Monday, October 6, 2008

some thoughts on this election

Dear family and friends,
I woke up the other morning with this on my mind. I'm passing on my thoughts to you.

I have been doing a study on the life of Moses and am struck by how God had a plan for him from birth. When the ruler of the land commanded all baby boys to be cast into the Nile , the midwives and Moses’ parents feared God, saw that he was an exceptional child, and spared his life. Years later he would go on to deliver a nation.

We have before us a most important election. One in which there are many issues and causes that push people onto one side or the other. Emotions run high. Many “firsts” are at stake. Yet, on the other hand, to hear them talk, it is at times hard to distinguish where they differ—both wanting to appeal to the other side.

There is one issue in my mind that rises above all others. And that is the issue of the sanctity of life. The two tickets could not be further apart on this particular issue. Senator Obama, while a state senator here in Illinois, was an outspoken opponent to legislation that would protect newborn babies from being killed or left to die if they were born after a failed abortion. NARAL even opposed such legislation as infanticide. He has voted against the ban on partial birth abortions in the US Senate as recently as Oct. 2007. To hear his campaign speak to this issue today they will skirt, hem and haw. But his record is clear. So what? you may ask.

Abortion and pro-life issues may not be your “cause”. Perhaps you are excited to be able to cast your vote to put the first African-American in the White House. I agree it would be very cool and a huge step to further racial reconciliation. Or perhaps you are most concerned about the stewardship of the earth. Or maybe it’s the violence and bloodshed involved in the War on Terror. Or maybe the economy makes you nervous (believe me, I’m nervous). These are issues near and dear to my heart as well. But I can’t help but put them behind the cry of nearly 4000 (say that out loud) babies being killed in our country every day. 4000! That is nearly the same number of American deaths in the war since we began in March of 2003.* The total number of Iraqi civilian deaths since March 2003 is estimated to be between 89,000-96,000—that’s the number of babies killed in less than a month here, year after year.** We have allowed more than 40,000,000 babies to be killed by abortion.

Today’s hot issues pale in comparison to the thought of the damage that will be done by putting activist justices on the Supreme Court (as Biden made it quite clear his ticket will do). It will be decades before there is another opportunity to get a fair hearing with the Supreme Court. With McCain, there are not guarantees, but there is a chance he could appoint one or two new justices that would re-visit the poor conclusion of Roe v. Wade. It would not immediately stop abortion in America as the far left would have us think. Rather it would send the decisions back to the states. More importantly, it would raise the question in the minds of Americans, “Is it right or wrong to end the life of a baby in the womb?” When our law says it is ok, people stop questioning it for themselves, because, yes, all laws legislate morality, by definition, good or bad.

So what is at stake in this election? If your issue is racial reconciliation—what about the thousands of minority babies killed daily who will never vote, much less be fine presidents? If it is non-violence—what about the horrid bloody violence done to the most innocent and defenseless? If it is the economy—think of all the contributions all of those who have been aborted or will be aborted would bring to this nation: industry, jobs, new services needed, housing, etc.? What ever your issue is this election, does it compare to the atrocity of the massive number of killing happening under our noses?

Well, back to Moses. There is a common thought in our land that some lives would be better off unlived. I’ve had two babies in recent years, and thankfully, they are healthy. But I know what they test for, the questions they ask, and I know their recommendations should tests come back abnormal. Trig Palin, by our country’s set of morals, should not be here. Yet his parents feared God and welcomed him. Could it be that he was born “for such a time as this”? That he might grow up in the spotlight of our country, and therefore the world, to deliver us from such selfish and wrong thinking. Might we see, the once unthinkable, overturning of Roe v. Wade in our lifetime? Oh, for the day, that the womb would no longer be the most dangerous place in America .

Dusty's cousin wrote us this email today and I decided I HAD to post it. I couldn't have said it better myself. I hope everyone reads and considers the issue raised in it. There is absolutely no issue bigger than this.

17 comments:

Stefanie said...

Wow, that is really powerful...thanks, Kara!

Our growing family said...

love it!

Chris/ty said...

That is so well said. Thank you for sharing this Kara. I am going to post a link to it. Hope that is ok. I knew this was important before I became a mother, but now it breaks my heart even more to hear about all the babies killed every day in our nation. I feel like people become so numb to this issue, especially Christians! How sad.

