Ready for some politics? Well, ready or not, here it comes.
I try my best to be prudent about bringing politics into the pulpit (or in this case, the paper). Generally speaking, I think the evangelical church today has too much politics in our gospel and not enough gospel in our politics. Those who condone and promote sin and sinful lifestyles in our culture are not the enemy. They are the mission field. Conservatism cannot save us. Only Christ can.
Nevertheless, political matters matter, even to the Christian. This is particularly true wherever politics and morality collide. God loves truth, justice and righteousness. God hates sin, evil, and injustice. As His children, we should love what our Father loves and hate what our Father hates. This especially includes moral and ethical issues.
So, what is it (as an old friend of mine used to say in her British accent) “that has gotten my knickers in a tizzy” this time? It’s the same issue as always: abortion.
What’s unusual this time, is that I find myself being frustrated with both sides of the political aisle. Here’s a few examples of what I mean.
Abortion and The Healthcare Bill
Trying to get your mind around the complicated issues which make up the national healthcare debate is kind of like trying to eat everything at Golden Corral. Sure, you could do it but probably not all at one sitting. It just takes lots of time. For all the complex questions being debated though, there is one that remains simple: abortion.
While some political leaders insist that the bill currently before the Congress is “abortion neutral”, it simply is not. Charmaine Yoest, of Americans United for Life, comments that this current bill actually represents “the single greatest expansion of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.” That’s a terrifying thought.
By mandating every US citizen to purchase healthcare plans, through government approved agencies, there becomes an indirect, nation-wide subsidizing of all medical procedures, including abortion. More directly, if a company decides to select one of these plans which includes abortion coverage, then all of the employees will be paying what amounts to an abortion tax. While one employee may never have an abortion, they would still be, in effect, helping pay for their co-worker who does.
As Al Mohler writes, “Americans may disagree on virtually every dimension of this health care bill, but this is now about far more than health care…’This is life we’re talking about’.”
Abortion and the Tea Party Movement
I’m also troubled about abortion on the other end of the spectrum.
I’m troubled with how some conservatives today are sweeping it and other moral issues under the rug. Some even seem to be embarrassed by our knuckle-dragging, caveman views on babies and marriage. They would rather focus on fiscal issues than ethical ones. It’s troublesome what some of the loudest conservative voices today are doing with these questions.
For instance, the burgeoning Tea Party Movement recently shared its two cents about these, our society’s most conflict-laden subjects. Heralded by some to be the new conservative conscience of our country (or at least of the Republican Party), the Tea Party leadership is intentionally tip-toeing around more volatile topics.
The title of a recent New York Times article tells the troublesome story, “Tea Party Avoids Divisive Social Issues.” According to the article, “Tea Party leaders argue that the country can ill afford the discussion about social issues when it is passing on enormous debts to future generations.” When it comes to ethical debates about abortion and gay marriage, “the movement should be agnostic” according to Ryan Hecker, organizer and author of the Tea Party-linked, “Contract From America.”
So let me see if I understand this correctly.
It’s more important to stop the mounting national debt which is going to figuratively crush our children and grandchildren, than to stop the sterilized forceps of doctors which will literally crush our children and grandchildren? We can “ill afford” to discuss these things? It seems to me that this is a feverish attempt to point out the speck of dust, while ignoring the log-sized plank.
Granted, this does not reflect every single Tea Partier out there. There are those associated with the movement who are unmistakably pro-life. Nevertheless, it is still the aim of its loose-knit leadership to marginalize such issues if possible. According to them, saving money as a nation is more urgent than saving lives. That’s not much of a conservative conscience if you ask me.
If caring about money more than babies is now what it means to be “The Right”, then I suppose I would rather be wrong.
Does all of this make me just another one of those single-issue evangelical voters?
I sure hope so.