Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Withdrawing From Political Commentary for a While

I cast my early ballot today and I am withdrawing from political commentary for a while.

I never intended to spend this much time writing about politics. It started as a simple exercise in articulating the political views I have held for decades. I have never been shy in stating my views, but neither have I been pushy with them. Most who know me are aware I consider myself a conservative Republican, but very few have bothered to ask me why? Some have even been surprised by the positions I have stated. I suspect they had heard me address social justice as a Christian concern, but they had not heard me address politics as an instrument for social justice. My intent in writing was to simply say I have given serious consideration to how my faith speaks to my political views. Hear me out and make your own decision.

My desire was not to persuade anyone to vote for my candidate. I don't really have a candidate, just a political philosophy. I have always tried to encourage others to prayerfully consider for whom they should vote and vote. Politics should never divide Christians; we should agree to disagree, learn from each other, and get on with living out the Kingdom of God as best as we know how. However, the further I got into this election the more I became concerned about the outcome. My concerns emerged from Obama's strong support of items I find unconscionable. I came to believe this was the most significant spiritual struggle of this generation, a battle for the soul of America and the future of the Christian witness here. While there are many gray areas in the intersection of faith and public policy, there are some lines that must not be crossed.

I have said what I needed to say except for this. I disagree with Obama's economic philosophy and while I had planned to write about it, it is not a major source of grief for me. In brief, my view is that the current economic woes are the product of the uncertainties of the new global economy, the war on terrorism (especially Iraq), a couple of decades of unbridled greed and the failure of our system of federal regulations. Obama will carry us toward a European style of socialism that will result in higher taxes and if unchecked economic ruin sometime after his stay in the Whitehouse.

I was also going to write on the positive aspects of Obama’s platform. I appreciate his commitment to expand support for faith based social service programs. I hope his promise of increased volunteerism/community service is fulfilled. Of course these were conservative issues first; on the latter see programs developed by both of the Bush Presidents. The expansion of healthcare especially for children is desperately needed. I could name others.

However, I am deeply grieving the probability of an Obama presidency, not because of Obama the man, but because of a few of his positions that I find terrifying, especially the extent of his commitment to those ideas. My grief is deep and centers on the two issues I have already addressed, judicial activism and abortion. Based on his public statements on these topics I have no doubt we are headed to an open war on conservative Christianity through the courts and an expansion of the murder of late term babies. The first (war on conservative Christianity) is secondary (not stated and not intentional) but I believe a certain outcome of a liberal activist judiciary. Time will tell if my assessments are valid. The second (abortion) is certain; he has made it a central (but muted) point in his platform.

My concern is that he has made a stronger committment than other candidates; he is a strong proponent of abortion in general and a defender of late term abortions in particular. I grieve over all abortions, but I am shocked and sickened that any human being can participate in the violent dismemberment of a late term baby (I have not described partial birth abortions; you can google it) whether (1) by direct participation, or (2) by exercising legal authority to sanction the murders. At this point my grief overflows, the fate of countless children appears sealed. I fear "Ichabod" is already written over our door.

How long should I grieve? How long should I lament my own relative silence in this holocaust?

“In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” Matthew 2:18

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