Lessons Yet Unlearned: Election '08 And Principle

November 5, 2008 09:00 AM

It should have come as no surprise that Americans voted their pocketbooks and their distaste for war, which is how it came to pass that on November 4, 2008, the nation elected the most rabidly pro-abortion politician in its history. Thus, the charisma of an appeal for "change" could become the death knell for even more preborn babies. As this epoch unfolds, it can only be hoped that November 4, 2008 will not go down as a day of infamy for the preborn, as the pro-life movement now wrestles with how to revamp its strategy.

In Colorado, where the personhood amendment went down in resounding defeat, pro-life leader Kristi Burton expressed her dismay to the gleeful news media. The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports,

The so-called Personhood Amendment was failing by a 3-to-1 ratio, and co-author Kristi Burton laid a lot of the blame for its demise at the feet of high-profile officials with strong anti-abortion credentials that refused to endorse it.

Clearly, the proposed amendment was not helped by the fact that neither allegedly pro-life Republicans nor Colorado's Catholic bishops spoke in favor of it. It is also clear that, in this election, any concern whatsoever for the immorality of murder was set aside. Obviously, for most voters, an assessment of the bloodiest war in mankind's history was not even on the radar.

In South Dakota, where pro-life forces promoted a watered-down version of a ballot measure that lost by nine percentage points two years ago, the voters rejected the weaker proposal by a 10-percent margin. This result might shock those who believed that a weakened proposal would garner a majority of the vote. But to my mind, it is but another indicator that we live in a nation gripped by such enormous economic fears that voting decisions were driven by money, rather than moral outrage over the deaths of millions of innocent children.

In California, where the Catholic bishops supported a parental notification measure, it appears that the voters rejected it as well.

November 4 was clearly not a good day for pro-life efforts, ranging from the strongest and most principled to the weakest and least protective of preborn children. In my opinion, the pro-life label has become as elastic as a thin rubber band, and the results of the past 24 hours confirm this. When principle becomes nothing more than politically motivated pragmatism, nobody sees it as having much value, particularly at a time when income is at risk and a controversial war is ongoing.

Much will be written about this election and the reasons why we are on the cusp of "change," but one thing cannot and will not change, when all is said and done: the truth, which is found only in total surrender to Christ and His will.

As Ambassador Alan Keyes wrote so brilliantly,

Regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, the 2008 election cycle has been a winnowing season for all Americans who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Both of the major parties nominated individuals whose views discard the nation's founding principle of respect for the authority of the Creator God.

Faced with this circumstance, those in full possession of the facts had to make a choice for or against telling the truth. Many so-called Christian leaders chose to act deceitfully. They produced voters' guides and made statements pretending that John McCain is pro-life. His record includes some actions that appear to be pro-life and others that could not be. They emphasized the first and ignored the second. If the pro-life position is just a matter of counting votes, they could claim to be justified. But Christian conscience can never be satisfied with a result that accepts as righteous those who appear to do good, but turn their backs on the principle of all goodness, which is the will and spirit of God. Such were the Scribes and Pharisees whom Christ harshly ridiculed and condemned, even though his uncompromising rejection of them led directly to his unjust arrest, torture and crucifixion.

He summarizes the current state of things with the following:

The key flaw in all the arguments that call us in this election to embrace evil in order to fight or limit evil is that to do so we must surrender our single-minded reliance upon God. But what once we let go of that reliance, what good is left to us? Once we take up the sword of evil to fend off or defend ourselves against it, what becomes of the faith whereby Christ fed the multitudes and which alone opens the way to life and hope and a future? These questions reveal the true import of this flawed moral reasoning. It seems to offer us a better hope for victory as the world understands the term, but only if we surrender the faith that alone leads to the victory that lies beyond the world's understanding. That faith is proved especially in those circumstances when we trust in God as the standard of truth though the whole light and reason of the world decries our trust as folly. Who is responsible for evil: those who persevere in faith despite the world's reproof, or those who say we must surrender perfect trust in God in order to limit evil? Don't the latter lure us into a place that is beyond redemption precisely because to reach it we must surrender our hold upon the key that opens the floodgates of God's saving grace? Rather on the day when evil seems to triumph over us, should we not hold fast and say, though it be with our last breath, as Jesus did, "Father into thy hands I commit my spirit" – and there leave will and choice, conscience and vote and all?
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