Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What an awesome system

Whether you voted for Barack Obama or not, you have to admit that it was a pretty powerful thing to watch democracy at work yesterday. Seeing the long lines of voters in other parts of the country, the cheering throngs at rallies last night, the peaceful transition of a people from one president to another is so moving to me. I feel that way almost every Election Day. Every year it's a reminder that this is one awesome system of government we've got here. This year the emotions ran a lot higher imagining what this decision much have meant to African-Americans who wondered if and when they'd ever see this day.

That being said, I am deeply concerned about what will happen to the unborn in the years ahead. As we sat and watched the election returns and it became clear that Obama would win, Noah turned to me and said, "But soon our federal tax money will pay for abortions. What do we do now?" We reminded him that, unfortunately, our state tax dollars are already being used to take the lives of the unborn. It was a poignant moment, one when I tried to walk a delicate balance of explaining our family's unwavering support of human life from conception until natural death no matter what and of explaining that our president is our president and we respect the office and the man no matter what and pray that he will do the right thing when the time comes, although I'm not too hopeful considering Obama'a extremist record when it comes to abortion. If, as Obama has promised, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act as his first order of business, it will mean completely unrestricted abortion at every stage of pregnancy with absolutely no limitations, no ability for those who are morally opposed to keep their tax dollars from paying for abortions, and no way for doctors and nurses to opt out of performing what they view as tantamount to murder. I won't get into his position on partial-birth and born alive, and don't tell me he didn't do what he did, because he did and it counted and it mattered. Anyone who votes against giving care to a newborn who survives abortion -- no matter what the legalistic reasoning -- is wrong, wrong, wrong.

So...there you have it. I can appreciate the magnitude of what happened yesterday. I can tear up with emotion over what it means that this country elected its first African-American president. But I cannot check my conscience at the door just to try to make history. This was a tough election for me, but in the end I had to stand on the side of life, and I will continue to do so even if our president and our Congress do not.


dmh said...

You're right. The choices are hard when you're dealing with the basic value of the importance of life. It becomes especially difficult when you have to balance one thing egainst another: the value inherent in pro-life choices about abortion and the ones that are deeply offended by the senseless loss of life (on both sides) in a war that happened only because of one man's wish (and, of course, that of his assistant George W. Bush.)
I'm absolutely convinced that the election of Obama will save at least as many lives as would the election of a president who couldn't do very much at all about abortion. (How many abortions didn't happen because Bush was president?)And how many Americans and Iraqis died because he was?
No moral choices are easy.I don't know why people don't get more excited about lives lost in war. If they believe that a fetus is a life, then certainly they must believe that a 20-year-old is a life, too, right?
So, this time I, like you, chose life.

MB said...

dear dmh,
It's a fact: the abortion rate hit an all time low this year since Roe V. Wade...thanks to legislation (partial birth abortion ban, for example) that was fully supported by a pro-life administration.

I'm deeply saddened by your perspective. Are you aware that MILLIONS of babies have been killed before ever given a chance to be born? Please do not try to convince others that a vote for Obama is a choice for life - that is deceiving seeing as he has the most liberal voting record when it comes to life issues.

I pray daily for those in harms way and for a victorious end to the war.

and congratulations, dmh, you've just made it to the top of my prayer list!

UB said...

Beautifully said, Mary.

Dennis said...

President Obama will have between one and three appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court in the next four years, likely cementing the wrongly decided Roe v. Wade decision as the law of the land for another generation. Between that fact, and Mr. Obama's strong support for the obnoxious Freedom of Choice Act, I think it is a safe bet to say that the unborn at any stage of development will not have any protections in law now or in the foreseeable future. The pro-life movement must now focus on prayer and changing the hearts and minds of young people.

With the terrible mishandling of the Iraq war from the fall of Baghdad until the firing of Rumsfeld, it is sometimes easy to forget what a mass-murdering monster Saddam Hussein was -- gassing of the Kurds, mass graves of Shiites, rape rooms, wanton torture and murder, invasion of Kuwait, nuclear program destroyed by Israel, his plot to assassinate President George H.W. Bush for which President Clinton ordered retaliatory air strikes.

Many other nations, including Great Britain, joined us. The U.N. issued resolution upon resolution that were ignored. Democratic Senators with access to the intelligence reports (Biden, Clinton, Kerry, etc) voted to authorize the war. President-elect Obama had no such access to these reports and had the luxury of not having the responsibility of protecting America when he came out against the war.

The price in American and Iraqi blood has been high, but I do not believe that it was shed in vain.

Thankfully, because of Sen. McCain's surge strategy, the situation in Iraq is vastly improved, and Americans are taking very few casualties. This is the favorable situation President Obama now inherits.

A.L. said...

Well said, Dennis.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

I feel like I was reading my own words when I read your post. It is so good that we can celebrate what is good about this Obama victory, but at the same time, feel concern for what it means for the unborn. I take comfort in the fact that no man, not even the President of the United States, is truly in charge; not now, not ever.