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Why I’m Voting for Obama: My Politics Oral Defense

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For the first time in my life this year, I’m not voting straight ticket for the Republican party. And boy! are people ticked about it. Judging by the intense reaction, you’d think that quitting my life’s ministry, changing churches, and leaving fundamentalism entirely is nuffin’ compared to my simple, generally-private, individual little vote for Barack Obama.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions — sincere ones, curious ones, flabbergasted ones, and peeved ones. I’ve put off answering them thoroughly because I’m slow and pedantic. My reasons needed time to stew.

Before I state my reasons, let me point out that there are many political conservatives who are also voting for and even endorsing Obama, and the reactions they’ve received have been even more vicious than mine. Kathleen Parker has become my newest hero. And her analysis of the Right stunned me this week because it’s so . . . familiar:

The truth few wish to utter is that the GOP has abandoned many conservatives, who mostly nurse their angst in private. Those chickens we keep hearing about have indeed come home to roost. Years of pandering to the extreme wing — the “kooks” the senior Buckley tried to separate from the right — have created a party no longer attentive to its principles.

But this isn’t about jumping on the conservative bandwagon. Especially a bandwagon I’m not sure I’m even on anymore.

I’ve had people accuse me of just wanting to vote for Obama because it’s an anti-establishment thing to do and that I’m just reacting to leaving BJU. ::shrug:: Grant and I both were impressed four years ago when we heard him speak at the DNC. We both looked at each other and said, “Why isn’t he running? I’d vote for him now!” And this is when we were still in the BJU-fundy camp.

Here are the issues that compel me to vote for Obama (in order of importance):

The War. We need to get out. Yes, we need to get out smoothly, but it needs to be sooner rather than later. McCain sounds all primed to start new conflicts, and I’m not supporting that.

Health Care. I do not trust McCain’s approach to health care and neither does the New England Journal of Medicine. They state it more clearly than I, but while I have my doubts about Obama’s plan, McCain’s sounds like a complete disaster.

Education. “No Child Left Behind” is a joke. McCain doesn’t think it’s too bad — “a great beginning.” That doesn’t bode well. Obama, at least, admits the problems.

Human Rights. I couldn’t agree more with Senator Obama on this one. And McCain, having a great moral reason to stand his ground on torture, seems to flip-flop.

Economy. This is a biggie. In fact, I believe it’s one of three really key criticisms conservatives have against Obama (the other two being experience — which McCain nullified when he chose Palin — and abortion). I understand that the Milton Friedman fans think that the freer the market the better the country. I don’t agree. I don’t passionately disagree either, but I think that only a naive view of history past the 20th-century will allow you to think capitalism is actually fair and wholly good.

I’m impious on this one. I don’t think the free market system is all that and I don’t think it’s more socialized opposite is the greatest evil. Both are riddled with problems — both moral and economic. I understand that in an economic ethic profit is the only value, but I do believe there are other ethical perspectives to consider.

What I do know is that the status quo is not working. But I know that life as we know it will not end if we take a different tactic.

If allopathic medicine is not working, sometimes you go to its homeopathic opposite.

The irony is not lost on me either that those who are crying the loudest about Obama’s plan for the economy make significantly more than our <$50K. Significantly more.

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My friends on the Christian Right insist that the two most important issues which should compel me to vote for McCain are same-sex marriage and abortion. I listened closely during all four debates, and the only time same-sex marriage came up was with the VP debate. And when it comes to policy, both Biden and Palin had the same conclusions. So that’s a toss-up and moot.

And now abortion — the Mother of all Christian Right issues.

I will state unequivocally that I have chosen to believe that life begins at conception. Now, technically we don’t know if life begins when a heart starts beating or at the quickening — when the ancient Hebrews believed it began. But I’ve chosen to give the benefit of the doubt to the Creator on this one and assume that life starts at conception. As a consequence I believe that I have four children waiting for me in Heaven.

Now, I have Christian mommy friends who disagree with me on that point. They believe that life begins sometime between conception and the quickening, and the losses that they’ve experienced were not real “people.” That’s fine. I don’t know. Christians have disagreed about this throughout the centuries. I just know what I’ve chosen to believe.

Thus, except when the life of the mother is in danger, I believe that abortion is an immoral choice. That is the position I was taught growing up, the position that I heard taught in Ethics class at BJU, and the position that I believe best reflects the ancient Biblical principles of always preserving life.

So when it comes to the bottom line on abortion, I am in agreement with most of my conservative Evangelical friends on the Right.

But I am not convinced that anything we’re doing now is working. I know conservative Evangelical women who have always voted “pro-life” but have had an abortion. It seems that our means to saving unborn lives has been ghettoized to the judicial branch alone. I don’t believe politics will solve this one. This problem rests squarely on the Church’s front door.

So I took the issue “off the table” as a voting issue. . . .

Until the last presidential debate. I actually cringed when Bob Schieffer brought it up. I didn’t want to hear Obama confirm all the horrible things I had heard about him on this issue.

I was genuinely surprised.

Obama explained the legislative two-step that was going on with that infamous born-alive bill. But then Obama actually repeated things — even exact phrases — that I had been saying for over 15 years.

But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, “We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.”

Those are all things that we put in the Democratic platform for the first time this year, and I think that’s where we can find some common ground, because nobody’s pro-abortion. I think it’s always a tragic situation.

Wow. When my freshman speech students would come to me with their persuasive speech topics, abortion was always a “tired topic.” “We all agree in here,” I’d say. “So you have to think of a fresh angle on that issue. No one — even those who support abortion rights — wants more abortions. So that’s some common ground. What can we all do to reduce the number of abortions?”

No one ever took me up on that idea.

But Obama just said it himself. And I know where he got it. He got it from Tony Campolo who stuck his neck out on the issue — amidst a lot of flack — and was welcomed within the Democratic party to find a moral and practical common ground on reducing abortions.

I was impressed and surprised that I was impressed. I thought McCain would match that since that’s one issue he and I fundamentally agree on, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N_UfQVuvXo[/youtube]

Oh dear. How did he blow that one? I was all set to agree with him on it, and then he belittled the one reason that old-school Christian Right agree that abortion should be considered. It was an oddly revealing and condescending moment that disappointed me greatly.

Jim Wallis found more optimism in McCain’s words highlighting this debate statement:

We have to change the culture of America. Those of us who are proudly pro-life understand that. And it’s got to be courage and compassion that we show to a young woman who’s facing this terribly difficult decision. … But that does not mean that we will cease to protect the rights of the unborn. Of course, we have to come together. Of course, we have to work together, and, of course, it’s vital that we do so and help these young women who are facing such a difficult decision, with a compassion, that we’ll help them with the adoptive services, with the courage to bring that child into this world and we’ll help take care of it.

I was stunned that even that grave issue could be handled with such care that my anticipatory cringing could be turned to surprised nodding within a few minutes.

===================

So my Campaign 2008 stock issues are the War, Health Care, Education, Human Rights, the Economy, and now after the last presidential debate Abortion as well. And for me the majority of those decidedly flow toward Obama.

I’m not trying to convince you to vote for Obama on November 4th. I’m only trying to convince you that I have my reasons for the way I’ll cast my vote. And those reasons are informed by facts, reason, and my religious beliefs.

164 thoughts on “Why I’m Voting for Obama: My Politics Oral Defense

  1. Thanks for posting your reasoning. I hope the Rovian politics are dead…or, at least, asleep for a little while. The president who promised to be a “uniter, not a divider,” is responsible for more division than any other US President in history.

  2. Camille, thanks for your thoughtful posts on this topic. As should be expected, I think you’re both right and wrong on the issues. (Isn’t ambiguity grand?) I’ll admit that this election leaves me really cold since McCain is, in my semi-educated view, the worst candidate put forth by the GOP since at least WWII and Obama isn’t, in my view, much better. In all honesty, using your frame, I find that I can not vote for either of them.

    Since I should be grading student papers, here are my grades for each candidate with brief commentary.

    The War
    McCain: C+
    Obama: F
    I’m not sure about McCain’s position but I’m absolutely certain that Obama is wrong at a fundamental level.

    Health Care
    McCain: F
    Obama: F
    Both of their plans stink. Can we have a do-over?

    Education
    McCain: F
    Obama: F
    McCain is clueless on education. He’s mouthed some support for vouchers, which is a point in his favor, but his support for NCLB more than outweighs that point. I wish there was a grade lower than F that I could give Obama. His support for Card Check, including in education, means he’s utterly unserious about any meaningful educational reform.

    Human Rights (including domestic civil rights)
    McCain: F
    Obama: F
    McCain is horrible, internationally and domestically, on the issues. There’s very little redeeming about most of his positions. By itself, since I sometimes study political communication, McCain-Feingold is more than enough to earn McCain an F, let alone his flip-flops on torture.

    Internationally, Obama is significantly better than McCain. Domestically, he’s worse, having voiced support for both McCain-Feingold and the return of the Fairness Doctrine. In addition, his position on Second Amendment issues is pathetic.

    Economy
    McCain: F
    Obama: F
    McCain, and the GOP in general, don’t seem to have any sort of a consistent position on the issues facing the country. Most of their “policy” seems to be along the lines of “How panicked can we be and what kind of silly bailout/economic stimulus/tax cut can we get away with before it becomes apparent to even the most partisan supporter that we’re bribing you?”.
    For Obama, the Employee Free Choice Act earns him an automatic F. There are other reasons to dislike his positions, but there’s no need for me to even address them considering the vileness of EFCA.

    Overall, both major party candidates average out to an F and no vote from me. The major third party candidates are equally bad. The Libertarians simply aren’t serious about foreign policy. The Constitution Party has the personal endorsement of that racist fool, Ron Paul. The Greens nominated a different racist fool in Cynthia McKinney. What’s left for a principled conservative libertarian Baptist?

    The American Meadow Party! We’ve already tried the good and the bad, so… “Bill + Opus: This year, why not the worst?”

  3. If Obama’s words were true (on abortion and many other things) your choice might be justified. Does the fact that those words completely contradict his (oh so brief) record not give you pause?

    He is going to raise taxes on the middle class (look at his actual record). He is going to support gun control (look at his actual record). He is going to expand abortion, including federal funding (look at his actual record). The list goes on and on.

    Obviously no one is going to change your mind, but it seems odd to see you give so much credence to his words over his deeds.

  4. His words are his deeds. That’s a big point I’m trying to make in this series

    Your argument centers around the standard Republican talking points: Dems always raise taxes, Dems always take our guns, Dems are always expanding abortion rights.

    If you notice, my voting issues are not those first two at all. Those may be your voting issues. They aren’t mine.

    And I’m detecting something entirely new and more collaborative in the coming years. You’re not. That’s fine. I find collaboration a very good thing; most conservatives, at least those on the extreme Christian Right, are suspicious of collaboration.

    But uh . . . I *have* changed my mind in recent months politically. 😉

  5. You completely mischaracterize my argument. I am not at all saying “Dems always…” anything. I am saying Obama already has. Repeatedly. 94 votes for higher taxes if you accept GOP numbers–74 if you accept the “non-partisan” factcheck.org (financed by the same people who funded the Obama-Ayers radical school reform handout program in Chicago). Ditto for guns. And double ditto for abortion. Obama–not generic Democrats–is the most socialist, hard-left, “spread the wealth around” candidate we’ve ever had run on a major party ticket. Based on his record.

    You say that his words are his deeds. But why do promises for the future based on words alone outweigh past actual performance? Why is a guy who voted with the Dems more than McCain voted with the GOP suddenly going to become collaborative? What actual concrete thing has he ever done that matches your hopes for him?

    I’ve read the entire series, and I understand your academic perspective (I think) on the value of words. But I don’t understand their priority over real actions in evaluating likely outcomes.

    But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. Matthew 21:28-31

  6. *I* am not voting on raising taxes or not. *I* am not voting on gun control. Those are not my voting issues. They can be yours. That’s fine. They aren’t mine. So this conversation is kind of a round-robin because you’re going to keep insisting that these are the important voting issues that Obama loses, and I’m going to keep saying that they aren’t mine.

    You say that his words are his deeds. But why do promises for the future based on words alone outweigh past actual performance? Why is a guy who voted with the Dems more than McCain voted with the GOP suddenly going to become collaborative? What actual concrete thing has he ever done that matches your hopes for him?

    Stay tuned.

    1. If you voted for him then you voted for raising taxes. You can not take one issue and stand alone on that one issue. When voting you have to consider all the issues and how important it is to you. When I voted for McCain and Romey there was issues that I did not like but there was issues that I did like. If they had won I would had voted for all that they stood for even though I did not agree with everything. Obama had not one thing that I agreed on and that is why I voted for the other guy but I still would have to take responsibility for everything that McCain and Romey stood for. So take responsibility

      1. If you voted for him then you voted for raising taxes.

        So?

        So take responsibility

        Who says I’m not?

  7. Thank you for this informative post. I can relate with you on pretty much everything, including the abortion issue. Voting for Obama, as the lesser of two evils more or less, my only concern will be his electing a supreme court justice should that situation arise while he is in office, which is a very likely possibility. I’m wondering if Senator McCain was elected, if he would be able to elect a justice(s) so that Roe vs. Wade could be overturned? I know that if that happened, each individual state would still have to decide on whether or not abortion would be illegal. This wouldn’t change my vote, but I am just wondering if and how a president can actually change the abortion issue legally.

  8. I’m voting for Nader (which you already know), but I wanted to say I agree with your view on how you view abortion in regards to voting.

    I have come to the same conclusion as you and my extended family is a bit stunned by it.

    Plus, McCain has a history of not being very pro-life friendly. My husband lived in AZ and worked with pro-life groups (non-militantesque btw) and no in the prolife movement was pleased with him in the early 90s.

    Personally, I haven’t researched his record on the abortion issue, but I doubt it was a passionate as he is currently portraying.

    I also agree that the homosexual issue is moot–according to the VP debates, they basically agree.

  9. “So that’s some common ground. What can we all do to reduce the number of abortions?”

