The Most Viable Candidate for President

The editors of The National Review have decided to endorse Mitt Romney as their choice for the next president of the United States. They raise a number of issues in their editorial that I think all serious voters need to consider. But their stated criteria for endorsing a candidate is very clear:

“Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate.”

Mark these words from the previous sentence: “conservative” and “viable.” By conservative, the editors mean to support the candidate that most embodies a conservative governing philosophy, which they define as “a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest.” By viable, the editors mean to support the candidate that has the best chance of beating the Democrats in November 2008.

These two criteria aren’t bad, and they are not unlike the criteria that I use to evaluate the current field of candidates. I can put my criteria in the form of questions. (1) Which candidate advocates policies that I believe to be the best for the country? (2) Which candidate has the most personal integrity? (3) Which candidate has the best chance to beat the Democrats in November? When you read my number three, you see that I agree with the editors of The National Review that the best candidate is the one that is viable.

How do I analyze the current field of candidates using these criteria? Here are some thoughts:

(1) Which candidate advocates policies that I believe to be the best for the country?

In America, the greatest human rights crisis of our time is the regime of Roe v. Wade, which has presided over the legal killing of over 40 million babies since 1973. Rudy Giuliani and the entire slate of Democrat candidates would support policies that would prolong this outrage, and so in my view they are all disqualified from consideration.

All that leaves us with is the Republican field of candidates (minus Rudy Giuliani), but many of them have problems of their own. John McCain supports federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, which despite his otherwise prolife voting record suggests he really doesn’t get it. Fred Thompson wants Roe v. Wade overturned, but he doesn’t support a human life amendment. That latter fact suggests that he doesn’t get it either (despite his views on federalism). Ron Paul has run a principled campaign, but unfortunately his principles are wrong when it comes to his view of the war in Iraq.

If the names above are eliminated, the only serious candidates left are Romney and Huckabee. Huckabee’s greatest assest is that he is solid on life-issues and would make a great spokesman for the cause. In terms of policies, one of his liabilities is that he supports a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants (though he does support building a fence at the border). Romney is pro-life, though he has come to this position very late in his own life.

(2) Which candidate has the most personal integrity?

When I consider a candidate’s personal integrity, I look at his family. Is he married, and has he kept his marriage vows? If a man’s wife cannot trust him to keep his promises, then why should I? Obviously, that criterion eliminates Rudy Giuliani from consideration. Of the family men in the race, I like Huckabee, Romney, and Edwards (though I would never vote for the latter). I also like McCain, though I suspect that he may have problems controlling his temper.

(3) Which candidate has the best chance to beat the Democrats in November?

Why do I think it’s important to select a candidate who will be able to defeat the Democrat nominee in the general election? It’s not for partisan reasons. It’s because all the Democrats are wrong on the greatest human rights crisis of our time, so I think their candidacies (and that of Rudy Giuliani) must be defeated.

The editors at the National Review make a strong case that Romney is the most viable candidate—the one with the best prospect for winning in November. Others think that Huckabee would fare well against the Democrat nominee. But Huckabee has some things in his record that might make it difficult for him in the general election. Matt Drudge reports that one Democrat operative says that Huckabee’s recent negative press “ain’t even scratching the surface of what we’ve got on him.”

Here’s one additional item to note. With the exception of one poll, no one Republican candidate beats any one of the Democrat candidates in head-to-head polling. In a single CNN poll, John McCain edges out Hillary Clinton while getting beat by all the other Democrat candidates. See the poll here.

So who will I vote for? I haven’t made up my mind yet. But I will make a decision soon, and my candidate will be the one whose policies I agree with most and who I think can win in the general election.

22 Responses to The Most Viable Candidate for President

  1. MatthewS December 12, 2007 at 7:38 am #

    Denny,

    Thanks for articulating your opinion on this. I am torn between not caring and caring deeply but being unable to put it all into words. It helps to see others think out loud. I have read a little of William F. Buckley, Jr. and value the opinion of NR. I wish Romney weren’t Mormon, but this is an election to political office, not church office. Anyway… thanks for the thoughts.

  2. Nick December 12, 2007 at 8:28 am #

    In regards to the Matt Drudge “exclusive” with the “Democrat operative”, I wrote the following on another site:

    I don’t buy it, not for one second. If they really wanted him to be the nominee, we wouldn’t know about it…or at least not from some anonymous ‘liberal insider’ calling him a glass jaw. It seems to me that whoever wrote that article thinks this is the case and is just editorializing a bit much in order to get us to agree with him. He/She doesn’t even give us any specifics on anything, “Democratic insiders say…” etc. Seems pretty unreliable to me, especially coming from a site that, by my estimation, appears to not think too highly of Mr. Huckabee.

