Have you received this email or been recruited on Facebook to join this cause?
Dear Friends and Intercessors:
_This afternoon I was praying about a number of things, and my mind began to wander. I was deeply distressed at the symbolic actions that President Obama took as he began his presidency. Namely, that he signed executive orders releasing funds to pay for abortions, permission to fund human stem cell research, and federal funding for contraception. I have been involved in the pro-life movement for nearly 20 years, and it pained my heart to see a man and a political party committed to the shedding of innocent blood. This man, and this party lead our country, but they do not represent me or the 54% of Americans who believe that abortion is wrong and should no longer be legal.
_As I was praying, I believe that God gave me an interesting idea. Out in the garage I have a box of red envelopes. Like the powerful image of the red LIFE tape, an empty red envelope will send a message to Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue. It will be quiet, but clear.
_Here is what I would like you to do:
_Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to:
___President Barack Obama
___The White House
___1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
___Washington , D.C. 20500
_On the back, write the following message:
_This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.
_Put it in the mail on March 31st, and send it. Then send this website to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.
_Warmly, Christ Otto
_Let's Send 50 Million red envelopes (and Counting) to the President!
I sure wish that Christian campaigns like this didn’t say that our president and the Democratic Party are “committed to the shedding of innocent blood.”
As I've said before, I definitely believe that the center of the “Pro-Life” issue is a strong opposition to abortion. However, a consistent “Pro-Life” policy also includes such issues as war, poverty, hunger, disease, an unjust legal system, and the environment. All these issues are a part of a holistic and consistent “Pro-Life” agenda. Therefore, many Christians who see “Life” issues beyond the core issue of abortion law (i.e., Roe v. Wade) voted for Barack Obama, believing that these many issues also weigh heavily in this issue. For these Christians, of which I am one, President Barack Obama not only is the leader of our country, he also “represents me.”
At the same time, it deeply troubles us that President Obama is a proponent of abortion-on-demand. We understand that he wants to honor a woman’s right to choose, because women have had their rights terribly trampled on for so very long. But we insist that women’s rights do not trump the unborns’ right to life. This is a difficult issue, but Christians, at our best, are a people who stand up for the needs of the oppressed and for those who do not have the ability to speak for themselves. We are to act for justice as we walk humbly with our God. The unborn are the most oppressed people in our society – their very lives are in danger due to an extremely unjust law in our land.
Therefore, I signed the petition sent to the president on the day he was inaugurated to urge him not to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)”. Find the petition at fightfoca.com.
So far, I feel that President Obama has been very careful in his actions in regard to the pro-life/pro-choice issue. He did not take any vocal or symbolic action on the 30th Anniversary date of Roe v. Wade (Jan 22) – even though he had a lot of pressure from pro-choice advocates to do so. Instead, his executive orders (which were not unexpected, especially his reversal of the Mexico City Policy) were done very quietly and away from the anniversary date so as to not make huge symbolic statements. Obama has sought to use rhetoric that does not inflame or contribute to the heat of the debate.
He certainly is pro-choice – he has made that clear. But he is a different kind of pro-choice president, one that can be reasoned with -- one that, I believe, we can make headway with. I hope that the Red Envelope campaign does not inflame the debate. I believe that Christians must realize that abortion is an economic issue. President Obama recognizes abortion for what it is: a tragic moral choice often confronted by a woman in adverse economic and social circumstances (struggling as a single mother, without a steady income, without good employment prospects, without health-care guarantees, and a stigmatic and cumbersome adoption procedure). While President Obama can be properly labeled “pro-choice, he has proposed to reduce the incidence of abortion by helping pregnant women overcome the ill effects of poverty that block a choice of life.
It’s not perfect, granted. Would I rather have a staunch pro-life president? Certainly! But what does that mean? Politicians can claim to be “pro-life” by saying they oppose Roe v. Wade, but many of their policies actually are more harmful to life than a politician that does not make that superficial claim. Much of the Republican talk about being “pro-life” has been very empty rhetoric. They have had the White House and the Congress for years, but we saw very little movement on the issue – only at election time do we hear about it. They have never offered a realistic plan to lower abortion rates. More and more evangelicals are walking away from the Republicans – perhaps they will stop giving lip-service to this important issue and quit thinking they have our vote in their pockets just because they say they are “pro-life.”
What we need is for Republicans and Democrats to work together in order to make progress with legislation that is realistic. The Democrats have proposed comprehensive legislation called the 95/10 Initiative that aims to reduce the number of abortions that take place in this country by 95% within 10 years. Now get this: Barack Obama actually supports this and similar legislation!
While Red Envelopes are being mailed and people are saying things like, “Barack Obama doesn’t represent me!” there are Democrats offering a realistic plan that can move us around the difficult cultural impasse that has bogged us down for far too long.
While I am not necessarily opposed to the Red Envelope campaign, I wonder if the rhetoric of "Christ Otto" (if that's a real person) is more derogatory and inflammatory than it needs to be.
What do you think?