    Well, I thought that the adoption tax credit (making adoption much more affordable for middle-class and below families) was one way in which Bush’s administration had made positive efforts in reducing abortions, but I looked it up and it was actually enacted under Clinton’s administration. So, score something positive for the democrats. 🙂

    Under Bush, money has been given for research into and publicity for embryo adoption, which is really cool, too.

    Anyways, great blog post again!

  10. Camille, you know I really appreciate you, right? 🙂

    I guess for me, the thing that I struggle with the most with OBAMA more than just democrats in particular *is* is votes on the Born Alive Bill. In terms of language and words, which you agree matter, I am very disturbed by his words. I am curious whether you would agree that the following clip is true and you are still OK with keeping abortion off the table in deciding your vote, or if you just reject the facts that the video is portraying?

    (not trying to be difficult… just truly curious…)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypDwNpgIUQc

  11. I don’t like what he’s saying. Yes, it’s matter-of-fact. Yes, I’ve heard/read it before. So it’s not new to me. It sounds lawyerly, so I wouldn’t call his tone “cold” as much as I’d call it academic. ::shrug:: That’s his (rhetorical) hurdle really. His introversion makes him very low-keyed at times.

    He’s consistent with that perspective. And I think he further clarified it in the last debate. I will never like it. But he’s willing to find new solutions, he’s able to collaborate with those that disagree with him to find some actual solutions (Tony Campolo).

    To get the whole thing in context, you have to read factcheck’s article:

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_alive_baloney.html

  12. Well, it’s just the context, I guess. The story that gets circulated that this particular woman who survived a botched abortion wouldn’t be alive if Obama had his way is false.

    He’s after legal streamlining. The Hippocratic oath and other laws would protect that baby. At least that’s the theory!

    And again, I’m not good at arguing that side ’cause I don’t get it.

  13. I’ve read a lot of intelligent things on this blog, but this is one of the most unintelligent arguments I’ve read in a long time. Having followed Obama’s career (living in Illinois as I do) since before he was a national figure I was as stunned as you were by his response on the abortion question, but not because of the lucidity and honesty of his response. Instead it was Nietzche’s “genuine, determined honest lie” that he guaranteed would work effectively with the masses of men who are intellectually dishonest. Indeed his lie worked well. You join the masses. I admit he was so smooth it almost duped me.

    The evidence, however, is completely contrary to his statement and I had to remind myself of what I already knew. His response was slippery and dishonest and liberals in this State are more honest about it than you choose to be. Obama knows pseudo-intelligentsia will play the fool as predictably as ignorant groupies. Niebuhr could have been speaking of Obama when he said, “He thus recognizes, as no hedonist can, the profound paradox of human spirituality and morality: that the interests of self cannot be followed if the self cannot obscure these interests behind a facade of general interest and universal values.” Niebuhr was speaking of Marx.

    It’s a lie. Postmoderns who love Nietzsche don’t mind. It’s a bold, “genuine, honest determined lie” that is justified and declared good because it is the only thing that will help poor people discover the fallacies of their personal intellectual dishonesty. Gratefully, the Beloved Obama is with perfect ease of conscience willing to equivocate and, when necessary, brazenly lie to help deliver us from our delusions. Thus, we are developing a bizarre and hither-to oxymoronic combination – liberal fascism.

    Evangelicals flock to Obama with the naive hope that a man whose worldview justifies convenience killings will not justify convenience lying. “The dishonest pretensions of human nature are not cured by disavowing the value of truth” (Niebuhr).

    While I essentially agree with your critique of capitalism, I am disappointed that you have wandered into the trap that snags most cynics. Eventually, it becomes apparent that their cynicism is directed in only one direction. Then their pretensions of intellectual integrity begin to crumble.

  14. Hey, Bob! Nice to see you.

    I know Nietzsche. I know him well. He’s not a pomo though. He’s the end of modernity. Probably the very end. And the point to his “comfortable lie” criticism is that we all lie. We all “lie with the herd.”

    So if you’re going to don Nietzsche, the question becomes not “who’s lying?” but “which lie is most comfortable to believe?” I’m done believing that abortion is the issue that trumps all others. I’m utterly done believing that the GOP cares about abortion one whit. I’m done believing that my vote for pro-life candidates makes one iota of difference in saving the life of an unborn child. I’m done believing that politics is the place to solve this problem at all.

    I’m done with those very comfortable lies. They aren’t working. Or as Nietzsche would say, they aren’t aesthetically pleasing to me anymore.

    But Nietzsche really drives me crazy.

    So after reading Campolo, I’m done thinking that fighting will solve this problem. It’s time to give collaborating a try.

  15. Camille, I agree politics are not the best place to solve the tragedy of abortion. I know your experience in Greenville has been unsettling in terms of how “hostile” it is to life. But I know an awful lot of evangelical pro-life folks putting their money where their mouth is, in terms of volunteering with crisis pregnancy centers, adopting, fostering, and even having a child out of wedlock as a teen and then going on to start an adoption agency. I know of teen moms in churches.

    But ages ago I have seen some statistics… it is really upsetting, the abortion rate generally, even among professing Christians.

  16. Elizabeth —

    Yes! Yes, I know. I know a few of those women here in Greenville. They are doing God’s work, I agree.

    I do think the Catholics are doing a better job on this task than we Evangelicals are. Whether it’s funds or sheer volumes of people or what, I’m not sure. But I admire their efforts too.

    I don’t think I talked about this with you, E, but a few years back here in SC, there was a bill that tried to require women who were considering abortions to have an ultrasound. The reasoning on our side of the fence was that 80% of “abortion-minded” women who have an ultrasound choose *NOT* to abort. The law didn’t pass. It was close, IIRC.

    Now, if I’m understanding what I’m reading from Obama from about 5-ish years ago, he was supporting a federal law that would ABOLISH any such efforts nation-wide. I admit it — I don’t like that.

    But collaboration is more *possible,* I believe, on his watch. The locking-heads now isn’t working. Something’s gotta give, and he’s just now put the ball in our court.

    Is it *probable*? Don’t know. The argument can be strongly made that it isn’t. I really understand. I do.

    It’s just not simple.

  17. So if you’re going to don Nietzsche, the question becomes not “who’s lying?” but “which lie is most comfortable to believe?” I’m done believing that abortion is the issue that trumps all others. I’m utterly done believing that the GOP cares about abortion one whit. I’m done believing that my vote for pro-life candidates makes one iota of difference in saving the life of an unborn child. I’m done believing that politics is the place to solve this problem at all.

    While I would agree with most of this—the GOP seems to use the abortion issue only cynically to turn out the votes—I don’t think you’re really engaging Bob’s point, which is that Obama apparently lied about voting against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and that says more about him than can be waved away by suggesting that everybody lies to some degree.

    Obama said he voted against it because there were already existing laws to protect such infants, which was obviously false. He said he voted against it because it threatened abortion in general, but his own committee had amended the bill so that it didn’t apply to fetuses.

    And the idea of his looking for common ground on the abortion issue seems unlikely. He said that the “first thing [he]’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act”; he opposes the federal funding of crisis pregnancy centers; he’s called an unwanted pregnancy being “punished with a child.” Where is there room for common ground?

    As someone who’s inclined to vote for Obama for other reasons—his intelligence and eloquence, cool and calm manner, opposition to the Iraq war, diplomatic approach to foreign policy, choice of well-qualified advisers, and the repeated bungling and floundering of the other side, I’m very concerned about what this issue says about Obama on a fundamental level.

    I think you’re right that neither candidate is especially likely to reduce abortions, much less overturn Roe, but why must Obama be so pro-abortion? Is he that committed to leftist orthodoxy?

  18. I think you’re right that neither candidate is especially likely to reduce abortions, much less overturn Roe, but why must Obama be so pro-abortion? Is he that committed to leftist orthodoxy?

    Listen to him when he’s talking to those who agree with his stance on abortion. Listen to his comments in front of Planned Parenthood. Comments scripted for public consumption during debates are convenient for talking-points, but we tend to speak what we *really* think to our friends, yes?

  19. When I left BJU in ’79 I was convinced that I would play a large role in the political process and make a stand for the newly organized and seemingly effective “Christian Right.” What a mistake. Fortunately, within 10 years I figured that out and stopped dead my plans to ascend the political ladder. I concluded then and continue to believe that our greatest influence as Christians is in promoting the Gospel to ourselves, our family and our neighbors. It is possible that I am even more disenfranchised than Camille when it comes to politics.

    I am so disgusted with my Republican party that voting for Obama has some appeal. But my vote for Obama would be out of complete resignation and spite. I am convinced that the Democrats will fail miserably once they control the White House and the Congress. They are fractured within themselves and I do not believe for a second that they can develop economic or social policy that keeps their core constituency happy. If you were from Illinois, you would understand this concept by looking to the recent history of our state. The Dems took over the Governor spot and have huge majorities in the House and Senate (BTW, this is the group from which Obama was nurtured). Illinois is in lock down and the Dems are a total joke.

    The Dems will have it all and Obama will be the leader. My core values involve maximizing economic freedom and a social order that reflects a basic morality, but still allows freedoms of personal choices (i.e., I am not in favor of Prohibition, yet I favor very strong consequences for misusing alcohol). A vote for Obama by me would only be a vote in which I want failure so that my silly Republicans could possibly regroup and reconstitute to a properly principled party (good luck on that one too!). Yeah, I’m bitter about it all.

    I believe that Camille stated her position well when she wrote, “So after reading Campolo, I’m done thinking that fighting will solve this problem. It’s time to give collaborating a try.” Personally, I don’t buy it one bit. What an invitation! Let us sit down with Obama, Biden, Reid, Durbin, Pelosi and Frank and collaborate on what matters most to me. Yeah, right. I might as well show up at a meeting of the World Council of Churches and ask them to consider switching to a high view of Inspiration. It ain’t gonna happen. I’ll take my chances with McCain.

  20. Your premise on abortion is flawed. It may be true that neither candidate will end abortion…but one of them is fully committed to expanding it, and using your tax dollars to pay for it. And that’s your candidate, Obama. He has promised (and we know how much value you place on his words) his first action as President will be the Freedom of Choice Act. Federally funded abortions, abolition of parental notification, abolition of waiting periods and more. That’s what you’re voting in favor of–more abortions.

  21. Your premise on abortion is flawed. It may be true that neither candidate will end abortion…but one of them is fully committed to expanding it, and using your tax dollars to pay for it. And that’s your candidate, Obama.

    There’s no flaw. As I’ve said, for the most part, I’m taking abortion off the table. I’m tired of the useless and ineffective way this issue has trumped all others.

    What’s interesting to me about this repeated hammering on this same nail over and over and over is that it’s an attempt at being wholly consistent. We on the Religious Right have believed that this is the best thing to keep our values intact. Vote pro-life. Always vote pro-life.

    It’s not consistent. It’s just familiar. And I’m doing something unfamiliar, so the argument comes that I’m being inconsistent. I admit that this guy’s views are not mine on abortion. I admit that I don’t like it. It bugs me.

    But I’m comfortable with that unfamiliar inconsistency.

  22. Hey, Chuck!

    But my vote for Obama would be out of complete resignation and spite.

    🙂 What keeps me from taking myself all too seriously is that I have a friend — a life-long hard-core leftist Democrat friend — who is as disgusted with the Dems as we all are with the Reps. He’s voting for McCain out of complete resignation and spite, and he’s not heard the end of it! He and I casually compare notes now and then about the reactions; they are pretty similar. People are fascinating. . . .

    I believe that Camille stated her position well when she wrote, “So after reading Campolo, I’m done thinking that fighting will solve this problem. It’s time to give collaborating a try.” Personally, I don’t buy it one bit. What an invitation! Let us sit down with Obama, Biden, Reid, Durbin, Pelosi and Frank and collaborate on what matters most to me. Yeah, right. I might as well show up at a meeting of the World Council of Churches and ask them to consider switching to a high view of Inspiration. It ain’t gonna happen. I’ll take my chances with McCain.

    Yeah, I do understand. I’m a little less frustrated, but, tbh, that may be that I am or have been less involved. ::shrug:: I feel rather detached about the whole thing.

    Anger is a necessary step toward acceptance. 😉

  23. I think you are right to take abortion off the table. The republicans have led congress from 1994 – 2006 and have had the white house since 2000. They’ve had plenty of opportunities to either make abortion illegal or send it to the states and they have not done it. Abortion is a heart issue. I’m more interested in why young women are having unprotected sex. When society deals with that problem, abortion will be severely curtailed.

  24. in a way, it must have been easier to live under the Roman government…the contrast between earthly kingdoms and Christ’s kingdom would be easier to assimilate, since they were so diametrically opposed

  25. they wanted Christ to be their political leader, but he refused to engage politically (or to spur them into any action against the Romans…although he did tell them to carry the soldiers’ backpacks an extra mile)

  26. Camille:

    So if you’re going to don Nietzsche, the question becomes not “who’s lying?” but “which lie is most comfortable to believe?” I’m done believing that abortion is the issue that trumps all others. I’m utterly done believing that the GOP cares about abortion one whit. I’m done believing that my vote for pro-life candidates makes one iota of difference in saving the life of an unborn child. I’m done believing that politics is the place to solve this problem at all.

    I’m done with those very comfortable lies. They aren’t working. Or as Nietzsche would say, they aren’t aesthetically pleasing to me anymore.

    Camille,

    I know that Nietzche isn’t pomo. Of course. But it’s a small step from saying everything is a lie to saying everything is true. But when we consider which lie is most comfortable to believe, as you say, I think we may agree more than you realize.

    I agree with you. I don’t believe that abortion is the issue that trumps all others.

    I agree with you. I don’t believe the GOP cares one whit about unborn babies.

    I agree with you. I don’t believe (actually I never believed) my vote will save the life of a baby.

    And I agree with you. Politics isn’t the place to solve this problem at all.

    But then you say that you think it’s time to give collaborating a try thereby clearly buying into Obama’s rhetoric which was patently false. He has no intention of collaboration.

