Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why I am Pro-Life and Pro-Obama


















Recently, a friend asked me to write a post on how I could be a supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign while, simultaneously, be an advocate of the pro-life position. Allow me a few words to address his request — I know he is not alone in asking the question.

The truth is, with some exceptions during the first, pro-life Bush Administration, abortion has been on a steady decline over the past nearly 30 years. Rather than high rates during the Clinton Administration, which enforced liberal abortion policies, and low rates during the time of George W. Bush, whose administration has taken a hard, pro-life line, the trend appears to move independent of Washington’s policy fluctuations.

Every time conservatives anoint a new Republican president, they do so under the illusion that, once sworn in, he will magically snap his executive fingers and toss abortion overboard. This, of course, never happens. In fact, aside from some give and take on the issue of partial birth abortion, little progress has been made in this country since the Supreme Court made abortion legal in 1973.

George W. Bush, for all his religious rhetoric, hasn’t exactly stamped the blight of abortion from the planet. In fact, his administration’s puritanical war on sex education may have actually exacerbated unwanted pregnancies. To his credit with conservatives, he did appoint two very conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, a ramification that is sure to endure long after he is gone — a ramification that will reverberate no matter which party takes the White House in November.

If Bush is a pro-life president, explain to me the more than 4,000 dead and tens of thousands of wounded U.S. servicemen and women mauled in an illegitimate war. Explain to me the more than 92,000 dead Iraqi civilians. Explain to me the government’s criminally lethargic response to one of this country’s most devastating natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina. Explain to me policies that put the interests of global polluters ahead of caring for creation. Explain to me to the economic policies that rest heaviest on the widow and the orphan while filling the pocket of the rich and the well heeled. And this is the man evangelicals herald as their champion? Never have I seen a worse pro-life leader.

While John McCain, pandering to the elusive religious conservatives he so desperately needs, pretends to be a pro-life candidate, his record shows a legislator who has blocked conservative judges from being appointed to the bench on numerous occasions and feels that abortion is a matter than should be handled at the state, rather than the federal level. How very Republican of him. If Clinton was proactively for and Bush proactively against, McCain may be more of a status quo kind of guy when it comes to abortion.

I believe being pro-life is a holistically endeavor. That is why, for me, pro-life means being not simply anti-abortion, but anti-death penalty, anti-torture, pro-human rights and pro-the poor. To embrace one and exclude the rest is to invalidate the stance entire. Yes, I may sound like a walking Amnesty International ad, but forgive me for thinking that all Christians should.

This country needs a more holistic vision toward life, just as pro-life advocates require a big picture view, not a here-and-now myopia. Abortion has to be dealt with strategically, not tactically. The tactical voter says, “Abortion is wrong, therefore anyone one who supports it is automatically denied my vote — no ifs, ands or buts.” The strategic voter says, “I have to take the long view on this and go with what gains me the most ground in the long run — not simply empty, symbolic victories.”

So then, if Washington’s specific policies toward abortion have little effect on the trends, what can make a difference toward obliterating the loss of innocent life in America?

We can start with Barack Obama.

I oppose abortion, but I feel that Obama’s policies will do a better job of preventing abortion than another four years of half-hearted, counter-productive positions by Republicans that actually make it more difficult for a woman to chose life.

No, I don’t see Obama as some sort of savior. He is a charismatic leader who engenders hope, who plays to America’s strengths and inspires promise where others sow only fear and loathing. It is not the man, but what the man believes that so inspires me and millions of others.

Obama’s policies reverberate with a holistic, pro-life agenda. He understands, at a macro level given his experiences in Chicago’s inner city, that poverty is the true blight on America and that a disproportionate amount of this country’s abortions occur among its poorest citizens. He understands that we must revamp our country’s laws so that the marginalized, the weak and the least among us are cared for with the same fervor and energy as our most affluent. He understands the intrinsic worth of the individual and celebrates that worth, not just with words but also with actions. He understands that if you pull a woman out of poverty and set her feet on a path toward being a productive citizen and a fulfilled individual, you deal abortion a cataclysmic blow.

This country must realign its vision, remember its common destiny and begin to care lavishly for all its citizens, no matter their race, creed, gender, religion, sexual orientation or economic position. Then and only then will the American experiment be a success.

