When One Issue Isn’t One Issue

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.


Mollie Ziegler Hemingway on the Irrationality of “Rationalists”

Anti-religionists such as Mr. Maher bring to mind the assertion of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown character that all atheists, secularists, humanists and rationalists are susceptible to superstition: “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can’t see things as they are.”

Here’s the link to the whole WSJ article.  [Thanks to Scott for the link.]


84 People Go To Hell Each Minute

What should we do about it?  “Statistics” (who did that survey?) like this are often used to “motivate” (read: guilt) Christians into getting involved with evangelism.  All I can think when I hear such statements is, “Why do we do anything but ask people if they can be sure they’ll go to heaven if they die tonight?”  Why read a newspaper, why watch a movie, why take a walk with your wife, why play with your kids, why do homework, why prepare a sermon?  In fact, why go to church, because for every minute you spend doing those things, 84 people are going to hell.  The dilemma for those who believe that hell is real and that people who do not believe actually go there is what to do about it.  I’ve got an answer, but I’m interested in what you think about this.


How Much Liberals Don’t Understand

Jacob Weisberg, writing in the online Newsweek, thinks he’s got conservatives figured out, and he sees a contradiction at the heart of their so-called “family values.”  For example, they are against abortion, but they also want stable nuclear families!  What could be more ridiculous?

If you’re not quite seeing how contradictory that contradiction is, I think I understand what Weisberg is trying to say.  See, those who have children when they’re married and when they’re financially able are healthier, wealthier, and wiser.

In fact, these two conservative social goals—ending abortion and upholding the model of the nuclear family—were always in tension. The reason is that, like it or not, the availability of legal abortion actually supports the kind of family structure that conservatives once felt so strongly about: two parents raising children in a stable relationship, without government assistance. By 12th grade, 60 percent of high-school girls are sexually active (or, as Reagan preferred, “promiscuous”). Teen pregnancy rates have been trending downward in recent years but, even so, 7 percent of high-school girls become pregnant every year. And the unfortunate reality is that teenagers who carry their pregnancies to term drastically diminish their chances of living out the conservative, or the American, dream.

Well, at least he recognizes that conservative = American.  Get it?  Conservatives should want “the model of the nuclear family” more than they should want to end abortion, because living the American dream is far more important than just living.  How do these people even come up with such tangled thought processes?

But there’s more (there’s always more):

Forget the “Juno” scenario—in the real world, few unwed mothers give up their babies for adoption. If you do not allow teenage girls who accidentally become pregnant to have abortions, you are demanding that they either raise their children as single mothers or that they marry in shotgun weddings. By the numbers, neither alternative is promising. Unmarried teenage moms seldom get much financial or emotional support from the fathers of their babies. They tend to drop out of high school, go on the dole and are prone to lives of poverty, frustration and disorder. Only 2 percent of them make it through college by the age of 30. The Bristol Palin option doesn’t promote family happiness, stability or traditional structure, either. Of women under 18 who marry, whether because of pregnancy or not, nearly half divorce within 10 years, double the rate for those who wait until they’re 25.

Get it?  Not allowing teenagers to have abortions actually condemns them and their children to a poor, hard life.  They don’t get financial or emotional support from their baby daddies, and they don’t even go to college.

So Mr. Weisberg’s argument is that because these girls make a bad (even, gasp, sinful) decision, they should be able to kill the baby resulting from that sinful decision so that they can have more money.  Makes sense to me…

This is nice: “But Palin’s pro-life purism is as ethically flawed as it is politically damaging to the GOP. By vaunting their pro-life agenda over everything else, conservatives are abandoning one of their most valuable insights, that intact, two-parent families are best for children and the foundation of a healthy society.”

Basically, according to Weisberg, these teenage girls and unwed women are going to get pregnant, no matter what the killjoy conservatives tell them, so the choice is reduced to one: support abortion or support “intact, two-parent families,” which are “best for children and the foundation of a healthy society.”  (I can’t help wondering if Weisberg means two parents of complementary sexes.)  It’s problematic because the families are not intact; some of their children have been taken apart by people with latex gloves and a vacuum.  Initially, it seems like moral equivalence: abortion vs. stable, two-parent families.  But Weisberg takes it a step further.  Families are more important than the smallest members of those families.

But don’t worry, the absurdities have only begun.


Two re: Palin

The first is from the First Things blog, written by Suann Therese Maier (my grandfather is a Maier).  Here is a salient quote:

I will vote for Sarah Palin because Roe v. Wade is bad law, and it needs to fall. I don’t doubt the intelligence and character of men like Doug Kmiec, the younger Bob Casey, and others who sympathize with the Obama campaign. But I do doubt their judgment. At the end of the day, the Democratic party in 2008 has conceded nothing to pro-life Democrats. The fact that Sen. Obama listens respectfully to pro-lifers without calling them reactionary dunces does not constitute progress. Results and behavior are what matter. On both those counts, the party has again failed to show any real sensitivity to pro-life concerns. In that light, high profile Catholics who support Obama are simply rationalizing their surrender on Roe.

Finally, I will vote for Sarah Palin, not because I’ve left the Democratic party of my youth and young adulthood, but because that party has left me. In fact, it no longer exists. And no amount of elegant speaking, exciting choreography, and moral alibis will bring it back.

The second comes from the idiocracy in Hollywood, some of whom clearly still think that being famous must give them superhuman rhetorical skillz (no, that would be good scripts).  Here’s one silly woman:

We also caught up with “Celebrity Apprentice” bad girl Omarosa, who was proudly wearing an Obama face across her chest, and as always, she didn’t hold back in voicing her condemnation.

“A conservative who is pro-life with a 17-year-old daughter having a baby — gosh, that won’t affect their ticket at all,” Omarosa said sarcastically at the EA Sports Facebreaker Launch party on Wednesday.

That sentence doesn’t even make sense.  As if it was hypocritical for a pro-life conservative to have a pregnant daughter.  Sorry, but I’m not quite catching the point.  See, it would be hypocrisy if Sarah Palin demanded that her daughter have an abortion, as the idiot Left would prefer.  Actually, she did what any pro-life parent would do: help her daughter make the right decision after a wrong one.  As someone pointed out, Barack Obama’s mother had him when she was eighteen.  I guess a year makes a big difference as far as hypocrisy goes.

No big deal, though, Obama’s a Muslim.