January 29, 2008

moral vote

It bothers annoys alarms me that I would even have to go down this path... that I would even have to try to explain that it is wrong to kill babies. I find it frightening.

Almost a month ago I was talking to my sons on the way home from school about life, the universe, and everything. (And I have to tell you, we have some great conversations on the way home. There just isn't anything like rolling down an old highway in a big old Chevy pickup truck with your boys. ) Anyway, Number One was asking me about which candidates I would vote for and why. He had heard some of the names the previous day and was wondering about this. So he asked me if I was going to vote for Barack Obama.

I thought about it for a moment. I really did. He doesn't know all that much about Republicans and Democrats, so I wanted to give him some solid understandable answer, so I replied, "Well. Mr. Obama believes that if a woman doesn't want her baby that she can just kill it..."

That was as far as I got.

Number Two snapped out of his daydream world with a look of horror. Number One's face took on this strange, angered look. They both sat there for a moment with that shocked look that many of us get when we get smacked with reality. Honestly, they couldn't believe it. They could not believe that there could ever be a person that would consider doing such a thing. It was a harsh reality to the evils of the world, and I HATED telling them about it.

I have warned them on many occasions that there are evil men in this world that would do evil things to children, but they never guessed that it could go that far.

I told them that the sad thing was that there are so many mothers out there that get lied to and believe that this is something that is Ok. They get convinced that they are not ready for a baby and their doctor tells them that this is OK. I could see the sadness in Number One's eyes as the world he thought existed slipped out of his fingers and out of his imaginations. He sat with the sickening realization that the world that he lived in included doctors who kill babies, mothers who ask them to, and presidents who make it possible.

We sat for a moment in silence, as my big ole truck bumped down the road when Number Two's face lit up with an idea. He says to me, "If they don't want the babies, we could just take them!"

"Of course we could." I told him.

Number One then adds, "But we still need to stop them. We still need to tell those mothers that it is wrong."


This is why I title these posts, The Moral Vote. I still believe in Life and Liberty and maybe even the pursuit of happiness. I still believe that I need to speak up for these things. I still believe that my one little vote says something, and I want it to say that all men and women have the right to live! People will always do evil, but that doesn't mean that we stop speaking what is right.


There has yet to be the nation that has crumbled because of its poor economy. There is yet to be the country that has fallen from its height because it didn't provide mandatory health care. I know there has not been an empire that came to its knees because of too many people wanting to live and work there.

And you can have whatever opinion you want on those issues! BUT...

There has been many a nation that has crumbled from the inside out because of its immorality, and more importantly because of its lack of compassion for the smallest and the least.

If a candidate does not hold to the rights of life for every individual, then don't kid yourself... It will affect every other policy that they support.


One final thought.

We lost Number Three. My wife can still tell you what age she would be today (Read more about her here). We know her name. We miss her, though we never knew her.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:14-16(ESV)

God knew her and had record of her in His book.

I find it offensive that I would have to defend her reality to anyone.

If you love life, say it with your vote. And stop being so selfish and defensive of your possessions, because every other issue boils down to exactly that.


  1. Hi, Matt - I wasn't going to do this, but I felt I needed to somehow "defend"... no, that's the wrong word... my reasoning for voting for Obama in last week's SC Dem Primary. I would also be characterized as pro-life, believing life begins even before conception in the best most loving readings of Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1.

    Two things struck me: first, it seems to me that poverty/economy issues and war/human rights/immigration issues are just as moral a choice as this. There's no such thing as an amoral voting issue now - everything revolves around everything else. Abortions go up as the economy craps out - racial divides grow, education goes down, and abortion/etc picks up again. To focus on one thing to the neglect of the others, or one so far above the others, might be missing something.

    Second, you posted that you told your kids, "Well. Mr. Obama believes that if a woman doesn't want her baby that she can just kill it..." - and I think that short-changes what is actually a well-thought out response to the question, something I felt was more nuanced than you said. In a debate quote, he said, "But the broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? And I trust them to do it. There is a broader issue: Can we move past some of the debates around which we disagree and can we start talking about the things we do agree on? Reducing teen pregnancy; making it less likely for women to find themselves in these circumstances." (http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm) - I think there's more to it than just kill or not, choose or not. If we disagree fundamentally across this divide, where can we agree? Where can we work to make it a moot point? That's the kind of thing that brings about change, reduces the actual number of abortions, etc.

    I would rather have someone who is pro-choice but actually works to make this evil stop, then to vote for someone who seems to be politically expedient and who does nothing substantial.

    Will I vote for Obama in the general election? I think he'll be the Dem candidate, but I'm too cynical to think I'll be in this same frame of mind later on. Right now, I think there's more to this than you're posting.

  2. I am only going to hit on one thing... (for now. It is a little late.)

    "Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions?"

    Umm... NO.

    Absolutely not. I do not believe that any group of people has the "right" to make that decision. I can't believe that he actually said that.

    See. This evidences what I said in my post, "If a candidate does not hold to the rights of life for every individual, then don't kid yourself... It will affect every other policy that they support."

    I would go more in this direction, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

    Please do not make the mistake of thinking that I am going to "...focus on one thing to the neglect of the others..."

    I would echo what my wife said, http://mattharmless.blogspot.com/2008/01/moral-vote.html#c963334621210888709

    I am not neglecting any issue. I am starting with the self-evident rights first, and working my way down from there.

  3. First, let me offer my condolences on your recent loss. I've close friends who have miscarried and understand it to be a very difficult providence.

    In light of your loss, my previous comment (posted semi-anonymously) was at least thoughtless and possibly uncharitable. It was not appropriate for me to intrude with allusions to exegetical, philosophical, or scientific hair-splitting. I apologize. I foolishly spoke quickly, without considering whether my words would give offense. I ask for your forgiveness.

  4. Forgiveness given with no hesitation.

  5. Thanks for posting my long diatribe - I really appreciate it, and hope I'm just not trying to rationalize my actions. You didn't address my last statement - would you rather vote for someone "pro-life" who does nothing effective to actually end the slaughter? Or is there a possibility that the "pro-abortion" candidate can enact policies that bring the actual numbers, for those other economic and educational reasons, down and thereby saving the lives you hoped to save by voting the first way? Everyone I've ever voted for up to this point has been pro-life. But abortion numbers dropped in Clinton's tenure, while rebounding back up in Bush's first term. I'm conflicted - ideology versus actual results.

  6. Rick, I would never hesitate to post something that you would add.

    I would like to say that I am planning on responding, but have been very busy.

    I enjoy the dialog.

  7. Never doubted - still, appreciate the dialogue as well. Most times, I see another perspective as complementary - while the "other side" cries heresy. But I find that there's more to this and other issues, hard to nail down the jello on the wall.

  8. http://www.abortionfacts.com/abortion/bible.asp

    This is a great site for info. Has a place to read what the Bible says for the person who was unsure - It is very clear after reading the verses. I have a friend here who is saved but believes in abortion. She believes the women should have the right to choose. I have cried over this. I almost made it an end to our friendship but God clearly told me to love her and keep praying. Julie

  9. I have been browsing through that site. It is really good.

    I enjoyed the section on the survivors of abortion. And I also enjoyed the quotes from early church leaders. Very interesting.


  10. http://www.family.org/socialissues/A000000368.cfm
    Also very good info. Julie

  11. this post was really good...I wish that it was so astonishing to me that people would kill babies, like it is to your boys...its sad how it doesn't blow our minds after awhile...(also education through the health care system is also very important)


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