    Also, if the Democratic party ACTUALLY wanted Huckabee as the nominee, what do you think they would do? Was “leak this information to the Drudge report so conservatives would find out”, the first thing that came to your mind? Now say Democrats DIDN’T want Huckabee to be the nominee, what do you think they might do? Might they put it in the ear of influentials conservatives that they ‘really’ want Huckabee as the nominee, thereby sending some conservatives in a panic thinking Huckabee would be a pushover for the Dems?

    And lastly, when did we start worrying about who the Democrats think they can beat? Wasn’t Bush supposed to be a pushover for Kerry? And we all know how that turned out….

    In a later post, I wrote this:

    I just found this, it looks like my initial suspicions might be correct:

    http://time-blog.com/real_clear_politics/2007/12/huck_bashing_whodunnit.html

    Who’s behind the anti-Huck headlines blaring at the top of Drudge claiming Dems are “holding fire” on Huckabee and see him as an “easy kill” in the general election? Not the Democrats, according to this response from a DNC spokesperson solicited by the intrepid Jonathan Martin:

    “We always appreciate having our hard work noticed, and we know Mitt Romney likes to feel special, but the truth is we’ve been tracking Huckabee for over a year. The Romney campaign should take heart in the fact that the Drudge Report is buying their spin hook, line and sinker because nothing in that story came from us.”

    Hmm. Now who else would have a vested interested in taking Huckabee down? Oh, right……
    (I’m unsure how to make a hyperlink on this site but “right” above was originally a link to here; http://greenmountainpolitics1.blogspot.com/2007/12/desperate-matt-rhoades-hits-drudge.html)

  3. Jeremy December 12, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    Denny,

    I, too, read the Drudge Report with its reports of witheld criticisms looming for Huckabee. Surely if this were the case, his Republican counterparts would know of such information and use it in their current campaigns. I cannot imagine how they would have access to information that anyone pressing hard enough to dig up dirt along other party lines could not find. To me, this looks like an attempt at the same kind of dirty politics that come about when phone calls are made to ask “If you knew that senator So-and-So had fathered an illegitimate child, would you still be willing to vote for him?”, with no credible information that such a scenario exists.

    Just my take on things…

  4. Nick December 12, 2007 at 9:24 am #

    Excellent point, Jeremy.

    As an aside to anyone who thinks Mike Huckabee couldn’t beat the Democrats if he were to be the Republican nominee, I’d ask that you’d reflect on these bits of a New York Times Article:

    “All this effort has reportedly cost Romney more than $7 million. Huckabee, by contrast, has spent less than $400,000 in Iowa. His paid staff in the state is not much bigger than a softball team. Televised Huckabee ads have been harder to catch than ‘‘I Love Lucy’’ reruns.”


    “Still, in spite of this surge in popularity, Huckabee has almost no money or organization. He has no national finance chairman, no speechwriters and a policy staff of three. His ‘‘national field director’’ is his 25-year-old daughter, Sarah. Huckabee does have a pollster, Dick Dresner, but so far there hasn’t been enough cash to take any polls. ”

    Mike Huckabee is leading in Iowa and many other states and is in second place nationally and still rising with no money and hardly any staff to speak of. This is astounding! Imagine what he could do if he got the nomination and more endorsements and money!

  5. Andrew December 12, 2007 at 9:42 am #

    Denny, good articulate thoughts.

    Perhaps you could help me out here: I am not really sure why evangelicals vote conservative besides the issues of abortion and gay marriage. Personally speaking, I don’t see scripture speaking to the notion of true conservative principles: small government, free-market economy, and a foreign policy that speaks to the nations interests (which, includes a hefty defense budget to whom the “Prince of Peace” seems to play little role in). I am not being cynical, but I just don’t see the connection. I know that conservative evangelicals often speak of a trajectory within scripture that speaks to these ideas, but isn’t a “trajectory hermeneutic” bowing down to the very trajectory/hermeneutic that gives William Webb’s book “Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals” it’s provenance.

    Paul did say to be at peace with our governing authorities. But we shouldn’t neglect the affirmation that Paul was also against the status quo put forth by the Pax Romana.

    Here’s my question: To what degree do we participate in politics without participating in or defending the Pax Americana. I state this with the assumption that evangelicals can discern what the Pax Americana is: materialism, relativism, egregious and dastardly appeals to freedom of conscience/choice, hawk-like foreign policies, consumption, and greed. I hate to speak so sharply, but this is what I see America standing for in its current position. I think I am most ambivalent towards American politics when America’s goals, interests, and enemies are said to be coterminous with God’s.

