Just another one of those conversation posts that originated at Street Prophets. I think Pastordan is probably correct - the Foley scandal may just be the last straw to end the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and perhaps the U.S. Senate.
I linked this post by Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost where he agrees that this is the apparent case
Poll after poll shows that voters are dissatisfied with the GOP. For months conservative pundits have been listing the reasons why the Republicans deserve to lose. Then the Foley scandal broke, revealing that the House leadership is either more corrupt or incompetent than we had imagined. Congressional Republicans appear to be headed for a fall this fall.except, in the end, abortion will doom the Democrats
Once the dust settles, though, the result will be the same as it’s been for a decade: the Republicans will still be in control of the House and Senate and the Democrat’s will wonder how they managed to blow it yet again. There will be the inevitable stream of books and op-eds to explain “What Went Wrong” but they’ll be missing the two words that consistently kill the hopes for a Democratic-controlled legislature: Roe and Doe.A pretty good discussion ensued in this thread. The key comment in this thread that led to this post, after me saying abortion really isn't a "single-issue":
Well, For JCH it is more than a simple single issue. He posted the other day that if you banned abortion (and that's the big IF), you'd also need other things, reform the adoption system, better pre and post natal care, etc.I like Karmakin a lot actually, considering how different we are. He is struggling mightily to come up with a moral "language" that both secular and religious folks can unite around in a common framework. Since I believe in a version of natural law, and the actual existence of common moral beliefs stretching across all cultures and religions, I like his style - a lot.
That really does take it above the mantra of "single-issue".
However, I don't think that's the stance of most of these anti-abortion voters, at least the ones I've met.
Most of these people are looking for a very simplistic...and to be honest morally safe*.. black and white view of the world. And this issue seems to give it to them.
*And by morally safe, I mean that it's in an area that they won't "trip" themselves, so they. and others can see them in those pristine pure white terms.
Needless to say, a lot of those people I've met I personally would say are quite morally challenged, so to speak.
The comment by me that he mentions in that last quote is here and the applicable section to this post is this:
Abortion: I think abortion is immoral, but shouldn't be outlawed.Now, my response to my abortion stance not being "single-issue" because I wanted to include social and material support for women (with some modification)
- If on the national level, they tell me they will work to pass any constitutional amendment on abortion, pro or con, they are probably done. I might support one that bans but allows exceptions for life and health of mother, and severe health issues for child, plus rape and incest. They better, however, also support complete medical coverage and financial support (paid medical leave) for all pregnancies, and adoption reform - or they should just leave it to the states
- On the national level, if they say they will get judges to overturn Roe, they are done.
- On any level, if they oppose parental notification, they are done
I wish I could say that is what I meant by "single issue". For many in my church, say, those 1,200,000+ abortions a year are just as real a lost life as a soldier or civilian killed in Iraq or an earthquake victim in Pakistan. Period. All the deaths in Iraq are a drop in the abortion bucket. All of the AIDS deaths in sub-Sahara Africa in 2005 is only about 700,000 more than the abortion deaths in the US alone. The exceptions for life and health of the mother, health of the child, rape and incest only amount to about 10% of that 1,200,000 - leaving over a 1,000,000 that are the taking of innocent life without excuse.
Frankly, while I am more politically-wired and looking for compromises that can do something, I agree. If you believe that, all other issues pall - and the defenders of abortion, in justifying abortion, really are justifying a degradation of all American culture. Everything good and moral begins to sink into the abyss with this immorality.
We are created imago dei: in the image of God. Our value is defined not by what "we can do" (our value to others), but "what we are"(our intrinsic value). In justifying abortion, different folks have different standards on what abilities constitute a person they have to hold in regard: sentience, cognition, self-awareness, sociality, the capacity to make plans, or their mother believing they have that regard. All of these are measures not of "what we are" but "what we can do" - they all ignore imago dei and that we have an inherent nature that is worthy of respect and that makes us a "rights bearer" regardless of the narrow definitions of "personhood" our society may hold. Once we start defining which "images of God" are not "persons" with adequate sentience, cognition, self-awareness, sociality, capacity to make plans, etc. - then we justify infanticide, mercy killing, and active euthanasia (which I actually support in Oregon) - not to mention just good old fashion racism, sexism, murder and genocide.
