Thursday, January 24, 2008

Christianity Today Interviews Obama

It is good to get to hear him talk in a Christian context. I still believe that his faith, and the prominent place that he has been willing to put on it, has a lot to do with some of his troubles as the potential Democratic candidate. Of course, fighting a Clinton is always going to be tough, but it is especially so in a party where you can go to a place like DU or Kos and regularly find Christians denounced as the most vile thing in America. In a way, I really do hope that Obama gets the Democratic nod becuase it will force the issue on the Democratic side. With that said, there are serious issues I cannot overlook concerning Obama, particularly with his view on abortion.

I don't know anybody who is pro-abortion. I think it's very important to start with that premise. I think people recognize what a wrenching, difficult issue it is. I do think that those who diminish the moral elements of the decision aren't expressing the full reality of it. But what I believe is that women do not make these decisions casually, and that they struggle with it fervently with their pastors, with their spouses, with their doctors.

Our goal should be to make abortion less common, that we should be discouraging unwanted pregnancies, that we should encourage adoption wherever possible. There is a range of ways that we can educate our young people about the sacredness of sex and we should not be promoting the sort of casual activities that end up resulting in so many unwanted pregnancies.

Ultimately, women are in the best position to make a decision at the end of the day about these issues. With significant
constraints. For example, I think we can legitimately say — the state can legitimately say — that we are prohibiting late-term abortions as long as there's an exception for the mother's health. Those provisions that I voted against typically didn't have those exceptions, which raises profound questions where you might have a mother at great risk. Those are issues that I don't think the government can unilaterally make a decision about. I think they need to be made in consultation with doctors, they have to be prayed upon, or people have to be consulting their conscience on it. I think we have to keep that decision-making with the person themselves.
There are several points in here that suggest that Obama's philosophy are drastically varied from anything I can consider acceptable. First off, the claim that women do not enter into abortion lightly has been shown, in many cases, to not be true. As a matter of fact, disturbing numbers of women are admitting to using abortion as a late birth control. To suggest that this is not an issue is to either 1) Have no clue or 2) be lying. Second, this same tired argument that women are best suited to decide because it is their bodies.

This is as old-school pro-abortion talk as you can get. It completely disregards the fact that there are TWO, and not one, bodies affected by abortion. Obama is allowing himself to be compliant, at the very least, in arguing that the life within the womb is not a life with any rights, even up to the last term. That is an entirely unacceptable view for me. He is either pandering or he truly believes that life does not have any meaning until you are born, which means his views on abortion would be as extreme as anyone in this country.


"Nick" said...

On another blog someone said that after reading the same speech he came away with the same reaction. It was a very well phrased, intelligent sounding, compassionate sounding re-assertion of typical pro-choice rhetoric.

Which unfortunately is true, and tends to happen with most of Obama's policy decisions. He affirms traditional liberal positions in a new, less offensive way.

Nomad said...

I agree Obama does not yet really understand the Evangelical and Republican Pro-Life positions, and has not address where his "facts" differ from ours.

That being said, I think Obama has a unique opportunity to reach across the divide here and attract some Evangelicals to his side. He is a man who appears to take his faith seriously, and who informs his actions from a Biblical moral viewpoint. If he could find a way to effectively create a middle ground on the abortion issue, it would go a long way toward changing the dynamic between Republicans and Democrats.

And after much thought, I think the solution is to devolve the abortion debate back to the states, and form a coalition setting basic rules for what states can do. No restrictions for rape, incest, and life of the mother allowed. Any state is allowed to ban all abortions or some portion of them for other cases. No state is required to ban abortions overall, and the only cases which the Federal level can speak on are morally repugnant methods like partial-birth abortion. No state is allowed to require doctors to perform abortions. And law enforcement will allow women to cross state lines to follow their own consciences.

Of course, I doubt this coalition can truly be built. But I think if Obama could work something like this out - or if Rudy Guiliani could, or if John McCain could, or even if Hillary Clinton could - they would prove they truly represent "change" and are ready to be president.