    Blesings,
    Andrew

  6. David December 12, 2007 at 6:09 pm #

    Andrew,

    This is not an exhaustive response but just a few items off the top of my head:

    1) Conservative does not equal Republican Party. Yet when you have two potential dance partners you have to chose between one of them. And a party that supports legalized, government sanctioned murder immediately disqualifies itself from my support

    2) I was greatly shaped by a book my Moses Finley written on the culture of Homer’s Odyssey. One of Finley’s points was that as government grows it necessarily destabilizes and minimizes the role of family. Now as the book says Finley was just giving a sociological observation. So a party that by its platform stands for big government, is seeking to replace family with government by default, since sovereignty is a zero-sum game, when one group gains more another must lose its authority.

    3) Both parties are generally high on the ick factor, but I vote for the Republicans because they are heading towards the precipice at 50 mph and the Democrats at 100 mph.

    Or another analogy is that there are two parties the stupid party and the evil party. No as to this last analogy the two parties we have often view for the title held by the other. I agree that Free Trade is not an inherently “Christian” value. However, when the government controls everything, that is called totalitarianism, which is something that I dare say no one is favor of. The problem is the things that you want controlled and I want controlled do differ.

    So why do Evangelicals vote conservative, at least for me, it is Murder of the Unborn, Excessive Government destroys family, and in hopes that something better will come along. That something better will not have a D next to their name because of issue 1. I heard a great analogy earlier this year for when people tell Christians not to be one issue voters vis-a-vis abortion. If I were to replace abortion with “He used to support Antisemitism” or “he used to support Segregation of red-headed people into special camps.” We would look at the candidate as mentally unhinged or as a bigot, yet murder for some reason ought not to be considered in the same light. Interesting ain’t it?

    David

  7. Bryan L December 12, 2007 at 8:49 pm #

    David,

    You said, “If I were to replace abortion with “He used to support Antisemitism” or “he used to support Segregation of red-headed people into special camps.” We would look at the candidate as mentally unhinged or as a bigot, yet murder for some reason ought not to be considered in the same light. Interesting ain’t it?”

    Replace the word “abortion” in that question with something like the subordination of women in society and home and ask yourself if it would be that interesting that people could be ok with a candidate supporting one but not the others. You probably wouldn’t think so because you may not think the subordination of women in society and the home is a bad thing or if it is it’s still not on the same level as racism or the support of slavery (whereas others would think it is). In the same vein most people don’t consider ending an unwanted pregnancy as murder. Killing yes, but not murder. They don’t see an unborn child in the 1st trimester and even in the 2nd trimester as a person on the same level as a 3 year old or a teenager or a middle aged person, and so the ending of it’s life is not seen the same as the ending of one of those others’ life.

    You can say the killing of an unborn child is murder but that is just for rhetorical effect to paint it as evil. After all I could say one political party supports the murder of the environment, or the murder of Arabs and Muslims (through war), or people who eat meat support the murder of animals, or that animal shelters murder dogs and cats or that hunters murder wildlife, etc… Would you agree with me in every one of these circumstances? Do you think those are all evil? Do you think any of those are murder and evil? If not why? All those are cases of ending something’s life against its will. Isn’t that murder? Isn’t that the same as abortion? Or is killing some things against their will ok in certain contexts? Is the killing of certain things more serious than others? Should we not equally fight with the same intensity against all those types of murder (including abortion)?

    That’s how the abortion issue is viewed. Yeah people see it as killing but not on the level as actually murdering a child, teenager or adult. Why? Abortion isn’t the only time the ending of an unborns’ life is viewed differently as the ending of a child’s life, after all when a woman has a miscarriage most don’t view it on the same level as actually losing a child (although it is still devastating). People don’t expect a mother to mourn for the rest of her life on the same level as someone who has lost an actual child. People don’t get life insurance for an unborn child and most don’t spend thousands of dollars on a funeral and run the miscarriage in the obituaries and have a 100 people show up to mourn. We don’t treat it as a tragedy on the same level. Why?

    I guess for someone who is undecided about this issue you would have to convince them that the an unborn child who is a few weeks to a couple of months old and has never lived a day outside the womb has the same value and rights as a child who has been living outside the womb and sees and experiences the world. Just simply asserting that is murder doesn’t really do much for many people because they can see (at least in their eyes) that it’s not necessarily the same thing.

    Please don’t see me as trying to argue for abortion. I’m just pointing out what I (and probably others) find unconvincing about some of the arguments used against it or why people don’t see it as a big enough issue to be one issue voters over it.