In discussing the five furies of conscience, J. Budziszewski used abortion in every example. When I discussed the Five Furies, I removed abortion from the examples, because I frankly did not want to be accused of back-dooring an anti-abortion rant by means of a philosophy discussion - just as Joe Carter was accused of running Karl Rove's "wedge issue play sheet" by one of his commenter's in his post linke above. I wanted to discuss conscience without a pie-fight on abortion. J. Bud's reason for using abortion throughout this discussion:
All the furies collude. Each reinforces the others, not only in individuals but in the social group. Perhaps you and I connive in displaced reconciliation by becoming comrades in guilty deeds. Or perhaps my compulsion to confess feeds your compulsion to justify yourself. In such ways entire groups, entire societies may drive themselves downhill, as the revenge of the conscience grows more and more terrible.I am still not interested in a pie-fight on abortion - I just want to make you understand that this isn't a "wedge issue", or a "distraction from the real moral issues", or a "single-issue" for a large number of US voters. Committed pro-life folk weigh other issues; and if you want to "balance their view" then you have to place "values" greater than a million lives on the other side of the scale. That is not really very easy to accomplish. If you thought fetuses were imago dei and rights bearers, just like you, because they have intrinsic worth based on what they are rather than what they can do, it would be hard to distract you from this issue as well. A million lives is a million lives.
My examples focus on abortion, which is both the chief means by which our is losing our moral sanity and the greatest symptom of its loss
The other solution is to "lower the weight" of the million lives so that it is easier to balance that weight on the other side. However, the more
- they are called "believers in forced childbirth" without any discussion of who "forces" women to get pregnant
- they hear fetuses called clumps of cells
- Democrats "support" the continuation of procedures like Intact D&X's
- Democrats oppose parental notification (supported by 80% of the population);
I doubt if many expect (even if they hope for) the repeal of Roe (I don't - I think the SC appointments were made for that not to happen) but what they expect is to nibble away and restrict abortion, both nationally and at the state level: they want to get it to the point where it is only available in cases of risk to the life of the mother, rape and incest. I think health of the child will be added to that list. Health of the mother may be added if it isn't used to create to large a loophole. Keep in mind: two-thirds of Amercans want abortion restricted from its current levels. They also want abortion unchosen, even if they are not committed, as many are, to making it illegal. Do folks who want to see abortion severely lowered have reason to believe the Democratic Party is going to lead this fight?
I am not trying to change your view of abortion (although that would be nice), just make you understand the passion underlying this issue - and the way folks see it connected to the moral health and life of the whole culture. This is not a "single issue" for these folks; but a nearly impossible to balance "life and death" issue.
Now, if I believe it is this wrong then why do I not support efforts to make it illegal? J. Budziszewski:
To the question "Should the civil law enforce the precepts of the faith?" the biblical answer is, "Some yes, but some no; which ones do you mean?" The New Testament contains literally hundreds of precepts. However, Christianity is not a legislative religion. While the Bible recognizes the Torah as a divinely revealed code for the ruling of Israel before the coming of Messiah, it does not include a divinely revealed code for the ruling of the gentiles afterward. To be sure, the Bible limits the kinds of laws that Christians can accept from their governments, for "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). However, it does not prescribe specific laws that they must demand from them.J. Bud may be confident, but regretfully there is no common view that abortion is not a justified taking of life, or even the taking of a "life" at all - which means legal solutions do not exist. We must "win hearts and minds" and make it unchosen - even if we cannot make it illegal.
It is not even true that all of God's commands limit the kinds of laws that Christians can accept. To see this, contrast two such precepts: (1) I am prohibited from deliberately shedding innocent blood; (2) I am prohibited from divorcing a faithful spouse. Both precepts are absolute in their application to me, but that is not the issue. If we are speaking of governmental enforcement, then we are speaking of their application to others. The former precept should require very little watering down in the public square, for even nonbelievers are expected to understand the wrong of murder. That is why I may be confident in condemning the legalization of abortion.