For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed... (Psalm 138/139: 13-16)
Warning: It is almost certain that this post is going to offend at least one or two of you who read this. I ask your forgiveness in advance. The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese or of St. Joseph Antiochian Orthodox Church. They are merely the opinions of the unworthy priest James Early.
I have long debated whether or not to delve into the realm of politics in this blog. As those of you who are long-time readers know, the primary purpose of this blog is to provide devotional reflections from the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers, to help you on your path to salvation. So, other than a few small jabs here and there, I have avoided discussing politics. But I cannot keep silence any more.
There is little doubt that the Bush administration has, for the most part, been an overwhelming failure in many, if not most areas. But there is one area in which Bush has done an outstanding job: in halting the advance of the "culture of death" (to use the late Pope John Paul II's phrase). Among other things, he has forbidden federal funding for embyonic stem cell research and for abortions. He has also appointed two strongly pro-life Supreme Court Justices.
At the same time, he has alienated fiscal conservatives by presiding over an enormous increase in federal spending, which has in turn led to the balooning of the federal budget deficit to staggering levels. During his last term, the U.S. economy has lapsed into a near-recession (although I question just how much impact a U. S. president has over something as complex as the U. S. economy). His foreign policy seems to have made more enemies for the U. S. and damaged relationships with many of our friends.
Because of this, many people who voted for Bush once or twice have decided to try dancing with a different partner. They are going to try their lot with Obama and the Democrats. It seems very likely that come January, the Democrats are going to not only control the White House, but also both houses of Congress (very possibly with a filibuster-proof majority). In short, the country is about to take a hard left turn. Government spending will increase even more than it did under Bush, as will taxes and (in all likelihood) the federal deficit.
I am an economic conservative. I believe that taxes should be low. People should be able to keep the overwhelming majority of what they earn, whether they earn $20,000 a year or $20 million. I also believe in small government, and no deficit spending.
But I believe even more firmly in the pro-life cause. I would be willing to accept a more socialistic government if only the travesty called Roe v Wade were overturned (yes, I know that more needs to be done for those with crisis pregnacies, but nevertheless, abortion is murder, simple and plain, and no form of murder should be legal), if embryonic stem cell research were ended, and if the newborn, the disabled and the elderly were protected from those who would end their lives.
In short, I think that the pro-life issue is THE most important issue . You may disagree, and that's fine. But if we can't assure the protection of human life, nothing else matters. I am broken-hearted by the fact that many pro-life Christians are about to throw the unborn and other helpless people under the bus because they are mad at Bush and/or the Republicans. But I cannot, and will not EVER vote for any candidate who is "pro-choice" (to use their euphemistic term). I am not strongly loyal to either political party; what I AM loyal to is the Kingdom of God. If ever a pro-life Democrat were to run for office in a place where I could vote for him/her, I might just do it.
Barack Obama seems to be a decent human being who genuinely wants to help people. I would be delighted to have him as a neighbor, a co-worker, or even a family member. Nevertheless, he has THE MOST liberal voting record in the U. S. Senate, both on economic and social issues. He has even voted against a law that would require life-saving aid to be given to infants born alive after a botched abortion. He wants to sign a law into effect that would codify Roe v Wade as federal law. Worst of all, he would appoint Supreme Court justices who are strongly in favor of legalized abortion.
The Scriptures, the Fathers, and the Orthodox Church clearly and unequivocably teach that life begins at conception, that all life is a sacred gift of God, and that abortion is a terrible evil. Please keep that in mind when you vote this coming Tuesday.
I conclude this post with a beautiful video by the Roman Catholic church (with whom the Orthodox Church agrees 100% on abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, and most other life issues).