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October 13, 2008

Iowans, the Presidential, and Abortion

Iowans definitely seem to be in Barack Obama's camp--by 54-41, according to the latest SUSA poll. On abortion, Iowans split 53 percent pro-choice versus 45 percent pro-life. But whereas one-third of the pro-lifers prefer Obama, less than one-quarter of pro-choicers prefer McCain.

(Originally published at Spiritual Politics)

Comments

this proves that people aren't paying any attention to the issues.

No it proves that they are paying attention to the issues that they care about, and it seems abortion isn't the highest one on the list.

It should be the highest one on the list, Adam. Call it an ethical triage approach to voting preferences.

There is no agreement on when life begin, and the bible doesn't teach personhood from conception, so of course abortion should not be the top priority. There is no agreement that it is murder and no biblical support for that theory (in fact the bible leans heavily towards life being defined in terms of breath).
Be Blessed,

Amen, Trent!

Some more points to consider:

1. Regarding the sanctity of infant life, many outraged people have posted on CT about abortion. These same people, taking the Bible literally, will go to great lengths to rationalize passages like 1 Samuel 15:3, where it says God commanded Saul to totally destroy the wicked Amalekites, including their wicked little infants. I believe the Bible, and I love God (despite this passage -- I'm hoping He'll make things right in the end). But I think it's mixed up for us to presume we know what judgment the Almighty makes on abortion (which the Bible does not mention) while offering any theological justification for passages like this one. (See also Hosea 13:16).

2. God is more interested in changing hearts than in changing civil laws. If that weren't the case, Jesus would have repeatedly denounced corrupt Roman law & culture and made those things his central talking points. Homosexuality, infanticide, and a host of other evils were rampant in the Roman Empire. But read the Gospels and note what Jesus really focused on.

3. There's something seriously wrong in a society that demands abortion. It's a choice that indicates despair. But masking the symptom will not cure the disease. Promoting a more just society, in tune with Biblical calls for economic justice, will be a great step toward healing our land. The far-reaching impact will include a lower abortion rate, as people rediscover hope.

So my pro-life vote is for Obama, because I believe his priorities are appropriate and Biblical.

There was a study on how economic policies have affected abortion rates. BTW, it is not 100% favorable to all of Obama's policies. http://blog.beliefnet.com/stevenwaldman/2008/08/can-social-spending-reduce-abo.html

A quick couple questions to Trent if as you contend by what you see in the bible that life begins with breath. How then do you justify the verse where God says that the life of the flesh is in the blood? That verse is in Leviticus 17:11. Oh and one more question if I may, how then do you justify the verses about God knowing individuals from the time they were formed in their mother's wombs? I saw an aultrasound thirty two years ago in which my son Robert was sucking his thumb. That aultrasound was taken two months before he breathed air outside my body. Todays ultrasounds are now 4 D, and very good. The Dr. told my daughter that my grandson Julian was suffering from hiccups when she was having one done four months ago. Julian gets hiccups alot outside his mother's womb too. LOL I'll be curiously awaiting your reply.

My point above is that people get to choose what their own highest value is. You choose abortion, and other people, choose something else. That is what democracy is about. If you say people have to choose abortion as their highest value then democracy suffers. You have the right, and maybe the responsibility, to advocate for abortion to be the highest value. But to insist is the circumvent democracy.

Robin P, you shed light on an issue in a way I have never seen- it made me smile as you hit the nail on the head and brought some peace to my mind in my support of abortion an drationalizing with others. I'd like to add that I grew up in an apt building with 32 families. We ALL knew each other, ate at many of our houses and were family. There were MANY different backgrounds, many different beliefs. My family and a few others strolled every Sunday to our local catholic church. Despite the differences in beliefs, our building and the families had a lot of love and support to offer to everyone. I love the innocence of a child. As a child I had no idea I was poor, culturally different than my Greek neighbor's kid, what religion my Pakistani neighbors were. It just didn't matter. I learned I cannot impose my values on he who also shares the same land as, I but show respect and love. My dad used to discuss spirituality and religion with our Muslim neighbor. Interestingly enough my dad says he always admired that family. They were disciplined, loving, and "prayed like they had personally been in the presence of the father", my dad said. I'll never forget that. Reminds me of what the pre-Crusades era must have ben like in Souther Spain. Jew, Muslim and Christians co-existing.

