Publicity has been given recently to prominent Evangelicals who reject the perceived partisan politics of abortion and homosexuality for the broader, nonpartisan politics of global warming and the environment, poverty, homelessness, and governmental intervention in more problems. Evangelicals have been criticized in the past for “one-issue” voting, usually abortion. They have now, according to many commentators, taken the criticism to heart and have focused their attention on social issues more broadly defined.
The problem is, the criticism fails when it comes to most thinking voters. The fact that I will not vote for a given politician because he or she is in favor of continuing the unlimited abortion license does not mean that my vote fails to take into account the many other good things such a politician might do. So, for instance, a self-identified religious conservative might vote for Barack Obama because he has all sorts of things going for him (I say that simply for the sake of argument), regardless of where he stands on the abortion issue. I suppose I could theoretically conceive of a politician who was wrong about abortion, but right about all sorts of other social issues, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in actual practice.
Abortion is not an isolated issue, unrelated to everything else. In fact, I am 95 percent convinced that if someone is wrong about abortion, that person is likely to be wrong about much else as well. If the question of when humans come to possess human rights is above a politician’s pay grade, it seems to me that the presidency is above his pay grade as well. If you don’t know when humans have human rights, how can you work to protect those rights? Further, if you don’t know when humans have human rights, why would it be okay to allow the killing of those humans, whom, admittedly, may or may not have human rights? Which puts a lot more than the abortion license in question.
Being wrong about abortion also likely means that one is wrong about the family. The premise of the “right” to murder one’s own child is that a woman has a “right” to do whatever she wants with “her” “own” “body.” But this affects also the rights and responsibilities of fathers, which means it affects the marriage relationship itself. If Paul is correct that the wife’s body is the husband’s and the husband’s body is the wife’s, then it makes no moral sense to say that the husband has nothing to say about what happens to the wife’s body, let alone the body of their unborn child. I’d also be willing to bet that such a politician, instead of helping single mothers stay home and take care of their children (far better than daycare), would pay for daycare so the mother can work. I’d also be willing to bet that that politician would be in favor of giving your money and mine to Planned Parenthood, which carries out the most abortions each year, supported by our tax dollars.
As a side note, it’s interesting that politicians who want as much government influence (or interference) as possible think that the government should stay out of abortion “politics.”
Those who vote or don’t vote for a politician based on his/her views on abortion should not be cowed into silence or working to end global warming as a response to the criticism that they are one-issue voters. It’s not that simple.