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.

26 Responses to Obama’s Hypocritical Strategy on Abortion

  1. Deek Dubberly May 19, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    And what’s so dangerous is that so many are buying into this strategy. Sure, there was a ton of controversy surrounding the recent Notre Dame commencement, but I say, by and large, they took his bait hook, line, and sinker. Here’s a few related videos from various sources: here, here, and here.

  2. Lucas Knisely May 19, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    He also made sure to passively tell people to ignore the media and blogs that, “claim definitive knowledge”. I’ve heard him do this now on more than one occasion. He is pushing for something and slips in a dismissive hand wave against the media and blogs. He’s almost unashamedly cynical toward public oversight and opinion while using rhetoric of “honoring the conscience” and “respect”.

  3. Derek Taylor May 19, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Good old fashioned smoke and mirrors. Sounds like “the old way of politics” Obama promised to sweep out of Washington.

  4. Kody Gibson May 19, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    Dr. Burk,

    You complain an awful lot. I don’t mind people questioning Obama’s policies and views on certain issues but you along with many other right wing conservatives think on a one track mind. The best thing to do is ask you a question. I don’t feel like going through all of your blog entries so help me out. When have you ever criticized a republican? Did you have enough guts to speak out against the unjust war that President Bush and his cabinet supported? Or what about some of the unethical issues that need to be address concerning the treatment of war criminals? I hope you can answer yes, that you were consistent about the sanctity of human life. Unfortunately, I don’t know that you have been. Therefore, we must conclude that you are hypocritical as well. Your commentary on theology is, for the most part, consistent but when it comes to politics and culture you sound like a white middle class republican rather than someone who thinks critically about all issues of politics and culture.

  5. Kevin J May 19, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    I think Obama is good for Christians. He is waking us up from a slothfulness toward the sanctity of life.

  6. Brian Krieger May 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Kevin J:

    I had just read Justin Taylor quoting Yuval Levin:

    Although it was certainly not his intention, the president’s remarks point to the profound and growing weakness of the case for America’s radical abortion laws.

    John Knight (from Bethlehem Baptist) had a good response to the abortion rhetoric as well. His quote:

    So, is that the point, Mr. President – we get to talk, but the underlying positions get to remain the same? The only thing that actually changes is we think a little more charitably about each other?

    And he rightly points to a corollary issue:

    When do we get to talk about how the behavior of men on virtually every measurable level has gotten worse since abortion was made legal across the United States?

    And yes, I’m sure we all understand presence isn’t a proof of causation. Perhaps almost a chicken and egg thing.

  7. volfan007 May 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm #


    Do I have a comment in moderation? If not, one of my comments just went somewhere???


  8. volfan007 May 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm #


    Do I have a comment in moderation, or something? If not, one of my comments just went somewhere?????


  9. Kevin J May 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm #


    Just to clarify…Obama is good for Christians in a ironic way…not literally.

  10. Brian Krieger May 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Kevin J:

    Oh, yes, I agree. I was seconding your comment! At least I think so. I think that it could be we are seeing God’s working to make evil actions turn out for good (combine the idea with the pollster’s uptick in pro-life self-designation and it seems that way). So evil-to-good irony.


    I think Dr. Burk has developed a new Kentucky bias against his new southern neighbor (ha ha).

  11. Darius T May 19, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Kevin (and Brian): check out this recent Gallup poll, seems like maybe people are waking up. http://dariusteichroew.blogspot.com/2009/05/pro-life-trend.html

  12. Jenny Talwarts May 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    Amen Kody!

  13. Nathan May 21, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Kody said,”Did Dr. Burk [you] have enough guts to speak out against the unjust war that President Bush and his cabinet supported? Or what about some of the unethical issues that need to be address concerning the treatment of war criminals? I hope you can answer yes, that you were consistent about the sanctity of human life. Unfortunately, I don’t know that you have been. Therefore, we must conclude that you are hypocritical as well.”

    Kody, you are assuming that the war we are currently in is unjust (unless you are speaking about a different war). Remember that the Congress and many other nations that have sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan disagreed with your assumption (at least at one point). Simply because many are now calling it unjust does not imply that only the Bush adminstration is responsible for its inception. Also, the Obama administration continues to fight this war and simply because President Obama has placed a timetable on the withdrawal of troops does not mean that he believes the war to be unjust. If he does, then the President is responsible for lives lost (lives you believe are unjustly dying) while he spends 18 months preparing for withdrawal.

    As for the issue with war criminals, once again you insinuate that the treatment (apart from the abuse that has already been prosecuted) these captured prisoners are receiving is unjust. That is certainly within your right to carry that opinion, but it is not the “christian” position. Christendom has not spoken in toto on this, so to call Dr. Burk a hypocrite because he does not hold your view on the definition of the sanctity of life is hypocritical on your part. The Christian community is varied on just war vs. pacifism as well as on the issue of capital punishment, etc. as it pertains to holding a sanctity for human life.

    Dr. Burk has spoken consistently on the issue of abortion. These little ones have no voice of their own and they have committed no crime to stand accused of, unlike the other issues you sought to parry against the abortion issue.

    “when it comes to politics and culture you (Dr. Burk) sound like a white middle class republican rather than someone who thinks critically about all issues of politics and culture.”