Robin, your reasoning is very faulty and your conclusions are heretical. Of course the Bible does not talk about abortion! The Bible also does not talk about missiles, internet pornography, child molestation, nuclear weapons and identity theft. But I don't need you or anyone to tell me that murdering a baby with an atom bomb or murdering an embryo/fetus with a scalpel is wrong!

You seem to know little about the Bible and little about Christian history too. Just quoting a few verses will not do! Yes, Jesus did not speak much about Rome in particular, because in His own words He came for the lost sheep of Israel. His first mission was to Israel as their Messiah and through believing Israel (the Church) the ends of the world. While Jesus did not speak much about Rome in particular (because he didn't want a revolution or uprising), if you really read what He said, He condemns both evil Rome and hypocritical Pharisees. He does not at any moment condone the actions of either.

Moreover, if you correctly understand Christianity as the early Church did, Jesus never meant for us to take the NT alone as our source of authority. Rather, apostolic teaching, which comes to us through the Church and is available to us in the NT is our source of authority. It is to the apostles and the Church that Jesus promises He will guide her and reveal all things through the Holy Spirit, not to the Bible.

Thus, contrary to what you said, it was the apostles and the Church that preached what Jesus had taught them: that abortion, homosexuality, polygamy, etc were evil and were not befitting Christians, which is how the lustful and evil Roman Empire eventually bowed down to the claims of Christ. Or else, why would the Romans give up polygamy if it looked like it was ok for the patriarchs? Because Jesus, and His messengers, the apostles had declared that "marriage is between Adam and Eve alone"!

So stop giving us your Obama like twist on the Bible. And stop justifying your evils with Scripture. Tomorrow you will say pornography is ok, because no real people are involved!

In fact, on abortion, Scripture and Church are clear. There is ample evidence in Scripture about how God knits human beings in the womb and called them before they were born, how the offering up of children to Baal is evil. Also there is ample evidence from the Church...the Didache one of the earliest Christian catechisms circulating while the Apostle John was still alive says "Thou shall not procure an abortion!"

As for your other claims, they are bogus. As a scientist, I know that the heart starts to develop by d21 after fertilization. In fact, my 5th grade biology textbook used to say, "human development begins after the formation of an embryo!"

And your rhetoric that we should try to reduce abortions - that's much more important; abortion is not the only issue, is heartless!
What will you say to God judgment Day? I thought a baby's life was not important. So I used my vote for other things?

Is that what you would have said in Nazi Germany. Oh, lets elect Hitler and try to reduce the number of people tortured and killed in concentration camps? Would you have said, "Hitler's program of eugenics is not the only issue!". We need to deal with turmoil all over the world and colonialism by Britain, France and Spain? Probably!

But what else can we expect prophets who sacrifice themselves to Baal and Obama on the altar of children's lives? Your judgment is coming too!

Clinton I think you should vote for McCain. And while I don't agree with everything Robin said, I don't think that McCain will actually do anything to stop abortion, so I think that it is appropriate for me to vote based on something that has a chance of changing. For instance, I think that the war in Iraq will end much quicker under Obama than McCain. We are not talking about insignificant numbers. The number of deaths in Iraq range from 100,000 to 600,000. (US government would say the lower, but legitimate researchers using similar methods of estimating death as were used in Rwanda and other global conflicts say it is much closer to 600,000.) Just like an abortion is a choice, this war was a choice. So 600,000 people died because of a choice of this government. Yes some of them would have died under Hussein, but not nearly as many and not nearly as quickly.

This doesn't speak about issues around torture, wiretapping, listening into phone calls of our own service people, health care, international poverty and a range of other issues. Neither group is on the right side of all issues. But abortion as trump card just does not speak to everyone.

Adam, unfortunately I can't even vote right now! Lol! My problem is not with people wanting to vote for Obama. What really bothers me is that there are a number of Christians who are trying to justify everything that we do under the sun using Scripture. There are also many Christians trying to belittle that abortion is murder.

In the last 4 decades alone since Roe v Wade, about 40 million abortions have occurred. Even during World War II only 6 million Jews and 10 million other people were killed in comparison. Of course, war is evil. No question about it. And we should try to limit it and stop it as much as possible humanly (except when its the last resort like during World War II because diplomacy does not work with mad men and demons). But war is not the solution to any problem.