    I can understand saying, “I don’t believe those lies anymore,” but I can’t understand saying, “Therefore, I choose to believe these lies instead.” One set of lies is no longer aesthetically pleasing to you anymore (to borrow from you and Nietzcshe), but it is a bit disappointing that you and so many other evangelicals think the only other option is to embrace another set of lies that is not only easily documented but is undeniably rooted in a worldview that justifies not only convenience killings but convenience lying.

    If you hope for Obama to prove good on his word, you have a very audacious hope. Just in healthcare alone he is documented as being a strong proponent of a single-payer health system like Canada’s. There are only two other nations in the world that have no two-tiered health system like Canada, a demonstratively failed system: North Korea and Cuba. Go figure.

    Chuck (commenter above) knows far more about Illinois politics than I do, but I know enough and have interacted with some very knowledgeable medical doctors in the State including the lonely Republican contender for Dick Durbin’s seat and I can assure you that Illinois’ healthcare is one of the poorest in the US and in some categories ranks 50th (out of the 57 states that Obama has visited). Doctors have been vacating this State in droves. This is the State governed by Obama’s friends.

    I shouldn’t waste time arguing with you. Frankly, I am less concerned about it than may appear. I’ve never shared the American “dream” that politics would actually fix thing. What fascinates me is the rationale people cook up to vote the way they vote. Ironically, your explanation for your vote strikes me as a person who has shed her belief in the lies of the right and has embraced the lies of the left but has yet to shed her belief that politics will actually fix it. If you think collaboration with the Left will actually happen the American dream continues.

    Your liberal friend voting for McCain and you my console yourselves that your votes are canceling out each other’s vote! Lemmings from either side won’t understand; this is certain. But neither will independent thinkers.

    Finally, you say in response to Austin’s question, “Not really, he’s that committed to the Law.” Sounds noble. The same thing was said of the Jacobins and their lawyer hero they referred to as “The Incorruptible,” Robespierre. Someone committed to the Law, but openly uncommitted to moral law by policy (not merely by nature as we all are) is a person that does not get my vote.

    Is there anybody to vote for? That is the question.

    Thanks for letting me comment.

  27. Not necessarily (on this point). I think he’s that committed to the Law.

    I don’t think I understand your point. The problems with Obama I mentioned have nothing to do with supporting the legality of abortion. Rather, it’s that he goes beyond legalized abortion, by opposing protection for infants born alive after botched abortions, supporting the removal of current restrictions on abortions, stating that he wants to deny federal funding for pregnancy counseling, etc. All of that extends abortion’s scope; none of it has to do with protecting existing law. In fact, he opposed the Born-Alive act after it had been amended so as not to encroach on the legality of abortion.

    And I’m doing something unfamiliar, so the argument comes that I’m being inconsistent. I admit that this guy’s views are not mine on abortion. I admit that I don’t like it. It bugs me.

    I don’t have a problem voting for someone who is pro-choice. What concerns me about Obama is not his position on abortion per se, or what he’ll actually do about it in office (probably not much), but what it says about him as a person that he is so rabidly pro-abortion. At the least, it suggests subjugation of normal human decency to I’m-not-sure-what—maybe leftist dogma or the status quo.

  28. he is so rabidly pro-abortion

    I can understand that conclusion. From our side of the fence, I really do understand it.

    But I’m not sure that it’s actually going on within Obama’s head. When I’ve listened to his arguments and have tried to understand them from his point of view, it’s that he wants the law to allow complete “reproductive freedom.” He doesn’t want anything to stand in its way. He wants the law to preserve “the right to privacy.”

    It’s difficult for me to express it or to get it because it’s not my position in any way. But he is internally consistent in this regard. I’ll dare say that within his legal ethic he’s morally consistent.

    But that’s not my ethic.

  29. Bob —

    You’re assuming that you know intentions. Mine, Obama’s, all Evangelicals who are voting for Obama. . . .

    buying into Obama’s rhetoric which was patently false.

    Proof? You don’t believe it, but that doesn’t make it false. Unless you’re a prophet and you’re fore-telling. 😉

    Time will tell.

    And I’m not “buying into” anything. I’m willing to give collaboration a chance. That’s what I said, and that’s what I stand by. You needn’t characterize me as a dupe or as being duped.

    it is a bit disappointing that you and so many other evangelicals think the only other option is to embrace another set of lies that is not only easily documented but is undeniably rooted in a worldview that justifies not only convenience killings but convenience lying.

    When did *I* say that I assumed the “only other option” was to believe a different set of lies? If you’re going to talk Nietzsche, then yeah, that’s what he’s gonna say. Nietzsche’s a hack! Who needs him!

    When it comes to the bottom line, abortion is not a voting issue for me. It can be for you or whomever else. But it’s not for me.

    My “other option” is the Church. Which is the real option. I said that before.

    If you hope for Obama to prove good on his word, you have a very audacious hope.

    Cute. 😉 I’m certainly not going to get any collaboration out of shoot-em-up McCain.

    On Health Care . . . . I understand that the standard line in conservative circles is to say that the status quo and/or McCain’s market-based system is best. I don’t agree.

    What fascinates me is the rationale people cook up to vote the way they vote. Ironically, your explanation for your vote strikes me as a person who has shed her belief in the lies of the right and has embraced the lies of the left but has yet to shed her belief that politics will actually fix it. If you think collaboration with the Left will actually happen the American dream continues.

    Put it away. These kinds of drive-by shootings are neither productive, logical, gentlemanly, or Christian. I haven’t “cooked up” anything. I think collaboration is “more possible” with the Left. And I specifically said that I wasn’t sure if it was “probable.”

    And if you honestly believe that I am putting my faith in politics, you haven’t read this blog very long.

  30. I shouldn’t waste time arguing with you. Frankly, I am less concerned about it than may appear.

    i’m afraid that lie just isn’t “aesthetically pleasing” to be me either, bob. 😉 you’re obviously very passionate about it, and that’s ok! abortion is an incredibly emotional issue–no doubt it should be. the only problem i have with your comments is the underlying presupposition that who we vote for is a clear-cut moral issue that has a right side and a wrong side for everyone who is a Christian. but who we vote for is a personal decision for the individual–one that may be made on the basis of his or her conscience. now camille has, i think, defended her position very well–but that’s just what this series of articles has been, a defense! it’s certainly not a polemic. if anything, it’s been decidedly irenic. am i right in saying this?

  31. Camille,

    I’m trying to be pointed, not hostile. For the record, when I said that you seemed to be “buying into Obama’s rhetoric which is patently false,” I was not speaking about what he promises to do in the future, but specifically about what he says he did in the past, something that is clearly documented. Every politician makes promises. Few are ever kept.

    I’m no huge supporter of McCain, but his record as a collaborator is acknowledged by Democrats all the time except, of course, for the present season. On the other hand, Barack Obama has no such record. Granted, he’s hardly served long enough to even get a record, but nonetheless the record stands.

    I clearly am not being understood if you think that I’m making abortion the deciding issue. I’m not. I’m making Barack Obama’s complete disingenuousness on the topic the deciding issue (in this conversation anyway).

    Okay, I lumped you in with “all evangelicals” who are voting for Obama. That was over-stated. I apologize. To you and to all evangelicals. You do the same thing to me when the only answer you offer for my comments on Barack’s healthcare is that you understand the standard conservative line. Actually, I wasn’t making the standard conservative line. I was just disagreeing with Obama’s plan. I’ve lived in France with Hillary’s model (Obama’s also) and I can attest on the basis of experience that the system is horrific compared to this flawed system which is still the best in the world. I spent a week in one of their top hospitals and felt like I was on the set of a Hogan’s Heroes hospital scene. Perhaps you have experienced the medical care of Canada or France or North Korea or Cuba or England and are eager for our country to adopt the same thing. Obama is for an incrementalism that will ultimately lead to a single payer system and has the proven result of diminishing healthcare. France (a country I know very well) hates Americans but more than half of them would love to live here. They’ve had their share of Jacobins and de Gaulles. The have swooned after one politician after another that promised to “change the world” and en masse they have become a pitiful collection of over-taxed, over-medicated helpless dependents on government while systematically ceding their country to radical Islam. But they’re guaranteed medical attention if they wait long enough.

    Frustratingly, I would grant you that McCain’s plan is not good either. And I personally believe that healthcare cannot be market-based or privatized entirely. In this entire discussion I have not argued for McCain. I have argued against Obama. McCain has bad policies and some flawed ideology. Obama has flawed policies and very bad ideology. There is a lesser of two evils, I think.

    Whether one should vote for the lesser of two evils (whichever it is) is, I still think, the real question.

    I am truly sorry I offended you, but I am still surprised that your arguments have been nothing but a repetition of Obama’s talking points. “Duped” is a harsh word, I guess, but it amazes me that someone of your caliber is so taken by the same person everyone else is swooning over. The whole world loves this man, in some cases fanatically. The simplest kind of research, the barest amount of historical knowledge, the slightest understanding of human nature and one might end up not voting for either candidate, but certainly not endorsing the still-wet-behind-the-ears Senator from Illinois who can lie so comfortably about an issue that marks him as a more radical liberal than any person who has ever run for office. Shoot-em-up McCain is more likely to dialogue across the aisle than Obama. He actually has. Obama hasn’t. I doubt that he can.

    When he becomes president I hope he does.

  32. Thanks, Bob. 🙂

    I do understand the criticism of Obama’s ideology. In a big picture sort of way, his ideology covers his health care and his economic “plan.” And I really do think it’s fair to doubt that “big government” (the free-market, right-wing description of such plans) will work.

    I’m “impious” on the ideology. I don’t think capitalism is the great and terrible evil nor is socialism. I’m ambivalent.

    And I may be even *more* ambivalent than some. Because while I’d be willing to bet that you don’t think socialism is the great evil, I’d also bet that you *do* really think, based on your experience in France, that socialism doesn’t work. Fair enough. I’m impious on the effectiveness too.

    I completely understand the criticism of Obama’s (lack of) experience. It’s a legit concern. As you say, it plays out in (lack of) record.

    I completely understand the criticism of Obama on abortion. His seems to be an extreme kind of libertarian position. I’ll just be blunt — I hate it.

    Maybe from the other “side” the opposition’s arguments all smell the same. 😉 I do think the conduct in this campaign proves something. As I hear these arguments play out, most who lean Right are downplaying the campaign while I know I am really focusing on the stuff since the conventions. To *me*, it the best time to really see the candidates under stress and to see them up against each other. Does that change them? Sure! That’s when it’s fun.

  33. Well, if you’re alluding to the post-convention market crisis and the reaction of the two candidates (as I think I understand you) then I have to agree with what I think you’re implying: Obama has certainly acted more presidential and, frankly, has been more articulate and understandable with a “plan.” I’m not sure I like the plan, but it certainly is better than a non-plan. McCain has no plan and that is why he’s not going to be president.

  34. if you’re alluding to the post-convention market crisis

    Well, not just that. But including that, sure. I watched Saddleback (before the crisis). McCain clearly won that “debate” hands-down, but I still didn’t like things I was hearing from him then. And then the first debate was before the crisis too.

  35. Camille,

    These responses and the responses to your earlier post send me back to Karen Armstrong and her mythos/logos ideas. (I was going to send you the book, but you’d already bought it.)

    In your support of Obama you are trying to separate these two things which the Christian right has joined. The mythos helps you understand and accept tragic loss and forms your understanding of the sanctity of life. However, the mythos doesn’t result in effective public policy or a fair and just application of the rule of law. For that, we look to the logos.

    The Republicans have spent 20 years saying they will make the mythos into logos. The Democrats have spent those 20 years saying that the mythos doesn’t have any standing.

    Obama is a politician who seems to understand the difference and isn’t pandering to the public on the issue.

  36. An English Translation of the Didache

    The Teaching of the Lord, by the Twelve Apostles,
    to the Gentiles.

    2.1 The second commandment of the teaching means: 1 LS
    2.2 You shall not murder,
    You shall not commit adultery.
    You shall not corrupt boys. You shall not fornicate.
    You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic.
    You shall not use sorcery.
    You shall not murder a child by abortion or commit infanticide.
    You shall not covet what belongs to your neighbour.

    2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
    Eph 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

    Supporting Obama’s campaign is supporting his stance on abortion.

  37. Karen Armstrong? Really? Okay I admit to having found her “History of God” interesting (she’s a compelling author) and I haven’t yet read her “Battle for God,” but I’m very curious to know if Camille buys into the mythos/logos definitions/distinctions that Armstrong gives. This would give me insight into the mind of at least some evangelicals who do not seem to grasp the realities of ideology as religion. I’ve only read friendly reviews of “Battle” (which I assume is the book gordo refers to) and I know already that using those definitions/distinctions have far-reaching ramifications.

    If the religious right are blinded by ideology, the left are as well. The statement “Obama is a politician who seems to understand the difference and isn’t pandering to the public on the issue” is as naive as anything I’ve heard on the right by devoted defenders of Sarah Palin’s supposed readiness.

    Pandering to the public is what community organizers are supposed to do. I’m not using the term pejoratively as is used by the GOP. I’m using it with the exactness of Saul Alinsky who laid down that ground rules in his “pragmatic primer for realistic radicals.” Obama is following Alinsky to the letter. I really think that Barack Obama was a good community organizer and he will take his organizer ethic right into the Oval Office.

    I scorn the ignorance on the Right and Center and Moderate Left (not speaking to the owner of the blog or gordo, but into cyberspace generally) that babble on and on about “community organizer” as if that is some dude that organizes something in the community, whatever it is. A “community organizer” is actually an organizer and radical liberals everywhere are celebrating the ultimate achievement of a spectacularly patient strategy implemented years ago. Since this is not a conspiracy and liberalism is not a monolithic entity I think they are as stunned as everyone else by the meteorite ascendance of an organizer.

    Part of me wants to congratulate them. Another part of me remains bamboozled that so many Evangelicals who should have an instinctive suspicion of the character of man are only suspicious of those on the Right. One wonders if so many would follow Barack Obama if he were ugly and old. Most Americans are that shallow and they want to believe they are being told the truth.