    Thanks,
    Bryan L

  8. MatthewS December 13, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    Bryan,

    I think I understand where you are coming from. And I agree that many issues exist beyond abortion.

    But I remember the articles that Denny posted recently that named it hypocrisy that the mainstream media won’t carry pictures and graphic information about abortions. I agree with you that many people do not view a pregnancy, especially in the early stages, on par with a baby. However, I think it would change some people’s minds, admittedly not everyone’s, if they were to see the graphic nature of babies in the womb who suck their thumbs and respond to stimuli being “teminated.”

    It doesn’t remove your point that there are Democrats who address evils that Republicans overlook and vice-versa, making it more complex than just one issue. I agree that many conservative Christians refuse to think critically about the larger picture. But I maintain that just because the public chooses to see abortion as less evil than murder doesn’t make it so.

    Not attacking you – just weighing in in defense of abortion as an uncommonly important issue.

  9. MatthewS December 13, 2007 at 9:00 am #

    oops – “terminate,” not “teminate.”

  10. Carlito December 13, 2007 at 10:21 am #

    MatthewS – I agree, and it’s ironic that most people tend to ignore the reality of what is involved in an abortion. Have you ever seen pictures of an aborted baby in a waste disposal? It’s haunting. Some people might call that propaganda, but with something as revolting as this, propaganda is necessary.

    Bryan L – As always, I can see (to some degree) where you’re coming from, but I’d like to respond to just a few of your points:

    1) You said: “Killing yes, but not murder. They don’t see an unborn child in the 1st trimester and even in the 2nd trimester as a person on the same level as a 3 year old or a teenager or a middle aged person, and so the ending of it’s life is not seen the same as the ending of one of those others’ life.”

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – what 3 things are we guaranteed as an American citizen ABOVE ALL ELSE? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What is the first thing listed? Enough said. When we rob an unborn baby of the chance to even ENTER the world, we are stripping he or she of the very freedoms he or she is guaranteed an American citizen.

    2) You said: “After all I could say one political party supports the murder of the environment, or the murder of Arabs and Muslims (through war), or people who eat meat support the murder of animals, or that animal shelters murder dogs and cats or that hunters murder wildlife, etc…”

    This is where a secular mindset has tainted many people’s worldview. People worshipping the creature over and above the Creator (Romans 1) leads to the idolatry of animals or the environment, and it takes away from the sanctity of life and the reality that human beings are created in the image of God (and therefore are more precious in God’s sight than any other part of creation).

    3) You said: “Isn’t that the same as abortion? Or is killing some things against their will ok in certain contexts? Is the killing of certain things more serious than others? Should we not equally fight with the same intensity against all those types of murder (including abortion)?”

    The only valid argument you have here is war, and that is not an easy issue. War has been around since sin entered the world, and there will be no end until Jesus comes. Wars are fought to preserve peace and democracy and to defend helpless countries against attacks and ruthless dictators. It’s a utilitarian concept – greatest good for the greatest number. Even if you don’t agree with the War in Iraq, it is well-documented that Hussein was a monster and killed something like 300,000 of his own people.

    4) you said: “I guess for someone who is undecided about this issue you would have to convince them that the an unborn child who is a few weeks to a couple of months old and has never lived a day outside the womb has the same value and rights as a child who has been living outside the womb and sees and experiences the world. ”

    This kind of logic is dangerous. What if we used that logic for African Americans or Jews? Demonstrate their worth for me, or I’ll agree that they don’t deserve justice. It’s the same old song and dance – make a certain segment of people “sub-human”, call them a monkey or an inferior race, and that provides the justification for it not being a big deal. We can turn a deaf ear because we don’t view these as human lives deserving of protection, respect and decency.

    All I can say, is that if we don’t make abortion the primary issue in our day, we’ve got blood on our hands. I, for one, won’t stand for it – and my vote will show it.

    ~Micah 6:8~

  11. Carlito December 13, 2007 at 10:24 am #

    P.S. Can anyone explain to me why the following scenario is standard protocol in the legal system?

    When a pregnant woman is involved in a manslaughter or murder case, why are there two charges? (One for the baby and one for the mother). I’ve seen this over and over when there is a tragedy like this on the news..

    Is there a major double standard with regard to our legal/judicial system, or am I missing something???

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated…

  12. MatthewS December 13, 2007 at 11:23 am #

    Carlito,

    One place I remember thinking that was with Scott Peterson. His wife, Laci, was eight months pregnant. It was two counts of murder. It seemed hypocritical at the time to me that Scott was convicted of murdering a baby, yet aborionists effectively do the same thing for a living.