However when a society denies the very fundamental right- the right to life- then all other rights are in peril. An unborn baby has no voice and cannot fight for itself; thus as a society to collude in its killing is heartless and cruel. To me as a society we have lost our conscience. Therefore, a person who is not able to see and recognize this most fundamental of rights and even approves of late-term abortions and "death" for babies surviving botched abortions really bothers me.

If Pres. Bush were to say today, "Lets get rid of everyone over 75", wouldn't this be a one-issue election? The only problem with unborn babies is they can't say "Stop!".

In the end, Obama or McCain aside ( I don't agree with both their views 100%), I think we as Christians should please stop twisting and turning Scripture and the clear teaching of the Church in favor of one or the other candidate. We are taking this so lightly...as Christians we cannot afford to forget, one day we (me included) will stand at the judgment seat of Christ!

Indeed, Peter says, "Judgment begins at the house of God". To me that is a very sobering thought.

For those that are pro choice, I urge you to watch and abortion. If you can see the "fetus" struggling to get away from the saline solution or the knife, you might just change your mind.

We can rationalize all we want, but if the truth is known, deep in our hearts we know what abortion is.

Abortion has been legalized by governing entities without regard for God and His commandments. Scriptures state repeatedly that people will prosper only if they obey the commandments of God.Individuals will prosper only when they walk in faith and obedience to God.
Job 36:11-12
11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their adays in prosperity, and their years in bpleasures.
12 But if they aobey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Man-made rules have now legalized that which has been forbidden by God from the dawn of time! Human reasoning has twisted and transformed absolute truth into sound-bite slogans that promote a practice that is consummately wrong.Worldwide reports indicate that more than 40 million abortions are performed per year.

abortion is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice.
May God have mercy on our souls !!


Obama & Abortion / The Freedom of Choice Act / His Intentions Revealed / Pro-Life Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR1RD2-fabA

Abortion and Gay.....the words to STEAL evangelical votes.

-So how is President McCain going to sneak a Supreme Court justice who will repeal Row v Wade past 70 + Democratic senators? Well, maybe not 70. Not quite.

-How is President McCain going to prevent rich women from going to Europe for abortions and middle class women from going to Canada, Mexico & the Caribbean for abortions? The Fertility Police like in Mao's China or Ceaucescu's Romania?

So, Clinton, it's only OK for YOU to interpret Scripture? No one can cite Scripture if they disagree with you? And really, you believe that Jesus failed to publicly proclaim, or the writers of the Gospel forgot to tell us Jesus publicly proclaimed, that abortion and homosexuality was wrong, but that he secretly taught it to the Apostles who were instructed to pass it on? Really? And, do you really think that criminalizing abortion will make it go away?

What I'm going to say to God on the Judgment Day is this: Lord, I've done my best to protect life, I've voted for leaders who will enact programs to support women so that the possibility of raising a child is more than a platitude, who will end the wars we're currently in and use every tool of diplomacy to avoid war in the future, I've worked to end the death penalty. I've tried to change hearts and minds where I could, but I have refused to hate those that disagreed with me, even when they call me names. And, I've not allowed judgmental self-righteousness blind me to the fact that just because something is against the law does not mean that it doesn't happen.

You may not like it, but despite your strenuous effort to spew judgment all around, you will not be guarding the pearly gates!

Christian Lawyer, this is the favorite tactic of those who really don't want to have a discussion: Jesus said, "Don't judge" and "is it only OK for you to interpret Scripture?"

First of all, I am not even interpreting Scripture. I was actually telling Christians who were justifying abortion with Scripture, please stop twisting Scripture! That's what made me mad! Secondly, the Bible itself tells us that Scripture is not a matter of private interpretation and it is the Church (both Scripturally and historically) that has been given the task of interpreting and safeguarding Scripture.

If you knew your Scripture well, you would know that "Jesus said and did many things, all of which were written down could not fit all the books in the world". These were not secrets, but of course historically Jesus said a lot of things which the apostles passed down through oral tradition. One example is Paul quoting Jesus in Acts, which is nowhere in any of the four gospels.

