Is abortion the only political issue that should count for Christians as we decide who to vote for in elections? Should the church be a single issue community?

Beyond that, what does it mean to be pro-life? I am pro-life, but I ask, is there a broader way of looking at the issue, one that includes care for the lives of “born” children as well as “unborn” children?

Beyond that, is any politician God’s anointed? Can’t we not recognise that the political process is, like us, fallen. That even our favourite politicians are fallen, and so, can’t we respect the right of other Christians to vote contrary to us? Should our voting decisions be interpreted as THE litmus test of orthodoxy or heresy? Or should we look deeper?

As for me, I am happy to listen to other Christians who disagree with me over the politics of national defence. But please, please, explain to me how you justify your stance in a way which does not marginalise the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. And please, please explain to me, how “hawkish” political platforms which lead to photos like the one you see on your left are so much more “pro-life”.

Postscript: I note that Janet at Secret Women’s Business has also launched a post on abortion following the Forgotten Ways conversation, if you want to check that out too. Bloggers, any more want to join us in an impromptu syncroblog on the politics of abortion?

52 thoughts on “Abortion, Politics and Christianity

  1. Ah Peggy… the difference between a Sherriff and a frontier man in the 19th century was (pretty much) a badge.
    I’m kinda doubting your husband has ready access to backup patrols, trained sniffer dogs, surveilance helicopters, bullet proof clothing, protective vehicles, non-lethal methods of restraint like stun guns or capsicum spray, specialist negotiation skills, and the levels of training required to recognise (and not interfere) with critical forensic evidence that can make the difference between a conviction or not.
    If all this is true, he has my blessing to go chasing after criminals. If not…. I think your boys could do with a father, and I’m sure you like having him around too!
    You commented ages ago:
    “Walking away from a bully leaves that bully free to pulverize the next victim….”
    I would note however, that hitting the bully back just makes the bully move on to the next soft target. Schools in Aus are developing some good anti-bullying strategies that involve dealing with both victims and bullies in a way that creates change and empowers. Creating a culture where bullying is immediately reported and dealt with by adults in authority creates a safer environment for all than a “whack the bully back” mentality. (Although, if the school isn’t willing to tackle this head on, sometimes it’s the best of a bad option left. Hardly the “ideal” option though).

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  2. Andrew: “We Were Soldiers” is an amazing movie full of deep issues. Thanks for remembering it.
    It is heartbreaking when the common, good people who value human life and hard work and taking care of the weak and innocent and protecting the ecosystems get run over by the common, selfish people who only look after their own and only work as much as they have to and take advantage of the weak and innocent and squander the precious resources around them … and this is what I mean by evil, Matt. Those whose conscience seems to not function — for whom the plight of others does not call forth from within them the desire to rise up and do better.
    While I do not believe that any human is righteous in God’s eyes, and the need for a redeemer to restore right relationships is essential … I do believe that there are people who resonate with good (in every culture) and those who resonate with evil (in every culture). Some of it is nature and some of it is nurture … and some is easier to remedy. Some physical damage (due to drugs and trauma) cannot be remedied outside a direct miraculous intervention by God…and that is just not the norm, IMO….
    Did you ever read M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie”? It is an interesting and harrowing prospect to consider — that some people just don’t want to get better … and they actually want to bring others down. Peck calls that evil. I tend to agree. It’s an important book to process.
    Speaking of movies, just watched Star Trek: Nemesis … which is resonating with this conversation today.
    And Janet, of course I don’t want Robert running after the criminals and it would mess with the justice system … I’m just saying that he is that kind of person who tends to want to deal with things simply and directly, like those old West guys.
    And I was speaking about actually dealing with the bully so that the behavior stops. Yes, our schools have a zero-tolerance for bullying behavior, but it is more complicated than what can be dealt with at school. It is very much a Parent Teacher Student Association — which is why I am willing to invest my time and energy as our middle school PTSA President! ;^)
    This brings up from all of us the recognition that none of this is as black or white as some want to make it. In order to have conversation, we tend to speak in sweeping generalities … which does not serve us very well when we get someone wanting to pin us down “specifically” on something we’ve meant “generally”. The old “you can’t win for losing” scenario….
    It comes down, for me, to the means lining up with the ends. If the means are not consistent with the ideals of the ends, then they are invalid and cannot be used.
    Thanks for this fine conversation, friends. It is a difficult process to do in this venue, and I am grateful to everyone for their efforts.

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