    Thus, like battered women who finally break up with the abusive boyfriend they fall head over heels for a smooth-talking lover who will abuse them as well. Six abusive boyfriends later they bitterly moan that they can’t ever pick the right kind of guy.

    Maybe it’s better to stay single.

  38. I couldn’t agree with you more. And as a BJU-grad (and daughter of BJU-grads) who lives and works in Greenville, my family takes this political choice (also my first time switching tickets) about as well as they would if I walked into a classroom and shot 15 kindergarteners at point-blank range. Ridiculous, really, that it’s become so polarizing. I appreciate your post, though, and feel a little relieved that if I’m crazy, then you are too. =)

  39. I haven’t read Karen Armstrong yet. I just bought the book. It’s in my stack next to Anne Lamott, Daniel Radosh, and Benjamin Barber. I won’t know where to start first.

    Bob — you are rather consistently throwing out dichotomies as if they are mutually exclusive pairs. Is an ideology a religion? Well . . . it depends. Can it spark a religious sort of devotion? Yes. But I’m more concerned about religions that become ideologies (see today’s post). That is what troubles me greatly and what I have rejected outright. I haven’t read Armstrong’s book yet, so I really can’t comment on that.

    You’re also repeatedly assuming that people who are rejecting the GOP line that we conservative Evangelicals have been fed for 40 years are simply falling for the Democratic line. This isn’t an either-or! I keep saying it, but the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.

    As for this last paragraph, I feel like I’m picking Honey Crisp apples right off a low-lying branch. . . .

    Thus, like battered women who finally break up with the abusive boyfriend they fall head over heels for a smooth-talking lover who will abuse them as well. Six abusive boyfriends later they bitterly moan that they can’t ever pick the right kind of guy.

    But does she *have* to? Does she HAVE to keep choosing bad guys? What do you her pastor, friend, brother advise her? “Give yourself a break. Take it easy. Be independent for now. Figure out what you really want in a nice guy. Keep faithful in church. God’ll work it out.”

    Yes? Because of course she’s not DOOMED to repeatedly throw herself at bad guys! I know you wouldn’t believe that.

    So who’s to say that we aren’t now more “independent”?

    Yeah, I do believe that conservative Evangelicals and specifically fundamentalists have been throwing themselves at bad guys. But I absolutely do NOT believe that they can’t do otherwise.

  40. It’s funny. I am not saying that religion and ideology are mutually exclusive. I’m saying quite the contrary – they are almost identical. I start to suspect people who are only concerned about ideological religion but not so concerned about religious ideology.

    Barack Obama taught Alinksy’s philosophy and of it said that it taught him more about his Christian faith than anything else in his life. Have you actually read Alinsky’s 11 rules of means and ends? I have. Alinsky and Ayers and Obama and most of Chicago religiously share an ideology. Why do you are other Evangelicals have a problem with Evangelicals who mix their faith and ideology but seem to have no problem with Obama who does exactly the same thing?

    I agree with your recent post to a degree. There’s no doubt that fundamentalism has become in many sectors a political ideology that employs religion. No doubt. But having been a reactionary and a rebel and still fiercely independent but with a Reformed view of the sinfulness of man (that was not taught to me in my BJU childhood) I have a somewhat religious cynicism about the nature of man that is an equal-opportunity offender. I get a little bit suspicious when reactionaries (i.e. former or bitter or disillusioned or newly-enlightened fundamentalists) seem unable to turn their guns on both sides with equal vigor. C.S. Lewis was right to say that a person hates that error most that once ensnared him, but it shouldn’t mean that we can’t hate the other error.

    You keep parrying off my arguments by complaining that I’m suggesting that evangelicals like you who are rejecting the GOP line of the last forty years are merely buying the Democrat line. What else can I do when the only line that has been given to my challenges is the Democrat line? You haven’t said anything different than what the Democrat party says nor did I notice a recognition of my strong assertions stated or implied that:

    1. Obama was patently lying about his vote on the child born alive act. You dismissed it.
    2. This is a justified lie by the rules of means and ends that Obama personally taught.
    3. The rules of means and ends are completely unbiblical and cannot be sustained by anybody who believes in absolute truth. Only someone who denied biblical authority could justify Alinsky’s rules (Obama’s rules).
    4. If one understands Obama’s religion/ideology how can they place faith in what he says about healthcare, etc. You dismissed my challenge there as well by saying that I was giving the Conservative line which, in fact, I was not. I was only challenging Obama’s plan. I frankly don’t know of a plan that will work although I have heard a very interesting plan presented by a medical doctor here in Illinois who is running against the powerful Dick Durbin. His plan is unique and different from both McCain’s and Obama’s.
    5. If one can persistently decry the ideological religion of the fundamentalists on what historical/theological basis does one dare assume that other people are immune to the same kind of blindspots? How can fundamentalists/evangelicals who have suddenly seen the light about how blind their heritage is be so confident that they are seeing the light now? On what basis?
    6. How are we supposed to not question former fundamentalists/Republicans/etc. that portray any kind of challenge to their new way of thinking as wild and fanatical partisanship when, in fact, this is their first non-partisan vote and it is concurrent with a hugely populist groundswell for a man who has managed to get near worship from millions of people? Why can’t we suspect that they are just following the mindless mass like they did when they were part of the mindless mass called fundamentlism?Isn’t it okay to challenge? Isn’t it okay to push back with some hard questions and to frankly wonder if you’ve “bought the line”?
    7. Obama’s line, the line that is working for millions, is “change.” This is the rhetoric of an Alinsky organizer. And, according to Obama’s model, the organizer must pass himself off as someone who will be the agent of hope and who will — I quote — “play god.”
    8. In order to do good for the “community” compromise is necessary and one must not let his true colors show, one must polarize the conflict on purpose until absolute results are attained by whatever means necessary. Means are not morally bound. They must be morally presented, however, or the end will not be achieved. This is Obama’s belief.

    Finally, I will quit bothering you here (although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the conversation), but I want to make two points. Perhaps you will agree with me on the first. . .

    1. I want to write someday on how I think the pro-life movement earned a pyrrhic victory. The Obama campaign, I think, has conceded it. When the most liberal of all the Senators essentially says, “It’s off the table” he has essentially abandoned the battle temporarily. Social issues have been studiously avoided by the savvy liberals this year. They sought polarization in past election cycles as they have been taught to do with all their issues, but the polarization proved to be too strong. They could not win a campaign with those issues on the table so they dismissed them. The pro-life movement was strong enough to entrench polarization, but it is a pyrrhic victory. They never got political ascendency. They never will. And perhaps (I think we agree more than you realize) it probably never should have been an issue of political policy. But in the end, because pro-lifers insisted on polarization they have abdicated power to a worldview that is worse than any we’ve seen yet – and they’ve done it partially with the votes of their children, evangelical Obama supporters.

    2. The reason I’ve engaged in this conversation is, first of all, I’ve enjoyed your writings, but also because I’m fascinated by the sociological implications of migrating second-generation fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who, following the pattern of most thoughtful people, came to a crisis of disbelief in many things that they previously believed (as Os Guinness has pointed out) and are now reshaping their beliefs. The crises that bring us to unbelief are necessary, I think. What’s critical is what we start to believe after that crisis (or series of crises). Thus, my analogy of the battered woman. You’re absolutely right: she can/should learn to pick a man. I’m just saying I don’t think the penetrating analysis of former righties is very balanced. I think Evangelicals are swooning for another man. I think most Evangelical Obama supporters (I’m not charging you with this) are still demonstrating the battered-wife syndrome.

    For me personally I could have written “Crazy for God” with all the same cynicism and prurient gossip as Franky had God not graciously caused me to read Calvin and Owen as well as providentially giving me mini-crises of unbelief that shook my budding faith that, besides fundamentalists, there had to be other people who weren’t stupidly blind. Now I realize that it is nature, human nature. I guess I’m an equal-opportunity cynic – -except that I am less and less inclined to rip on God’s people as forlorn, ignorant, and stupid as they can sometime be! ) It’s not just fundamentalists who are ideological; there are forlorn, ignorant and stupid masses flocking to Obama this year.

    But I readily concede that there are also thoughtful, intelligent, sincere, and in-the-main godly people who are voting for Obama. Some are voting for McCain. Some are voting for a third party. And still others are not going to vote at all. May the record show that I have not pushed any other party here and in some ways I’m jealous of Obama and McCain supporters who can so easily rationalize their votes. I’m still struggling about what I’ll do in the booth on November 4th for the top of the ticket when before Holy God I’ll cast my vote.

    It’s not an easy call. Thanks again for engaging the conversation.

  41. I am not saying that religion and ideology are mutually exclusive. I’m saying quite the contrary – they are almost identical. I start to suspect people who are only concerned about ideological religion but not so concerned about religious ideology.

    I admit that the first sentence of the paragraph somewhat contradicts the point I continued to make in that paragraph (it connects more to the points that followed). No, I don’t think that religion and ideology are mutually exclusive, nor do I think you did per se. But I do think they are more different than you.

    So you “suspect” me. . . . Whatever. As I watch your suspicion in these posts though, you suspect me looooong before you understand me. And I gotta wonder if that happens frequently.

    What else can I do when the only line that has been given to my challenges is the Democrat line?

    This is an example of that leap into suspicion. I understand that you believe what I’m saying sounds like the “Democratic line.” I don’t understand *why* that is to you, and you don’t tell me *how* you came to that conclusion. You may be right. I know how I came to the conclusions, and it’s taken years for me to get there. I don’t hear anyone other than my few Burke friends talking about tragedy and comedy. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that my words and the “Democratic line” sound similar. But it’s not been proven to me yet that they are the identical. It seems more likely that for you it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Obama was patently lying about his vote on the child born alive act. You dismissed it.

    No, I don’t agree with you. I don’t agree that he’s “patently lying.” He may be. I don’t know. I don’t know how you know either since you’d have to know intent in order to conclude that. . . .

    Alinsky? ::shrug:: I have said in this series that I learned a lot about the Gospel with Marxistish Leftists and an agnostic Kenneth Burke. That probably bugs you too. God’s funny that way.

    If one understands Obama’s religion/ideology how can they place faith in what he says about healthcare, etc. You dismissed my challenge there as well by saying that I was giving the Conservative line which, in fact, I was not. I was only challenging Obama’s plan. I frankly don’t know of a plan that will work although I have heard a very interesting plan presented by a medical doctor here in Illinois who is running against the powerful Dick Durbin. His plan is unique and different from both McCain’s and Obama’s.

    Huh? I “dismissed” your critique of health care? Bob, just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I “dismissed” it. I said that I understand that critique. I said that I don’t share it, but I think it’s a legit criticism. No wonder you’re cynical! 😀 If you think disagreement is dismissal!

    If one can persistently decry the ideological religion of the fundamentalists on what historical/theological basis does one dare assume that other people are immune to the same kind of blindspots? How can fundamentalists/evangelicals who have suddenly seen the light about how blind their heritage is be so confident that they are seeing the light now? On what basis?

    By identifying the tragic patterns and the anti-Gospel drama within fundamentalism, capitalism, and any other -ism known to man and running headlong into a pasture of Grace. Is there a kind of addiction to legalistic religion? Sure! We’re all bent toward it. Admitting that keeps us humble. I agree that without identifying what makes fundamentalism dangerous you’re bound to repeat it. You obviously see no difference in my present words and a fundamentalists’ words. ::shrug:: That’s fine. I don’t have to prove it to you. So you won’t be surprised when I see the similar black-and-white, my-way-or-the-highway tragic bifurcation in your words.

    How are we supposed to not question former fundamentalists/Republicans/etc. that portray any kind of challenge to their new way of thinking as wild and fanatical partisanship when, in fact, this is their first non-partisan vote and it is concurrent with a hugely populist groundswell for a man who has managed to get near worship from millions of people? Why can’t we suspect that they are just following the mindless mass like they did when they were part of the mindless mass called fundamentlism?Isn’t it okay to challenge? Isn’t it okay to push back with some hard questions and to frankly wonder if you’ve “bought the line”?

    Of COURSE it’s okay to “challenge.” Duh! But you’re not merely challenging. You’re making “cynical” (your word) hasty generalizations based on assuming negative intent without bothering to explain them. It seems like you don’t want to make yourself vulnerable to the opposing opinion or something.

    Is there a big bandwagon effect to Obama support? Sure. Am I jumping on it? Don’t think so. And I don’t mind if you disagree.

    I think Evangelicals are swooning for another man. I think most Evangelical Obama supporters (I’m not charging you with this) are still demonstrating the battered-wife syndrome.

    You may be right. Time will tell. I don’t know, however, that a vote for Obama is a permanent alliance with the Democrats. I mean, just because a woman goes on a date with a guy doesn’t mean she’ll marry him! 😉

    I’m still struggling about what I’ll do in the booth on November 4th for the top of the ticket when before Holy God I’ll cast my vote.

    I understand the struggle. I do. But uh . . . sin boldly, Melancthon.

  42. I want to write someday on how I think the pro-life movement earned a pyrrhic victory.

    I want to be sure to say . . . that sounds really interesting!! 🙂

  43. Out of curiousity, how do you define lying? You said we can’t know Obama is…even though we do know that what he said (in any of the three different and differing from each other explanations) does not match what he did. What description would you give to that behavior from one of your children?

  44. Bob’s rhetoric is that of the Romantic spurned.

    😉 Yup!!

    Out of curiousity, how do you define lying? You said we can’t know Obama is…even though we do know that what he said (in any of the three different and differing from each other explanations) does not match what he did. What description would you give to that behavior from one of your children?

    The other day my 4.5yo was re-telling me a situation from Sunday School. An older girl told him that he didn’t know how to do something-er-other. I imagine it was a kind of “you’re a baby! You don’t even know how to _____.” I don’t remember the exact skill. And I said, “Oh, Isaac. I know that’s not the case at all!” And I told him how I’d seen him use that skill.

