These last few weeks of election campaigning have been mighty interesting. I’ve been thinking a lot about the presidential candidates, even looking into the third party candidates. I remember in the last election, during an Economics class, a classmate and I were engaged in a discussion on how we planned to vote. My classmate was disgusted by many conservatives voting for Bush purely because of the abortion issue. At the time, I tried in vain to claim that wasn’t my primary reason for voting… but it was. Now I’m at peace with being a single issue voter. I believe that killing is murder (crazy, huh?), and that hundred’s of thousands of these murders are being committed every year. In light of that view, I vote for the most pro-life candidate in an election. I know that people are going to call me uninformed or unenlightened, or whatever. I’m ok with that. Now, coming into this presidential election, I’m faced with two candidates, neither of whom is 100% pro-life. What’s a girl to do? Christian author Randy Alcorn recently tackled this question in his Eternal Perspectives blog. I’ve taken the liberty of posting an excerpt from this post below. It’s a bit long, but I think it’s worth reading:
Suppose in the town you live in, there’s a lake where, for the last thirty-five years, children have been taken by parents to be drowned. Say that every day 100 children are brought to this lake.
As a town citizen, you are presented with two candidates for mayor. (You can vote for a third party, but clearly one of these two candidates will be elected.) One candidate publicly states that he believes the right thing is that the children not be brought to that lake. They should be allowed to live, except the one or two conceived by rape. By longstanding town law the 100 daily drownings are all legal, and the mayor can’t change the law. However, this mayoral candidate has publicly stated that the law should be changed, and he hopes to appoint judges who help that happen, so that 98 or 99 of the 100 children would live rather than die.
Now, the deaths of those one or two children conceived by rape should rightly disturb you. And if until now zero children had been killed at the lake, it would be evil to vote for a man willing for one or two to be legally drowned. But for thirty-five years, 100 children have been killed there each day. This man is trying to move the town in the right direction, even though he has stopped just short of a 100% reversal. No additional children will be killed if his position were in place, because those one or two children would have been killed anyway under existing law. But 98 or 99 a day would be rescued from the death they will face if his position isn’t put in place.
The other mayoral candidate believes that not one of those 100 children chosen for drowning by their parents should be rescued. He believes that the doctors holding them under the water should be allowed to do this. He is prochoice about the drowning of children. In the last twenty years there have been some limited prolife measures voted in by townspeople that have made it more difficult to drown children, saving some lives. But this candidate has promised to sign a bill that would remove all those restrictions. He would invalidate the requirement that doctors explain to parents what it means to drown a child. He would invalidate the law that requires grandparents to be notified if their children are going to drown their grandchildren.
In fact, this man has said of his own daughters, “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” He would support their right to hire a doctor to drown their babies, his grandchildren, in the lake. And he promises the town’s legal drowning organization, which makes considerable money by drowning children, that he will only appoint town judges who are in favor of the legalized-child-drowning laws.
Now here is our moral dilemma. Our next mayor will either be the 98%-don’t-drown-the-children candidate OR the 100%-drown-all-children-whose-parents-don’t-want-them candidate.
We could write in someone who has no chance of winning. It would be a protest vote, showing we don’t totally agree with either candidate. However, if others who believe all babies deserve to live do this same thing, the result will be that the 98% prolife candidate can’t win, and the 0% prolife candidate will be our mayor.
If you vote for the candidate in favor of saving 98 babies, it could be argued that you would be voting for the lesser of evils, since killing one or two children is evil. But after all these years of child-killing, you see the opportunity—if the 98% prolife mayor takes office and makes those prolife court appointments, countless future children’s lives could be saved. It’s not certain, but it’s a real possibility. And what is certain is this: if the candidate in favor of legalized child-killing wins the election, due to his agreement to remove any of the town’s existing child-killing restrictions, more children will die who wouldn’t have if the other candidate takes office.
As we’ve pondered this, Nanci and I have decided, for better or worse, that what we’re voting for is not the lesser of evils—like voting for Giuliani would have been—but the greatest possible good available to us under the circumstances. The only electable alternative is the worst possible evil toward a people group—a 100% commitment to the legalized killing of unborn children whose parents don’t want them.
Rather than voting for McCain’s regrettable exceptions, we are voting for his predominantly prolife position, just as we are voting against Obama’s exclusively pro-legal-abortion position.
One of the commenters on my last blog said, “God didn’t call us to win. He called us to do what is right.” Well, to me this has never been about us winning. I don’t even know who us is. To me, it’s certainly not about Republicans winning, or John McCain winning. My concern is whether unborn babies will be protected. Sure, I want to be able to sleep at night because I did the right thing. But I also want millions of babies to sleep (or cry) at night, because my vote actually helped them live. That, I believe, is the right thing for me to do—not to vote for an ideal unelectable candidate, but to do what I can to help children live even if I have to vote for a flawed candidate to do so.
Alcorn explains so well why he is ok with voting for a certain presidential candidate. There is a lot that can be accomplished to abolish abortion through the political arena. However, the only guaranteed way to make an impact on social issues such as this is to spread the gospel! We need moral lawmakers guiding our country’s government, but even more important, we need the news of Jesus to impact people’s hearts and minds. Only then will the unborn be protected. I’m praying that God give me opportunities to share the gospel. Makes me kind of nervous because I know that God always follows through 🙂