Abortion Should Not be a Partisan Issue

My pastor shared this message via email this morning and I’d like to share it with you. Too many Christians (including Lutherans) see the abortion issue as a political issue, but they’re wrong. Abortion ends an innocent human life. That’s it, period. No one in this nation, be he Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, Republican, Democrat, Conservative, etc., should support state sanctioned murder due to a person’s size, stage of development, location, or degree of dependency. I’ve written about this before (click here), but it never hurts to read what someone else is saying.

Abortion should not be a partisan issue.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ JESUS,

When pastors talk about politics, they tend to lose sight of their calling: to preach JESUS Christ and Him crucified for the redemption of the world. But in the matter of abortion, we are not dealing with the usual political matters such as health insurance costs, taxation rates, gun control, or foreign policy.

Abortion is, quite simply, the taking of a human life. To oppose abortion is not to side with a political party: it is to take your stand with the right of every human being to live. Thus among my favorite signs at the annual March for Life are the ones from Secularists for Life, Atheists for Life, Feminists for Life, and Democrats for Life. These groups demonstrate that whatever disagreements we have about other issues pertaining to religion or the governance of our country, we all stand together under the declaration that every human being has a fundamental right to life.

While a poll of Immanuel would likely reveal more members of one major party than another, I know that we have people of all political stripes in our congregation. And I am not interested, as your pastor, in addressing your politics. My calling is to watch out for your souls – and to speak out for the helpless and defenseless, which the unborn certainly are.

I like to think that if I weren’t a Christian, I would still be pro-life. For while the Word of God informs me that God loves and values every human being, it is a simple matter of science that from the moment of conception a human life has come into being, and human beings have what the 1776 Declaration of Independence affirms as “unalienable Rights.” Among the Founders who agreed to that statement were Christians to be sure, but also Deists. The pro-life position is not a Christian issue or a Republican issue but a civil rights issue – I believe the civil rights issue of our time.

As Christians, however, we have one more thing to offer: the God who gives life also grants forgiveness. Forgiveness to those complicit in abortion, forgiveness for our failure to care for those in need, forgiveness for all the times we have done what was convenient instead of what was right.

And flowing from that forgiveness to us, we Christians will live lives of forgiveness and mercy toward others, people in desperate and hopeless situations. Stand with us for life. Join us for the March for Life. Help us, by your offerings, to help pregnant women in need. Help us, by your offerings, to help abused women find shelter. These are today’s “widows and orphans in affliction” which “religion that is pure and undefiled” (James 1:27) desires to help.

Finally, pray. Pray for an end to abortion. Pray for an end to evil and violence in the world. Pray for those wounded and hurting after abortion. Kyrie, eleison!

Your unworthy undershepherd,
Pastor Esget

Well said, Pastor.

It’s Not About Politics, It’s About Who You Are

Yes, I stood in line yesterday (August 1, 2012) at Chick-fil-A to show my support for the company and for the owners. Yes, I had hoped to make a statement that, in this country, it is okay to make a statement based on our religious beliefs and you shouldn’t fear being vilified by the liberal media and those who don’t agree with you. Yes, I hope the elected officials who showed their intolerance towards those who disagree got a message that THEY are the closed-minded bigots.

However, here’s my biggest fear: the people who showed their support will not show it again when it comes to other decisions; for example, at the voting booth on election day. I’m about to make statements that almost everyone will call politically motivated. I disagree, it’s really about who you are and who you support.

There were some supporters of the presumed Republican candidate for president at my Chick-fil-A, and while some were happy to take bumper stickers and voiced their support, there were others who didn’t. Now I’m not sure which candidate or political party those who weren’t receptive are supporting, I didn’t ask and there are other parties and candidates other than the two major ones, but it’s a good chance that you’re supporting either the Republican party or the Democratic party and their respective candidates.

The question I have for those who supported Chick-fil-A yesterday is this: who are you voting for in November? I’m not here to sway your allegiances one way or the other. I’m here to ask you to take a look at yourself and who you are, then consider your actions and why it was necessary to even have a special day to support Chick-fil-A in the first place; or why it’s necessary for Christian businesses and organizations to spend time, money, and resources fighting to preserve their freedom of religion against a law that will force them to do something contrary to their beliefs.