Contrary to what most pro-lifers believe, I rarely ever meet a pro-choice advocate who sings the praises of abortion. Almost every one of them detests the practice, and while they may feel individual freedom trumps the morality of others, they too deeply yearn for a day when abortion is eradicated. Pro-lifers and pro-choicers must meet on this common ground and find, within this plurality, a synergistic purpose to realize both their goals.

Barack Obama is leading the way to just such a goal.

32 Comments:

Blogger Nell Minow said...

A characteristically thoughtful post, Brandon. As you point out, it is far more effective to try to prevent abortions through education, health care, and support services for pregnant women and mothers than trying to eliminate abortions by making them illegal.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. This should create some raised eyebrows.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

No time for a longer response right now, but one thing that seems to be missing from your analysis is any sense of proportionality. Abortion -- the intentional killing of an innocent, and in the vast numbers that currently occurs -- is infinitely morally worse than, say, the killing of enemy combatants on a battlefield, let alone the painful but non-lethal interrogation of a relative handful of known terrorists. And regardless of how America got into Iraq in the first place, Obama's current defeatist policy would lead to even more deaths down the road, whereas the "surge" policy which McCain supported -- and Obama, despite his much-vaunted "judgment", opposed -- is now recognized as a success. (Heck, even Obama seems to have acknowledged as much in the last few days, though without quite admitting that he was wrong about its chances of success.) Add to this Obama's trenchant support for the most hard-line pro-abortion policies, and his promise to appoint pro-abortion judges who place emotional considerations and identity politics ahead of legal considerations, and I really don't see how anyone who takes the anti-abortion position seriously can support the guy. (And hey, what's wrong with returning this issue to the states?)

10:47 AM  
Blogger Anoosh said...

There are innocents being killed in Iraq. War is not just on the battlefield.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Brandon,

No candidate who couldn't even support a ban on partial-birth abortions or efforts to save the life of a child who survives an abortion is pro-life.

Tom

11:11 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

There are innocents being killed in Iraq.

Well, that is exactly my point. Obama would abandon those innocents to al-Qaeda etc., and was ready to abandon them last year and is apparently unapologetic about the fact that he wanted to abandon them (and maybe still wants to abandon them, though there is speculation that Obama is as ready to flip-flop on Iraq as his people said he was ready to flip-flop on NAFTA). And if you want to deal with the "proportionality" issue, then there are far, far less innocents being killed in Iraq than there are in American abortion clinics.

War is not just on the battlefield.

True, enemy combatants can be killed anywhere, and it is still more acceptable, morally, to kill those enemy combatants than to intentionally kill innocent children, born or pre-born. (I hate using words like "innocent children" because it makes me sound like a rank sentimentalist, but, well, I can't think of any better words right now, and facts are facts, etc.)

11:19 AM  
Anonymous SV said...

Excellent post, Brandon. I even sent it to my parents. :P

12:10 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Very well put. I especially like the part when you define Pro-Life as anti-death penalty, anti-torture, etc... I think the abortion debate goes much further than whether one is "pro-life". The question that will likely never really be answered is "when does life begin?". I believe that the only way to combat abortion is to teach responsibility to our children and teens (ie: if you must, then you must use birth control, etc...). I also feel that the "right" need to be a little more realistic in their abstinence messages. Culturally -- expecting a teenager or college student to retain his or her virginity is becoming increasingly more and more difficult and closes doors of communication concerning responsible sexual behavior.

I think it is time that we grow up as a nation and start worrying about changing our culture and our values (along the lines of your comments about the country realigning its vision). Prohibition did not stop the consumption of alcohol; nor does having a ban on marijuana prevent teens from access to it. Banning abortion will likely hurt more people (adults and babies) in the long run than keeping it legal and safe.

I am pro-Obama. My views on the legality of abortion have nothing to do with it. My hope is that Obama can help influence the country to be a more responsible nation and help earn back global respect.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Uh, how does abandoning a nation to its enemies after you have invaded it and promised to help it -- and after you have shown definite progress in helping it -- "earn back global respect"? And how does ripping up trade agreements unilaterally, as Obama has publicly threatened to do (though his people secretly told my government that he didn't really mean it), "earn back global respect"? And how does sending out deeply confusing and contradictory messages about the status of Jerusalem (is it on the table? is it off the table? Jews and Arabs alike have become suspicious of Obama's most recent pronouncements) "earn back global respect"? And so on, and so on, and so on.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Every time conservatives anoint a new Republican president, they do so under the illusion that, once sworn in, he will magically snap his executive fingers and toss abortion overboard."