Christie C. said...

Thank you for posting this! I could not agree more!

Bridget Beth said...

This issue is very difficult for me. I have been attacked for not being "Christian" for wanting to vote for Obama. I want to tell you some of my thoughts behind this decision in regard to abortion. It may give you a better understanding of people like me. It really breaks my heart to be thought of as callous on this issue.

I am absolutely pro life and mourn the loss of these babies, too. I hardly know what to think of either candidate's stance on the issue of abortion. I have done a little research and have found Obama's stance strange. His voting no for the "born alive" bill was because it did not originally protect other abortion laws. He later did vote yes when these protections were specified. While he was running against Hillary Clinton she slammed him for having only voted "present" for abortion rights which essentially means no, angering NOW and causing them to take support away from him. He claims to not know where life begins and that it is only for God to decide (I think that is terribly wishy washy because scripture is clear on it). That being said, I don't particularly think Mccain has been very clear about where he stands either. He's said he wants the states to decide, he's said he doesn't want to overthrow Roe v Wade, he's said he does..his wife said they don't...and now it seems that he does. Sarah Palin is obviously against abortion and has never seemed wishy washy about the issue. Joe Biden used to be against it, but has since taken the stance that he cannot impose his views on others.

The issue itself is so difficult. I hate abortion and wish it would never ever happen. And I really wish the Democratic party wasn't so pro choice because I see it as a conflict of interest. But I can see why so many want to uphold Roe v Wade, which allows the woman, then the state, then the federal court to decide on abortion at different stages of pregnancy. Ethically, should a woman or doctor go to jail if one is performed? Should doctors stand by while women try to perform them on themselves? Should we protect women whose lives are endangered by their baby, victims of rape and incest etc...these are all concerns from many many Americans, and Obama is trying to uphold the rights of these people. Can I be angry with him for doing so? Meanwhile, McCain says that some abortions are permissible, and that women who are raped shouldn't have to prove it (while Sarah Palin says they should have to pay up if they do) And he doesn't support federal spending for these abortions he does allow etc...so many nuances it makes my head hurt.

I have in no way become numb to this issue. For me, it is impossible to justify the death of human life. But I have decided to look at all of the issues in this election instead of making this one a deal breaker. Perhaps that makes me callous, I don't know.

I read this in an article today:

"Republicans advocate opposition to abortion but "often do little, promising that some judge not yet appointed is the answer or advocating leaving it all up to the states to decide." Obama's plan "seeks to extend a helping hand" by promising to increase funding for prenatal care, maternity leave and less expensive adoption, which "shows an astute understanding of how closely economic circumstances and abortion are related," Kmiec writes. He concludes that McCain is an "honorable man caught between a failed presidency and the tired ideas of his party that only invite repetition of that failure. There's no reason that failure should be extended in a way that blocks the greater protection of unborn life" (Kmiec, Chicago Tribune, 9/9).

All that to say I'm not turning a deaf ear and I truly appreciate this post. Thank you for not allowing me to gloss over the hard stuff.

Kara said...

Bridget,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate hearing some other Christian views on the matter. I think Republicans make a better effort in standing up for the rights of the unborn but I do believe that Democrats usually make more of an effort to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I too wish that the parties could come together to provide better education, equip women and men with free birth control, help lower the cost of adoption as well as end the abortion.

I think everyone agrees that the number of abortions happening in the US is a problem (wait to you hear the stats about Eastern Europe)…let’s work together to prevent the abortions and protect the unborn.

Stacy said...

Kara,

Love the post. You hit the nail on the head with that. Yes, there are more issues than this. But when you see the stats, when you hold a baby in your arms, how can this issue not rise to the top of that list?

Doreen T. said...

Amazing letter and the statistics are mind-boggling. But your personal comment above ("…let’s work together to prevent the abortions and protect the unborn") shows real wisdom and makes a mother proud. :)

Valerie said...

