9/28/2012

Voting Pro-Life. What Does That Entail?

A picture from the Facebook ad for "I Am Pro-Life"

So, here's the political conundrum for Christians:

We want to vote "Pro-Life," but what all does that entail? 

Certainly it means standing up for the marginalized voice of the unborn.

This is one of the moost pressing civil-rights issue of our time, in spite of what most Democrats mis-perceived it as (most Dems only see the abortion issue as a civil-rights issue for women, discounting the civil rights of the child).

Christians, in my opinion, must stand up for those that are oppressed by an unjust society - and there are none more oppressed than the unborn.

But being "Pro-Life" does not end in a woman's womb.

It also means standing up for the marginalized voices of those who's lives are in danger due to other issues that face society: wars, poverty, hunger, trafficking, environmental destruction that causes diseases and loss of life (just to name a few).

Which party is best positioned to deal with these Life Issues? To be Pro-Life, in other words, is more than the issue of abortion (though that is a major issue concerning Life). If a party seeks to expand the military, cut funds to the social safety-net, and ignore the impact of human actions that damage the environment because of business interests, is that "Pro-Life?"

What do you think? I'd love your input.

4 comments:

Byron Harvey said...

What do I think? I think that this redefines "pro-life" to the point it is meaningless. I think that if you want to include all of those issues, I have no problem with that, but IMHO, you need a different term. Lumping all of those things into the term "pro-life" obscures what "pro-life", as originally conceived, has always meant. Find a new term, and then let's talk; until then, I think that putting all those things together under that one rubric is more than it ought to be asked to bear.

But you asked...

Bob Robinson said...

Byron,
I'm glad I asked and that you answered!
I agree with you that "Pro-Life" has a particular meaning and I appreciate your desire to keep that meaning concise and clear.
My point is this: I don't believe Christians should be "one issue voters." While abortion is extremely high on a Christian's list of priorities, the other issues I list should be as well. But since only the abortion issue is categorized as the Christian life-and-death issue (which the term "Pro-Life" implies), those other issues get less attention and drop dramatically in the list of priorities.
They are also issues of life-and-death, and therefore should be weighed as much as the abortion issue is when making a decision on who to vote for.
In the words of your favorite pundit, "What say you?"

Byron Harvey said...

Good. But what I say, then, is that your original post wasn't clear, because you asked, but what does all that entail?.

Now to your larger point, I guess it's fair to say that I both agree and disagree (sounds like I am running for something!). I guess I am a "one-issue" voter in this sense, that if a person takes a pro-choice position, that alone disqualifies the person (check that: I'm at least a "two-issue voter", because favoring "gay marriage" eliminates a person from my consideration as well). I say this, of course, with a willingness (which I've exercised on more than one occasion) to vote third-party; this is a tougher stance to take if a person (unwisely, IMHO) takes the position that the only two options are R and D. So in the sense that those two stances disqualify a candidate, yeah, I guess I am a two-issue voter (and I defend that given the nature of those two issues).

That said, other issues ought to be taken into consideration; unfortunately in this day, those factors generally only come into play during primary season.

Briefly to the other issues:
- The word "justice" must be defined before it can be discussed. Thomas Sowell's The Quest for Cosmic Justice makes this clear and serves as an excellent primer on the subject, on why, for instance, what I mean by "justice", and what the contemporary progressive movement means by the same word, are two far-removed ideas. I believe my understanding to be more faithful, as a Christian, to the Biblical revelation than the other notion.

- I don't believe that seeking to expand the military is by definition not pro-life; in some circumstances, it may be a very pro-life thing to do.

- Further, "cutting funds to the social safety net" is a phrase that, IMHO, glosses over the real issues with regard to the "safety net". Not all safety net spending is warranted or effective, and some of it most certainly ought to be cut (or, better put, a broken system ought to be fixed).

- Ditto the issue vis a vis business/environmental issues. Of course "ignoring the impact of human actions that damage the environment" is a bad thing, but who disagrees with that? Once again, the devil is in the details, and there are a bevy of "environmental regulations" dreamed up by unelected bureaucratic wonks which needlessly encumber business for the sake of some supposed "gain" too miniscule to measure. The key in this debate involves valuing both the environment and business, and using reality, and not utopian hoohaa, to reach decisions which balance those values reasonably.

And that's my input... :)

Byron Harvey said...

Thanks for making me think about this more, Bob...though you may not like what I thought...

http://www.byron-harvey.com/2012/10/in-defense-of-one-issue-voters/