I don't know any conservative personally or have read about any conservative group that has the illusion that you are speaking about. Where are you coming up with this?

"To his credit with conservatives, he did appoint two very conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, a ramification that is sure to endure long after he is gone"

This is the only way that abortion will ever be overturned. And as you pointed out neither candidate is going to help the cause here.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at the number of people killed under Saddam Hussein as compared to the losses now, Bush would indeed be pro-life.

Do you really think that pulling out and letting the country descend into chaos is going to save more lives?

In this case, McCain has a plan that would save the most lives.

Let me get this straight. You're for helping the poor and oppressed, but you'd leave millions of Iraqis to suffer under Saddam's reign? It is naive to think that helping the poor and oppressed will never require war.

2:49 PM  
Blogger robyn said...

1. It's interesting how whenever pro-lifers talk about abortion they talk about the "rights" of the fetus to the total exclusion of rights of the already born, adult, mother. The right of the mother to have control over her own body, since babies gestate inside that body for 9 months, is fairly crucial. Women are not merely incubators, they are human beings who have other roles than reproduction and their wombs shouldn't be held hostage to others (and let's face it, about 80% of the hard core pro-lifers I know are male and conveniently will never have to face this hard decision) morality.

2. "Partial birth" abortion does not exist - it is a term invented by right-wingers to describe SEVERAL vastly different procedures to terminate pregnancies in women either who's life would be in danger if they give birth or who are having severely deformed and disabled babies (hearts being outside of the bodies, babies missing brains, etc). These procedures are often extremely painful (given the late term of the fetus) and also can greatly reduce the risk of future pregnancies for the mother, so these are not decisions that the mother takes lightly. If conservatives are so concerned with abortion than maybe they should adequately fund sex ed so that women can prevent this from happening. What you surely cannot do is have it both ways: ban the morning after pill, withhold all sex information, encourage only abstinence, create a culture of sexual shame and ignorance and then expect women not to get pregnant. Even the most self-righteous religious teens that are adamently against the right for women to choose are having (premarital) sex, the only difference is they are twice as likely to do it without protection. And pregnancy is NOT the worst thing that can happen to you anymore.

3:51 PM  
Blogger robyn said...

Obviously my comments were not addressed to Brandon but other commenters.

Loved the post BF!

3:53 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Well, it's interesting how pro-choicers like to change the topic so that we end up discussing other issues and not whether the pre-born child is, y'know, a human life. Pro-lifers, many of whom are women, take it as a given that women are human, and that women can choose when to have sex and when to use birth control. It's when they start choosing to take life away from other human beings that we run into problems.

For the record, while I would oppose the use of morning-after pills for obvious religious reasons, I am not opposed to them as a matter of secular law. Only something like one third of all fertilized eggs survives the first few weeks after conception, and I think it is difficult to argue that such entities deserve the same protection that we accord to "persons" outside the womb.

However, at a minimum, we should be able to agree that, if brain death equals legal death, then brain life should equal legal life. And that means no third-trimester abortions, and certainly no "partial-birth abortions" (you acknowledge that the procedures exist, even if you quibble with the terminology, so let's leave the terminological debate aside).

If we can't agree on that much, then there's no point in even raising any of the other issues.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I belive that Obama is as close a representation of the anti-christ that this world has seen in decades. I belives this far before all the controversial e-mails started floating around. Obama is charismatic. Unfortuantly for his followers ... they won't realize it untill it is far to late. As far as the pro-life issue. I belive that there is a far larger issue here. When we took God out of EVERYTHING we began the need for several things that are of contention between conservatives and liberals now. I don't personally belive in abortion, but I do belive that is should be legal. Everyone has a choice and it is not for me to be the judge. They will answer to a much higher power in the end. But when abortion was illegal, we lost far more good people who made bad decisions. Abortions is a necessary evil in order to save lives. As a people we will never erradicate it, we will only drive it underground and therefore make it unsafe.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon,

The U.S.A. is the richest country in the history of humanity, and yet we have plenty of abortions. Claiming economic woes are at the root of abortion isn't compelling. Abortion is not entirely, or even mostly, the domain of the poor.

