In reading Will's comment on my last post, I feel it necessary to make sure something is clear. I do not consider American prosperity as an equivalent factor to the abortion debate in determining the qualification of a candidate. But I DO consider the candidate's methodology for promoting American protection and prosperity to be of vital importance.
In other words, if the job of the President of the United States is to govern in such a way as to secure, maintain, and promote American interests, then the question must be asked: how will a particular candidate do that job? How do they understand their role in that undertaking? As they seek American prosperity (the only natural pursuit of elected leaders who do not fear the Lord), what are the means that they will employ in that endeavor?
Practically speaking, it is fair to speak of the number of deaths that come from war versus the deaths that come from abortion. It is still unfair, in my opinion, to act as if the number of civilian deaths in a war (not speaking about the deaths of soldiers who sign up to kill and be killed) are essentially insignificant in comparison to the abortion statistics, even if the number of the latter is monstrously larger.
The point in a democratic society should be higher than a mere pragmatic decision between two men who will be responsible for the deaths of many. If we are to participate in the democratic process then I think that our standards should be much higher than that. We cannot simply say, "well this candidate will be responsible for fewer innocent deaths than the other, therefore I'll vote for him/her." If that is the only choice we are left with democratically, then I will choose to abstain from being involved. If however we choose to be involved, then we are assuming a responsibility to not be content with a mere pledge of support for the unborn. We are assuming a responsibility to ensure that the pledge is acted upon, and further, that other acts of injustices are not being committed by our elected leader. We must call our elected officials to account for all injustices. We cannot content ourselves with partial measures if we are to be engaged in the democratic process as globally minded Christians.
American prosperity is not my first priority, nor my second, nor my third. I do not know exactly where it falls in my list, but since American prosperity affects me, I cannot pretend as if it does not matter. So, if it appears that my previous post assumed an equal footing between the death of the unborn and the prosperity of America, then I did not communicate my thoughts clearly enough.
My priority is to see that the man we hand the presidential office is worthy of that post in the way that he promises to act while there. A candidate who will not fight for the protection of the unborn does not deserve the post. At the same time, a candidate who will take America into wars too quickly or easily shows a lack of judgment that may be imperiling for an unknown number of people and therefore, I would argue, also does not deserve the post.
Conversely, a candidate that will not fight for the protection of the unborn, but will work to reduce the number of women who are in a position to get an abortion seems like a very pragmatic choice when the current administration has been in power for eight years and has not been able to eliminate the reality of abortion.
So, if we are going to be merely pragmatic in our approach to the topic of a presidential leader, I suppose we should ask each candidate how they see their administration taking practical steps to reduce the number of abortions in our country (since both have said that this is something that they would like to see happen). In this way, we will be utilizing the power of our democratic choice to seek results instead of mere pledges. That strikes me as the truly practical, democratic, and Christian direction. Do you not agree?
If our goal is to be practical and realistic (which is what I hear from every Christian that finds it foolish to not vote for the pro-life candidate), then it seems that we should be concerned with making sure that at least the number is reduced while working for the ruling to be struck down. It is clearly not an issue of electing a pro-life candidate and then watching abortions cease over night. Therefore, if we are going to be practical we need to look at what McCain proposes versus what Obama proposes regarding the fact of the Supreme Court protected "right" of women to kill their children.
At the same time, I contend we need to evaluate their decision making process and how it will affect all other areas of their job responsibilities to see what kind of effects will occur under their watch. For even though soldiers sign up to kill and be killed, it is still a tragic thing to lose a son, a brother, a father, a husband, and I want to make sure that the whole thing is avoided if possible. We are not living as Israel in the Old Covenant with the assurance of God's direction as a nation, and therefore I do not feel that the precedent of the conquest of Canaan applies to America. Canaan was judged by God via His chosen people. America is not God's chosen people and therefore we cannot assume that He is on our side against nations such as Iran.
Here concludes my somewhat rambling monologue . . . for now.