Friday, October 24, 2008

My Heart Is Heavy, My Brain Is Fried

I started out writing another "education" post, and I'm ending up writing about politics. Sorry. :(

So, here's what I've got. I've heard some very good arguments from both sides of the Issue. What is the Issue? Basically, it's about Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils. I've heard this election referred to this way so many times, it's depressing, and definitely a sign of the Times.

First of all, I despise people's jumping into this issue with emotional outbursts and illogical name-calling. I despise the approach to this issue that, "I am right. You are wrong." Debate, people. Use your minds, google your information, and Debate like True Americans. I demand your opinions, but I despise your mental laziness. There is no point at which you should say, "I now know enough about this. I will stop receiving new information on the topic." I'm 27 and I have never voted because I have not felt informed enough on the issues to do so. 

Moving On.

There are many Believers, friends of mine, out there who are willing (they say) to sacrifice their civil liberties for the cause of the Unborn. This is the big question for me. It is the ONE thing that is keeping me from voting Democratic this election. 

Civil Liberties.....that's a really hard one. My rights to free speech, to petition, to assemble freely (church), to keep and bear arms, my right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, my right to a trial by jury, my right to be secure in my person, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, to be secure from cruel & unusual punishment.....and all the rest of those that make Americans so "free". There are several of those that will be on the line with a McCain administration. Certainly, he even plainly says so on his own website:

"Unlike Senator Obama who voted against the MCA and favors giving Al Qaeda terrorists direct access to U.S. civilian courts to contest their detention through habeas corpus rights, John McCain recognizes that we cannot treat dangerous terrorists captured on the battlefield as we would common criminals.  John McCain is more concerned with protecting the American people from future terrorist attacks, by killing or bringing to justice those who commit them, than he is with giving terrorists rights that would allow a judge to set them free before they are tried."

With an Obama/Biden administration, we'd be seeing prob'ly lots more socialism....and oh yeah, he would promote abortion.

Wow, it's pretty sad, isn't it, that it has come down to this for us? Americans, killing their infants, tapping phone lines, taking from the "wealthy" and giving it to the "poor," seizing property and keeping prisoners from trial by jury.......it's moments like these when it all overwhelms me that I just want to NOT VOTE, and cry out, "COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS!"

Ok, so, I've been pled with by a lot of Christian conservatives to set aside these concerns about civil liberties and foreign wars, and vote for Life. It's a very compelling argument. On an emotional level it would sway me completely. For a moment or two after watching some videos on some blogs, I thought, well, I guess my mind's made up. I'll vote for Life. Yet, something keeps stopping me. Many bloggers and friends of mine who are so passionate about the anti-abortion movement in this country frequently equate America to Israel. The Scriptures I've seen used to illustrate how important it is that abortion must be stopped are all referring to the purification of Israel, God's chosen nation. However, my understanding of Israel is that it was exactly that, God's Chosen Nation. He made a covenant with Abraham regarding his offspring, and we understand from the New Testament that it was an image of the Church, with Christ and His followers as the "seed of Abraham." 

So, is America also a Chosen Nation, such that we Americans should be willing to sacrifice our rights guaranteed us in the Constitution in order to "purge the land of bloodshed" and return to the favor of God? I think not. Though America was founded by mostly Believers, and many of its laws and doctrines fall into line with Christian Beliefs, there is a definitive separation of church and State in this country. America is a secular nation.  There is no need to continue quoting Scriptures comparing her to Israel. She is more like---Egypt. We CHRISTIANS are the Isralites, living within the nation of Egypt (America), the secular nation. Of course, all nations, secular or not, will be held accountable to the same standard of holiness in the end. Still, there are far less instances where God urged pagan nations to purify themselves and return to God. Mostly, He just wiped them out, and went on purifying the Chosen Nation. Now, were we talking about Christians aborting their babies, that would be a different thing. I believe we should keep that line clearly drawn when considering abortion along the same lines as Old Testament stories.