Abortion is not about wealth; it is about mores. Barack Obama thinks it's okay to abort. Yes, I'm sure it pains him greatly that abortions occur, but he thinks they should be legal. He thinks it's okay to have partial-birth abortions. He even thinks it's okay to kill a baby that survives a botched abortion. (I couldn't make that one up.) His mores in this realm need some serious work. He does not respect the right to life, and trying to re-define the right to life won't change that.

The simple fact is, the Supreme Court hijacked this issue 35 years ago, lawlessly and illegitimately. One more law-abiding judge -- to go with Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito -- will send the issue of abortion back to the political branches. At that point, legislators like Obama will argue that it should remain legal for a developing child to be killed, and legislators like McCain will oppose them.

In the meantime, the fate of the unborn will be decided by the next Supreme Court appointment or two. Justice Stevens is 87, and several other justices are over 70. Obama would replace them with justices who would uphold the lawless ruling of Roe. McCain wouldn't. The choice is clear.

It is no exaggeration to say that if Barack Obama becomes President, the hopes of those who oppose the unjust, barbaric, evil practice of abortion will likely be set back by decades.

The trajectory of the Court is toward the reinstitution of the rule of law and the reversal of Roe. But Obama says he is all about change, and here is a change he would deliver. All progress toward the overturning of Roe would stop on his watch. And it wouldn't start again until many years later, until the echoes of Obama's empty rhetoric had long since ceased.

Jeff Anderson

10:01 PM  
Anonymous David Patrick said...

I think that most of the people who have commented on Bandon’s blog have missed the point of Brandon’s thoughts. This blog was not intended to stir up the emotions of either party or to add to the endless debate. Brandon is not saying that we should keep abortion legal; he even implied in his blog that he is “anti-abortion”. Abortion itself is not the main point of his blog. Brandon’s blog is about how he can vote for someone who is not anti-abortion with a clear conscience. Having actually read his blog I can tell you why. I have had the pleasure of having MANY discussions with both conservatives and people who ascribe to the religious right. These people are almost always very pleasant and kind people until the issue of abortion comes up. When that issue comes up they’re ears get red and their mouths get frothy. I can understand that, I agree with them, abortion is murder. And the fifty million or so babies that are murdered in the US every year make Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent. It’s hard not to get uncontrollably emotional about such monumental injustice, but it is this emotional reaction, that I think, is clouding these people’s judgment.
What I mean by that is this, I think that well-intentioned people have been whipped up into such a frenzy over this issue that they will blindly cast their vote for anyone who looks like they have a solution for the problem. The problem is, however, that these people think that by voting for someone who is “anti-abortion” automatically means that abortion will be abolished. When I talk to these people about politics that is the first thing that they say to me, “Well, I’m voting for him because he’s anti-abortion.” My response is always the same. I ask them “Did you vote for Bush?” and they say “yes” then I ask “why?” And they say, “Because Bush is Anti-abortion.” And then I ask, “Now, Bush has been the most powerful man in the world for nearly eight years now, why is this nation still murdering fifty million babies every year?” *blink* blink*
What Brandon is saying, is that whether you vote republican or democrat abortion is not going away. And the proof is in this current administration. Conservatives have a backed themselves into a corner. What I mean is, if you ask someone who thinks this way a couple of hard questions they can’t answer them. The first question is “Now, you voted for Bush because he is against abortion, right? Well, he promised that he would do everything in his power (as the most powerful man in the world -mind you) to completely eradicate abortion from this nation, right? Well, he’s had eight years to do this, why hasn’t it been done?” At that point the person must admit that either the President is powerless to make it happen, or that he saw a big part of the country is anti-abortion and just played that angle with no real intention of following through after he attained the power of the nation.
If he had every intention of putting an end to abortion, and was powerless to do so, then we must conclude that problem of abortion cannot be solved by politics, and therefore is now a non-issue when considering a candidate. On the other hand, if the politician just saw an opportunity for more votes by saying he’s against abortion to gain favor from one side of the nation, and at the same time does nothing about abortion later to avoid losing the votes of the other half of the nation, then we must conclude that politicians can’t be trusted to do what they say. And if we can’t trust what they say, then we can’t assume that they are anti-abortion, and again, the problem becomes a non-issue in the political arena.
Brandon is saying, “Look, if we can’t get rid of abortion by electing certain people, then to me, I’m going to look at what the candidate says apart from abortion and vote on those issues.” If Brandon thinks that abortion is here to stay no matter who gets into office, and if Brandon is also convinced that this is an unjust war, which is resulting in the murder of thousands of people, and if Brandon thinks that Obama can put an end to this problem, then how could Brandon vote for anyone else in good conscience? In Brandon’s mind supporting unjust war is tantamount to supporting abortion. Why? Because they are both murder, and if Brandon can’t put an end to abortion with his vote, but can help put an end to an unjust war, then I say he is obligated to vote his conscience.

