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September 1, 2008

Panelists argue over Democrat's platform on abortion

Three panelists debated this morning over whether the Democrats' platform on abortion is a step forward.

Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, praised the platform for introducing sentences about the party's desire to reduce the number of abortions. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called it even more pro-choice because of it's "unequivocal" support of Roe v. Wade. Steve Waldman, founder and editor of the spirituality Web site beliefnet.com called it two steps forward and two steps backward.

The debate came during a panel in Minneapolis hosted by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. Wallis argued that the evangelical agenda is broadening to include issues like poverty and the war in Iraq. "The monologue of the Religious Right is over," he said.

Waldman said that the evangelical leaders are passing the torch, sometimes willingly, sometimes not. "The voters in the rank and file evangelicals have different interests than their parents. I don't think the impact [of older evangelical leaders] has waned. There is now more of a counter point to it." And Land argued that abortion and gay marriage are still important issues for evangelicals. He said, "Younger evangelicals want a broader agenda, but they're not going to exchange their agenda."

Moderator of the forum Krista Tippett, who hosts a public radio show called "Speaking of Faith," had to say "Let's try not to talk about abortion for the next half hour."

Comments

Must I say that it is time that all evangelicals no mater what age get back to what the Bible teaches.there should be no aurguement or discution about same sex marrige or abortion,they are both SINS that stink and makes God sick.
I was raised in church and know that sin will send you to HELL
One more thing,it is past time that the ones that are true christions ban together and stand up for our God given rights to speak out for what is right in the eyes of God

Jim Wallis is a lost soul. He sold it to the demoncrats

"You don't have to protect unborn children. That's 'good works.' You don't have to 'work' for your salvation. Paul says Jesus told him three times, 'my grace is sufficient for thee.' Abortion, abortion, abortion. You don't have to protect unborn children."

I realize this site isn't solely a haven for pro-lifers, but if the above theological argument sounds foolish to them, it should. It has been made by religious pro-lifers with regards to animal rights: not harming or not killing animals is dismissed as 'good works,' whereas not harming or not killing the unborn is a Christian duty.

The pro-life movement desperately needs religious diversity. Pro-lifers should welcome people of all faiths and those of no faith. Not everyone in the United States is a Christian. This country wasn't founded by Christians; many of America's founding fathers were Deists. There are other faiths besides the Abrahamic faiths. There are other holy books out there besides the Bible or the Koran, like the Bhagavad-gita, which also claim to be the word of God.

I also have a problem with pro-life Christians who adhere to a double-standard: i.e., they insist that their stand against abortion be applied to everyone, including those who may not share their faith, but then they embrace moral relativism when it suits them, e.g.: "Your religion says its wrong to kill animals for food, clothing, or sport--mine doesn't."

There ARE Christian vegetarians and vegans, of whom I have the deepest respect. I don't take it seriously when meat-eaters say, "The Bible permits us to eat meat," because the Bible was also used to uphold human slavery. The Bible can also be used to justify abortion:

Genesis 38:24. Tamar's pregnancy was discovered three months after conception, presumably because it was visible at the time. This was positive proof that she was sexually active. Because she was a widow, without a husband, she was assumed to be a prostitute. Her father-in-law, Judah, ordered that she be burned alive for her crime. If Tamar's fetuses had been considered to have any value whatsoever, her execution would have been delayed until after their birth. There was no condemnation on Judah for deciding to take this action.

Exodus 21:22-24. If two men are fighting and one injures a pregnant woman and the fetus is killed, he shall repay her according to the degree of injury inflicted upon her, and not the fetus. Author Brian McKinley, a born-again Christian, sums up the passage as: "Thus we can see that if the baby is lost, it does not require a death sentence-it is not considered murder. But if the woman is lost, it is considered murder and is punished by death."

We really live in a secular society. Secular arguments are religiously neutral and thus applicable to everyone, including atheists and agnostics. The pro-life movement ALREADY HAS the support of organized religion. Instead of preaching to the choir, i.e., wasting time with religion, pro-lifers should focus on prenatal development, DNA, RNA, etc. to make their case to mainstream secular society.

I am troubled by a political model - and its complimentary model of church - that seeks to 'claim, or 'wrap up' the evangelical vote by lobbying Christian leaders to make grand pronouncements on who and which party is right and who is wrong.

A political party is not 'Born Again'.
Like all those whom comprise it, a party is deeply flawed - capable of great insight, and guilty of damaging agendas and criminal ignorance. No party is 'Righteous' in the eyes of God.
Fact is, there is plenty of questionable background, there are plenty of simply awful policies on both sides of the political fence - there are also highlites - policy strengths, shifts and new ideas.

I feel compelled as a Christian in a broken world to support the pro-life message, and to support the sanctity of Marriage as the corner-stone of family and life, and thus of any robust society. These are Republican strong points (if they will actually DO something about it).
Every Spirit-born Christian will also ardently desire to feed the hungry - and will be more concerned for the dignity and equality of the forgotten people - both in America and elsewhere - than for his/her own comfort. Real people, real children - are these not the real families behind the debate about infant life and marriage? Democrats have a more compelling vision for the forgotten.

Why are we so ready to be straight-jacketed by worldly political wisdom?
The polarity of American politics compels the major parties to offer the same signature blend of conservative/liberal policies that in the end suite no-ones interests. While many commentators are bemoaning the loss of influence of the Evangelical Right political machine, I see a sudden renewed interest in the Christian vote by the big parties, because for the first time in a long time, it cannot be taken for granted. It is for this reason that McCain has made such profoundly pro-Christian Policy pronouncements, and why the Democrats have begun to make small but significant moves to include Christian interests on their policy agenda.

No Party can claim, before the election has even begun, that they represent ME and my concerns. They have to earn my vote.
If only the great mass of one-eyed one-Party Christians understood that by opening the other eye they would be empowering themselves - and the Church, to become a real catalyst for change.