  13. Paul December 13, 2007 at 11:26 am #

    Interesting comments abound.

    Instead of my usual lengthy comment, however, I will just say this: until the republican stance on pro-life goes far beyond being pro-gestational period, they will not get my vote. I would rather have a party in place that will make strong attempts at lowering the number of unwed pregnancies than a party that longs to simply criminalize a procedure without thinking of the consequences.

  14. Bryan L December 13, 2007 at 11:34 am #

    Thanks for the views Matthew.

    Carlito,

    Good thought provoking points. Here are some thoughts in response:

    1.) Your first point would only be valid in America, plus America grants all types of other freedoms as well that we wouldn’t say are ok yet you wouldn’t argue that they are just because America grants them. And we still believe those 3 rights can be taken away from certain people (criminals, foreign countries, terrorist suspects, people accused of a crime). Plus if happiness is one of the values you just mentioned wouldn’t we just have to say that a pregnancy can be worth terminating because it takes away someone’s happiness or it takes away their liberty to live their life the way they wish?

    2.) Your setting up a false dichotomy. Being an advocate for animal life and the environment (which is a big part of what maintains our life) is not worshiping the creature instead of the creator. When God sent Israel into exile part of the reason was to give the land its Sabbath rest that it was never granted (Leviticus 26:34 and 2 Chronicles 36:20). Was God putting the environment above people? And when you consider the first job God gave human kind was to take care of HIS garden it’s not like the earth is some small issue to God. This is God’s creation not ours.

    Besides it seems you must denigrate and lessen the value of all other life to make an unborn fetus’ life valuable. Why? Why is it not murder to kill an animal against its will? What makes an animal so invaluable that to kill it against its will is a lesser form of killing and not murder? Why do you consider it worship of the creation to see other life besides human life of such importance and value that it is murder to take it against its will? Why is it not worshipping human life (also a creature) to put so much value on an unborn fetus to consider it murder to kill it? It seems according to your logic to place value on anything but God (including people) is the same as worshipping the creation instead of the creator.

    3.) “Wars are fought to preserve peace and democracy and to defend helpless countries against attacks and ruthless dictators.”

    Really? Do you mean wars fought by the U.S. are for these reasons because I don’t think that view could really hold up for most of history and even much of the rest of the world? It seems to be an American view of war and a somewhat charitable view of the political reasons behind the U.S. going to war or invading countries. Besides when did democracy become the ultimate good worth going to war over and killing and causing destruction for? What classifies someone as a ruthless dictator and is it America’s job to go to war against and overthrow every single one of them?

    4.) I don’t see your comparison as being applicable. I could use the same logic for anything I wanted. Aren’t you in fact saying that someone’s life is worth less or sub-human when you appeal to utilitarian purpose behind war? It’s worth killing a few for the many so we decide the value of a certain group’s life is of less value than another’s. Is it worth putting a bullet in a little girls head to save 100 people? That’s the same argument. What about not killing her? What about rape instead to save 100 people? That’s the same argument and you’ve just made someone sub-human when you appeal to it.

    The fact is that people don’t automatically see an unborn fetus as of the same worth as a child or teenager or adult. That was the point of showing the difference in how we view the tragedy of a woman having a miscarriage and someone’s child dying of something like SIDS or in a car accident or something. Why don’t people think the millions of children who having been dying in the world because of poverty and war, children who are alive and living and whose only fault is they weren’t born in the right place, how come we don’t see that as the greatest tragedy of our time? How come we don’t think it’s worth our government pouring billions of dollars into fighting that cause? Yet it’s worth our country to spend billions of dollars and lives on war? Huh? That seems like seeing someone’s life as sub-human or at least not as valuable as others doesn’t it?

    Also your scenario about double charges in the murder of a pregnant woman is interesting. I saw a couple of verses in the Bible that I was wondering if you might see as a double standard as well.

    NRSV Exodus 21:22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,

    NRSV Exodus 21:20 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

    Carlito we’ve already got blood on our hands but it’s not just from the abortion issue. Let’s not lie to ourselves so that we can feel comfortable and act like as long as we vote against abortion then there’s no blood on our hands. We’re drenched in it.

    Thanks for the conversation. I always look forward to it. : )

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  15. Carlito December 13, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    Bryan L – I agree, I always enjoy the conversations! 🙂

    I don’t have a ton of time to give, but I will respond to a few your responses.