And I want to say one more thing. I don’t think the problem is ever going to be solved by men in office. Like so many people have already said, if you outlaw it then people will just do it anyway. Speaking as a Christian, we cannot enforce Biblical morality on people, because they can’t subscribe to it anyway. If Christians really want to reduce abortions rates, then what we need to do is lovingly preach the gospel to them and trust Christ to conform them to the true morality from the heart. The women, doctors, and anyone else who supports abortion have been villain-ized by the Christian community and turned into evil opponents. I got news for you, they’re not the enemy they’re the mission field. God will tenderly care for the murdered babies we don’t have to worry about them, but he’s called us to love those people and tell them about the forgiveness that is available even for murderers. We were never called to make our culture moral, we were called to preach the gospel and let God make them moral. If Christians would just stop getting side tracked from what we were COMMANDED by Christ to do, then abortion would fade away when people repent. If you’re a Christian, you need to know we are not a kingdom of politicians, but a kingdom of priests. You never see Paul, Peter, or Jesus at a protest, but you always see them with those who should be protested against, only they are giving them the gospel. Is it really too much to ask for us to do the same?

10:03 PM  
Blogger New York Nelsons said...

Wow, What a post! Thanks for sending me a link to your blog! I agree with you on many points. I am also pro-life and pro-Obama. Go Obama. We hope you are well and please check out our family blog! Emily and Boyd

10:48 PM  
Blogger Reacher said...

Hear, hear!

Some of your pro-life readers (for the record, I am against abortion, but I don't associate myself with the "pro-life" label, since it's become more about winning culture wars than, um, protecting life) miss the point of your post. Let me amplify that and extend. The global evidence is quite clear, when abortion is illegalized there is a marginal decrease in abortions countered by a significant increase in maternal deaths from illegal procedures. The aggregate amount of lives lost remains even. Furthermore, the cost and legal troubles fall heaviest on the poor, further disenfranchising "the least of these."

So, those of you who feel the need to keep making strident (and cliche) pro-life arguments, you need to change your approach. The center doesn't hold. Ask yourselves if you really want to save lives or if you just need to cling to a tired old war-worn argument. Nobody here is advocating a retreat from the respect for life, Brandon (like many others) is simply asking all of us to honestly look at the broader life issues.

An Obama presidency will save more lives than a McCain presidency.

I left Iraq and global respect untouched, so let me simply say this: Obama did not take a simplistic either/or position often ascribed to him. He is not against war, he would have supported an aggressive confrontation with Saddam's regime as a unified effort of the world community.

By the way, that would have gained us more global respect. To the commenter who asked how you measure global respect, you, um, ask the globe who they would respect. Obama is the clear winner. The globe has spoken.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

He is not against war, he would have supported an aggressive confrontation with Saddam's regime as a unified effort of the world community.

That is such a bullshit argument. The world is never that unified. There is no "world community". There are multiple communities, plural, and you have to pick and choose which ones you are going to prioritize. Obama likes to think -- or at least say -- that everyone can get along, and everyone's health can sit alongside everyone's pathologies and everyone will be okay in the end. But in the end, reality hits and even he is forced to admit that he must disown his church, or whatever. The UN, pathological thing that it is -- putting Libya and similar nations in its "human rights" groups, etc. -- doesn't speak for the "world community" any more than Trinity United speaks for the "black community". If only Obama were as quick to realize this sort of thing as everyone else.

