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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


Are Pro-Life Christians Putting Politics over Principle?

R. C. Sproul, Jr., in his essay Some Children Left Behind, addresses the issue of voting for "the lesser of two evils," which is the justification Christians invariably use when voting for a Republican. The true character of the Republican candidate doesn't matter; they just know that the Democratic candidate is always somehow more evil simply because he or she is a Democrat.

Sproul, however, points out the fallacy of that reasoning:
If, for instance, the 2004 election brought us Bill Clinton as the Republican candidate, and Howard Dean as the Democratic nominee, men of good will might actually vote for Clinton, believing that (a) he has a chance and (b) he's better than Dean. Such, I believe, would be wrong, but it is a common and somewhat understandable error.
Some have convinced themselves that when they voted for George W. Bush in 2000 they were doing their part to further the pro-life cause. Many will be thinking the same thing when they cast their votes for him again this November. To those people, Dr. Sproul has this to say:
President Bush believes the state ought to protect the right of mothers and doctors to put to death unborn children conceived by rape or incest. These children, he believes, do not deserve the protection of the state. For them, the sword is borne in vain. This, some say, is being pro-life.

Suppose that one percent of those who are aborted this year fall into this category. Incrementalists can claim that a vote for Bush is a vote to stop 99% of all abortions in America. But the cheerleaders must in turn concede that 15,000 dead babies is not worth quibbling over.

I have more than a quibble with that point of view. If you have been a Bush cheerleader, you need to repent. You need to get past the folly that says "One dead baby is a tragedy. 15,000 dead babies is a statistic." You need to understand that your president supports 15,000 tragedies. Stop waving his bloody flag.
The problem with facts is that they tend to cloud the issue, and the issue for most evangelical Christians in 2004 is getting their man elected to another term. They don't want to hear that Bush is no more pro-life than any other candidate who says what needs to be said in order to win votes from a particular constituency. They will gladly - and in good conscience - settle for a less-than-adamant pro-life candidate and call it a victory for principle. After all, 15,000 is a number they can live with.

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