More than one issue?
Someone recently contacted our church, articulating a concern because, though they don't attend our church, a co-worker of theirs does and this co-worker told the concerned party that they were intending to vote for Barack Obama. Their tone was close to moral outrage because Obama is arguably one of the most liberal senators on matters of abortion.
I understand the concern about the abortion issue in a very personal way. Having been adopted as an infant, I wonder if I'd be here at all to bother you with another blog post if abortion had been easily accessible 'back in the day'. Like the person who contacted us, I view our collective failure to honor life in the womb as a great crime.
What's disconcerting to me though (and the shoe could have just as easily been on the other foot, with someone writing in concerned that one of our flock was voting for McCain because of, say, 'just war theory') is the reductionist mindset that boils down one's choice in this important election to any single issue. We're fighting two wars, not to mention trying to understand and deal with the threats of Russia and Iran, and are in the midst of the gravest economic and energy crises in generations, both of which are global in scope and terrifying in potential consequences. I won't even mention the environment, global poverty, and an impending clean water crisis that nobody is yet speaking of. Each of these issues demand capable leadership and the offering of principled and vision based strategies and steps. What will be needed for these times will be a leader able to impart that vision to our nation and our world.
No single issue: health care/ environment/ gun-control/ abortion/ or even the freedom to hunt wolves from helicopters, should be the basis on which we cast our vote. Rather, we should prayerfully consider both the overall vision and leadership potential of our candidates, realizing that there is not any candidate or party who perfectly embodies the ethic of the kingdom of God. As the rhetoric heats up in the blogosphere about which candidate has the deeper faith, it might be fun to remember that the debate rages to this day as to how deep or real President Lincoln's faith was. Be it real or not, he surely contradicted the prevailing faith ethic of the south when he dismantled slavery. Perhaps we would rather have had a genuine believer, a church going man, from the southern states as president? Nope.
I wonder the criteria you're using to caste your vote. Poverty issues? Pro-life/abortion issues? Economic policies? A general sense of who would make a better leader? Character? How Christian the candidate is? Trustworthiness? Previous failures and associations with disreputable people? What will make you vote the way you do? Feel free to post anonymously, but please post... would love a good discussion.