[WARNING: If you're offended by points of view in contradiction with your own, you may want to skip this blog.]
Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God:How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back, wrote a fantastic piece posted on Huffington Post entitled, "Frank! As A Former Pro-Life Leader How Dare You Support Pro-Choice Obama?"
One of the things I appreciate most about Mr. Schaeffer's opinion is his background. He was raised in a calvinist home so many of his core beliefs are like mine.
Given the topic of this post and the opinions expressed by Mr. Schaeffer, I feel it would be backhanded of me not to state my own views on the subject. For the record, I'm Pro-Choice. Now....before some of you have an anuerism, let me explain. My choice is that abortion is not the answer for me......regardless of my situation. But, I feel very strongly about every woman having the same opportunity to make the choice she feels is right for her....even if she choses an abortion. Just as I don't want someone forcing their views and values on me, I can't take away another woman's rights and freedoms to make her own decisions about her own life by forcing my views and values on her.
Having grown up in conservative calvinist baptist churches, I realize many, nay most, evangelical christians base their votes on this single issue. If there were more christians like Frank Schaeffer really examining this issue, we really would see change in America.
Even if you disagree with my opinion and views on this heated subject, I ask that you at least read what Mr. Schaeffer has to say. I will be posting several excerpts, but you can read the full article here: http://news.yahoo.com/story//huffpost/20080817/cm_huffpost/119435
Mr. Schaeffer writes to his fellow Pro-Life detractors:
"Yes, I am aware Obama is pro-choice. Yes, I'm still pro-life. I also believe that with Obama in the White House that there will be less abortions in America than with the Republicans in power.
I know rather a lot about the politics of the "life issues." And I know you know that is true because you are calling me a traitor for supporting Senator Obama because of my leadership in the early stages of the pro-life movement.
The pro-life cause poisoned many of us who were part of it. Me included. It led to self-righteous hubris that extended to a general attitude of hate toward the "other." Our cause became all about power over other people, money and the muscle to win elections, not about the good of unborn babies and women.
Even if Roe were reversed (it won't be no matter who is president) the abortion pill and the acceptance of at least some types of legal abortion by most Americans guarantees there will be access to abortion. Besides, on a state-by-state basis abortion would remain legal in most states no matter what the court does. And, as we have seen, the Republicans haven't really changed anything in thirty years.
So what do we who find abortion abhorrent do if we want to deal in reality rather than fantasies and slogans of winner-take-all propaganda? The reality is that we need to foster a climate in which we can reduce the number of abortions and also keep the moral -- rather than legal -- debate alive.
It's the "holistic" approach that is really what's important if our goal is to reduce the number of abortions rather than just "win" political games.
This is all about tone and moral leadership, not law.
At heart of the abortion reality is this: we are a consumerist society with a heart of stone when it comes to the poor, who account for four times the national average of people having abortions, mostly because of economic needs that Republicans don't lift a finger to address. And we still denigrate women and female sexuality.
When it comes to the issue of abortion there is another side besides legality/illegality: the nature of our country.
What kind of care do we provide to mothers and children? What is our educational system like? Is healthcare available to all? Do our preschool programs and everything from paternal and maternal leave to the economic well-being of our country come first? Or do we argue about abortion rights while we live lives of such supreme selfish decadence that the nature of our country means that no matter what we do with the laws about abortion life will not be valued?
The Republican leadership is not pro-life. They are simply against abortion for reasons of political expediency."