Monday, August 27, 2007

false hope

My husband told me today that Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and head of the conservative Saddleback church, was backing Barack Obama for president. I gave a holler of jubilation.

Unfortunately, my husband appears to be misinformed.

I got online and tried digging around to find the actual news story. It's not out there. Alas. What I did find was that there was a huge hullabaloo last December when Obama spoke at a conference at Saddleback about AIDS. He was called by conservatives "evil" and "against Christ." Their largest outcry, of course, was that he voted in support of legal abortions. Next in line was his support of gay marriage. Well, call me evil, too, then.

Several articles I read cried out that abortion is the biggest moral issue we face today. Abortion? Really? Not war? Not poverty? Not corruption among our elected officials? Not allowing millions to suffer and die due to lack of access to health care? Not homelessness? Not greed? Not child abuse? Not failing education systems?

Why is it that this ONE thing trumps all others?

As a liberal Christian, I struggle with the idea of abortion. Therefore it is not, frankly, a deciding factor for me. I think that most people who support legalized abortion (which I think is different than "supporting abortion") feel strongly about working towards better education and opportunities in an attempt to lesson the number of abortions.

It is infuriating to me that people will get so hung up on one issue, and fail to see a bigger picture.

Rick Warren is a pretty conservative guy, and I don't always agree with him. He also has some really great theological points to make. But I admire him most for breaking against the conservative mold to speak out against the AIDS crisis and for allowing a liberal Democrat to speak at his church (not to his congregation, but to a conference, Warren points out), and defending his decision to do so.

Now if only he would actually stand behind Obama for the presidential race. That would be amazing.

22 comments:

bubandpie said...

Off-topic here, but Andrea at A Peek Inside the Fish Bowl is hosting a back-to-school photography contest, and I immediately thought of you - you should enter that photo you took of the May Queen (the one with the big bag and the even bigger smile).

NotSoSage said...

I think I love you. :)

slouching mom said...

Amen, sister.

I was on the Obama bandwagon very early, but I find myself hoping he backs up his impressive rhetoric with some specifics, soon, or he will start lagging behind Hillary.

Alpha DogMa said...

I've never met a woman who's had an abortion who did not find the matter mentally and emotionally painful. Who didn't think the procedure through, weigh the options, mull over the consequences, dwell on the possiblities and make a hard choice.

I think that no one is actually pro-abortion. No pro-choice advocate - no matter how dogmatic - is out there saying that abortions are awesome and everyone should give a try, just once! Try it you'll never go back! Yet the anti-abortion rhetoric often gives this impression, spreads that fear and divides people who in truth are close to agreement.

This was a good post. I'm glad you didn't shy away from such a hot topic.

Sober Briquette said...

"It is infuriating to me that people will get so hung up on one issue, and fail to see a bigger picture."

I have to admit, when it comes to this topic, I have been guilty of being hung up on the one issue. If a candidate does not support legalized abortion, I will not consider voting for him/her.

It's not the most important factor in my final choice, but for me, it's the litmus test.

Aliki2006 said...

I agree with you. And kudos to you for tackling the topic...

jen said...

amen. and hallelujah. and all of it.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I *loved* this paragraph:

Several articles I read cried out that abortion is the biggest moral issue we face today. Abortion? Really? Not war? Not poverty? Not corruption among our elected officials? Not allowing millions to suffer and die due to lack of access to health care? Not homelessness? Not greed? Not child abuse? Not failing education systems?

Why is it that this ONE thing trumps all others?

creative-type dad said...

My views on this change on what seems like everytime I read something.

I think I'm sticking to my gut of keeping it around, but HOPING it's extremely rare

blooming desertpea said...

It beats me too, how this one topic seems to be so relevant in a presidential candidateship and race when all the other topics you mentioned are the ones that should be tackeled. Like alpha dogma said - no woman really WANTS to do that if she didn't have to and I strongly feel that it is every woman's own choice if or if not. It's not the president's nor any other citizen's business. Personally, I don't think I could do it but then again, I'm not the one who is 15 or homeless or ...

Emily said...

I used to be militant on this issue. If a candidate was not pro-choice, I would not vote for him/her. I have, however, found another issue of higher importance to me. An issue that trumps poverty, trade, war, abortion, human rights, education, and how much fun a candidate has had with interns. That issue is the environment. If a candidate is great on all those other issues but does not work hard to save the environment, what good is she/he? Without someplace to live, we are pretty much SOL, no matter how many abortions we're allowed to have.

Other than that, I weigh ALL the cadidate's stands, now. I think it is called growing up and learning that life is not about one issue only. Good for you for proclaiming that morality is NOT a one-topic issue.

ewe are here said...

I agree with Alpha Dogma: no one who supports abortion rights is 'pro-abortion'. They're pro-choice. And, while I don't think I could ever vote for someone who didn't acknowledge this is, for the most part, a personal decision to be made by women and families, not politicians, I will never understand why some see it as the biggest moral issue in the world.

Sadly, I'm not enthused about any of the current crop of candidates, Obama included. All soundbite.

thailandchani said...

I completely agree with you about the priorities. Abortion just doesn't seem as important as poverty and war.



Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

Bon said...

yep, a really great post. it would be so refreshing to hear that candidates were really taking on the various social and moral problems we're struggling with as a society...but when people insist on voting along a single issue platform, it makes that open discussion and problem-solving really hard to achieve.

thirtysomething said...

I too struggle with wondering why abortion seems to be such a heated debate above such other more pressing issues--the ones you so accurately listed.
I hope that more comes to light during the next year or i will ahve a hard time establishing a voting strategy.
Great and informative post.

nomotherearth said...

I kind of think that people choose abortion as a hot platform because they know that people are so invested in pro or con. It can become an issue that sways the voters one way or the other. Me, I think it's too personal to have a politician decide the outcome.

Jennifer said...

***standing and applauding***

I am so with you.

Christine said...

let's be evil together!!!! love this, love it!

Joy, of course said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua Griffin said...

I'm not sure Rick Warren will come out in favor of any particular candidate publicly, actually. But having Obama here was definitely a big deal. Interesting post!

JG

Amy York said...

Here, here!
I love that you love Obama too :)

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