    He responded with, “Yeah! She was LYING!!”

    I reminded him: “Well, no. She wasn’t lying. She didn’t have all the facts.”

    So lying is intentional deception, not being incorrect, necessarily.

    Was Obama lying in what he said in the debates about the Born-Alive bill? I checked with factcheck.org on the issue, and I don’t see that he lied. I see that there are variations of interpretation, and I understand that I don’t like what he did with the Born-Alive bill.

    I know that many conservatives don’t like that source either. Meh.

  45. Is anyone going to address this Biblically? I am not taking the BOJO position, because I am not one of them, but I do take a Biblical stance against abortion and those who support it (ie. Obama).

  46. I’ve with Chuck on the cynicism about politics. Except that my excitement about politics was in middle school and high school, and maybe early at BJU. My cynical turn came towards the end of my time at BJU and in law school.

    Bob’s point, which I contend that Camille has not really engaged, is that Barak Obama says one thing and does another. Strip all the rhetoric away, and it is no more complicated than that. The man spins himself as a moderate or healing centrist, while his record proves that he is an unreconstructed leftist. Everywhere I keep hearing disenchanted Republicans express “hope” that Obama will turn out to be a moderate (Christopher Buckely is a good example), but there is not one shred of evidence in Obama’s (brief) record to support this hope. And I hear Camille talk about being able to cooperate with Obama or sit down and understand each other or work together. That sounds great, but once again, there is no evidence of this. Obama is great about talking. Indeed, if I believed his speech to the DNC in 2004, I might vote for him. But his record proves that an “understanding” with Obama would be as productive as the same understanding a tiger reaches with a deer.

    Indeed, a vote for Obama on the grounds that he is a centrist calls to mind Dr. Johnson’s comment about a second marriage: the triumph of hope over experience.

    Now, I see *why* Obama wants to pose as a centrist. It’s good politics. This is still a centrist country. Perhaps not as conservative as GWB, but nowhere near as liberal as Obama. This is also why Camille has elsewhere diminished my viewpoint as a mere “boundary dispute.” Calling something “centrist” makes it more acceptable to the masses. I don’t give two hoots about labels (words don’t have any inherent meaning anyhow). I care very much about consequences, and when a candidate uses words to snooker the public into thinking that the consequences of electing him will be X, but the candidate knows they will really be Y, then I have a problem.

  47. The above was part one. Now for part two (which Camille may recognize from facebook)

    Ironically, while I have grown more cynical politics, and even about the future of the USA in the last couple years, I have grown much more optimistic about the future of the Gospel. Mostly overseas, but even here in the USA. The Church has survived far worse events than the decline of the USA into clone of France (debauched, secular, and socialistic), and it will survive this one. So, my friends, I am optimistic on the one thing that matters. Thus, Camille and I are friends. Because even though she has embraced a course that will be very bad for the USA, she has done, and will continue to do, many wonderful things for the Gospel.

    Incidentally, I’ve been predicting an Obama win for 350+ electoral votes for months, and that was before this financial meltdown. The bottom line is that Obama has a personal charm and talent that rivals that of Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan. Plus he has outstanding personal discipline (even moral character in the sense that he is not a crook or philanderer) and will benefit from a perfect storm of events that are dooming the GOP. The only way Obama is going down is if he overreaches, and the only way that will happen is if the netroots in his own base push him too far.

  48. Barak Obama says one thing and does another.

    Proof?

    You repeatedly assume that the campaign isn’t “real.” That it’s not real action. ::shrug:: And yeah, I ignore that. Because I do think it’s real. I will continue to ignore that because on a fundamental, theoretical level I disagree. ::shrug::

    I think Obama’s recent meeting with Petraeus was real. I think his White House meeting during the financial crisis was real. I think that shows what kind of president he really will be. I think the campaign is a big test, a final exam, a “Senior Thesis” for what kind of professional/president is to come. You don’t. That’s okay.

    So when you continue to say that he’s just a great talker as if that’s enough proof of your point, I’m going to continue ignore it. No, I won’t engage it. You know my conclusions about how rhetoric is *real* from sitting in my classes, so why torture everyone with that discussion here. ::shrug::

    I care very much about consequences, and when a candidate uses words to snooker the public into thinking that the consequences of electing him will be X, but the candidate knows they will really be Y, then I have a problem.

    Sigh. . . . there we go again. Do you guys have ANY proof of this or are you just going to repeat it? Either you’re prophets or you have some proof of his intentional deception — “snookering” — that you haven’t produced yet or this is just the last-ditch, desperate effort to preserve some dignity for all the conservatives reading.

  49. Because even though she has embraced a course that will be very bad for the USA,

    I always giggle at statements like this. And I will continue to do so. It borders on hubris. You don’t know! I’m not saying that all will be terrific under Obama. Nor will I say that all will be miserable under McCain. Life’s not that simple.

    And while, of course, I am optimistic about the Gospel and will continue to be so, I do not believe that It operates in a diametrically opposed way to the human/secular. I think I’m much more Lutheran than Baptist in the end. God can redeem even things such as these.

    1. Camille, I’m so glad you said that ‘much more Lutheran than Baptist.I think Lutherans are ‘nicer’. If God can redeem someone like me, He can redeem ‘anyone’!

  50. Now for part three. And after that, maybe I can leave this alone. Here’s hoping, but making a promise on that point would be another triumph of hope over experience.

    1. The War in Iraq. Even if one says it was wrong to start with, the real question is what to do now. There two reasons not to pull out too soon. One is moral: you break it, you fix it. One is practical; pulling out invites more chaos, terrorism, and perception of American weakness. If you listen to General Election Obama, you hear roughly the same thing as you hear from McCain; we leave as soon as the Iraqis can keep their country stable. I agree with that. But the only reason we have any stability there now is because of the Surge, a policy McCain risked his career to support and Obama opposed. Now, supposed we go back and listen to Primary Obama, you hear a “we leave now.” That, I submit, is a recipe for chaos. I have heard nothing to convince me otherwise.

    2. The War Against Islamic Fascism. This is the number one issue for me, and it will be at least as long as there is such a thing as Al-Qaida, and I think that will be a long time indeed. History tells me that that underestimating Islamic Fascism is suicidal. Suffice it to say that I don’t trust someone who wants to sit down and have a no-questions-asked conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to protect me from terrorists.

    3. Health Care. I will admit the current system has its problems. But if the USA was so bad, we wouldn’t be inventing the lifesaving drugs here, and people from countries with socialized medicine wouldn’t be coming here for treatment. Romney’s plan in MA might work. However, Camille, there is one thing you are overlooking in your objections to McCain’s plan. The tax subsidy for health care actually benefits the rich more than the poor. The rich have a higher tax rate, so the subsidy benefits them, and companies (like those oil companies you hate) who pay out super-generous health plans. I don’t like subsidizing the rich or the poor, so eliminating the tax incentives would be a good place to start.

    4. Education. Yes, an overlooked issue. And here, Obama offers nothing more than “more money” and more of the same. NCLB is a disaster because despite good intentions, it has led to “teaching the test” and nothing more. Suppose Obama wanted something more radical–like vouchers–or was willing to break with the teachers’s unions. Then I might be less distrustful of him. But he only offers “more money,” which is not the problem. Culture is the problem.

    5. Human rights. Depends which rights. One of GWB’s problems was that he believed in a human right to and desire for democracy, which I no longer believe. Jimmy Carter made human rights paramount, and I think he was a disaster. If we are talking about actual physical torture, that’s wrong and both candidates say so. If we are talking about searches, and picking up and holding terrorists at Gitmo, these “rights” I keep hearing about simply do not exist. They are recent inventions. FDR didn’t believe in them. Abe Lincoln sure didn’t. Nowhere in world history have men who killed civilians and waged war without uniforms been given the protections Obama and Co want to give. I wish Lincoln were here to speak again on civil “rights” in wartime. (and that comes from a kid born and raised in the South). And Lincoln lived before WMD existed.

    6. The economy. While I am not quite willing to cry “there is no god but the Market, and Ricardo it its prophet,” experience tells me that capitalism works, and socialism doesn’t. I find it deeply ironic that we consider our current 6.3% unemployment bad, but 8%, 9%, or even double-digit unemployment is the norm in the more socialized countries of Europe. I know that in the USA, there is far more movement between income brackets than in Europe. This means that more people who start out with less in the USA end up with more. Much of this current crisis I chalk up to government meddling (Fannie, Freddie, etc.). I know that when Reagan cut taxes, government revenue went up and the amount of money paid by the “rich” went up. I know that but for a capitalist system, I’d be out of a job. And I know that while I make more than $50k now, I didn’t before, and I opposed taxes then.

    Abortion. This is really a question of judges, because I care less about whether abortion is legal than whether it is the Supreme Court usurping the right to make that call.

    Homosexual marriage. Judges again.

    Finally, we come to tone, one more reason I distrust Obama. I don’t like being talked down to by people who fancy themselves by betters, or by people who chalk up my religious views to bitterness, and I don’t trust people who say that the first time they are proud of their country is when their husband gets nominated for president. These *are* less important to me, because I would be more likely to overlook them if they came from someone whose policies I liked. But they are still relevant, at least to me.

  51. You can giggle away, but then, you are of course doing the same thing. You are voting for Obama because you think he will do better things for the country than McCain will. I am making the opposite choice, but for the same reason. Somehow it is hubris for me to make a choice based on consequences for a country, but not for you to do the same? Or is it hubris for me to say that I am doing that, and then go out of my way to say there is something more important here? But if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be hubris for Obama to talk about Americans in red and blue states having more in common than they have not in common?

    Ah, Obama meeting Petraeus. About like McCain suddenly palling around with Falwell. Something a candidate says he won’t do, and then suddenly does.

    On a fundamental level, I reject the idea that this campaign, or any other campaign, is a prediction of what kind of a president anyone will be. Campaigns are about getting elected. Whatever else they should be in some ideal world, that is what they are in the world we know.

    Now, about this “proof” of Obama saying one thing and doing another. One need look no further than his voting record. A *non-partisan* (if not slightly left) journal points out that he has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. He picks at his VP the #4 liberal. Both are more liberal than *Socialist* Bernie Sanders. In the prior years, Obama always scored among the top 10-15% of the liberals. Look at the bills Obama has introduced. Nowhere do you see an attempt to cross the aisle on a significant issue. He can’t even bring himself to vote for John Roberts. On *no issue* has Obama come out and challenged his own party. On *no issue* has Obama openly deviated from the orthodox liberal line. This is precisely the same evidence I have been bringing up for the last several months.

    You are free, of course to continue treating such evidence as “last-ditch” and “desperate” and an attempt to salvage “a shred of dignity.” I continue to believe that the best predictive factor for what someone will do is what that person has already done. You think otherwise. That is really the core of our disagreement. Perhaps it is wisest to let the readers decide for themselves.

  52. You can giggle away, but then, you are of course doing the same thing. You are voting for Obama because you think he will do better things for the country than McCain will

    Stop. YOU are mischaracterizing *me* and your own words. My vote because Obama’s values line up better with mine is absolutely different than your saying that I have “embraced a course that will be very bad for the USA.” Golllly! If you can’t see the difference in those statements, then I can’t explain it to you. They are vastly different. From beginning to end. And you can’t pull that Tu Quoque on me on this one. No way. No how.

    Ah, Obama meeting Petraeus. About like McCain suddenly palling around with Falwell. Something a candidate says he won’t do, and then suddenly does.

    When did he say he would NOT do it? For that matter, did McCain ever say he would NOT meet with Falwell? He called him an ugly name, yes. Compared him to Farrakhan, yes. It’s ironic, but I’m not going to say McCain LIED.

    I reject the idea that this campaign, or any other campaign, is a prediction of what kind of a president anyone will be.

    I disagree. My discipline would disagree. ::shrug::

    He’s liberal. He has a liberal voting record. SO WHAT? ::rolleyes:: Yeah, that bothers you. Why should that bother me? You keep throwing that out there and have for months as if this is clear proof of your point. I don’t believe liberal = bad, ineffective, unwise. It just means “liberal.”

    On *no issue* has Obama come out and challenged his own party. On *no issue* has Obama openly deviated from the orthodox liberal line.

    To echo a recently repeated statement here, yeah, that’s the standard McCain line. I don’t think it’s definitive proof of anything EXCEPT that he’s voted with his party more often than not.

    Perhaps it is wisest to let the readers decide for themselves.

    We’ll all know in four years.

  53. I should be more disciplined and go on to other things, but I can’t resist: I have to know what you guys mean by “romantic spurned.” Because if you mean that I am a tricolore-waving nationalist enthusiast (clearly a product of Romanticism) then you couldn’t be more mistaken, unless you mean that I have been disillusioned with patriotism. Possibly. I’m not a patriot. I’m a citizen. Because I have to be.

    Ironically, I think there is bizarre post-modern romanticism that is internationalist vs. nationalist with Obama supporters. Having actually lived in socialist France as a thoughtful person I feel like I’m living in the late 1700s and I know what kind of society we’re about to get. I keep expecting a resurrected Jacques-Louis David to start painting thematic scenes of audacious hope, or Marguerite Gerard to produce an “Au Genie d’Obama,” or Delacroix to produce a bare-breasted lady “Change Leading the People.”

    With tongue mostly in cheek, I’ll leave myself to the mercy of your responses!
    😉

  54. I wasn’t as clear as I could have been:

    Bob is acting like a character in a Romance – a suitor spurned. He is trying to get Camille to see the beauty of his Otherness and she isn’t responding.

    Instead, Camille – quite Beatrice like – is toying with Benedict. She is trying to play comedy while most of her commenters are gearing up for a full-blown Macbeth.

  55. Try? Gordo, I think he did very well in simply making his point, but you wont see Camille concede on her own blog if she can help it. Nothing against Camille, I’d be the same way.

