Archive | Politics

Obama’s Hypocritical Strategy on Abortion

obama-1-141In last Friday’s The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg described President Obama’s approach to the abortion issue:

“In nearly four months in office, President Obama has pursued a careful two-pronged strategy on abortion, enacting policies that secure a woman’s right to the procedure while vowing to move beyond the culture wars that have divided the nation on the issue for more than three decades.”

This description is astonishingly candid, and it is no compliment to the President. Notice that Obama’s strategy has two parts: enacting and vowing. Essentially, she is saying that President Obama supports policies that are substantively pro-abortion, while adopting rhetoric that makes it sound as if he’s not taken a side in the old culture war. Yet by supporting the status quo of abortion-on-demand, Obama has in fact taken a side. If Stolberg is correct (and his speech at Notre Dame would suggest that she is), then Obama’s “two-pronged strategy” is in fact a case study in hypocrisy. He is simply saying one thing and doing another.

Obama Fails To Transcend Abortion Debate

barack-mainI watched President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame with some interest this afternoon (see video and transcript below). I was curious (along with everyone else in the country) about how he would address the protests surrounding his appearance at a Roman Catholic (and ostensibly pro-life) university. The buzz leading-up to the speech was that the President would address the issue head-on while attempting to transcend the old “culture war” debates about abortion. Continue Reading →

Americans More Pro-Life Than Ever?

gallup

For the first time since Gallup began tracking this issue in 1995, more Americans now identify themselves as pro-life (51%) than those who identify themselves as pro-choice (42%). Gallup says that the “bottom line” of their survey is this:

‘With the first pro-choice president in eight years already making changes to the nation’s policies on funding abortion overseas, expressing his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, and moving toward rescinding federal job protections for medical workers who refuse to participate in abortion procedures, Americans — and, in particular, Republicans — seem to be taking a step back from the pro-choice position. However, the retreat is evident among political moderates as well as conservatives.

‘It is possible that, through his abortion policies, Obama has pushed the public’s understanding of what it means to be “pro-choice” slightly to the left, politically. While Democrats may support that, as they generally support everything Obama is doing as president, it may be driving others in the opposite direction.’

I hope that the stats are showing us what I think they are. It appears that the nation’s conscience hasn’t been completely seared on the issue of abortion. Hearts and minds can yet be won to a pro-life position, and some indeed have been. This is encouraging news. Read the rest of the survey results here.

Obama’s Supreme Court Philosophy

OBAMA/Peter Slevin describes in the Washington Post what qualities President Obama will be looking for as he appoints a new Justice to the Supreme Court. According to Slevin, the quality that Obama is chiefly concerned about is “empathy.” In other words, Obama is not so much looking for a Justice who will interpret the Constitution according to the framers’s intent. Rather, he is looking for a Justice who can go beyond the letter of the law and stand for justice when no one else will.

Slevin’s article reveals (perhaps unconsciously) why Obama’s approach to appointing Justices is not sound. Ever since Marbury v. Madison, the Court’s most significant power is that of “judicial review”—the right of the court to declare laws unconstitutional. This power allows the Court to have the last word on what the Constitution means. For Obama, however, a Supreme Court Justice’s job is not to bring the proper interpretation of the law to bear upon a given case. The rule of law (Constitutionally speaking) sometimes has to give way to the discretion of Justices who sometimes know better.

This article is worth reading in toto, and you can find it here.

Obama Engaged on Gay “Marriage”?

The New York Times has an interesting piece on President Obama’s engagement on “gay issues.” In short, gay activists think that Obama is not doing enough, and they are pressing him to advocate publicly for their causes. Here’s an excerpt:

‘WASHINGTON — President Obama was noticeably silent last month when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

‘But now Mr. Obama — who has said he opposes same-sex marriage as a Christian but describes himself as a “fierce advocate of equality” for gay men and lesbians — is under pressure to engage on a variety of gay issues that are coming to the fore amid a dizzying pace of social, political, legal and legislative change. Continue Reading →

Justice David Souter Will Retire

NPR is reporting that Justice David Souter will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the current court term. This means that President Obama will be able to make his first appointment to the Supreme Court.

Even though Souter was appointed to the Court by George H. W. Bush, he has turned out to be a big disappointment on many important issues. His retirement will not change the balance of the Court’s opinion on Roe v. Wade. Nevertheless, Obama may very well appoint a replacement that is younger and more liberal than Souter. That will not be good.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports, “Justice David Souter has told the White House that he will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the court’s term in June.”

The Difference between Christianity and Politics

Adam Nagourney reports for the New York Times that the same-sex “marriage” issue has become a hindrance to the Republican Party. More and more voters are simply disinterested in fighting over this issue. Nagourney writes:

“In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

“Steve Schmidt, who was the senior strategist to Senator John McCain of Arizona during his presidential campaign, said in a speech and an interview that Republicans were in danger of losing these younger voters unless the party comes to appreciate how issues like gay marriage resonate, or do not resonate, with them.”

Think carefully about this last remark from Steve Schmidt. Essentially, he is saying that because the electorate is changing the Republican message on marriage needs to change as well.

Herein is one of the chief differences between faithful, biblical Christianity and democratic politics. On the one hand, political parties survive by changing their messages in order to accommodate the shifting mores and opinions of the culture. On the other hand, Christianity survives and flourishes by conserving its message and by never accommodating to cultural mores and opinions that are opposed to it. Christians have an allegiance to Jesus that trumps every other allegiance, and that means that our commitment to Jesus’ unchanging message must not be compromised for any reason. To miss that is to miss Christianity altogether.

In practical terms, that means that as the culture grows more and more accepting of same-sex “marriage,” faithful Christians will necessarily be pushed more and more to the cultural margins. But this shouldn’t frighten or surprise anyone. Christ’s followers have often found themselves in such a position, and Jesus told his disciples that we should expect it to be so (John 15:18-27). It’s just one more reminder that “here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come” (Hebrew 13:14).

Another Outrage from Planned Parenthood

Lila Rose is a 20-year old college student at UCLA. She has the voice of a 14-year old, but she has an ingenious plan to expose Planned Parenthood’s serial abuse of vulnerable young girls who are pregnant. Rose produces undercover videos in which she poses as an underage teen seeking an abortion from Planned Parenthood. Recently, she was featured in a front-page story in the LA Times. Watch the video, and read the article. Unbelievable.

A Clarification about Plan B

The FDA announced this week that it will allow “Plan B” contraceptive pills to be sold without a prescription to girls as young as 17 years old. You can read the announcement here.

Earlier this morning I read the New York Times‘s editorial about the decision and was miffed that the editors implied that there were no human life concerns when it comes to the use of the Plan B pills. The editors say that Plan B merely “blocks” or “prevents” pregnancies. Such language might appear to some to be saying that human life is not endangered by the use of this drug. But nothing could be further from the truth. Continue Reading →

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