One concern (that you hit on little Kara) that I have related to this issue is how we are educating young people in our society about sex and contraception. According to several sources I've read, the highest percentage of abortions are by women who are under 25 and unmarried. What does this say about how we are teaching our girls about both safe sex and preventing unwanted pregnancies? The abstinence only programs promoted in our country in the last decade are obviously not reducing unwanted pregnancies or transmission of STDs. The reality seems to be that kids are having intercourse whether or not they are educated about it. I hope that whoever becomes our Pres. works to create programs to help truly educate our youth about the PHYSICAL aspects of sexual intercourse. (leaving the emotional and religious components of sex to be discussed within families)

anne said...

Val, I think you're right. However, I would like to see some of the emotional education included as well. That's a huge part of sex education...especially for the young girls in our society!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Republican states have higher teen birth rates, and a higher uninsured rate: http://obscurefact.blogspot.com/2008/10/republicans-vote-against-themselves.html

Kara said...

anonymous,

not sure what the point of your comment was. was it in reference to my comment on republican v. democrat platform? not sure that i mentioned anything about states and i know i didn't say anything about health insurance. try to articulate your point a little better. i'm not afraid of intelligent dialogue (i.e. val's and bridget's).

Valerie said...

Anne- I agree wholeheartedly. I think I mis-expressed that point. What I meant to express was that by pushing abstinence only and leaving ALL sex education to parents we seem to be letting down students, because not all parents are doing their jobs in teaching their kids about the physical realities of sex. At the bare minimum kids need to be taught about the physical ramifications of intercourse. I was thinking that many parents would be more protective of their rights to have the very personal (and often religiously influenced) discussions about the implications of the when/with who with their kids. I just cringe to think of the girls who reach adulthood without anyone having a frank conversation with them about how their bodies work and the risks they taken when engaging in intercourse! Does that make sense or did I just repeat myself?

Julianne said...

I'm glad someone had the guts and conviction to write it! I totally agree! Hope you are all settling well!

Bridget Beth said...

Kara:

I just wanted to thank you for being so kind to me in your response. You really show true character and heart in your ability to see both sides of an argument. Your mom is right, you are truly wise on this issue. We need to find ways to work from both sides to protect all lives, the unborn and those same babies when they grow up. I am challenged to work harder on this even when it isn't election time. When politics aren't involved, there's really no argument for us...our hearts and beliefs are the same.

Anonymous said...

I am pro life, but I disagree with the implication one should be a one issue voter. Whoever I vote for I am going to disagree with them on many issues. I am not sure whether 4000 deaths abortion deaths per day is correct or not; either way it is a major problem.

Global poverty is also a major problem. 25,000-30,000 people die per day due to global poverty. This is set to increase substantially (possibly 10 fold) unless new technologies to handle drinking water shortages are developed and disseminated.

Vote for canidates who will be effective in addressing a broad range of problems that you care about. Be pro-life in the broadest sense of the word 'life'.

Neither canidate is going to be EFFECTIVE in doing making substantial changes regarding abortion. Even if Roe v Wade is overturned, that won't make abortion illegal. It will make it so that states can regulate abortion. People will travel to have abortions if necessary. The increased burden will decrease abortions somewhat, but it won't end the 4000 abortions per day.

I may sound callous by apparently minimizing that only 'some' lives would be saved. But for those of us who aren't part of the culture war that says, "my party is always right and the other party is always wrong," we have to choose from imperfect outcomes.

What if your belief was that one canidate would lower abortion deaths by 10% but raise global poverty deaths by 10%?

Likewise another canidate would raise abortion deaths by 10% but lower global poverty deaths by 10%?

Does this hypothetical require you think for a minute to decide who you would support? It seems wrong that we would have to calculate the value of the death of innocents to decide, but we do.

I am not claiming either presidential canidate fits that profile. 'I know what they think about abortion so I am done' is not enough. Vote your conscious. Include abortion in your calculations. Include other issues also. Most of us will fail to give each issue the proper importtance in deciding who the best canidate is. Try anyways--or you are wasting a vote.

(not the same anonymous that posted before)

Emily Allen said...

Hi Kara! I haven't been in touch with you since SPU, but found your blog through Eliza's. Thanks for posting this. It echoes my heart in so many ways. I'd love to catch up with you and invite you to keep up with our family adventures on our blog: www.kolbyallen.com.

Blessings!