I have heard many so-called “pro-lifers” argue that having a “pro-life” President hasn’t really furthered the cause of life in this country. I don’t think that argument is really very serious at all. President Bush’s two Supreme Court appointments (Roberts and Alito) led the court to uphold the ban on partial birth abortion. Now the court is at a tipping point again, and that is the point made in a USA Today article by Joan Biskupic:
“John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s dueling statements on abortion rights have ratcheted up debate over the future of Roe v. Wade at a time when the Supreme Court could be at a crossroads on the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide.
“Only a bare five-justice majority appears ready to reaffirm the decision. That is a change from national election cycles in the last decade-and-a-half when at least six justices, including now-retired Sandra Day O’Connor, supported abortion rights. A single court appointee could decide whether abortion laws become more restrictive or more permissive and whether Roe v. Wade remains the law.”
Make no mistake. Those who vote for the pro-abortion candidate in this election will be in part responsible for the continuation of Roe v. Wade, a regime that has presided over the deaths of 50 million babies since 1973.
11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter,
O hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?
Disputatio, are we responsible for decisions by those men? Or are they responsible for Souter turning liberal and Kennedy and O’Connor going moderate? It’s one thing to choose/vote for somebody when you know that they will go against your values; a whole other thing when they flip on you after the fact. Your lack of understanding on this matter is bizarre.
“And why on earth do evangelicals believe McCain would do a better job appointing Justices than Reagan?”
This is a straw man, and you know it (though your dishonest style of argument preceeds you). Most evangelicals are pretty sure that they don’t know if McCain will choose a solidly pro-life judge (his record and rhetoric indicate that he probably will), but they do know that Obama will NOT. In your world, I suppose, you would see no difference between choosing the gun with a bullet in every chamber versus the gun with only one out of eight chambers filled.
Can you give any valid argumentation for voting for Obama or do you only throw your salvos against McCain. It is always easy to point out the bare spots. Your arguments never give reasons to support Obama, only reasons to discount and mistrust McCain.
Nathan, to be fair, I don’t believe disputatio is arguing for Obama. I believe he is arguing that it is wrong and sinful to vote for either candidate. I’m not sure what his alternative is (Barr perhaps).
I can only speak for myself on that circumstance, but there are only two viable candidates. There is no way a third-party guy is going to win this year, so voting for neither Obama or McCain is irrelevant. This goes back to the lesser of two evils discussion of last week. Putting your fingers into your ears is not a viable option.
I believe that disputatio is arguing against that pragmatic approach (lesser of two evils if you will). Disputatio appears to believe that “putting your fingers into your ears” is indeed a viable option. Perhaps the critic himself can explain further his proposed course of action rather than just hurling stones.
why the attacks at disputatio? there is no need to be so harsh. there is no place for comments like “Your lack of understanding on this matter is bizarre.” i think disputatio raises a legitimate question here and his/her knowledge appears adequate to me. the question raised is whether or not we are responsible for all the decisions made by the officials we elect in government.
despite the accusation of “straw man” arguments, i cannot help but notice the fallacies throughout the reasoning in your response darius. the final statement in your first post is a clear false analogy due to reductio ad absurdum. you also seem to resort to an ad hominem attack by saying that disputatio is uninformed and uses fallacious arguments despite his awareness of them. please attempt to seek understanding or clarification rather than seeking to destroy someone else’s post. i personally am very interested in what you would have to say in response to the question disputatio raises. to what extent are we responsible for the decisions made by those we elect into office?
we need to be careful not to set up some kind of double standard where only those that vote obama will be responsible for abortions and not those that vote mccain. the concept of being responsible for the actions of those we vote for is not entirely viable. when we vote, it is not as though we are not placing our faith in the person we vote for or completely condoning all of their actions. surely there were certain policies of bush’s that many republicans disagreed with, but are we are saying those republicans are responsible for everything bush did while in office. i assume not, so why do we make voters only responsible for the actions of their candidates with regard to abortion? are we (those of us that voted for bush) responsible for all the failed school systems under no child left behind? are we responsible for the economic crisis that is no happening under his presidency? if each voter were responsible for everything his/her condidate did, then i would never vote again.