With regards to judgment, your judgment is between you and God. So is mine! God will judge each one of us accordingly to what we knew in our hearts and did with our souls. My comment above was not to spew judgment on everyone else. If you read carefully, I said I will be judged too in a following comment. But you can't tell me that as a Christian I cannot warn other Christians that if call "evil" good, they are in big trouble. In a certain sense, for those who do this and lead other Christians astray, our judgment is coming. I know in this day and age, people are hesitant to talk about judgment and hell or whatever and we always talk about love. I used to be a lot like that. But what do we do with Christians who are standing in churches and saying that adultery, fornication, greed, cheating, etc is OK? Should we never tell them that they are wrong and remind them that God will judge?

I have nothing against you or Robin or anyone on this site. If you really want to know my heart, I love you all without even knowing you. But should I not be grieved, first at myself and my own sinfulness and never say that God is just? If in the end there is no justice from God, what hope do we have in this wicked world?

Thus my statement above was not a personal attack. I was simply saying that for those who think they can keep living lives of sin (including me) and lead other Christians astray and think all will be well, we need to work out our salvation with trembling and fear.

As for abortion, I am not talking about supporting one or the other candidate. But pls don't tell me abortion is not murder and please don't justify that to Christians is what I'm saying.

Finally, the testimony of the Church has always been that abortion is evil and wrong. Maybe people think that they know the Bible better and can interpret it better in the 21st century, but even medical science overwhelmingly supports that the development of human beings begins at the formation of an embryo.

God bless you and Peace sister or brother.

Just one more point Christian Lawyer (just occurred to me), the apostle Paul in Romans clearly condemns homosexuality. In 1 Corinthians he goes even further and says, "such shall not inherit the Kingdom of God".... As a Christian, I believe that Jesus commanded His apostles to go into all the world, making disciples of all nations and teaching them everything He has promised. Thus, I take the words of the Apostles as the words of Jesus. Jesus Himself said, "Whoever receives you, receives Me".

I'm sure the Apostle Paul too will probably not be guarding the pearly gates, but St. Peter might definitely be. Lol!

Take care!

Clinton, it's hard to have a discussion with someone who tells me what he understands the Scriptures to mean, which is pretty close to the dictionary definition of "interpret," (see http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interpret) but denies he's "interpreting" them and tells me I can't have views of my own. And it's also hard to have a conversation with someone who hurls words like "heretical," "your evils," "bogus," "heartless," and that those of us who disagree with you "sacrifice [ourselves] to Baal and Obama on the altar of children's lives? Your judgment is coming too!" That's not a discussion. That's a rant.

You attempt to insult my knowledge of the Bible by misquoting the Gospel of John about Jesus doing many other things that are not recorded. Except, that Scripture says he "did" other things. It does not say he had whole other sets of teachings that somehow the Holy Spirit-inspired authors of the Gospels failed to note, teachings that in the eyes of Christians like you have taken over and pushed out most of the things Jesus ACTUALLY is recorded as saying.

And I WILL tell you that abortion is not murder. The Scriptures that talk about God knowing us in our mother's womb are statements ABOUT GOD and her omnipotence and eternalness. They are not a prohibition against abortion.

If either of us were standing in a hospital when a fire broke out, and we had the opportunity to save either a child from the pediatric wing or a freezer full of embryos from the in vitro clinic, we would both choose the save the child -- because there is a difference between a child and an embryo. Even so, however, it does not mean that the embryo is worthless or that abortion should be permissible on the day before the end of the 9th month, but it means that God gave us discerning minds to make judgment calls. Do you really believe a victim of incest who takes a morning-after pill carries the same moral culpability as someone who guns down a four-year-old?

So get mad all you want, but there are many Christians, well-versed in the Scriptures, well-read in Christian theology, who just diagree with you. We're not going away.

Jesus is speaking to the Apostles and this promise is made to them specifically.

John 15: 12-15: "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you."

2 Timothy 2:1-2: (Paul to Timothy)
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

Acts 20:35: (This saying of Jesus is nowhere in the gospels)
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

1 Corinthians 15:3-5: (Paul passes on the tradition that he receives from the other apostles, just as we pass on the same original tradition to every new believer. We didn't see Christ die and we don't make up a new one)
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance [a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter), [b] and then to the Twelve.

