Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Which Matt ::Gulp:: Talks Politics

So last post I let it slip (way down toward the end) that I am planning to vote for Barack Obama. I have heard from a couple of people who sincerely wonder how I, as a committed evangelical Christian, can vote for him. What do you think? Here are a few links that I have found interesting and instructive.

Matthew 25 Network
Sojourners: Christians for Justice and Peace
National Catholic Report: "I'm Catholic, Staunchly Anti-Abortion, and Support Obama."

I'm happy to continue the discussion in a constructive way with anyone who asks...


Robin Sherman said...

I'm with you, Matt. I've always wondered why it is that the assumption is that a committed Christian must also vote Republican, but then I'm also uncharacteristically liberal for a Christian.

Matt said...

Cool, Robin. Thanks for commenting. It's nice to hear from you! I think it's largely a matter of what people traditionally think of as "family values" - and I think it's mostly about abortion.

MsRuby said...

We're with you Matt. We'll be voting the same way. When we stand before Him are we going to be asked who we voted for or what did we do in his name - feed the poor, etc? What I love about Christ is the freedom. I feel my being a committed Christ follower doesn't mean we all think alike, look alike, vote alike. We are individuals as God made us. Love who God is molding me to be.

Kerry said...

I'm definitely leaning towards Obama myself, but I haven't fully decided. I'm really trying to make sure that my vote is done out of my Christian convictions rather than just because most evangelicals vote Republican. It's tough because I basically like both candidates, but the things I disagree with in their policies and the thinking behind those polices are really big issues. Even though I'm a pro-lifer I have no problem supporting Obama because of how he explained to Rick Warren how he would approach abortion. But, I don't think we're able to leave Iraq as soon as Obama wants to. There's a lot more to say, but I want to keep researching to make a good decision. If you have any kind of reference to distinctions in their polices that aren't too oversimplified or embellished, I would appreciate whatever you have. I typically go to wikipedia, but things on there aren't always reliable. So, I'm behind you Matt.

Glenn+Jenn+Owen+Ian said...

Thanks, Matt. You're brave to open this discussion. Wongs are also voting Obama this election. Thanks for the links, I found them helpful as I have conversations with others. I really struggle with the single issue of abortion (or sometimes other issues) being the end all for voting decisions.

Heather said...

so, my disjointed thoughts on the subject are:

1. how irresponsible is it to vote a presidential election based solely on the abortion issue? the world isn't about abortion only.

2. so what if i believe homosexuality is unbiblical? to me, this is a religious/spiritual opinion, and not one i'm determined to have legislated by the federal government.

3. christians are too concerned with having a strong political voice, being heard, demonstrating their christianity by belonging to an approved party, etc. they focus on labels and rules, and they're so defensive, they wear their defensiveness like straightjackets. they're only concerned with not being silenced, but they don't say anything of substance or value. Jesus wasn't politically active. Jesus was personal. He wouldn't have gotten caught up in these politics if he were walking the earth in human form today. the christian life is about what i'm doing personally, daily, not about who is running the country.

4. God is bigger than the president.

so, yeah. i don't know what all that means.

wonderbox said...

I listened to and read the Warren interview and thought alot about what both candidates said.

Abortion is still a crucial issue for me. Regardless of whether or not the president can do anything about it, with Mr. Obama, we are talking about voting for a man who would not stand up and defend the life of an innocent child, and in fact has a record of voting for death. And maybe that is not the job of government to "legislate morality." Maybe it is the job of all of us as a society to help these women who have made bad choices, or who are caught in horrific situations. Maybe it is the job of the church to reach out and love them as Mother Theresa did when she said, "if you don't want your children, give them to me."

So Mr. Obama can play games all he wants and say cute little sayings about such questions being above his pay grade, but I believe that the murder of 53 million innocent babies since 1973 is a core issue because it touches the heart of God.

Two cents from your conservative (and non-GOP) friend from Osceola

Matt Nightingale said...

Love it. Thanks, Everyone, for your contributions. I love the interaction. Both here and on Facebook, it's been outstanding.

Josh: I would love for you to read this:

The fact is that - even with 23 years of Republican presidents since Roe v. Wade - we will never overturn it. And if we did, it would go straight back to the states where abortion would be kept legal. It's a losing battle. MUCH BETTER to focus on how to reduce abortion, with the goal being ZERO abortions! But legislation will not win this battle.

I agree that Obama's "cute" comment didn't make him many friends with Evangelicals. But let's look at the words themselves...

Warren: "Forty million abortions since Roe v. Wade. At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?"

Obama: "Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective... Answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."

A wimpy answer? Well, maybe... Or maybe an honest one. I'm not sure what I believe, and I appreciate a candidate that will say he doesn't know rather than saying something with certainty that I'm not sure ANYONE can know.

Since the can of worms is opened...

Evangelicals are very used to talking about how "life begins at conception," but I'm wondering how we know that. We are a people of the Book. Where in the book does it say that?

Some things to think about...

1) Studies show that up to 60% of ALL pregnancies end in miscarriage! Are that many souls being sent into eternity?? I'm not saying NO, but I'm not saying YES either. I simply don't know.

2) This one really made me think: If a soul is created at conception, what do we believe about identical (monozygotic) twins? For at least 2 days, there is only ONE zygote which then separates into two embryos. So, assuming the soul is there from conception, is there one soul which is then split in two when the zygote splits? Or are there two souls crammed into one zygote until the split?

I don't mean this to come across as cute or whatever, but honestly... these questions matter. It's easy to blow them off, but I think it's more honest to say we just don't know. I cannot say with certainty that life begins at conception.

Now that doesn't mean that I am pro-abortion. (I don't think many people really are. Remember, pro-choice is not necessarily pro-abortion as many pro-lifers would like us to believe.)

Enough content for a "comment"?

Anonymous said...

Wow, call me out of the loop but this is the first I've ever heard of a Christian = Republican rule! At any rate, congrats on making a clear decision/choice based on your own convictions. I'm with you on this one. -Cuz Kelly

Tony's 2 Cents said...

The soul/conception thing is a mystery, I agree. I still don't like Obama's answer, but... I like him and his potential for leadership. But wow silly to separate "science & theology," too, God doesn't. His answer was just political --but I also won't just vote on that one issue--(although I believe it says a lot about our reverence for God and creation what we think about life in the womb). King David's thoughts continue to inspire me on conception, my creation, let alone the creation of my baby in utero. Jesus for President, I say. Jesus for President.

Matt Nightingale said...

I'd vote for Jesus... Only problem with that is that he's not running. But of the two who ARE, it's seeming more and more to me at least that Barack is more Christlike than John McCain.

I do agree that the life issue is huge, but then I believe that war and capital punishment are big issues that so-called conservatives skip over somehow.

I love the discussion. Thanks for all the chatter.

Matt Nightingale said...

One more thing. Just want to make it clear, in case it's not. I am 100% pro-life. I would never counsel someone to get an abortion. I think God can ALWAYS heal and redeem all sorts of hellish situations. That's what God has been doing since the Fall. I'm just saying that there are some gray areas here... specifically the "conception=life" concept. I'll agree that it's better safe than sorry, but I'm willing to admit that I don't know the answer.

Matthew 25 Network said...

Matt: thanks for the good posting about Matthew 25...we posted an excerpt of it here:

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