ultimately individuals are responsible for their actions. abortions are the result of an individuals decision. following that, there are those that made it an available option. following that, there are those that support that decision. following that, there are those that vote for those that support the decision. does that mean that to an extent may we be held responsible for certain actions done by the person we vote for? perhaps. but only to a minor extent. we cannot forget all the middle steps. it is not as though a person voting for a democrat is saying it is ok to have an abortion. there are a lot of middle steps and it is not as though the democratic party is founded only on the issue of abortion.
there are others elements to the campaign. and for that reason, i would say it is entirely appropriate for a person to decide not to vote. especially given the “responsiblity for the actions of those we vote for” argumentation. if a person will not vote for a candidate because he/she is pro-choice, then it should not be assumed that voting for the pro-life candidate is the right thing to do. the right thing to do is to actually look at all the issues and vote for the best candidate. perhaps that candidate will be a third option, or perhaps no such candidate will be found. i think the more biblical model to voting would be to vote based on one’s conscience rather than to take the pragmatic methodology of republican or democrat.
so, i look forward to hearing responses to this post. i hope that i was at no point disrespectful to any of the aforementioned comments. please help me as i seek further understanding in these questions and observations. i cherish christian dialogue and, above all, seek to honor God through participation.
Derek, how is the gun analogy an absurd one? It represents the idea that throughout life, we have to make choices between lesser evils. Disputatio has chosen to conflate the two (Obama and McCain) as equally evil, which I would guess he doesn’t do in the rest of his life. So why does he do it with politics? Is it so he can feel self-righteous and smug that he didn’t lower himself to vote for McCain? That would have to be my guess, since it makes the most sense.
I don’t see anyone being overly harsh. He asked dumb or intellectually dishonest questions, so he got responses which treated them as such. Unfortunately, they have been deleted, so I can’t give you exact quotes anymore.
disputatio, if you would actually read Denny’s comments on anonymous posting, you would understand. He requested that everyone have their real name listed, along with an email that he can see to verify the commenter is not anonymous. After this request was made, you continued to post anonymously, thus indicating an unwillingness to follow the rules of this blog. Furthermore, Denny has also now requested that everyone include their last names so as to (attempt) to keep everyone more accountable for their words. From what I can tell, Denny has chosen to delete the most egregious violaters of his rules and leave those who have yet to add in their last names.
i did not say that the gun analogy was an absurd one. i said that it was a false analogy due to reductio ad absurdum. that is to say, i think your analogy is not a fair parallel to the issues raised because you reduce the complexity of the questions raised to merely one issue. even if i grant your analogy to be a true one, an election is never a one-gun war. there are multiple issues involved with each candidate. supposing mccain has one bullet and obama has eight, what about all the other guns? do we not take those into consideration? what if the total number of bullets mccain has in his various guns far outweighs the number of bullets obama has? just a hypothetical illustration.
but, the main problem that i was trying to raise earlier that has still not been addressed is: “why pick up the gun to start with?” i am still not sure why you consider not voting an illegitimate option, particularly given the statements about being accountable for the actions of whoever we vote for. why do we have to pick the lesser of two evils. cant we pick no evil at all?
I consider not voting as not an option if there is a better option between the two given you (third-party voting is a joke in most cases and a waste of one’s vote in a general election).
As for the lesser of two evils argument… let me phrase it to you this way. Suppose there were two bullies; one intends to punch 5 kids and give them bloody noses, while the other intends to beat up 25 kids and break all of their legs. You can only stop one of them. Do you believe that the moral thing would be to not get involved since you can’t stop both of them? Or would the most moral thing be to stop the first bully or the second bully?
Every Christian has the right and responsibility in this country to be a good steward with their vote, and not voting is 99.9% of the time NOT an option. As the Bible says, those to whom much is given, much is required. If an American Christian scorns their vote while a billion Chinese wish they could choose their leaders, God will hold that Christian accountable. We aren’t moral simpletons, as those imbued with the Holy Spirit we are called to discern and choose wisely.