  56. Why not beat this dead horse? Really, it has been a great discussion. However, when I read today’s INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY’s lead article, I came across this text that really got my attention:

    “Community organizer Barack Obama worked closely with ACORN activists. Employing the intimidation tactics of radical activist Saul Alinsky that Obama had learned and was teaching, activists crowded bank lobbies, blocked drive-up teller lanes and demonstrated at the homes of bankers to browbeat risky lending in poor and minority communities. Those who resisted were accused of racism.”

    Maybe Bob was on to something. Just thinking out loud.

  57. i know this thread is dead, but i find things here disturbing. i think we have no sense of what a government is for, a Biblical idea of the sphere and responsibilities of govt. i think rhetoric and comedy/trajedy has very little to do with this, sorry. I’m quoting two Scripture passages below, and from those insights, i’m not really sure that education, health care, even economy plans are the major deal with government. Religion is a big deal with government, sorry to disagree with everyone, or should i say “moral beliefs.” I’m not saying i want to live in a theocracy; i’m not saying salvation is in government. But from a biblical standpoint, government is to define and defend good and evil on certain levels; they are supposed to defend the innocent, punish evildoers, reward good-doers. i think a leader’s moral standards are crucial.

    I live in a country where the leaders were athieist, no, not just atheist, but God-haters for years. Consequences of this are in every aspect of society. There is no respect for human life; there is killing and cruelty–and not just for unborn babies; there is no respect for truth, rather lies and every means of deception. there is no motivation to do right because it is right; only motives to do what will put money in ones pocket or advance ones personal goals. It is a scary place.

    leadership is not about “politics” and what people promote during an election year. it’s about morals. it’s about morals more than america realizes, because compared to the rest of the world, america has morals still in the fabric of its being and it has given her the good life, prosperity, and freedom more than she even can recognize because she has never seen the lack of it.

    I just think we are being too intellectual and like the world when we want to view this election from our own thought-up perspectives. There is a lot at stake when a leader comes to power. does he fear God? does he make decisions that reflect a fear of God even if he doesn’t himself? does he encourage individuals to care for the poor and needy? that’s the government’s job, to encourage righteousness and punish evil-doing. that’s what i’m looking at when i vote. and it’s always a matter of scale, it’s never black and white.

    Romans 13:1-6 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience ‘ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

    1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  58. “there is no respect for truth, rather lies and every means of deception.”

    I will elaborate, that when you tell the truth and try to do right in an immoral society, you are very often punished for that very thing. there is no stimulous to do right. there is stimulous to do wrong and the corrupt govt encourages it, creates an environment where this flourishes.

  59. Wow what a surprise to hear you spew all your silly little ideas on life. I knew who you were at BJU and perhaps was a bit sympathetic when I had heard you and Grant left. I now realize how wrong I was. I will pray for you and Grant as you have lost your moorings which should be grounded in scripture. What a pity this is – I hope you will come to your senses!

  60. First of all, hi, Kirk! Nice to “see” you here.

    Secondly, how odd of you to pick out the one post among hundreds about God and His kindness toward me and toward all of us — the one post that is the most overtly political among hundreds and the one that disagrees with your own politics and then declare that Grant and I have “lost [our] moorings.”

    Very strange. And yes, extremely silly.

    I’ve prayed for you and yours many times in the past, Kirk. I’m still your sister in Christ. That hasn’t changed.

  61. So let me get this straight, Kirk: you at first felt sympathy for us when you believed we shared a common theology, but upon realizing we differ politically, you have no time for us. Interesting.

    Your view of God is evidently outstripped by your reverence for politics.

  62. “silly little ideas on life”

    [snerk]

    It’s always easier to pat someone on the head and tell her she’s silly than to engage her argument. Way to be demeaning–Commands a lot of respect indeed!

  63. First, let me state that I appreciate your prayers for us. We as well prayed for you when you lost your children. I did not intend to demean you personally in any way nor do I want to appear ungrateful. So I do thank you.

    Frankly, I have no idea if we do indeed share a common theology. Perhaps at first my sympathy was because I thought we did share a common theology. However, your political views are an outgrowth of your theology. Your worldview should be shaped by your view of God. When I read your post on politics there are a number of things we could agree or disagree without compromising scripture. But what struck me was your comment about the “Mother of all Christian Rights issues” abortion and your rationale for “taking the issue off the table.” Understand that I respect your right to make choices, but this is not merely a “Christian Right” issue. This is a God given human right world issue. You stated that you were pro-life – thank goodness! I was getting worried. What got me is that because what we are currently doing is not working you vote for the candidate that has a track record from the pits of hell on pro-life issues. That is like saying because the country is in such bad shape the Bible must not be working and we should abandon it for the Koran. You then revealed your ignorance by saying that in listening to a candidate running for office (who will say anything to get elected) and ignoring his track record you were surprised by his answer about how he wants to reduce abortions. Obama has never voted for life. He has never voted to restrict abortions, yet you believed him because of his eloquence and perhaps his presentation. As a speech teacher you have got to get past his impressive oratory and presentation and look at his record. By the way this is not a “tired issue” needing a new angle. It is an issue fundamental to everything and to which everything else is subordinate. That is why I referred to your post as silly (my apologies if you took offense). I could not believe what I was hearing from you of all people. We have a severely disabled son that people like Obama would have long ago resigned to the trash bin of society thinking that he was not worthy to be born or alive for that matter. I think you both now claim to be reformed. Reformed folk and fundamentalist folk typically hold to the same political views. Certain so-called reformed groups like the PCUSA are radically liberal theologically and politically. They have sanctioned partial birth abortion and homosexuality. This group has become this way over the years in what I believe is a reaction to Bible thumping fundamentalists and wanting to promote a more intellectual anti-Biblical façade. The PCA on the other hand would agree down the line politically with BJU and the fundamentalists while disagreeing on theology. While I don’t think for a moment you are guilty of what the PCUSA has become, I am imploring you not to go down that path. You are an influence to many in this community and abroad. Don’t squander your influence because you are bitter. Just because the fundamentalists hold a certain political view, don’t discard the view or the issue as being primitive, naïve or lacking intellectual force. Though this lacks your eloquence and writing ability I hope this explains my concern. Please tell me where I am wrong.

  64. Here is a link with Obama’s record on the issue of abortion prior to the election. This is the information available to you and to me prior to the election. Never mind what he said in the campaign trail or in the debate. This is why I find it difficult that any professing, informed Christian could have knowingly cast a vote for him. Knowing your history and past experiences, how could you vote for someone who oppposed life at every turn?

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Barack_Obama.htm

  65. Kirk —

    Of course, Focus on the Family is going to provide incendiary rhetoric to the conversation. This isn’t a surprise. This is part of the problem that I’m addressing.

    The fact of the matter is George W. Bush and the entire G.O.P. is a sham. They have no moral compass whatsoever. They use(d) people of faith like us. They would wave the flag of a moral issue around election time, and then completely forget about it later. In the last election, I took that particular flag out of their hands.

    You don’t have to agree with me. That’s fine. Many people were asking me about why I was voting the way I was last fall, so I wrote this post to articulate the reasons. Your words here actually prove my overall point to the whole series.

    I’m not on a slippery slope to the PCUSA. We just disagree. And that’s okay.

  66. Yeah, I guess you could say its OK to disagree and end it there. I never advocated supporting the GOP and would agree with you. There were choices other than the GOP. You say the GOP for being bad yet you voted for something worse…it does not make sense. Focus on the Family did not create Obama’s voting record. He did that on his own. Camille I may be shooting in the dark here but here is my hypothesis. Tell me if I am wrong

    1. You left BJU and felt you had been wronged – you were hurt with BJU and all of Fundamentalism.

    2. You have embraced some sort of Reformed Theology which does not tolerate anything Fundamentalist

    3. You decided that all of Fundamentalism is bad. Therefore if conservative political ideas are embraced by Fundamentalists they must be bad as well and be abandoned.

    4. Obama splashed on the scene and you were taken by his eloquence, presence, maybe even his Hollywood style and looks. Camelot revisited! You listened to his campaign speeches and it gave you an excuse to vote for him despite the fact there were better alternative choices.

    Tell me if I am right….I have seen the scenario before where people who become reformed in their theology throw off any remnants of Fundamentalism. I am a Reformed Presbyterian and have been since grade school. I went to BJ. I know their faults and I know their limitations. I dont agree with many of their positions. Then again I dont agree with anyone on earth 100% of the time. I wish they were reformed, but they are not. They are a fallible institution made up of fallible men and that’s it. No perfection here. In my opinion you are going to have to get honest with yourself. Was your vote merely a protest vote against all things Fundamental? Or do you really believe in Obama’s policies – especially now?? Your theology must be in line with your politics. Your stated theology goes contrary to your politics so something is awry. Either this is a protest vote and you don’t really agree with Obama’s policies or your heart is with Obama and you are at odds with your stated theology. Grant made the comment “but upon realizing we differ politically, you have no time for us.” I don’t think that is the case since I have blogged more today than in the past 6 months. I am not saying we have to be on the same page politically in everything. We probably disagree on many things not just politics. I just don’t see how you can say that you are truly reformed and belong to the Obama cult. Belonging to this cult has become quite fashionable as many beltway elite republicans and most of the Democratic Party have jettisoned anything resembling a strong pro-life position. Abortion is dirty and ugly. People in these groups are sick of “redneck Christian southerners” or other pro-life groups protesting abortion clinics and holding grotesque signs of deformed dead fetuses. Believe it or not they are embarrassed because they perceive them to be simple minded or just plain stupid. They have appealed to the pseudo intellectual elites in talking about this as a choice – What a joke! All the while murderous beasts aka abortion docs undertake their filthy business of killing the unborn or partially born which is in the millions per year. I am only asking you to be honest and consider where you really are theologically if you can support this kind of barbarism. Don’t believe for a second that Reformed theology is antinomian. The Law of Moses still stands and murder is still murder. Just so I can sleep – Is it a protest vote against Fundamentalism or are you on board with Obama?

  67. You know, Kirk, you can reduce God’s work in my life anyway you want. I cannot convince you to see it one way or another. But no, your summary isn’t correct at all. I’ve said it all in my Ebenezer series. My saying it again here is, I fear, feeding the troll.

    If you as “truly Reformed” as you claim to be, you then understand that God is bigger than my sin. If my voting for Obama was a gross sin, as you seem to conclude that it is (it was at least silly, illogical, unChristian, or reactive), then you know that just as my merit didn’t save me, my demerit of bad politics doesn’t UNsave me. You know that Christ’s righteousness covers even this sin. You know that the Gospel doesn’t just cover our justification but it permeates every part of our lives.

    You quite obviously can’t see how revealing it is that you have fetishized this rather minor political difference and have proven my point that conservative Evangelicalism is a mere political movement, a mere political movement that is dead in the water because it can’t talk coherently anymore.

    This blog is like my living room, Kirk. And your posts have turned into bullying. That behavior is no longer welcome. Start your own blog if you want. Save it for your kitchen table. Take it to the water cooler. You’re welcome to read and post all you want. But I will not approve these sorts of trollish comments from you here anymore.

  68. Camille –

    Your living room is posted around the world and you have to know that you have invited at some controversy with this page. I didnt think my comments were out of line. They were a simple and heartfelt question. I am sorry you construed them as “trollish.” I am not a troll. I asked you a question in response to how as a Christian you could have “taken abortion off the table” and voted for Obama? I asked you to defend your vote based on who I think you are. You call this section your “Oral Defense.” Why you would take offense? I will abide by your wish and not post any more comments. I never would have responded if I did not know you and had not had some concern. We can leave it at that.

    I hope you are both well and are enjoying your children and new employment at NGU. I think highly of that school we will consider it as an option for our children.

    God Bless.

    Kirk

  69. From what I’ve read, Camille, Kirk was not out of line. When you replied “This blog is like my living room, Kirk. And your posts have turned into bullying. That behavior is no longer welcome. Start your own blog if you want. Save it for your kitchen table. Take it to the water cooler. You’re welcome to read and post all you want. But I will not approve these sorts of trollish comments from you here anymore” it sounded like the all too familiar “defense” that fundies give to anyone who disagrees with them.

  70. Actually, you are incorrect, taylor. I published Kirk’s remarks instead of silencing them. I still consider Kirk a fellow believer even though I’m not sure he considers the same of me. And uh . . . I didn’t fire him.

    Having *no* boundaries is not an example of Christian fraternity. Personal attacks are not welcome. Ideological arguments are.

    Big difference.

  71. Camille–I see your point. I don’t know you or Kirk, so I really have no idea what’s going on there. I guess my main point is, from an outsider’s perspective, it looks as if both of you (yes I include Kirk too) slipped to a more emotional than ideological argument. The only reason I am saying this is because I like what you’re doing here, but the way you worded some stuff (ex. portion I copied above) is kind of a turn-off. Personal attacks are going to happen all the time–but do you have to stoop to their level? Nope.

  72. I appreciate you pitching in, taylor. I really do. But I must admit I don’t see where I “stooped” at all. Describing the communicative behavior as ‘bullying’ is not an attack on Kirk’s character or his salvation. It is a description about how I feel about his words.

    Still no stooping. . . .

  73. Wow, just stumbled upon this am wondering if the scales have been removed now that Hope and Change has been definitively shown to be more Hoax and Sham. How can so many smart people be so duped? Truly, I have no sympathy for anyone who regrets their vote. It was all there before the election. One just needed to open their eyes.

  74. Of course!!! You’ve been waiting for these “scales” to fall off with rapt attention, yes? Because the G.O.P. is such a terrific and moral and intelligent alternative!! Oh, GW? Where are you when we need your fine example?

    [/sarcasm]

    ::yawn::

  75. Sarcasm cannot cover the fact that you made a huge mistake that we are all paying for. And what does GW have to do with this? I didn’t mention him. I would have thought that Bush Derangement Syndrome would have worn off by now. Yawn, indeed.

  76. You’re so right!!! It’s all my fault. Oh dear! What am I going to do? How can I make up for this grand tragedy of injustice that I alone have done to my country????

    What’s a real shame is that in blaming *me* for our country’s problems you don’t even remember who GW or the GOP is.