    So Kody, does that mean that only non-white, non-middle class, non-republicans can think critically? I’m so glad that you are keeping such an open mind and would not caricature or pigeon-hole any one group. So which ethnic, socioeconomic, politcal affialiated people think critically? That way, we can simply vote for only those people in the future and all our problems will disappear — LOL.

  14. Darius T May 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    I’m fairly certain that Kody was just a troll… but either way, good words, Nathan.

  15. Kody Gibson May 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    Thanks for the comments. Nathan, I think you are assuming that I endorse Obama. That is not the case at all. I am simply pointing out that Dr. Burk, along with many other evangelicals, only point the finger at liberal politicians in the area of abortion and homosexual marriage issues. There are other areas that need to be worked through to define a consistent human ethic. I.E. Some of the things you’ve mentioned like the death penalty, war, and the treatment of war criminals, ect.

    On the white middle class republican issue, I think you’re missing my point. The phrase was taken from a Derek Webb song, There are two great lies that I have heard….One of the lies Webb mentions is that Jesus Christ was a white middle class republican. I am not saying white middle class republicans can’t think critically, although I’ll admit I should have phrased the statement differently. I’m intending to say that all to often evangelicals look more like white middle class republicans in their political and cultural dialogue than Jesus Christ. That is why you see all talk about abortion and homosexuality and very little in the area of other issues mentioned above. That is why I asked Dr. Burk if he ever talks about anything else?

  16. Kody Gibson May 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    You can’t tell me that George Bush ran things perfectly while he was in office. If you try to you are a fool and if you are honest and true is it not justified to ask why Dr. Burk and even evangelicals like Albert Mohler never spoke out against something Bush did wrong? They only speak out against Liberals. It doesn’t make sense.

  17. Kody Gibson May 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Sorry I responded to that without editing. It doesn’t really make sense but I think you’ll get what I’m trying to say.

  18. Darius T May 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Now that we know you’re not a troll, I will attempt to engage you, Kody.

    Looking at your original comment: “Did you have enough guts to speak out against the unjust war that President Bush and his cabinet supported?”

    Well, if Denny believes (and I am pretty sure he does based on prior posts like this one: http://www.dennyburk.com/?p=1352) that the Iraq War (assuming that’s what you are referring to here) was/is just, then one wouldn’t expect him to speak against it.

    “Or what about some of the unethical issues that need to be address concerning the treatment of war criminals?”

    I assume you’re referring to the whole “torture” debate and the interrogation standards for questioning terrorists. What unethical issues are you talking about? Any and all abuses have been punished, and there is currently a debate over what constitutes excessive force during interrogation. Like most conservatives, I am in favor of banning some forms of interrogation but letting them remain viable in certain situations where they are required (ticking time bombs, etc.) It is MOST consistent with a pro-life ethic to support such a view, as it values innocent lives over the momentary comfort of a terrorist.

  19. Darius T May 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    And Kody, for more on a Christian perspective on the death penalty, see here: http://dariusteichroew.blogspot.com/2009/03/christians-and-capital-punishment.html

  20. Kody Gibson May 21, 2009 at 11:51 pm #


    Thank you for engaging. Its late so maybe I’ll comment tomorrow. What is a troll by the way?

  21. Darius T May 22, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    Someone who just happens across the website, makes a quick snarky comment, then never returns… or something along those lines.

  22. Nathan May 22, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Kody: I just responded to you, but it appears to have went into moderation. Hopefully it will come back.

    I look forward to continue our discussion.

  23. Kody Gibson May 22, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Well I must be honest. I probably started out as a troll but it looks like you guys have kept me around with your great responses.

  24. Nathan May 22, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    I’ll try once more. Hopefully it wont go into Neverland.

    As far as me thinking the Bush administration did nothing wrong, I didn’t say that. I think Bush was way off on his Domestic issues. He spent like a liberal and pursued big government. I am a small government, get out of my pockets kind of conservative. I think he cost the Conservatives the last two election cycles.

    I would like you to speak further on what kind of person is the best critical thinker.

  25. Nathan May 22, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Also, I was not implying that you did or did not support Obama. I was merely pointing out that since Obama is not bring troops home immediately upon taking office, he is reflecting (at least to some extent) that he believes the war to be justified. Therefore, Bush is not solely responsible for the support of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is your phrasing seemingly suggested.

  26. Matthew Staton May 22, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Point of information: Trolls are those who say what it takes to provoke a response. For them, the battle is the thing. One technique is to state an extreme form of view they actually oppose in order to either get dumb rednecks to agree and look dumb, or to get someone to fight back, thus making their point.

    Example: An Armenian might drop by here and pretend to be a Calvinist and strongly state some form of hypercalvinism as though they are actually fighting for it. The heated debated that ensues is itself the reward for this person.

    What stinks about this is it makes it almost impossible to ever have intelligent give-and-take discussions because you don’t know when people are playing you. The early blog world (way back in the wild 1990’s) was dominated by the likes of Slashdot and Kur5hin. Trolls very much affected the nature of the discourse at those places. People there would sometimes leave a “DFTT” comment, meaning “Don’t Feed The Troll.”

    A troll feeds on attention. The best strategy is to just ignore them.

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