The Importance Of Pro-Life Voting
By: Robert E. Meyer
President Abraham Lincoln wisely noted that the philosophy in the school room of this generation will be the philosophy of the government for the next generation.
It is therefore incumbent upon us as Christians, to see voting issues not merely in bits and pieces, but as part of coherent whole, comprising and representing diametrically opposite worldviews. The prerogative of voting for pro-life political candidates has ramifications far and wide across culture, which have a greater impact then just expressing personal preferences.
The scriptures declare that â€œâ€¦He, who hates me, loves death.â€ We never see this more clearly delineated then in the public debate over pro-life issues.
There are two major camps in this debate; those who stress â€œsanctity of lifeâ€ as paramount, and those who prostate to the â€œquality of life” imperative. People taking the latter view, whether they know it or not, have adopted a perspective known as â€œfunctionalism.â€ They donâ€™t bother with questioning, nor do they consider it of importance whether a being is human in nature; instead they try to determine at what level of cognitive function a human being deserves legal protection.
As you might have already reasoned, such a standard is completely arbitrary. That is why Americaâ€™s most renowned ethicist, Professor Peter Singer of Princeton, can agree with pro-lifers that there is no point of gestational development at which â€œhumannessâ€ is distinguishable from non-humanness; yet claim that a baby doesnâ€™t automatically merit legal protection at birth. They, instead, make a distinction between humanness and personhood.
Of course this philosophy doesnâ€™t narrowly limit itself to the abortion issue, but also has implications on stem-cell research, euthanasia, and other ethical propositions that can be viewed through a utilitarian perspective. Whether you think we should use embryonic or adult stem cells in research, whether you think suicide or even involuntary euthanasia constitutes â€œdeath with dignity,â€ or that the same violates the personal stewardship God mandates for us; it is determined by your commitment to either of these opposing categories.
Stated in distinctly religious terms, we would say there are two primary ways of viewing what the late Christian apologist Dr. Francis Schaeffer called the â€œfinal reality.â€ First there is the belief that man is the special creation in the image of an omnipotent, omniscient being, known as Almighty God. In contrast, there is the view that man, in his present form, is the accidental product of time, chance, matter and energy. Which view, when consistently applied, would lead to a greater respect for human life? It should be noted that the only view legally permitted to be taught in government schools is the latter view, regardless of how it is cloaked in euphemism or couched in â€œscience.â€ That brings us back to Lincolnâ€™s observation.
Once we fully absorb the philosophy that life has no inherent sanctity, but its worth is determined only by judging whether the “person” is capable of living a “life worth living,” it becomes easy to slide down the slippery slope without realizing it. I am frequently asked whether it is not better to abort a child, then to bring it unwanted into a harsh world, certain of want, misery and neglect. But are those really the choices we are stuck with? Again, we are given issues that are bits and pieces, and don’t provide analysis in terms of the whole.
Not so long ago in this country, we didn’t encourage our young people to have “protected sex;” the cultural norm was abstinence before marriage. Yet what was the out-of-wedlock birthrate in the 1950′s? I doubt if teen-agers have significantly more hormonal activity now then they did then. What have changed are the social expectations and the cultural climate that once provided a counterbalance to rampant sexual experimentation without shame. We emphasized modest dress, and insisted on chaperoned events that limited compromising situations. In the rare cases where unmarried pregnancies did occur, we expected the couple to marry, and at least attempt to provide the child with a good home. In addition, religious and charitable organizations (as they are today) were available to help unwed mothers, and provide for adoptions when necessary.
If life isn’t inherently sacred, then there is no reason to esteem marriage. We might as well just let people breed like animals, since they are mere products of unguided evolutionary forces. Since humans have a 98% DNA correlation with apes, they must really be more like primates then anything special. If unwanted children burden society, let’s give young women a “morning-after” pill to take with their daily multi-vitamin tablet. We can eliminate our social ills without foolish taboos or unwarranted restrains on personal autonomy.
The point is simple. Unwanted children in society are a problem that philosophically runs much deeper then young people making a few bad choices. Those considerations, as well as other pro-life issues, are byproducts of a worldview. This worldview as taught in our schools permeates the culture, becoming the social philosophy du jour. This in turn reflects in our legislation, the changes we make to our laws and the type of people who ultimately are voted into office.
Why do we currently have people promoting the idea to constitutionally define marriage the way God did in the beginning? Are mean-spirited people merely standing in the way of evolving civil rights? Or is this really an outcome of forsaking sanctity of life perspectives? Our affinity for entertainment media depicting extra-marital and pre-marital affairs, the vigorous pro-abortion movement, and the passing of no-fault divorce legislation, have contributed to the devaluation of the family, apathy toward the sacredness of life, and indifference to maintaining the created order. Social movements favoring expanding the definition of marriage are merely another divergent point on the same continuum.
So let me say it again. Ideas have consequences; voting for pro-life candidates has repercussions beyond personal preferences.