    Of course, I’m the cause of the problems in your metanarrative. And, of course, I should be terribly regretful for causing all these problems in your metanarrative. It’s called entelechy.

    In all sincerity, I do wish you the best, sem. God bless.

  77. >>>In all sincerity, I do wish you the best, sem. God bless.
    Is that supposed to be a joke?

    I wanted to know what was going through the minds of Christians who voted for him. So far from you I’ve gotten paranoia, sarcasm, projection and this insistance on your part that you know exactly how I feel and think about the GOP and GW. You could be the human equivalent of the Magic 8-Ball.

    You know what’s really sad? I really liked what I had seen of this blog. I truly only stumbled onto this thread this morning. I had put you in favorites after following a link and reading of your experiences with grace in the reformed church. Before you write anything else in response, I would encourage you to take a step back and read what you’ve written to me today. That’s some nasty stuff, and beneath you, intellectually and otherwise. You should know all of the glaring fallacies in your responses. You made the jump to GW, who was not on the ticket in November. This is about who you voted for, not who you were purportedly voting against (again, someone who was not running). You voted FOR someone who was not shy about his left leanings and belief in redistributive wealth. You voted FOR someone who was not shy about his support, no, enthusiasm for abortion. This healthcare legislation, if passed, will have us paying for abortions with our tax money. This is the issue. None of that stuff was a big secret prior to November. I cannot believe that BDS is so strong that people would vote for all of those things in order to vote against someone that was not even running. I can’t account for it and I am sincerely wondering what Christians who voted for him are thinking now, let alone what they were thinking then.

    1. “Is that supposed to be a joke?”

      No. I meant it. That’s why I said “in all sincerity.” I do wish you the best.

      “So far from you I’ve gotten paranoia, sarcasm, projection”

      Sem. You’ve not engaged me. You’ve blamed me personally for all the horror you perceive in America. You want me to be sorry. You want me to feel guilt. You want me to feel bad. You said I was “duped” right off the bat.

      I don’t feel bad. I was actually pretty pleased with what I heard in Oslo recently. I was actually pretty proud.

      “this insistance on your part that you know exactly how I feel and think about the GOP and GW. You could be the human equivalent of the Magic 8-Ball.”

      Huh? I’m not the one assuming negative intent. I’m not assuming anything about you and yours. I’m only defending — AGAIN and over a year post election — the argument that when you compared the travesty of justice of GWB and the still-current nonsense coming out of the GOP, I’m so not sorry about my choice. Not at all.

      Honey, you blamed *me* for America. I don’t know what exactly you don’t like about America or Obama, but it was my fault. So I assumed no negative intent from your words. But you are pretty much divining all sorts of unfounded conclusion from me.

      “You know what’s really sad? I really liked what I had seen of this blog. I truly only stumbled onto this thread this morning. I had put you in favorites after following a link and reading of your experiences with grace in the reformed church.”

      What’s sad about that? I’m not sad about that! 😀 Really. You know what’s COOL about that? We can disagree about politics and still enjoy God’s wonderful grace. How is that sad? That is WONDERFUL!! Really!! Think about it — writing me off because we disagree about POLITICS!??!?!??? What does that say about the Faith? Really. What does that say about Evangelicalism?

      “I would encourage you to take a step back and read what you’ve written to me today.”

      I have.

      “That’s some nasty stuff, and beneath you, intellectually and otherwise. ”

      Name it. I am not sorry for anything I’ve said. I’ve said nothing I would take back. I said nothing about you. Heck — I don’t even know your name! As far as I know, we’ve never spoken. There’s nothing “nasty” or “beneath” me. You don’t like it. And that’s fine. But sarcasm can be an appropriate response — even “biblical” or Christ-like.

      Again, m’dear, you want me to be sorry. You want me to feel lousy about Obama. You actually said: “Sarcasm cannot cover the fact that you made a huge mistake that we are all paying for.”

      Now. Tell me. What response other than sarcasm can one give to such an out-of-the-blue, unproven accusation? I have to believe you don’t hear what you’re saying. And that’s the problem with conservatism as we know it — the complete lack of self-reflexivity.

      “You should know all of the glaring fallacies in your responses. You made the jump to GW, who was not on the ticket in November.”

      Did you read the entire thread of this particular conversation? I was voting — ONE YEAR AGO — against GWB and against the GOP. My bringing up GWB is relevant to this particular conversation which you have entered. So that it may not have been in your mind does not make it irrelevant or out-of-thin-air. It was part of this conversation from a year ago.

      “this is about who you voted for, not who you were purportedly voting against (again, someone who was not running).”

      Actually no. That’s not what I said a year ago. And what “this” is that you’re bringing up today has yet to be clear.

      “You voted FOR someone who was not shy about his left leanings and belief in redistributive wealth. You voted FOR someone who was not shy about his support, no, enthusiasm for abortion. This healthcare legislation, if passed, will have us paying for abortions with our tax money. This is the issue.”

      I like all of that about Obama. You have several unproven conclusions in your statement that I don’t “agree” with. But I don’t mind the left-leaning stuff (he’s actually more moderate). I like that Obama (and Bill Clinton, too, for that matter) will talk to those of us on the “prolife” side. And I’m all for his changes with the health care monopoly.

      So, no, sem, I’m still not sorry.

      “I cannot believe that BDS is so strong that people would vote for all of those things in order to vote against someone that was not even running. I can’t account for it and I am sincerely wondering what Christians who voted for him are thinking now, let alone what they were thinking then.”

      I can’t speak for “Christians.” I can speak for myself as a Christian. I don’t buy all the fear, dread, and conspiracy from the Right. I don’t. I continue to refuse to let them use me and my values. I don’t buy anything that comes out of Fox News. I like what I heard in Oslo. I like what I see Obama trying to do with health care.

      So . . . when the health care legislation gets past (and I’m still waiting), we’ll talk. But the GOP is too busy being obstructionist that I don’t think politics are at their best right now.

      That’s what I think. You’re, of course, not happy with that.

      If you really and truly want to TALK to a person about this — a person who shares your faith but not your politics — I suggest starting with actual questions and not accusations about how I’ve been “duped.” You were showing your cards there. Big time. It takes no Magic 8 Ball to see that.

  78. More moderate than who? Stalin? I would ask if you are actually paying attention but it seems you are. You’ve pretty much answered any questions I had. I’m stunned. You have no regrets. You are unabashedly in favor of the current agenda. You think that the GOP is obstructionist when Harry Reid is sitting on and has not even revealed the actual legislation he’s pressing a quick vote on. Ok. I get it. Any further haggling is pointless. For what it’s worth, there was no “gotcha” intended. I really thought you would have had regrets. I am now starting to see the problem in the Evangelical Church in America. If we cannot agree on something so basic as Abortion=Bad, what hope do we have?

    1. More moderate than who? Stalin?

      And you accuse me of being nasty?

      If we cannot agree on something so basic as Abortion=Bad, what hope do we have?

      Re-read that. Do you really mean it? Really? Is that our salvation? Agreeing *against* something? Really??

      Besides you’re the one not paying attention, m’dear. I *agree* that abortion = bad. I SO AGREE. How many times have I said it?

      What we disagree on is the current republican’s use of the abortion issue. I say it’s bad. You . . . I’m not sure.

      But you’re putting words into my mouth and making me say something that I haven’t said or that I believe.

      THAT’s the problem. And so it goes. . . .

  79. I was being serious about the Stalin reference. I meant ideologically, not mass murder, unless you count the unborn. The connection that I see you not making here in regard to abortion is Obama’s enthusiastic support of it. Also, I’ve yet to state any impassioned support for the GOP. Looks like I’m not the only one assuming, m’dear.(condescension really leaves me cold.)

    Abortion was one of the easier topics to pick up but there are many things in your prior response that we would differ on. I wouldn’t know where to start. I don’t hang all of the Gospel on the abortion issue but there is right and wrong. This is an egregious wrong. It is wrong because we are created in His image. Human life has sanctity. Abortion is wrong because God said so, not because the GOP, that you seem to have such a grudge against, says so. I’m not saying this because I doubt your personal stance on the issue, but because of your unabashed support of a President who not only differs in belief, but has the power to do something about it.

    I was not a one issue voter by any stretch. I had issues a-plenty in mind when I voted. The things I feared are all coming to pass very quickly. The mistake I made was assuming that because of our common faith, our understanding of what is bad policy would be the same.

    But then, we could do this all night. “You don’t understand me…” “No, you don’t understand me…” “You’re snarky…” “Nuh-unh, you’re the snarky one.” There are some fundamental differences in our beliefs. Ones that will not be sorted out here going tit for tat all night. I have cookies to make and kids to feed. You probably do too.

    1. Also, I’ve yet to state any impassioned support for the GOP. Looks like I’m not the only one assuming, m’dear.(condescension really leaves me cold.)

      There’s no condescension. It’s how I’d talk if you were sitting here next to me.

      BUT!! I’m not assuming anything about YOU. I don’t think you’re understanding the thread of the conversation. I’m not talking about YOU. I’m talking about the usual religious right assumption that the GOP is the only one who has the solution to abortion. That you repeat that abortion is wrong and why is proof that you’re really, truly not understanding what I’m saying.

      I AGREE THAT ABORTION IS WRONG.

      I don’t agree that the usual way we try to stop abortion is working. That is not a statement about you. It isn’t.

      We’re not connecting here. It’s not about tit-for-tat. It’s about a gross miscommunication and unfounded assumptions that a person who doesn’t vote a particular way must not be [insert god term here].

      I so wish you the best. And I hope you have a very blessed Christmas. Even though we disagree about politics, we’re allied in Christ. And that’s wonderful! Diversity in the Body is a wonderful thing.

      Peace!

  80. You are correct that we are most definitely not connecting. SOOOO much is lost when not communicating face to face. So much so that we probably would have cleared up all misconceptions in minutes, otherwise.

    I wish you the best, as well. We are allied in Christ and will one day reside with Him, in eternity….together. What?! Seriously, I do hope that you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I am thankful that the body is diverse and that all “differences” aside, I can count you as a sister in Christ. Thank you for challenging me today.

    sem

  81. I am not sure if I ever met you. I was a voice student of Grants back in 1994, also in Gingery choir.
    I have come a long way away from legalism but that is a long story. The great thing is I love Jesus and know who I am in Him.
    Thank you for your transparency in this blog. It is refreshing and I believe God will use you mightily.
    I was touched to read about your losing 4 children and you must have wept a lot but also rejoice at the thought of being reunited with them one day.
    Please say G’day to Grant.

    Because of Christ
    Tim James
    ps I chose to comment hear because I liked your thinking..

  82. Dean, are you serious? A sinful vote? The reality is Obama is really doing the work of a 3rd Bush term. Besides, I don’t see where Camille said she was speaking for her husband. I know Camille and Grant personally and I don’t know squat about Grant’s politics. Reasonable and mature people agree to disagree about politics. Your remark proves you’ve elevated politics to the same level of belief with the Bible. That says much more about you than anybody else.

    1. I think you’re confusing “reasonable and mature” with “worldly and unaccountable.” To cast one’s vote for someone is to lend one’s support to him. To lend one’s support to a godless immoral lawbreaker is biblically indefensible (regardless of how socially “evolved” one might hope others perceive the support to be).

  83. I really hope Obama is given a second term. I believe the man can do so much good with another term. Just look at how the man handles all the verbal abuse from the mindelss media air-heads, and the embarrasing likes of Rush Limbagh and the Fox News freak show! The man does not go on the retalitary attack, maligning opponents’ characters, making spin=-jargon comments that nobody understands. CNN’s Gergen says “Washington Politics has been called a FREAK SHOW.”I say, Obama isn’t one of the freaks. If the White house was a nut house of craziness and confusion, which it isn’t, it just looks and sounds that way, thanks to the irresponsible freakshow of the mindless media. Obama isn’t one of the crazies. And the man doesn’t blame shift does he! I hope he gets a second term. I feel sorry for how the Evangelicals and conservatives have been played games with by the Republicans, re moral issues and moral platforms! To use moral platforms to ‘buy votes’ from christians, is immoral! Does America ever need a revival of good common sense and moral ethics in politics! America desn’t need opinionated people pleasers in Congress. America needs people with common sense and good leadership qualities in Congress, who can’t be bought or manipulated by the media or the corporations. I hope Obama gets a second term.

    1. I still hope Obama gets a second term and for the same reasons I had last year. Any party that would so deliberately, unprofessionally, and irresponsibly, UN cooperate for three and a half years as the spoiled Repubbies have done, blocking their president from getting anything done, has no business in the White House making governmental policies, pretending to look after the country, whose wonderful people they really don’t even care about, while sitting in the velvet pockets of the fat cats lobbyists ! Any party that adulates the likes of sweety pie Rush Limbaugh, who said “I hope this administration fails!”, lacks what it takes to be intelligent leaders. I mean, can any intelligent American evaluate the Republican Party, as a party that cares two pins about their country, when they endorse a mental bimbo like Limbo? I refused to listen to any RNC speeches. I’ve lost all respect for them. I believe Obama has a good chance at a second term. But it will be a very close race. I just read some of the 2011 bitter rhetoric of the angry posters on this subject. Tsk Tsk Tsk! Such tempers! What toxic religio-politics does to people’s minds never ceases to amaze me! Have American politics become one more religion in the country where for some, stupidity has practically become a virtue!!! I hope Obama gets a second term. I really do! God Bless America. And Lord save us all from the ultra conservative Christians!

        1. At this point in time in this campaign, it really is pretty obvious, that Obama is the candidate who really cares about the American people. And Michelle! S he has to be the best ‘ambassador’ for the White House in electoral American campaign history! What a gal! I just find both of them, Obama and his amazing wife, two people, who, while in the white house serving this country, makes ‘me’ feel, and the Country of America, a lot safer. I so appreciated both of their speeches. And Clinton’s speech! Does that man know his numbers, how to connect the dots! Not sure if the Repubbies know what dots are anymore! Hope Obama acts like the gentleman that he is during the debate. he knows who he is, and he does not have to ‘respond in kind’ to another person’s stupidity. Go for it Obama! Good luck in the debate!