And of course, you ignore one of the points I already made, which is that Obama's contradictory statements on the status of Jerusalem are already losing him the respect of both Jews and Arabs. "The globe has spoken"? Puh-leeze.

That said, I find it intriguing that Obama is now going public with his back-pedaling on NAFTA -- the very back-pedaling that his advisors secretly told the Canadian government to expect, the very back-pedaling that, when exposed, cost Obama the Ohio primary. NAFTA, Trinity United, Iraq ... what else will Obama change his tune on, and to what degree will he change it?

As for abortion, what it all comes down to is this: Obama will set the pro-life cause back decades, as one of the previous commenters said, through his choice of Supreme Court judges if nothing else. That's right, he will make things worse, and not merely not-make-things-better. McCain might not make things better, but at least he won't make things worse.

And no, I don't buy the "trickle-down" theory that says if you raise taxes and cut profits and do various other things that made life so wonderful under Jimmy Carter, then the women of the nation will decide not to have so many abortions. I don't think it works like that.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Oh, and for those who think the Republicans have been "all talk, no action" on the pro-life front, click here for a summary of this.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why I could never vote for Obama

Lets begin with the premise of your blog, Abortion. You would rather vote for Obama because you "feel" he would do a better job on that issue. But you have no proof other than he is a "charismatic leader who engenders hope, who plays to America’s strengths and inspires promise where others sow only fear and loathing. It is not the man, but what the man believes that so inspires me and millions of others." I hear this repeated by the posters as well. That he will give everyone a feel good, feeling in the world.

So I would challenge all of you to really looks at policies and not the warm giggly he gives you. I will quote a couple here.

1. His policy to leave iraq too soon, leaving a power vacuum and many more people dead in the coming decades. Evidenced by the fact we didn't do enough in 91'

2. His statement in the past that he would use the troops from Iraq to find the "real" enemy, bin Laden, by attacking Pakistan since they are not helping enough. So let me get that right, stop one illegal costly war and start another one with our only Ally over there.

3. His policy on starting universal healthcare. This will end up costing us dearly, and potentially cost more life. I have been in the public health system without insurance several times. It turns out that it costs you more and you recieve poorer quality service. I sat in a waiting rooms for more than 12 hours to only see incompetent and unpleasant doctors that actually left me fearing for my life. No Thanks. If you look at countries like Canada that are using these systems the wait time for simple life saving procedures can take 6 months to a year. Many of them that can afford it come here to get quicker care.

5. Next he promises to cancel many aerospace programs and slash budgets for NASA and subcontractors. He has already state that the next Nasa Crew vehicle will be canceled, and this will leave us with no more human access to space. For those of you who don't realize the shuttle is about 30 years old now and almost to the end of usability. The amount of jobs that will be lost will be staggering. People will lose their homes and go broke. Only to put more people on welfare. But I guess it is better to give money to people for doing nothing, rather than being productive for the country. And to all of you who believe that we gained nothing for our space explorations, I say to you, please remove and electronic devices from yous pocket and throw them away. Hydrogen Fuel cell car technology was only possible because of the moon landings. The whole world have benefited from NASA in more was than anyone could list. To cancel the space initiatives would be big mistake.

6. And last, lets look at what this man believes in. If you read his book and look at his pastor and church for over 20 years, it tells all. Racism in not a problem that only whites have. And indeed if any white candidate had been involved in a church such as obama's promoting whiteness, that person would have rightly been rebuked from his public offices. And many will say that Obama didn't agree with his pastor, but I am sorry but no one stays in a place every Sunday that they do not like or are offended by, or disagree with. So the only conclusion is that he does think that way, and yes I consider him and his whole campaign racist and offensive to me. I would no more vote for a white racist than I would a black racist. If this country is ever going to become a place with out bias and racial tension then every group has a responsibility to stop it. Why is it okay for the media and the NAACP and other groups to say that he will get the black vote because he is black. This is a totally racist statement, for one to vote for a candidate solely on their race goes against everything this country wants to be. Newsweek did an article on "why whites won't vote for Obama" going into white are being racist against him for not voting for him. Yet why has there not been any article about why black voter won't vote for Mccain since he is white. Until everyone gets over this feeling of groups being owed something, we will be at this place for a long long time.