    You said: “Your first point would only be valid in America, plus America grants all types of other freedoms as well that we wouldn’t say are ok yet you wouldn’t argue that they are just because America grants them. And we still believe those 3 rights can be taken away from certain people (criminals, foreign countries, terrorist suspects, people accused of a crime). Plus if happiness is one of the values you just mentioned wouldn’t we just have to say that a pregnancy can be worth terminating because it takes away someone’s happiness or it takes away their liberty to live their life the way they wish? “

    First off, I’m referring to America because we’re talking about a presidential race, which has everything to do with upholding the constitution and its provisions to each and every American citizen – born or unborn.

    Second, your freedom and happiness scenarios could go on forever and would leave our heads spinning for days. It’s like the reality that nobody is truly free in all respects because our freedom is limited by the impact it has on others’ freedoms, i.e. smoking in public places. It’s a never-ending circle. Therefore, there are limits to EVERYTHING regarding life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.

    I will say, however, that these examples only take the focus away from true victim of abortion, the baby. You can give all the scenarios and situations you want to (which ends up being a vicious cycle), but at the end of the day, the real nitty-gritty question is this: Is that baby a life or is it not a life? Is performing an abortion taking a life or isn’t it? Take a look at a GE 4D ultrasound and have a look-see for yourself… http://www.gehealthcare.com/usen/ultrasound/4d/thennow.html

    Also, the youngest preemie to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks just earlier this year. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2892949 Technology is only showing more and more clearly the truth that life does indeed begin at conception.

    You said “Your setting up a false dichotomy. Being an advocate for animal life and the environment (which is a big part of what maintains our life) is not worshiping the creature instead of the creator. When God sent Israel into exile part of the reason was to give the land its Sabbath rest that it was never granted (Leviticus 26:34 and 2 Chronicles 36:20). Was God putting the environment above people? And when you consider the first job God gave human kind was to take care of HIS garden it’s not like the earth is some small issue to God. This is God’s creation not ours.”

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about the environment and about animals and such. In your view, what is the bigger deal? The holocaust, or the horse-slaughtering industry? While both are atrocious (and I love horses and I am against horse-slaughtering), I think we would agree that the Holocaust was more devastating and more grievous than the other. The inconvenient truth (thanks, Mr. Gore) is that the convenience of on-demand abortions is in itself a holocaust and the convenience of abortion as birth control is sickening. Yes, let’s be concerned about the environment and let’s avoid war at all costs and let’s be careful how we treat animals. I don’t like the thought of global warming or animal cruelty, but none of those issues trump the sanctity of life.

    By the way, I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before, but God was the first to clothe human beings with animal skins. Genesis 3:21.

    You said: “Really? Do you mean wars fought by the U.S. are for these reasons because I don’t think that view could really hold up for most of history and even much of the rest of the world? It seems to be an American view of war and a somewhat charitable view of the political reasons behind the U.S. going to war or invading countries. Besides when did democracy become the ultimate good worth going to war over and killing and causing destruction for? What classifies someone as a ruthless dictator and is it America’s job to go to war against and overthrow every single one of them?”

    You know as well as I do that there are a vast myriad of complexities and intricacies in the decision to go to war and we’ve been in numerous conflicts since this country was founded (ironically via the Revolutionary War against England where thousands lost their lives). These wars have been pursued under both Republican and Democrat leadership. I’m not saying we need to go to war over every little thing, and pacifism has its place – but when you consider 43,000,000 abortions in the U.S. ALONE since 1973, that’s a big deal. Bryan, my friend, there are 6 zeros in that number.

    You said: “I don’t see your comparison as being applicable. I could use the same logic for anything I wanted. Aren’t you in fact saying that someone’s life is worth less or sub-human when you appeal to utilitarian purpose behind war? It’s worth killing a few for the many so we decide the value of a certain group’s life is of less value than another’s. Is it worth putting a bullet in a little girls head to save 100 people? That’s the same argument. What about not killing her? What about rape instead to save 100 people? That’s the same argument and you’ve just made someone sub-human when you appeal to it.”

    My response: 43,000,0000 lives
    You’re right, the blood of 43,000,000 is on our hands. It’s terrible. Really, really terrible.

    Thanks again for the conversation…

    In Christ,
    Carlito

  16. Carlito December 13, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    Denny – can you delete my post #14 that is awaiting moderation? I didn’t realize it was that long.. Sorry!

    Bryan L – I agree, I always enjoy the conversations! 🙂

    I don’t have a ton of time to give, but I will respond to a few your responses.

    To your first point: First off, I’m referring to America because we’re talking about a presidential race, which has everything to do with upholding the constitution and its provisions to each and every American citizen – born or unborn.

