Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The 800 pound Gorilla in the room

I posted 'Dear Republican friends, neighbors,' a paraphrase of Lincoln's inaugural address, which Barack Obama quoted last night in his speech, on Facebook. Now, honest to God, I meant it in a genuinely conciliatory spirit. I truly believe that to heal our nation, Republicans and Democrats need to work together and try to find common ground on whatever issues we can. Well, someone must have felt like I was being condescending or gloating or something because the next thing I know people are posting comments on my note back and forth getting in a big heated argument over abortion (which I never mentioned, I deliberately go out of my way never to mention it if I can ever help it). Holy guacamole!

Look, I'm not in favor or abortion on demand, but I'm also not prepared to deny abortions to victims rape or incest. Clinton and Obama have had the same position, "safe, legal, and RARE." To assume that Obama is going to force everyone to support abortion is just as irrational as to assume he's going to take away all our guns and raise all our taxes and make us all godless socialists or punish us all for segregation and slavery.

Please, if you're staunchly Pro-Life, don't let yourself be gripped by fear and hatred of everyone on the left. As a matter of fact, you may discover that we value life too. My personal problem is that it has sometimes seemed like, at least the Bush administration claimed to want to protect the rights of the unborn, but totally disregarded the rights of anyone who's already been born.

Some statistics have suggested that the number of abortions in the United States dropped during the Clinton administration. I know it's hard to accept, but what many Democrats and Christians on the left want to do is discover the conditions that lead women to consider abortion as an option and reduce the number of abortions by addressing those possible "causes."

I don't know how to be careful about this next thing I have to say, but I want you to know that I really mean it, I'm not trying to just be flippant or glib- Maybe abortion activists need to rethink their alliance with the Republican Party. There was a time when George W. Bush and the Neo-conservative movement controlled all three branches of government and yet they didn't overturn Roe v. Wade, pass sweeping legislation or executive orders prohibiting abortion or amend the constitution. Instead, the tapped phones, conducted torture, politicized the Justice Department, and unilaterally and preemptively started a war in a small country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Is it possible, perhaps, that the Republican Party, or at least the Bush Administration only used your passionate belief about abortion to take advantage of your political leverage?

I don't know a lot. I know my children are miracles and blessings from God that I would never trade. I believe that like a Grandpa, God loves babies. I know that using abortion callously as a convenient alternative to birth control is vile. But I don't know when life begins, is it before conception? At conception? When there are brain waves? When the baby is viable outside the womb? I'm not prepared to declare definitively for everyone because I am not God. I don't even know if Roe v. Wade should be overturned. It seems to me that Republicans used to be the party of States' Rights and the original argument against Roe was that whether abortion should be legal should be left up to the individual state. But I also know that far fewer women have died in back alleys from having wire coat hangers shoved up them since abortion has been a professionally supervised medical procedure nation wide and I know that I for one don't want to go back to those days.

Am I wrong? Plenty of you may think so.

Does that mean that we can't work together to dig our way out of the mess our country is in after the last eight years of mismanagement? Does it mean that you can't be friendly or neighborly to me? Does it mean that you can't bring yourself to pray for our new duly elected President because you can't see him as anything but some kind of vicious baby killer?

Wow, what a shame if it does.

I'm not trying to be pious or holier-than-though when I beg you to remember the words of our Lord: "Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you."

If you think that I'm under the Devil's control, or you seriously fear for our nation because Obama just got elected. Please, lean on love not hate, on mercy not anger, on Gospel rather than Law- If you think I'm wrong, don't judge me, pray for me. Don't curse the new administration, pray for them. Leave it in God's hands.

"Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:04 PM

    To accuse someone of not being a Christian is about the most unChristian thing a person can do. To claim to have more definitive knowledge than one has is to deny one's humanness and to claim to be God. This is the highest form of idolatry. Your humility, to me, demonstrates the love of Christ; extremist condemnations are simply but idolatry. Keep writing and, when attacked, keep heart. Hopefully people will eventually learn to disagree in a more Christlike manner.