You see, the Democratic National Party has for many election cycles showed it’s official support in it’s party platform for abortion-on-demand  and it appears it will continue to do so as this year’s committee is headed by a strategist for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the US.  But a new revelation appeared a few days ago: apparently, the platform committee will insert into the party platform official support for same-sex marriage.

A message that needs to get out to everyone is that your vote has consequences. Some people would call me a one issue voter (pro-life), but that’s wrong. I have many opinions on many topics; such as military and war, science and technology, the poor and needy, public school education, and on and on and on. But there are primary issues, basic paradigms, and first things that need to be considered…well, first. For me, that’s the sanctity of human life. If you don’t start there, I won’t consider voting for you. If you do start there, then let’s open a dialogue about some of the other issues we face in our nation.

I have often stated that it would be great if every political party in this nation began with the sanctity of human life as its basis, then we can continue to dialogue about other issues like education, military spending, or social security. But as long as we continue to support party platforms that demean human life and stifle freedom of religion, then nothing else matters.

Who are you? And what do you stand for?

Did you stand in line yesterday at Chick-fil-A but will be an ardent Democrat even though the party will officially stand against your beliefs and what you hold dear? Or will you send a message to the elitist leaders of that party that you won’t be used anymore and they need to align the party’s platform with your beliefs?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think this year’s presidential elections will say more about us as persons than us as a nation.

See a follow-up post on this topic, Pro-life Plank Denied by DNC Platform Committee.

Values That You Support

In the wake of the passage of the abortion-supporting health care bill, there has been much discussion about what it means to be a pro-life Democrat. Some have said that the pro-life Democrats are our allies and are trying their best. But here’s a question for you: what does it mean when you support a politician or political party?

I am a member of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and therefore I can state clearly that I agree with and support the beliefs and teachings of this church body. Does that mean I agree with what an individual LCMS congregation may teach? Maybe, as long as what they teach is in agreement with the Bible and with the main church body.

Well, I see it that way with political parties as well. I may or may not agree with what a particular person has done or said under the label “Democrat” or “Republican,” but I want to see if what they have done is in line with the larger group with which they claim to align.

So let’s look at what the party platforms of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee state. The party platform is what a politician supposedly supports while under its aegis. I would also assume that if you support a political party directly, or if you support a politician of that party, then you also support the party platform.

Let’s start with the platform of the Democratic Party. You can read the whole thing by clicking here.

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion,  regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to comprehensive affordable family planning services and age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. (Page 50)

So, there you have it. If you support the Democratic Party or a politician who is a Democrat, then you also “unequivocally”  support “Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion” and you also “oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

By the way, here’s a little bit of irony from the Democratic Party Platform:

Ending violence against women must be a top priority. (Page 51)

Considering an estimated 1.2 million babies are aborted in America every year and the US Census Bureau estimated in July 2008 that 50.7 percent of Americans were female, I think it’s safe to say that more than half of the aborted babies are female. How can you end violence against women when you also advocate one of the most violent actions that can be taken against baby girls?

In contrast, let’s read what the Republican Party Platform states about human life.  Click here to read the entire platform.

Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.

We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Respect for life requires efforts to include persons with disabilities in education, employment, the justice system, and civic participation. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society.

I understand that there other political parties in the US and some of them may also believe in the value of human life. I encourage you to comment here with examples of those parties’ platforms.

Meanwhile, I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating for any particular political party; it’s not the “label” that has my loyalty – it’s the foundation on which they stand that I support – that all human life has intrinsic value, regardless of age or ability.  Ideally, what I wish for is that ALL political parties value human life and will protect it. When that happens, then we can get on with looking at the other issues that differentiate the various parties. But until that happens, the fact that one major political party in the US openly supports the ending of innocent human life should concern everyone.

“Do not put your trust in princes.” (Psalm 146:3a NKJV)