    Second, your freedom and happiness scenarios could go on forever and would leave our heads spinning for days. It’s like the reality that nobody is truly free in all respects because our freedom is limited by the impact it has on others’ freedoms, i.e. smoking in public places. It’s a never-ending circle. Therefore, there are limits to EVERYTHING regarding life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.

    I will say, however, that these examples only take the focus away from true victim of abortion, the baby. You can give all the scenarios and situations you want to (which ends up being a vicious cycle), but at the end of the day, the real nitty-gritty question is this: Is that baby a life or is it not a life? Is performing an abortion taking a life or isn’t it? Take a look at a GE 4D ultrasound and have a look-see for yourself… http://www.gehealthcare.com/usen/ultrasound/4d/thennow.html

    Also, the youngest preemie to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks just earlier this year. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2892949 Technology is only showing more and more clearly the truth that life does indeed begin at conception.

    RE: False Dichotomy:
    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about the environment and about animals and such. In your view, what is the bigger deal? The holocaust, or the horse-slaughtering industry? While both are atrocious (and I love horses and I am against horse-slaughtering), I think we would agree that the Holocaust was more devastating and more grievous than the other. The inconvenient truth (thanks, Mr. Gore) is that the convenience of on-demand abortions is in itself a holocaust and the convenience of abortion as birth control is sickening. Yes, let’s be concerned about the environment and let’s avoid war at all costs and let’s be careful how we treat animals. I don’t like the thought of global warming or animal cruelty, but none of those issues trump the sanctity of life.

    By the way, I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before, but God was the first to clothe human beings with animal skins. Genesis 3:21.

    RE: War
    You know as well as I do that there are a vast myriad of complexities and intricacies in the decision to go to war and we’ve been in numerous conflicts since this country was founded (ironically via the Revolutionary War against England where thousands lost their lives). These wars have been pursued under both Republican and Democrat leadership. I’m not saying we need to go to war over every little thing, and pacifism has its place – but when you consider 43,000,000 abortions in the U.S. ALONE since 1973, that’s a big deal. Bryan, my friend, there are 6 zeros in that number.

    RE: Utilitarian purpose:
    My response: 43,000,0000 lives
    You’re right, the blood of 43,000,000 is on our hands. It’s terrible. Really, really terrible.

    Thanks again for the conversation…

    In Christ,
    Carlito

  17. MatthewS December 13, 2007 at 1:23 pm #


    From Bryan:

    NRSV Exodus 21:22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,

    NRSV Exodus 21:20 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

    I am trying to resist a comment about “better ethic” and “trajectory hermeneutic” here but I guess I just failed 😉

    sorry – I’ll have more self-control next time

  18. Bryan L December 13, 2007 at 2:54 pm #

    Carlito,

    “Is that baby a life or is it not a life? Is performing an abortion taking a life or isn’t it?”

    Again we have already established that it is killing. There is no doubt about that. What needs convincing is that deciding to end the life of an embryo that is only a couple of weeks old or even a couple of months old is on the same level as the ending of a child or adult’s life. If you want to call it murder and one of the greatest atrocities of our time and ever, why so?

    “In your view, what is the bigger deal? The holocaust, or the horse-slaughtering industry?”

    It’s not an either or case. Either you are truly for life or you’re not. Either ending something’s life against its will when it has done nothing to deserve it is murder or it isn’t. Either life at every stage is valuable or it isn’t. Either thousands (I’m being conservative here) of starving children who are the victims of poverty, war and disease are just as important as a few week old embryo and just as worthy of spending all our time and effort to support or they’re not. You argued that you can’t make certain people sub-humans but it seems that is what is in fact happening when you appeal to this utilitarian argument that one is more worthy of fighting against than the other or that its ok to only pick one issue to fight.

    “Yes, let’s be concerned about the environment and let’s avoid war at all costs and let’s be careful how we treat animals. I don’t like the thought of global warming or animal cruelty, but none of those issues trump the sanctity of life.”

    All of those have to do with the sanctity of life. Again you are elevating one particular life above all others. No matter what in this situation there are those who believe some forms of life aren’t as important as others. Some believe fetuses or embryo’s aren’t other’s believe starving children, victims of war, the environment (including plants and animals) aren’t. These are all issues about the sanctity of life. Why does something that is a few weeks old and cannot survive on its own have a life that is more valuable than something that can? Why is a few week old embryo just as valuable as my 18 month old daughter? Or someone’s child who leaves in a poverty stricken war torn country?