Now, my first loyalty is to the Kingdom of Heaven. I hope all my Christian blogger friends out there can agree with me on this issue, at least. Second, my loyalty is to America, as one of its citizens. So, next I have to wonder, my loyalty to the Kingdom of Heaven---does that bring me to intervene on behalf of the unborn children in this nation?And my loyalty to my country--does that bring me to defend my constitutional rights, protecting my religious freedoms and those of my children?

This is a complicated Issue, folks. Stop saying it's simple!!! Start reading, start googling. The only reason you say it's an easy choice to make is because you haven't read all the issues! You're finding it easy to vote just based on abortion because that's the only thing you've spent time looking at. Be honest, how many videos with soft music have you watched telling you that a fetus is a human being, getting sickened at the images of slaughtered infants? Now, how much do you know about McCain's foreign policy, and what his plan for Homeland Security is? Are you concerned about how his aggressive anti-terrorism plans might affect this country for your grandchildren? 

Here are some very random thoughts that are jolting their way around my head these days. Not all of them make perfect sense, and I apologize for that. I just want to get some of them out there to discuss with you. Talking points, y'all. Up for grabs.

~If David says, "In sin did my mother conceive me, " is it INNOCENT life we're defending? No, unborn children will grow up sinful, just like the politicians we're all bickering about. When God told Israelites to defeat a pagan nation, He often told them to kill them all, men, women, and "innocent" children. God sometimes views the offspring of the Wicked as "Wicked, Too." Yet, murder is murder, whether the victim is 3 months gestation or 30 years old, sinner or saved.

~People who want abortions have deeper problems than just wanting abortions. Prohibiting abortion only changes the law, it doesn't purify the nation. By saving the lives of countless infants from abortion, I've still just left them to (possibly) live in sin....eventually die like all other humans, and perhaps go to hell. Have I saved any souls by voting against abortion? Ask yourself this: If the unborn children in question be born alive, what will their lives be like? 

~McCain claims to support the rights of the unborn, but I have some concerns that he is using that as an "in" for people who would vote him in based merely on his pro-life stance. His personal beliefs on the actual Rights of the Unborn come into question when he states that he's "ok" with an abortion in the case of a rape. How would he determine if there had been a rape? He would give the victim the "benefit of the doubt." So, in McCain's mind, the baby who's mother claims she's been raped unfortunately has no rights to life. I have my doubts, Senator......

~The Bill of Rights protects people from being deprived of Life, Liberty, & Property. Do the unborn "people" still qualify as "people?" If so, then abortion itself defies the constitution (I actually believe this). We should vote Pro-Life in order to extend the Bill of Rights to the Unborn.

~If I truly believe that abortion is murder, then I should treat it as such, and truly be willing to sacrifice my constitutional rights and those of my children and my children's children in order to save a generation of aborted babies, as I have been called to lay my life down for my brothers.

~But, wait....children's children? Do I want future generations of Forsheys to look back at me and my generation and say, "If only they knew what they had been doing. Had they voted for Obama, at least we would not have seen so much bloodshed in foreign wars.....and lost our rights to freedom of speech, trial by jury, and protection from warrantless seizures & arrests." This is MY family we're talking about. Is that the best way to provide spiritually for my offspring?

~My children will probably never be affected by abortion being legal in America. If God allows, and our faith is passed down from generation to generation, abortion will never be an option for them. However, if I allow myself to vote for a McCain administration, generations from now, my offspring may fall under persecution as Christians because of such heavily enforced internal "security" not to mention being prevented from speaking freely, possibly suffering warrantless seizures, etc, etc. God only knows. 


I guess in conclusion, I am seeing a Dual Citizenship here....to Heaven and also to America.  Dammit. It's not easy. I find it impossible to vote to both uphold the Constitution of the Country I Love and to vote to restore its Provisions to its unborn citizens. I guess I must separate myself from loyalty to my country, return to my first Loyalty (the Kingdom of Heaven...."Thou Shall Not Murder"), vote to reverse the first Wrong (Roe vs. Wade) and pray that God will intervene in the future and hinder McCain's plans for violating habeus corpus. I suppose Christianity tends to flourish under persecution anyhow.