2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

Matthew 10:40: (Jesus says to the Apostles)
He that receiveth you, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.
(Whoever receives the Church, receives Jesus. The Church's teaching has been pretty clear: Abortion is murder)

Luke 9:48:
"Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me. Whoever receives me receives him who sent me."

There's no point in going on is there? You have concluded that because Jesus didn't use the words "Abortion is murder", it isn't! Plus you're insinuating that because the 4 gospels didn't record it, in all His life Jesus didn't say much more than he could say in 1 whole day. I am not one of those people calling the Gnostic gospels "gospels" and stuff like that. But I do believe Jesus gave the apostles and their successors ( the Church) the power to make decisions and interpret Scripture correctly. Thus the Church has always declared that abortion is evil.

Plus, like I said in my previous comment, anything that I say is going to be seen as judgmental by you. I can't call theft a crime, adultery hurtful and murder heartless. That's all a rant in your opinion.

Plus the dichotomy you set up about the embryo in the freezer and the living child is false. Of course, I will save the child! But if the embryo was in the womb of a mother, then I would want to save the pregnant mother, her embryo and the living child! Abortion is killing the embryo within a woman and a living child!

Finally, you insult me as well, when without knowing me, you say that by suggesting the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to say and do other things, I am taking away from Scripture itself. I hold Scripture in the highest esteem and I take Scripture completely to heart. But I don't believe that the apostles were zombies either or that the Holy Spirit didn't guide the Church just because "it" was not written. If that was the case, we would all be pretty stupid. And Scripture itself is very clear that Jesus gave this authority to the Apostles and their successors.In fact this has always been the position of the Church (and in Acts 15, it was the Church that solved the whole issue of whether Gentiles should be circumcised, something Jesus is never recorded as speaking about in the Gospels!)

"You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish." Didache: the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles 2 (A first century Christian Catechism while the Apostle John was still alive)

Jeremiah 1: 4-5:

The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew [a] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Christian Lawyer, you have made some fine points and I thank you for them. I also have many other friends who believe in abortion and I don't think they particularly think it is murder too. If from yours and their perspective, an embryo is not really a human being, I can understand where you and they are coming from. I was never meaning to say and I hope I was not coming across as that everyone who commits an abortion is deliberately and knowingly committing murder. If so, I really want to apologize. I know, that if you really thought you were doing that, you or any of my friends would never commit an abortion. In my previous rants, I was really upset because I thought many people, especially Christians (not just on this blog), were somehow trying to justify abortion. This was very bothersome to me and thats why I suggested that we should be careful as Christians what we say and do, we shall be judged for that. That was my only intention.

However, it is MY (capitals to emphasize) firm belief that an embryo is a living human being. I have always had this perspective growing in a Third World country. My perspective I think was influenced by Scripture, church teaching and just what I understood from nature and normal human biology. Until I came to the US, I didn't realize how strong the abortion wars were and I felt so sad that so many Christians and other people were sacrificing what I believed to be their own children.

As a medical scientist, my perspective has only grown stronger. While a human does take 9 months to develop, a mouse takes only 18-22 days from embryo to newborn. Thus it is very difficult for me to believe when people say an embryo is not living.

Anyways, I will not argue much. I will just say I understand your perspective and I am not accusing you or anyone of personally wanting to murder people. I just think this is a very evil thing in our society and I feel sad that if we lose our conscience here, then what else is left?

Thank you my sister or brother and may God bless you!

My question is: which is 'better'
A young woman who was not taught about birth control gets pregnant within the context of a terrible economy and no healthcare. Abortion is illegal. She seeks a back alley abortion.

OR, that same young woman knows how to prevent pregnancies. OR, because she has health coverage, she decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption. OR because the economic situation has improved, she decides to keep the baby.

I think Sen. Obama will help to create an environment in which abortion because an unnecessary evil.


There certainly seems to be a great deal of faulty logic among those who try to justify their being "pro-life" and voting for Obama who is the most pro-abortion on demand Senator in America.

Trent buddy, breath is symbolism. The Bible speaks of God's hand and feet, of God walking through a garden, of a God who has pomegranites for eyes.

The Bible clearly prohibits the killing of innocent people (Exodus 20:13). The Hebrew word used for the unborn, "yeled," is the same Hebrew word is used also for young children. The Hebrews did not have a separate word for unborn children. An unborn child was a child.

How does that make sense? That last comment was rubbish