Judge the man by his abilities and policies and not by his color, then and only will racial equality by found

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Die hard bleeding liberal...Get Real!

1:25 AM  
Anonymous POD said...

I swear to God, I didn't write the above post...

All kidding aside, the issue of abortion is a tough one for me - I find it very difficult to take a side in the debate, frankly. I DO, however, lean towards the federalist view on the issue - leave the matter to the states - I don't support an all-out "ban".

Personally, I consider abortion to be an unnatural and invasive procedure, not to mention fundamentally cruel. I have seen enough pro-life pamphlets depicting the barbaric nature of an abortion and I get the point; however, abortion is something that I believe should be dealt with on a personal/individual level, and not on a national policy level. An outward ban on abortion, in my opinion, is just as pointless as our approach to numerous issues that we try to over-regulate in our country, whether it be our pointless "war" on drugs, our dismally poor energy policy, immigration, etc.

(And to turn this issue further on its head) I also believe that is it important to note that there are many people in the country who want to have children in spite of it all - as this recent story on some group of minors who made a "pact" to get pregnant that celebrate getting knocked up... as one of my favorite political commentators has said in the past, "sometimes you just gotta laugh".

2:36 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

The teenaged "pact" is certainly an interesting case. I mean, if it turns out that access to sex education and birth control has inspired underprivileged girls like these to go out of their way to get pregnant because it gives them extra access to welfare funds etc., then it would certainly put an interesting twist on the argument that liberal social policies are "pro-life" -- without those policies, there might be less life to be pro- about!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Publius2000 said...

Two Points:

1. After 30 years the pro-life cause is on the verge of overturning Roe and now nominal "pro-lifers" want to abandon the cause. If Barak wants change that seems like a big one. Bush has done all he can on the abortion mostly by appointing two justices who will likely help overturn Roe.

2. Hadley Arkes of Amherst compares the abortion debate with the slavery debate of the 1860's. Denying the humanity of the victim, failure to protect the slave or fetus in law, recognizing the rights of the slave owner or woman over the victim, etc.

Would Brandon in 1860 say, "I am anti-slavery, but I am voting for Stephen Douglas because he has a more holistic view of liberty; he cares about tariffs and he cares for the urban poor and the Irish immigrants pouring into NY."

Or would Brandon support McClellan in 1864 because, "McClellan will end this horrible war by compromising with the South and allowing the South to continue their practice of slavery, but at least he won't have men dying on the battlefield."

History will judge your vote...I pray it will judge your vote well.

Some issues are simply far more important than others. The spirit of the times can blind one to the true gravity of issues.

Brandon forgive me since I do not know you, but it seems like you are passionately pro-life except when it counts.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. An excerpt:

It's a tough sell to present [Obama's] record as auguring an America where there are fewer abortions. But some try. Generally there are two lines of argument. The first is to claim that Republicans have done nothing during their time in power to diminish abortion. Plainly this is not the view that Planned Parenthood promotes on its Web site, where President Bush's many actions are chronicled and listed under the heading "war on women." As Mr. Obama himself notes, moreover, Republicans generally do not appoint the kind of judges the pro-choice side demands: That is, judges who can be counted on to impose their own views upon the law on issues that ought properly be left to the American people.

The other line of argument is the They're-Just-As-Bad-As-We-Are defense. Thus the Web sites that go on and on about Catholic social teaching on war and poverty and greed and the death penalty, etc. The implication being, of course, that Republicans are on the wrong side of all these issues – and that simply by enumerating all these concerns, you can somehow balance out the Democratic Party's singular commitment to abortion on demand.

