more abortions that Roe vs. Wade.

    If you’re inclined to think the gov’t can legislate morality, demand-side abortion reduction may be hard to understanding. But the reality is certain behaviors just do not go away when you outlaw them, and abortion is one of them. So do the pro-life opponents of Obama genuinely care about stopping abortion, or do they care more about having the laws of the state reflecting their values? Do worship God who would call on them to do whatever works to end abortion, or the nation-state? Do they worship God who would call on them to support social welfare, or do they worship money and capitalism? I am never quite sure.

  84. As a Christian, I often find myself doubting the sincerity in others’ pro-life rage targeted against Obama and his party. Are people who are against Obama mainly for abortion reasons serious about stopping abortion, or are they more concerned with having the law reflect their values regardless of whether abortions still occur?

    We now have decades of data on women who seek abortion. We now know for sure that outlawing abortion doesn’t get rid of it — or even cut the rate of abortions by half. Like drug use, it’s just one of those behaviors that isn’t seriously deterred by laws. As we economists like to say, the demand for abortion is “inelastic.” It doesn’t lend itself to supply-side control (e.g., closing abortion clinics).

    Thank God it is VERY easy to control with demand-side policies. (Denmark, which has a strong social security system, has the world’s lowest abortion rate despite its liberal abortion laws.), This is why I think Obama should be applauded for finally talking about reducing unwanted pregnancies. If women don’t have the healthcare and financial support they need to deliver a baby, they tend to seek abortion whether it’s legal or not. The un-Christian destruction of the welfare system and constant demonization of the poor by the Republicans have caused FAR more abortions that Roe vs. Wade.

    If you’re inclined to think the gov’t can legislate morality, demand-side abortion reduction may be hard to understanding. But the reality is certain behaviors just do not go away when you outlaw them, and abortion is one of them. So do the pro-life opponents of Obama genuinely care about stopping abortion, or do they care more about having the laws of the state reflecting their values? Do worship God who would call on them to do whatever works to end abortion, or the nation-state? Do they worship God who would call on them to support social welfare, or do they worship money and capitalism? I am never quite sure.

  85. how is it that the same amount of abortions were committed before roe vs wade as after.. and were did you get that data?
    ive heard there was something like tens of millions of abortions SINCE RVW. so that would be alot of coat hangers my friend. i hear your point but it would be like my daughter having a heroin addiction and i supplying the needles. i think opposing laws do help in deterring an action..not that it would legislate morality by making people WANT to keep their children..but it sure as heck wouldnt make it any easier.

    even though GRACE abounds, God is not any more lax on His law.

  86. how is it that the same amount of abortions were committed before roe vs wade as after.. and were did you get that data?
    ive heard there was something like tens of millions of abortions SINCE RVW. so that would be alot of coat hangers my friend. i hear your point but it would be like my daughter having a heroin addiction and i supplying the needles. i think opposing laws do help in deterring an action..not that it would legislate morality by making people WANT to keep their children..but it sure as heck wouldnt make it any easier.

    even though GRACE abounds, God is not any more lax on His law.

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