Before I get started I want to make sure that you understand that I am not endorsing either candidate. I’m not trying to tell you who to vote for. I will however go on record to say that you should get out and vote. Make your mark.
Saturday night’s Faith Forum at Saddleback has been swimming in my mind, my heart, and on my tongue since the moment it aired two nights ago.
First of all, I want to declare a winner! The winner of the forum is...(drum roll please)...
Rick Warren. Whatever you think of Rick, his mega church, or even more mega selling book, you've got to give him points for asking questions that were both revealing and timely. Rick did a great job of asking the kind of questions that everyday people want to know the answers to. He was also fair and gracious to both candidates. Hats off to you Rick... Now, if we can just convince him to get rid of the goofy Hawaiian shirts...
There is so much to discuss here, but as you might have guessed, what got me blogging was the question about when life truly begins, and the candidate’s stances on abortion. Don't get me wrong, everything they talked about was important.
Their heroes? Important.
The war? Important.
The economy? important.
The education of our children? Important.
The responsibility to care of the needy in the world? So-so important.
But to me the plight of the unborn, is still the most important.
Why? Because every other decision that a president makes flows out of his core belief about the sanctity of human life. Not just the sanctity of life for an already born adult, but for those in a mother’s womb as well. This is not just a pro-life stance, but what many conservative evangelicals like myself like to call a “whole-life stance.”
Here are the facts, no matter what your opinion:
1. Although abortions are on a decline in the past few years, almost every third baby conceived in America is aborted.
2. Since 1973 (Roe vs. Wade), when abortions became legal in the United States, there have been nearly 46 million abortions to date. This is not to mention the illegal, and untraceable abortions now more frequent because the abortion pill.
3. Most scientists, Christian or not, agree that some form of a “new living” cell begins at conception.
4. Combine these facts with the belief of billions of people that abortion is the termination of that “new life”, and you can see why this is a searing hot topic to say the least.
So here are a few thoughts on each candidate’s response to Rick Warren’s question.John McCain:
The question was: At what point does life begin? His answer: “At conception.”
I know his voting record on pro-life issues before the forum. I know that he was in favor to uphold the ban on partial birth abortions. It’s also important to note that I also know that, unlike me, McCain approves of embryonic stem cell research. I fail to see the difference between a parent who discards an unwanted or leftover in-vitro embryo, or an unwanted embryo in a womb of a mother. While I recognize the urgent need for stem cell research in the fight against such things as Parkinson's disease, I see adult stem cell research as the only ethical choice. Is a human embryo a human life? If so, when is it OK to kill a human embryo for any reason?Barrack Obama:
The question was: At what point does life begin? His answer: Basically, “I'm not sure… I'm pro-choice, because I believe that women make this decision with much thought and serious consideration. I want to see abortions reduced by offering better options.”
Rather than taking potshots at his “above my pay grade" comment, I will pose a question instead. Let’s say that no one really knows when life begins. Let’s say that none of us can really ever be sure. Let’s just say the question is above everyone’s pay grade. Since we don't know, Senator Obama, could it be that we MIGHT be killing babies through abortion? Aren't you admitting that they might be alive, by saying, “I don't really know?”
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the FDA approved a drug that we think might be killing millions of people. It’s a highly controversial drug that many people disagree about. Let’s say no lab really knows for sure whether the drug is safe or not. All we know is there is a valid argument on both sides that this drug could or could not be lethal. Would you be OK with allowing this kind of Russian roulette game go on as the president? Would you say that since you don't know if the drug is really killing people or not, that we should continue to use it? How is that not a pro-death stance?
I heard both men profess Christ as their Savior, and I heard both men stress the need to stand against the innocent killings in places such as Darfur and Rwanda. I heard both men say that 150 million orphaned children need a home, and that this great nation must rise for the oppressed. But, I also heard both men agree that evil exists. What greater evil can there be than the holocaust of 46 million innocent children in our nation alone?Our prayer:Oh Lord, we repent. We repent for the lack of tears, the lack of shouts, the lack of passion, and most of all, the lack of vigilant prayer for the unborn. Revive this land, Lord. We are a desperate people in need of you. We pray for our leaders, both present and future. Break their hearts for the things than break Yours. We don't need a king, Lord, we already have one. You are it. We need You.