Monday, March 03, 2008

McCain or Obama? (Part 3)

What is so difficult about deciding between John McCain or Barack Obama? John McCain claims to be pro-life and Barack Obama has consistently demonstrated his pro-choice position. As a Christian who believes and desires to obey the Bible, the choice should be clear. Right?


If I vote in November as I have voted for the past 20 years, then John McCain will get my vote. True, the national Republican Party has upheld its opposition to abortion and special rights for homosexuals but, I have to ask myself, after 20+ years, exactly what have we gained as a result of Reagan, Bush and Bush?

Roe v Wade (which legalized abortion) is still the law of the land.

Homosexual activists have made increasing gains in securing special rights for their sinful lifestyles.

Our country’s budget deficit has soared to unimaginable levels.

The Black family continues to disintegrate as the number of single-parent households continues to rise (and this is happening among other races, too).

College is less affordable than ever. My great-grandfather, a retired janitor, paid my way through college. With both of us working, my wife and I will not be able to afford to send our son to college in four years.

Our country is engaged indefinitely in a war in Iraq that we got into under false pretenses (i.e., in order to find Weapons of Mass Destruction).

Politics in this country has become more polarized than ever before. With the coming of “Morning in America”, we do not behold “A Kinder, Gentler Nation” or “Compassionate Conservatism”, but increased acrimony and divisiveness.

The evangelical church, apparently, now covets political power more than the Holy Spirit’s power, hence the close association between the Republican Party and the evangelical church.

Maybe our time would be better spent, as Christians, getting our own moral house in order while we pray to God to turn hearts toward Himself. Only God can turn the abortion tide. Only God can thwart the homosexual agenda and, more importantly, change the homosexual.

Some would point to the Supreme Court and the conservative justices that have been nominated by Republican Presidents as a reason why Christians should vote for John McCain. I would tend to agree that the Supreme Court nominees may have been the most important legacy of Republican Presidents (at least since Reagan) but, I also remind myself that the comparatively liberal John Paul Stevens, David Souter and the late Harry Blackmun (who wrote the majority opinion for Roe v Wade which legalized abortion) were also nominated by Republican Presidents. You can never predict how a Supreme Court justice will vote. It just makes more sense to trust in God.

Others would suggest that the only reason I’m still struggling with this issue is because Barack Obama is Black. If he were not Black, I would not have any trouble making up my mind. And, you know what? You’re right. If I were White, for instance, whether or not a Black man ever ascended to the Presidency of the United States would probably never concern me. I’d probably have no concern about Black children having role models other than sports, music and film celebrities. If I were White, abortion would probably be at the very top of my list of social priorities.

But, I’m not White. I am Black, and those issues that affect Black Americans concern me. Because of my racial identification with Obama, I am having trouble making up my mind who to vote for. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, I would kindly suggest that is because you have no idea what it’s like to be a Black man in America. I can’t adequately explain how I feel through a blog. If you want to know what I mean, get to know a Black man. Sit down and talk to him. Listen to what he has to say about his life experiences. Maybe you’ll then understand why I feel such inner conflict over Barack Obama. But, if you would rather criticize me for feeling the way I feel, thinking your race doesn’t influence any of your decisions, let me suggest to you that you are incredibly naive.

I don’t know for whom I will vote in November, if the choice comes down to John McCain or Barack Obama. I do wonder, though, if abortion and homosexual rights should continue to exert the same level of influence over my voting decisions. Perhaps, I should vote for a candidate based on whether or not I feel he or she can 1) help bring our country together, ending all this poisonous political divisiveness that currently exists, 2) disentangle us in the quickest and safest way possible from Iraq, and 3) help bridge the ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

Anthony Carter and Thabiti Anyabwile have recently written their thoughts on this election and Barack Obama. These brothers are certainly more informed than I am, and they make some insightful points. Also, there is an article by John Piper from 1995 which is very relevant to the current situation. I encourage you to read what all three of these godly men have to say. Between now and November, may we all continue to pray and think deeply about these matters.

(Part 1, Part 2)

P.S.: Please read this excellent article that Thabiti Anyabwile wrote as a follow-up to his post on Barack Obama. I highly recommend it. Lance Lewis has also contributed a very helpful article to the discussion.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Duncan,
This link to Obama's view on abortion has me very concerned:

Especially in light of the article you referenced by Piper on one-issue politics.


wwdunc said...

I, too, have read that article which you reference and, being from Illinois, I am familiar with the issue that came up in our legislature. Although I think the issue is more complicated, politically and legally, than Mr. Santorum made it sound, I do agree that Obama's expressed views are very troubling.

However, I wonder if we should not look at a bigger picture than just Obama's (or any other politician's) views on abortion? For instance, Mitt Romney claimed to be pro-life, but the views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints also concern me deeply.

By the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, someone who has committed an abortion can receive forgiveness and eternal life. However, one who enters eternity embracing the false doctrine of the Morman Church will be eternally lost.

Yet how many Christians were prepared to align themselves with Romney because he was pro-life, even though his doctrine is accursed?

The point I am trying to make is, the whole issue is very, very complicated, in my opinion, and not as simple as some would suggest.

Nevertheless, I do share your concern about Obama's pro-choice views.

Anonymous said...

Thought provoking article! I agree with most of the things you said.