          1. I just glanced a little more at the old thread. I just wanted to make one simple point about this labels thing. I am no expert on anything. This is just my opinion. Labels ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ and ‘socialist’, too many people really don’t know what these labels even mean! Many have never sat down one time to think about what these labels mean. So when they froth at the mouth and throw the labels around like insults, all they’re doing is copy- catting what the very same thing the know nothing know-it- all pundits do on their main stream media info- tainment , that’s not real news, but conflicting opinions. All this label throwing has diluted and clouded, whatever the message has been that campaigning people have been trying to say. Forget the labels, look at the people who are selling their message. Are they ‘real’ people ? Are they ‘honest ‘ people? Are they ‘telling the truth?’ Are they ‘trustworthy?’ I might add, would you buy a used car from any of them? If you ‘would’nt’, then why would you want them having a hand in running your country? If the electorate can’t take a rational look at people running for office, and do some careful selectively thinking, think for themselves, and consult reliable sources like alternate news media, good people Like Bill Moyers, and stop falling for Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh broken record whiners, then how can the electorate know who it is they are trusting to vote for? Campaigning people aren’t the labels put on them. Campaigning people are the potential leaders that will influence your country if elected. And the electorate need to know there’s a Trojan Horse in the inside law maker influencers, in the country. It’s ALEC. If you vote for ALEC candidates, you are voting for the Corporation lobbyists that are trying to control your country. Check out PBS site for Bill Moyers, on the show”The United states of ALEC.” We just saw it. It’s SHOCKING!

        2. I’m not going to say ‘I told you so’, but, my hunch was right. Obama acted like a real gentleman during the debate, and didn’t attack / react his opponent. Only saw a few minutes of debate on replay after returning home from a major commitment at Church. Too exhausted to watch much of it. Interesting that several blog posts seriously questioning Romney’s sincerity and lack of specific ‘plans’, read his ‘non-specific answers’ as ‘no answers at all’, and as an indication that, he seems to ‘have’ no plans at all, for the man to be specific about. They read that, as ‘not being honest’. A common negative evaluation, seems to be , that Romney’s not to be trusted, and that he’s
          not telling the truth. Calling the man a ‘liar’ is a bit strong, but is also a common comment among those who do not trust the man. I think Romney’s wealth is an impediment to his campaign. Few Americans could ever identify with a man having that much wealth. Because few ever achieve it. I can see the middle class trusting Obama more, because the middle class has been so let down by for decades by the deregulation Repubbies, who, in trying to re invent the wheel of economics, have only been succeeding in making the rich richer, the fat cats fatter, all at the expense of running the struggling, hard working middle class Americans, into the ground. I’m really glad that Obama acted the gentleman that he is. He’s not perfect. But neither is his opponent.

          1. Only one more day to go! May the best man win! Neither party is above reproach. But one man, Obama has a clean record of working tirelessly in his first term, to try to get congress to co operate with him and put through legislation for the good of the country! For the Republican party to have Rush Limbaugh as ‘a poster boy’ for Republican opinions, just goes to low these numbskulls can go! . They don’t deserve any respect. And they really don’t care about their country. I think the Republicans are ‘scandelous’ in their behavior. I think Obama has earned the priviledge to serve his country for a second term. So may the best man win. And I believe Obama is the best man. Go for it Obama!

  84. I just found your article on this, so sorry about jumping in so late. How do you grade President Obama, on the issues that you have stated that you used to decide to vote for him back in 2008? Do you think he was honest as to who he really is or maybe better said how he was going to govern? Do you believe that he is really pro-Choice or is he Pro-Abortion?

    I see from above that you have caught quite a few arrows for your post, that is not my intent, just figured I would ask if what you thought then, is still holding true today or if some of your thoughts have changed.

    BTW just for clarification, I am one who does not understand how Christians who are strongly Pro-Life could have voted for President Obama. I know people did, I just thought his record on that issue was so clear that that would not be an issue. But then my research found him to be a far leftist, who had some strong statist and secularist views, yours seems to be so different.

  85. The biggest problem with being a single-issue voter, is with whom you align yourself. The reality is you can make abortion illegal and it won’t stop abortion. By aligning yourself with the religious right, you sever ties with those with whom Jesus had the most compassion: the society outcasts, the poor and people who can’t tend to their own needs. If we are a Christian nation, (not saying we are) we have to take seriously our Savior’s command to care for the least of these. Otherwise, let’s just say we’re not a Christian nation and be done with the whole thing.

  86. Wow, Dean, really? You first insult Camille on a day the rest of us celebrated, and now you do it when the rest of us mourn? What kind of perverted version of Christianity do you follow? Oh never mind, it’s the version I left because Jesus was nowhere in it, just pseudo-religious venom. There’s no Jesus anywhere in you, just a desire to find another way to plunge a knife in Camille’s back. Holy holy holy? Anything but!

  87. Reading these commments makes me sad and also a little fearful. It’s not that there is any new information here, but the tone just confirms what I’ve always known: conservative Christians have confused politics with religion.

    They have conflated the two things to the point that the way somebody votes is construed as “sin,” that the only way to please “God” is to vote as you’re told.

    They do this because American ministers and men in positions of authority in the conservative religious world have systematically taught them to do that. They have preached right wing politics from their pulpits incessantly, throughout my lifetime. [And they should lose their tax exempt status for doing so.]

    The question now is whether or not conservative Christianity is a religious ideology or a political one.

    Is it any wonder that those of us in the secular world (and in the more tolerant, liberal Christian world) observe this kind of religiously based, nationalistic, fact-free view of the world with horror and loathing?

    [BTW, it’s also sort of funny, in a way, to read these long posts written three years ago about how Obama is really a liberal socialist! I had to laugh at irony. I voted for him, and I only WISH he were as liberal as many of you thought he was.]

      1. About liberal or conservative, I really don’t know what people mean about these words anymore! I suspect people may have fallen in to some imaginary thinking , that’s no longer rational or objective! Has this become a man-made construct of, left , right, liberal , conservative, middle or moderate, somewhat of an artificial scale of opinion based language? Does it still mean what it did four or eight years ago? Is it more about what people either ‘love’ or ‘hate?’ And therefore has a lot more to do with emotional thinking, than rational thinking? People so desperate for change, trying to see and believe things, that they ‘want’ to believe, but that ‘aren’t really there or real at all?’ Some thing like a magical / emotional thinking of a social / cultural / political mirage? I wonder if people need to sit down and re think, what their political language really means? And, not re invent any more new language, but find out what it is everybody is ‘trying to say’ and ‘what they really mean’ by it? Sure, be real, be honest, get angry, be angry, express anger, but do it with the passion and honesty of a willingness to change where necessary. Avoiding the practice of trying to change people disagree with us. I am relieved and very grateful to the American electorate, for putting Obama back in the white House. Way to go guys! But he isn’t a magician with a magic wand. There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s hope the repubbies care enough this time, to work with him. And yes, I sincerely believe, the best man won. But I have no idea how liberal or conservative he is. I’m so mentally tired of all the language. Why can’t people get back to what leadership and serving is all about? And God Bless your fine country!

  88. Really Dean Hasking?”…highly sinful vote…” My word. (so this guy knows how God wants us to vote…and he knows this how?)

    By the way…is there a “Lowly sinful vote?” a “middle of the road sinful vote?” How do you know that a vote cast is cast in sin? Do you know the heart of the person or is this only if someone votes for someone you’re not voting for? (I’m already assuming you vote Republican, but do you know that there were those who voted in the last Pres. election that voted for a Constitutional candidate that said that if you voted for McCain you were sinning? You should have voted for some pastor in FLA. So are you able to take that someone would say that YOU cast a “highly sinful vote?”)

    1. Dean keep fighting the good fight even if it falls on deaf ears. The very fact that mrs. Lewis had to sneak CNN on campus to try and prove her point is proof of her utter lack of morality.

        1. Yeah, what is he talking about? I’ve worked on a camera crew, and there’s no way to “sneak” a crew anywhere, at least not with any national-broadcast-quality equipment. Besides, AFAIK Camille wasn’t at all involved with the CNN story. Luis, grow a backbone and a little bit of honesty (yeah, I know, Fundamentalism doesn’t teach it, but at least try), and quit making up garbage.

      1. I believe it was ABC’s program 20/20 where Dr. Lewis and a producer drove around BJU campus with a camera taking background shots, not CNN. But, CNN did do a great program called “Ungodly Discipline.” Perhaps you saw it? The producer of that CNN piece did contact BJU and asked why Ron Williams’, the operator of Hephzibah House in Indian, program was running on their radio station. It was pulled. Seems to me BJU doesn’t want the skeletons coming out of their closet.

  89. Sally, BJU religion/politics have always been combined into some strange heretical hybrid of racism wrapped in a cross with a flag draped around it. This religion contains no real truth for either people who are seeking something Larger in which they can believe or for people who truly want to practice justice or love mercy. It’s a mean, nasty religion where the Bible is used as nothing as a proof-texting device devised for dividing people into “haves” and “have nots,” rather than for celebrating the diversity in creation starting with humanity. These small minded people find their narrow definitions to rile up people, looking for birth certificates and posting odd Bible verses that pertain nothing to do with the conversation. They’ve combined their politics with their religion, then have the nerve to call other “cultural christians.” Use a mirror, Dean.

  90. Quit your false piety, Dean! That same verse could be applied to your horrid behavior as well. You show no sign of Jesus in your actions. You only show hatred, snobbery, self-righteousness… and you believe God is pleased. Your faith is rubbish. Your god is the one you look at in the mirror. You are more focused on hating Camille than loving God and your neighbor. What’s the point? Nothing. It’s pure toxicity with no redeeming value. If your version of Jesus were the only one available, I wouldn’t want it. Fortunately, Jesus Himself hung out with apostles who held completely opposing political views. If He got over it, so can you. Oh wait, you’re more into condemning Camille than glorifying Christ.

  91. “Your faith is rubbish. Your god is the one you look at in the mirror. You are more focused on hating Camille than loving God and your neighbor.”

    Wow, you peered right into his soul to discover his true nature of his salvation?!?! Excuse me but that right God has reserved to himself only.

    1. Hey, just going by the guy’s own hate-filled actions. After all, you will know them by their fruits and all that.

  92. You so called “Christian” liberals are as mean spirited and confused as the non Christian liberals! Obama is a weak leader that has socialist ideas deeply embedded in his very being. His policies are the reason we arer headed to a second recession. You like him have no clue what we need in this country to get people back to work.

    1. Lot of room to talk about being mean-spirited, Luis. You’re supporting a guy who hates Camille so badly he attacked her on 9/11 and one other day of personal significance. I mean, how sick is that? (Oh, BTW, not liberal. Just sick of fundamentalist hate and hypocrisy.)

    1. Disclaimer.

      I really don’t care if you or anyone else takes a picture with Norma Jean… but it’s kind of bizarre that you and your friend Luis are labeling other people….

      I personally would have taken a picture with Denzel…. 😉

  93. The longer I’m out of that bubble, the odder their rantings become. Dean? Really? Dude. And Luis… bless your heart. I don’t know what else to say.

    Politics and religion make strange bedfellows, and both of you are just proving that. You scare me. And it takes a lot to scare me, because I grew up surrounded by your kind of hate. If the best you can do for your fellow (wo)man is to attack them when you know it could hurt the worst, you’re no better than the a–holes who flew the planes into the towers. Really.

    But God still loves you. Just as much as ever. That’s called grace. I hope you’ll understand it someday. It’s nothing short of amazing.

    1. It’s true. You truly look and are just dumbfounded…shaking your head in sadness and pity. Then when you mix politics in with this mindset, it’s lethal.

      Really guys… Do you truly believe that GWBush was any different? and his father? My word….

  94. Dean Haskins is a horse’s ass. I’ve seen it on too many occasions so I won’t waste time addressing it.

    Beyond that, let me say, Camille, that I am once again in awe of your ability to generate discussion. I remember the buzz this blog post generated 3 yrs ago when it was first published. 1,000 days later it is still a topic of lively debate. You have skills!

    But seriously, this post had a significant influence on my thinking. I forwarded the link to various people and asked them to compare Obama and McCain and decide who is really the pro-life candidate.

      1. Well, I don’t know if giddy is the right word, but I was very happy that two friends who have been together since the early 90s finally decided to “quit living in sin” and get married. 😉

        I was just wondering if your wife had come back.

  95. Absolutely Dan, and it’s better than it’s ever been! We finally got some unnecessary baggage eliminated, which allowed us to focus on what is important.

    So, your queer friends are no longer together, since that’s the only way they could accomplish what you suggested?

      1. We are not to do so purposely, which is actually where the misguided article you posted strayed from the pure Word of God. We are to abhor sin.

        Maybe Dan could set up a website for his buddies whereby some of the more sanctified among us could donate some freebies for them.

  96. Well, good, Dean, why don’t you abhor your sin? I’ll abhor my sin and we’ll let Grant and Camille abhor their sin? How about love the sinner and hate your own damn sin?

    1. Unlike your version of “christianity,” Dan, the Bible is clear that we are to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. Openly embracing a sinful lifestyle happens to fall under that category, and are actions that should also be openly condemned by believers. Also, unlike your version, we don’t get to define what is and is not sin. The Bible does that.

      And, Camille, “politically conservative, theologically conservative, seminary professors and ordained ministers” are just as apt to preach heresy as the rest of humanity. The Bible is clear about the ever-increasing levels of false teachers–and it doesn’t state that they will come only from the liberal side of the spectrum.

      1. Dean, your last paragraph indicates that you understand heresy is being preached in conservative fundamentalist circles, too. Makes me think. No, I’ll stand by my comments. You can get mad at my friends you don’t know for being gay and getting married all you want. You can wrap yourself in a flag covered KJB for all I care, but this is old and tiresome. I’ll keep living in the light of grace and freedom and truth. Peace out, Dean.

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