    You point to the number 43,000,000 million and that is a shocking number, but I don’t think you are still answering the main question that someone has who looks at those numbers and is not already pro-life. Why is an aborted fetus or embryo’s life that valuable so as to see this huge number as an atrocity and the highest political agenda worth fighting for instead of just sad or not that big of a deal? Why is this important enough to be the one issue that I disregard all others for and vote on? Do you recognize that people don’t see the death of a fetus or embryo on the same level as a child (again my miscarriage analogy)? Why should they?
    And then the next question is considering the abortion statistics that say abortion is just as high in places around the world where abortion is illegal, and the fact that abortion is still legal despite having a 2 term president who was pro-life, why should I use my vote on something that may not really change anything or make much of a difference? Is it just a symbolic thing? Is the blood off our hands if we vote pro-life and it doesn’t do anything, meanwhile we neglect all these other forms of life where we could have possibly made a difference?

    Thanks,
    Bryan L

  19. Bryan L December 13, 2007 at 2:57 pm #

    Matthew,

    It’s funny that you bring that up because I wouldn’t even bother quoting those 2 verses somewhere else, but because those here are so against trajectory hermeneutics because of how it impacts the gender issue and they know they’d be shooting themselves in the foot on that if they argued for a better ethic than the one given by God then I can bring it up here and it just gets ignored. Truthfully given the silence we find in the Bible on abortion and even exposing children you have to use a trajectory hermeneutic to argue against abortion. That’s just my opinion. It’s sad though that it won’t get used because of how it would be seen as giving ground to egalitarians. Is the gender issue more important than the issue of abortion? Hmmm…

    Thanks,
    Bryan L

  20. Carlito December 13, 2007 at 3:30 pm #

    Bryan L,

    “What needs convincing is that deciding to end the life of an embryo that is only a couple of weeks old or even a couple of months old is on the same level as the ending of a child or adult’s life.”

    The phrase “On the same level” doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know what else to say. Is a blind, feeble, unproductive burdensome 95-year old man “on the same level” as an unborn baby? You see my point – neither are producing anything for society and they’re both pretty helpless. If it’s a life, it’s a life – even if it’s dependent upon someone else for care. It just doesn’t matter. Why do we have to resort to “ranking” the worth of human life?

    “You argued that you can’t make certain people sub-humans but it seems that is what is in fact happening when you appeal to this utilitarian argument that one is more worthy of fighting against than the other or that its ok to only pick one issue to fight.”

    I’m not saying one is more worthy than the other. I’m saying unborn babies demand EQUAL attention, and they’re flat-out not getting it. Ask anybody you know if they feel sad when they think about starving children. They’ll probably talk about how it makes them upset and they wish there was something they could do, etc. Ask them how they feel about babies being ripped out of their mother’s wombs dowwn the street at the abortion clinic. They’ll probably get a nervous twitch, look the other way and change the subject. Shame on us.

    P.S. I seriously can’t believe you compared a plant to a human being. “It’s all life” sounds like new-age hippie logic to me.. So if I cut down a tree or step on a spider, I’m a murderer? It’s amazing to think how far apart we are in terms of our perspective. Anywhos, if your conscience allows you to support a candidate that wants to perpetrate abortion on-demand, it’s your call. As I said before, I sure won’t…

    In Christ,
    Carlito

  21. Bryan L December 13, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    Carlito,

    Some thoughts on things you said:

    “Is a blind, feeble, unproductive burdensome 95-year old man “on the same level” as an unborn baby?”

    I guess it depends on who you ask and what society your from. Is spending thousands and thousands of dollars on an old feeble person to keep them alive better than spending that thousands of dollars to feed children in another country (or even ours)? If I had to choose between saving that old feeble person or a child I would pick the child. If I don’t have to pick either I wouldn’t.

    “I’m saying unborn babies demand EQUAL attention, and they’re flat-out not getting it.”

    Is it possible for there to be equal attention on these different issues? Does the way we depend on politics to make a difference in the world mean that we will always have to politically prioritize certain issues over others? Either it’s war and poverty or abortion. You have to pick if your are depending on politics. So which is more important. The way you vote will show I guess.

    “I seriously can’t believe you compared a plant to a human being. “It’s all life” sounds like new-age hippie logic to me.”

    No I’m not saying a flower is as valuable as a human life. I’m asking what makes a few week old embryo just as valable or more than other forms of life. I want to know how you would convince somebody who sees the environment as just as important issue or more than the abortion issue that it’s not, especially when the environment (plants and trees) support all the life on our planet (billions of people and even more of other forms of life). It goes then we go.

    Thanks,
    Bryan L

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Denny Burk » Huckacide? - December 14, 2007

    […] “The Most Viable Candidate for President, Part 2″ because it continues the theme of my earlier post about Mitt Romney. Pro-lifers must take very seriously the question of a candidate’s viability in a general […]

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes