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Changing My Mind On the Election at the Eleventh Hour

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of links to blog posts from Thabiti Anyabwile regarding not voting in tomorrow’s election. Since that time, I’ve been strongly leaning toward not voting in this year’s presidential election. I’ve been becoming ever more tired of politics in this great country with each passing year. I’ve gone from essentially a straight-ticket Republican to a cynical, reluctant participant in the election process who thinks all politicians are the worst of liars & wouldn’t know what their constituents believe/desire if one was standing in front of them telling them exactly what he/she thinks.

I’ve flirted with voting for a third-party candidate because I feel like the two-party system is a farce & only serves to further polarize our nation. I don’t buy the arguments (generally) that voting third-party (or abstaining from voting) is necessarily wasting your vote as long as you have taken the time to be informed about the candidates, issues, & political climate. I’ve been intrigued by Gary Johnson (I’m pretty sure economically-speaking I’m a libertarian at heart) & have posted some things about & by him on Facebook, but there are a few issues that he supports that make me a bit iffy about him.

I don’t believe a candidate has to line up exactly with me on all issues, but there does need to be some similarities across a broad range of issues.

All of that to say this: I’ve changed my mind for this election. I will be voting for president from the only two choices who have a shot at winning the office.

What made me change my mind, you ask? Well, it occurred after carefully reading through the posts linked to in A Multitude of Counselors | the Cripplegate. (I warn you; one or two of the posts linked to there are quite offensive in tone, & while I don’t condone that tone, the overall arguments are worth considering)

It comes down, essentially, to two things: math & life.

Frank Turk at the Pyromaniacs blog shows mathematically how a third-party vote or a non-vote helps to ensure victory for Obama.

Oh. Did I forget to mention that I wouldn’t be voting for Obama? And it has nothing to do with the color of his skin, where he was born, thinking he’s the Antichrist, or any other craziness like that. I won’t vote for him because I disagree with the majority of his policies not the least of which are his views/policies regarding abortion.

The two most accurate national polls from the 2008 election currently have Obama & Romney between one & three percentage points from each other. For me, after reading Turk’s analysis, this is too close of an election to “make a point” by giving my vote to a third-part candidate–especially since I am one of those red-side voters he mentions.

The reason I now think this is so important is primarily because I believe in the sanctity of life–>from conception to natural death. President Obama & the Democratic Party do not come close to holding my views on this issue:

“On the issue of abortion, the Republican platform states, ‘we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.’ The Democratic platform states: ‘The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.'[…]One party claims that no abortions should be legal and the other claims that all abortions should be legal.”–Albert Mohler

Obama’s record clearly shows full support of abortions at any stage of development. And while you might question Romney’s pro-life stance, here’s what we do know (according to Dan Phillips):

  1. We know that, of all the folks he could have chosen, Romney chose a VP with an outspoken and 100% pro-life record.
  2. We know that Planned Parenthood loves abortion, loves Obama, hates Romney.
  3. We know that he’s convinced activist Gary Bauer.
  4. We know that Romney is supported by The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee, the Susan B. Anthony list, National Right to Life, Colorado Citizens for Life, and other groups.
You don’t like the exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. I don’t like two of those three, either. So supposing Romney succeeds in preventing abortions except for those cases. You do know that that means preventing more than nine out of ten abortions, don’t you? Whereas your only other alternative, Barack Obama, favors preventing zero abortions?
The other issue in regards to life that I feel I have to consider this time around is the issue of the Supreme Court. The court is currently mostly balanced with 4 left-leaning judges, 4 right-leaning judges, and 1 swing vote. There seems to be a significant potential for the next president to significantly affect the makeup of the Court depending on who might retire or pass away during his term. I feel much more comfortable with a more conservative-leaning court than with a more liberal-leaning court that would potentially be more willing too re-interpret the Constitution.
On these two points alone, I feel I need to vote for Mitt Romney & against Barack Obama. And that doesn’t even include considering Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility, attacks on freedom of religion, etc.
Listen, I’m not thrilled about voting for Romney; if there were a better choice out there, I’d go for it. But, as Kevin DeYoung, points out, the question we should ask ourselves when it comes to the election is “How can I, with my vote, best advance what I believe to be the proper role and goals of government?” I personally believe in this election that I can answer that question with a vote for Romney. There may come an election when I think I can best answer that question with a vote for a third-party candidate in order to try to change the status quo & break up the the two-party monopoly (and, actually, when it comes to the US Senate race in Ohio, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing), but I don’t believe this is the election in which to do that.
Now, keep in mind, I fully believe in Romans 13:1. I believe God is sovereign over all things & will use whichever man wins this election for His good purposes. BUT…God has also placed me in a country whose form of government includes the privilege of the people being allowed to vote, & so I will prayerfully do so.
I will leave you with a prayer from John Piper regarding elections:

Father in heaven, as we approach this election on Tuesday, I pray

1) that your people will vote,

2) and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily;

3) that we would know and live the meaning of

  • being in the world, but not of it,
  • doing politics as though not doing them,
  • being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God,
  • rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s;

4) that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence;

5) that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come;

6) and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of his sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with his people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Why It May Be a Good Idea Not to Vote This Year…

Two very important posts by Thabiti Anyabwile regarding voting in the upcoming election:

W.E.B DuBois Would Not Vote in This Election

Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Stand for Ideals Rather Than Settle for Evil in This Election

Whether you decide to vote or not in this election, you should take the time to at least consider what Mr. Anyabwile has to say in these two posts.

Lots & Lots & Lots O’ Links

So I haven’t had much time to post anything on here for a few weeks, but I’ve still been collecting links to things I find interesting, important, &/or edifying. So here’s a whole slew of things I’ve come across…

A little on the gay marriage debate to start with:

A thought on the homosexual marriage debate – Reformation21 Blog.–It is important to keep in mind Romans 1:18-32 when thinking about or discussing homosexual marriage. Let those verses influence your perspective on the subject.

Carl Trueman also has a little blurb on this subject–Around and About – Reformation21 Blog.

Along those same lines Alan Shlemon at Stand to Reason Blog asks  Is Homosexuality the Worst Sin of All?. He makes several good points, not the least of which is

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 places homosexuals among other sinners like thieves, drunks, swindlers, and fornicators. And 1 Timothy 1:8-11 lists them among liars, rebels, slave traders, and other sinners. There’s no special designation for any of these sins

Going Down? Dawkins, Doubters & Debauchery–The problem with holding staunchly to an atheist world-view is that eventually that world-view breaks down & you cannot defend your position.

The Name–We cannot make God’s name greater; it is already great.

Read more…

I’m Not Letting This Go

The more posts I come across regarding the Obama administration’s total disregard of the 1st Amendment, the more I’m going to keep passing them along…

Law forcing sales of abortion pill struck down. Hopefully, this will set a precedent when the Obama administration’s war on religion through contraceptives invariably goes before the courts.

“The Con” – a video presented by AUL – YouTube.  Whether you’re religious or not, this issue should be important to you.

Human Trafficking & Sex Slavery

Burk Parsons had an interesting, yet horrifyingly sad string of tweets today regarding human trafficking&  especially sex trafficking. I think it’s important for more people to be aware of what is going on so I’ve decided to post his tweets from today here along with some others regarding organizations that are fighting this modern-day slave trade.

From @BurkParson‘s Twitter feed today (3/1/12):

  • Meeting with community leaders and lawyers in downtown Orlando today to discuss how we can better fight human trafficking and sex slavery.
  • Surrounded by judges, commissioners, FBI SVU officers, newspaper writers, and other community leaders. Florida is third in trafficking in US
  • Stats on human trafficking: 2.5 million people trafficked in the US.
  • Trafficking is a $34 billion a year industry internationally: Labor trafficking $21 billion // sex trafficking $13 billion a year.
  • Human trafficking is second only to the drug trafficking trade in the US and internationally.
  • Many of the modern day sex-trafficking pimps are women. Average age, point of entry into sex slavery for girls is 11, boys, 12.
  • Just last week in Orlando at the NBA all-star game, there were thousands of girls involved in sex trafficking.
  • More than 200,000 American children who are US citizens are trafficked within the country yearly.
  • Many girls who are victims in sex trafficking become pregnant and the babies are aborted privately, off the books.
  • Many girls are deceived into sex trafficking by being told they could have a modeling career. They’re brought in for an audition and drugged
  • Often girls who are victims of trafficking are threatened to keep quiet or their parents and other siblings will be killed.
  • As I listen to the FBI’s stories, my heart is torn apart. I think everyone here wants to cry.
  • FBI agent: This is a domestic problem in the US. It’s not just a problem over there. It’s a problem right here and everywhere in America.
  • There’s only a 50% recovery rate of girls who are victims of sex trafficking. They move the girls around constantly and some they just kill.
  • Where there’s big money sporting events is where sex-trafficking is most abundant.
  • Many girls are smuggled by a Romeo pimp in a nice car, who’s a smooth talker, and dates her once a week for months and gains her trust.
  • Most girls in sex trafficking would rather die but are so drugged, hurting and 24/7 busy w/ clients that they don’t have wherewithal to die.
  • Many girls who become victims of trafficking are “throw-away” kids from foster homes whose parents abandoned them and were never adopted.
  • One of the biggest problems when recovering sex-trafficking victims is that we have no place to shelter them, no homes where they can live
  • Of 27 victims recovered last year in one month (Oct-Nov 2011), 16 girls ended up homeless because there was no place for them to live.
  • Heartbroken. Tears. On my way to hug my daughters. Will send more links and ways to tangibly help fight trafficking. Please send me links.
  • 6 ways to get involved to fight human trafficking at end of this post http://ow.ly/9orDl Several more helpful posts http://ow.ly/9orFv

Tweets from others in response to @BurkParson with organizations that are actively fighting against human trafficking:

I would add Women At Risk, Intl. that helps rescue & protect women from trafficking.

UPDATED–Contraceptives & the War on Religion

Do not be fooled! The contraceptives controversy is not really a controversy over contraceptives, or women’s rights, or abortion; it is controversy surrounding freedom of religion & whether that freedom should exist in any meaningful way. (Sorry that so many of these links are to Gene Veith’s blog, but he does such a good job of covering these kinds of issues).

Declaring war on religion.–“Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.”

How our government thinks of religion.–Here’s what the Obama administration apparently thinks: “Whenever a church or house of worship ceases to be simply inward-looking, when it in any way engages or serves the wider public, it becomes subject to much the same sort of government regulation as any secular entity.”–In other words, if your church decides to obey God’s commands & care for the widow, orphaned, & oppressed, you cease to be a church & rather become a secular institution.

Officially re-defining religion. –“It’s basically the same one [definition] used in the former Soviet Union, which provided for “religious freedom” in its constitution, construed as private interior beliefs, while at the same time forbidding evangelism, worship, education, religious child-raising, and any other external expression of religion in actual life.”

Calls for an American dictator.–I think this fits well with the contraceptives controversy: ” we must take care not to jettison our liberties in a panicked  desire for the government to ‘do something.'”

LCMS President’s statement on HHS mandate.-“Again, this is not just a Catholic issue.  All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.”

Your religion mustn’t affect your life!.–SAY WHAT?!!!

Forcing a company to give away a product for free.–“Where does it say that the president can unilaterally order a private company to provide an allegedly free-standing service at no cost to certain select beneficiaries?”

Compromise on insurance birth control mandate?.–“Does this really solve the problem? Aren’t all of the expenses of an insurance company ultimately and necessarily passed on to the customers?”

The Church of Obama – Mark Steyn – National Review Online.–” In essence President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII[…]” Which is exactly the kind of authority our founding fathers were trying to separate from with the inclusion of the Establishment Clause.

Do 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives?.–This is just despicable!

Media shirk debate on religious liberty » GetReligion.–If you listen to most of mainstream media’s accounts of this debate, you would think this is merely a conservative attempt to limit “women’s rights.”–Well, here’s a not-so-subtle hint for you: It’s not about women’s rights; it’s about RELIGIOUS LIBERTY aka FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

UPDATE:

AlbertMohler.com – What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling.–“But, just to state the obvious, a policy goal and an ‘inalienable right’ are not to be ‘balanced.'”

 

Politics & Religion Miscellany

Christianity & taxes.–Soooooo, according to President Obama the answer to WWJD is “Jesus would have taxed the rich.” Hmmm…–“A person who has received much FROM GOD has much that is required BY GOD.  Not the federal government!   The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!”

Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage.–“We have been told both by conservatives and liberals that the question of gay marriage should just be left up to the states.  That way, different values across this great country can find expression.  But here the people of a state are not allowed to have a say in the matter”

Is the U.S. Constitution obsolete?.–Since our Constitution doesn’t conform to the constitutions of other countries, ours must be wrong…

You Think You’re Free? | Pastor Matt.–“It is true that we need government agencies to regulate certain activities that the market does not self-police with efficiency such as toxins in the environment or the safety of public bridges and roadways but unless bureaucracies are severely limited in their scope, you will get the wasteful idiocy of the FDA’s war on Amish milk men!”

A Conflict of Visions: Or, Why Can’t We All Get Along? – Justin Taylor.–Here’s a nice little look at why you consistently see the same people lining up on opposite sides of nearly every political issue.

Entitlement | Challies Dot Com.–Here’s the take away: The current generation generally thinks they are entitled to everything they desire-at someone else’s expense. If we are Christians, it is helpful to keep in mind that everyone is entitled to one thing & one thing only–Hell. “That’s all I deserve, because of my sin. Anything else is grace, an unmerited bonus from the God of all grace. I don’t deserve a breath of life, a crumb of food, a drop of water, a stitch of clothing, a cent in my wallet, or an hour of education. I’m not entitled to one friend, one vacation, one verse of Scripture, or even one sermon. I’m certainly not entitled to salvation and heaven. I’m entitled to damnation and Hell.”

Re: Homosexuality

The first 2 links are from Gene Edward Veith’s blog on the unlikelihood of homosexuality being genetic. Keep in mind (as he points out in the second post) that this does not necessarily mean that homosexuality is merely a “choice”; however, I would submit to you that even if some people have a “natural” inclination toward homosexuality, that does not make it any less of a sin. As a heterosexual male, I have a natural inclination to be attracted to every beautiful woman I see, but that does not make it any less of a sin for me to lust after those women or give into that natural inclination.

Evidence homosexuality is not genetic.

Thoughts on homosexuality not being genetic.

This final link/video is by one of my favorite Christian rappers & speaks to the fact that the Church (at least here in the U.S.) has tended to make homosexuality out to be a worse sin than any other–this is a blatant failure of the Church in America. God loved us when we were still His enemies (Romans 5:8); we should reciprocate that love toward those who are still living in sin-regardless of what for that sin takes.

When It Rains-Welfare Society (Curtis “Voice” Allen & Erin Hill).

Why Requiring Employers (Insurers) to Cover Contraceptives is Wrong

Nearly 3 weeks ago, I published a post in response to the President’s decision that religious-affiliated employers will be required to cover birth-control pills including abortifacents. I asked (in essence), “how should Christians respond when the government goes too far?” And specifically, I asked, “How do you oppose the President & his policy & still adhere to Romans 13:1-7, Titus 3:1, & 1 Peter 2:13-17?” Well, I got no response, and I’m really no closer to knowing exactly what the right response should be (or even if there is one right response), but here are some links on why this issue is so important (even if you’re not opposed to birth-control), what some Christian leaders are advocating in response, & a couple of other links on abortion & Planned Parenthood.

The FAQs: The Contraceptive-Abortifacient Mandate – The Gospel Coalition Blog. Here is why this controversy is so important: “If the mandate is allowed to stand it will set a precedent that the government can not only force citizens to violate their most deeply held beliefs but that we can be sanctioned for refusing to do so.”

“Please get the federal government out of our consciences”. From the testimony of the President of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform

Christian Civil Disobedience against the U. S. Government? – Justin Taylor. Here is what Rick Warren, Chuck Colson, & Timothy George have to say.

On my mind and heart… « A Work in Progress. A passionate plea for Christians not to try to justify (even in part) the supposed good things that Planned Parenthood does.

More bullying from Planned Parenthood. Just one more reason I have no respect whatsoever for Planned Parenthood.

She Just Might Change Your Mind – YouTube

Here’s why the pro-abortion slogan “Keep Your Hands Off My Body” is a poor choice…

She Just Might Change Your Mind – YouTube.

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