These issues are all legitimate subjects for debate, and each can and should be argued. The problem is that abortion is not just any issue. In the language of the church, abortion is an "intrinsic evil," always and everywhere wrong.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

“The trend appears to move independent of Washington’s policy fluctuations". I whole heartedly agree with Brandon and Obama. Abraham Lincoln put it this way; "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed." Lincoln was of course referring to slavery, the great sin of the nation during his time. He understood that any action, civil war or congressional bill, would affect the outcome without public sentiment. Indeed abortion is the great sin of the nation in our time and the parallels between abortion and slavery are numerous. Proponents desperately try to dehumanize its victims in order to rationalize their behavior. Opponents know in order to defeat the sin, they must first change the hearts and minds of the people, before any other action can be effective.
So what has created a public sentiment that is indifferent the murder of over 40 million innocent Americans? There are a myriad of reasons to blame that range from the exceeding egocentric and materialistic culture of America, focus on the immediate rather than the long term, and education. Lack of education concerning the basic anatomy of a woman and her unborn baby is the one that still irks me the most.
It is hard to believe that in 2008, people still wrongly think of the unborn as part of the women’s body. From the instant of conception the baby is distinctly one of a kind with its own DNA. The fertilized egg does not even begin to implant itself on the uterine wall until day 6. During that time it is completely independent of the mother. The fertilized egg also shows the all of the characteristics of life including; maintaining homeostasis, has organization, grows/produces new cells, and metabolizes nutrients. A portion of the placenta is contributed by the baby and the rest is the mother’s tissue. A quick study in anatomy would also reveal that the womb and its contents are outside the body just like the contents of your bowels.
In response to the dehumanization of unborn babies, I would offer my own personal experience. Because of complications with previous pregnancies, my wife had several sonograms early in the pregnancy of our first born son. I was able to see snapshots of Grant from a small egg sac all the way to a 3D image just before he was born. Truly at each stage Grant was fully human. The most vivid memory I have is the sonogram taken at 8 weeks. The technician said he was no more than 2 inches long. At one point during this particular visit he swam into focus and I gasped when I saw, in perfect detail, every single bone in his fully formed hand. If my son was not fully human and deserving of equal rights under the constitution at 8 weeks, then when was he? Obama’s support of the Pregnant Women Support Act is political posturing at best. This bill would help pregnant women considering an abortion see their baby via a sonogram, i.e. humanize them, and hopefully they would chose not to take the own babies life. Obama’s comments and position on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act point to a much darker disregard for human life. Even NARAL did not support the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in Illinois and similar national legislation. Put simply, regardless of what comes out of his mouth it is his vote that counts and Obama is the most pro-death Senator the left can offer.

1:49 PM  
Blogger nathan said...

I think it's pretty obvious why Obama is pro-baby-death. Not for "freedom of choice" or Roe v. Wade or any progressive nonsense like that. He wants an ample supply of dead babies that he can sink his bloodthirsty fangs into, you know, when he rises from his demon lair each night to enslave us under our new terrorist overlords. WAKE UP AMERICA DO TEH RESURCH

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well McCain will be president so it really doesn't matter what it says.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Nate,

Here is your “resurch” This is a man who has no intention of reducing the amount of abortions in America.

“The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." Senator Barack Obama

"I strongly disagree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women. As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman’s medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient. I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women." Sen. Barack Obama 4/18/2007, his comments after the Supreme Court ruling GONZALES v. CARHART( a ruling in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003)

Voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act as a State Senator in Illinois, a bill that would give protection to babies that survived a late term abortion.

"Look, I got two daughters - nine years old and six years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." Senator Barack Obama

“Throughout my career, I’ve been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.” Senator Barack Obama

Voted against the parental notification bill.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Well, if the Saddleback event underscored nothing else, it is that Obama is extremely evasive and possibly even outright dishonest when it comes to discussing the abortion issue.

Asked when babies get "human rights", Obama replied that theological and scientific questions were above his "pay grade". But, um, exactly what job does Obama think he is applying for, here? "Human rights" are not an intrinsically scientific or even theological matter. (At any rate, we should certainly be able to agree on a set of "human rights" without appealing to theology, especially if we live in a culture that advocates a separation between church and state.) Rather, they are a legal matter, and thus a political matter -- and Obama is nothing if not a lawyer who is applying for the top political job in his nation. So the question is not above his "pay grade" at all -- it is, in fact, the sort of question he has been answering for years, in his voting record and in his appearances before pro-choice groups, etc., etc.

And thus Obama's lame handling of this issue -- including his careless-at-best, lying-at-worst accusation that those who criticize his record on this issue are "liars" -- has now prodded some conservatives to call for abortion to become a central election issue, since it has the potential to expose Obama's political extremism as well as his deficiencies when it comes to matters of "character" etc. Can't say I'm looking forward to that.

3:47 PM  

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