Top Ten Election Issues

In a recent meeting of my Sunday night Christian community, "oasis," we discussed "Social Justice and Compassion" (one of the "six traditions of Christian faith and witness" as spelled out in our study from Renovare).

My personal exercise was to come up with what I felt were the top 10 issues in this election year.

I have been slowly but surely building a list over the past year, and the issues have naturally surfaced as I have read and prayed through this.

Here is my Top 10 - in alphabetical order:

Bioethics, Abortion, and the Sanctity of Life

Creation and the Environment



Hunger and Health


Marriage and Homosexuality

Poverty, Wealth and Economics

Religious Freedom

War, Peace, and Terrorism

For in-depth information and analysis of these issues, go to

Please let me know what your Top 10 are, so that I may re-evaluate my list in light of your comments!


lyricano said...

It seems to that marriage is about love, support, honor, raising children, caring for older generations, nursing sick relatives, and generally providing support for one's partner and family. The intimate lives of married people is important to the health of the relationship, but sexual practices of other couples is of no interest to me. I really do not care whether my parents, friends or neighbors have sex only on Saturday mornings in the missionary position, or if they are more creative. The intimacy of married people is just that--intimate and private. It also has no bearing on the social value of the institution of marriage. The institution of marriage is damaged when commitments are not taken seriously. What couples do in the bedroom is of no consequence. Therefore, opposition to same-sex marriage is really just opposition to a particular intimate moment between a couple. In fact, marriage is strengthened when we encourage more committed couples to take marriage seriously. Therefore, if one thinks the instutition of marriage is important, one should encourage gays and lesbians to enter into marriage. If we deny gays/lesbians the opportunity to marry (or if we limit marriage to same-race couple) we simply make marriage less relevant.

Bob Robinson said...


Thanks for the very thoughtful comment.
You reflect a real desire to show love and compassion. You rightly state that marriage must be about commitment, and what we do in our bedrooms must be private affair.
And I also affirm all that you say marriage is about: love, support, honor, raising children, caring for older generations, nursing sick relatives, and generally providing support for one's partner and family.

But I wonder why you omit that which is the most intrinsic element of what marriage is all about: Procreation.
I do not deny that same-sex couples can feel “love” and be “intimate.” But the purpose of marriage is more than your list indicates at its root. As Hadley Arkes points out in the Francis J. Beckwith article found on my website (http://www.vanguardchurch.com/social_action.htm#Marriage), "a marriage marks something matchless in a framework for the begetting and nurturing of children. In that respect, there is an evident connection between marriage and what has been called the ‘natural teleology of the body’: the inescapable fact that only two people, not three, only a man and a woman, can procreate a child. It makes a difference, after all, that a child should enter the world in a framework of lawfulness, with parents who are committed to his care for the same reason that they are committed to each other."

Your argument is worthy of discussion. Christianity Today responded to your line of thought in the article “A Crumbling Institution” (also found at my website): “Gays sometimes present the demand for marriage as a socially conservative move, even as a defense of marriage. While this argument has not yet prevailed in our culture, it is making great inroads. The net result is less certainty about whether marriage is necessarily a bond uniting one man and one woman—a bewildering challenge to the historic understanding of the institution.”

When I put the Top 10 up, I hesitated to include the word “Homosexuality” with “Marriage,” simply because I think the issue is bigger than the presently-hot topic of “same-sex marriage.” It includes all the “sexual revolutions” that are included in the CT article that have had ill-effects on marriage and therefore society: The Sexual Revolution, The Contraception and Abortion Revolutions, The Illegitimacy Revolution, The Cohabitation Revolution, The Reproduction Revolution, The Divorce Revolution, and now The Gay Rights Revolution.

My stand on homosexuality is this (as posted at http://www.vanguardchurch.com/hot_topics.htm)
People are tempted in all sorts of ways, depending on their own unique manifestation of their fallen nature. A temptation toward homosexuality is one such manifestation. The Bible teaches that it is the act of homosexuality that is sinful, not the temptation. Therefore, the practice of homosexuality is clearly regarded by God in the Bible as sin. The movement to normalize and accept homosexuality as a lifestyle is not an option for the Christian. We are to love those who struggle with homosexual desires, and help them experience the healing that comes from Jesus Christ. That healing may be an abolishing of the desire for homosexual relations, or it may be the strength to remain celibate. The church is to be the place of loving acceptance of everyone, no matter how their fallen nature manifests itself. We accept prideful people, greedy people, lustful people, selfish people. We never say that we should accept the sin as normal, but we certainly accept the person as normal--we all are sinful and fall short of the glory of God. What Jesus Christ is all about is freeing us from the bondage of sin. Some will be completely released of some sins in this life, but certain sins are harder to overcome, especially deep-seated ones that are heart-shaping. And the temptations can feel overwhelming--especially in a culture that is increasingly trying to normalize the acts of sinfulness (and not just homosexuality!). We need to encourage one another to overcome temptation, so that we can experience more and more in this life the victory that will be ours in the heaven.

I hope that statement shows some of my heart of compassion toward the homosexual issue.

Thanks again for the comment!
Please feel free to respond again!