It's no wonder Jesus did not become involved in politics. His answer for the way things are is to destroy all of it with fire.......and set up His New Kingdom. Praise God for that.

16 comments:

Matt and Laurie Beardsley said...

Ahhh, Susi! You make some great, strong points. I enjoyed reading your blog! I have a thought (I have more, but I hate to comment on the political ones so here's just the one). Unfortunately, as informed or uninformed a single-interest voter may be, voting upon that single interest is their right and freedom, just as much as it is yours to desire and attain to be informed. I'm not saying a voter like that is right or wrong, but I think that our constitution protects the rights of people regardless of whether their thoughts and actions are foolish, or wise. Unfortunately to protect the civil liberties of all, we must risk the irresponsibilites of some. I'm not saying that a vote for either candidate is pro-choice or pro-life, I tend to agree with your stances on each ticket, but I do think that we have to remember that God directs the conscience of the believer and many will vote simply based on what they want to stand before God to proclaim. I would truly hope that each believer would vote in a way that would make God say "well done," because of the knowledge of what was in their heart, and why they choose to vote that way. But I think that a vote simply over one issue, must be respected as a difference of opinion, and would hope that "Pro-Life Voter" would be able to take a step back and acknowledge that a vote examining many issues is equally valid and to be respected.

Did that make sense? :-)

Thanks for the blog!

Rachel said...

Hey Susi,
I'm sorry this has all been so confusing for you. It is a big mess, but then it always is. I do not have the time or the energy to look into politics to make myself feel as though I know all the issues and the answers perfectly from every angle. I don't think it is possibly to do so, even for those who have the time and energy!
I don't want to say much and I don't want to ague with you on this. You keep saying it isn't simple. It definitely seem to not be for you, and that's fine. But you have to understand that for some people it is. And for me it is. That's just the way it is. For me it is simple. No, my life may not be affected by abortion or that of my children in a direct way, but then who knows! What if one of my children's mates is one of those aborted babies? Now of course that gets us into a whole other matter of, yes, God knows who will make it and who won't. But I do believe that the effects of abortion will make it into our families. What about God's judgment on our nation? For me it is simple. I am willing to (if it is necessary) give up some of these rights you mention for the sake of saving lives. I am not anti-war, so that is not an issue for me. I have not looked into all these issues you site that have to do with constitutional rights, but I have to say, that they are some of the least of my worries. To say that we should let these babies die because their quality of life wouldn't be good anyway seems unbelievable to me! I just can't say that!
Right now, as I carry this baby inside me, I know without a doubt that my duty is to stop abortion with whatever power I have. I don't have much power, there's not much that I alone can do. But what I can do, I will. It is a horrific thing and I think if those feelings only last for a few minutes, then the horror of what is happening to these little lives goes away, our nation is in trouble.
No, I don't need to spend hours googling issues to make up my mind. I am a logical person, I know how to think. I have thought and prayed and this is where my heart is.
I do love you dear friend, please hear that as I write. I just felt I had to say something because this is so very close to my heart. I know you are a strong Christian and want to do what is right. I pray that you will find the answer you need and that when you do make a decision, your heart will feel at ease with it. Love you

Herb of Grace said...

Excellent comment, Laurie. Good point. Hadn't thought of that aspect of it before. I would disagree with the opinion of the person who considers it valid to vote "one issue only", but it is their prerogative to use their freedom to vote as they see fit.

Herb of Grace said...

Oh, and good post, Sue :) You addressed a lot of the things that my own heart has been heavy over recently. Kudos for going out on a limb to say it out loud!

j said...

Thought-provoking comments, Susi. I agree with you that it's a more complicated issue than people give it credit for.

Your post got me writing about this topic over on my blog. I'd be glad for the comments of everybody here.

Denise said...

Susi,

I appreciate your thoughtfulness on the matter, and all the time you've taken to write out some of those ideas.

May I state something, though? What I want to introduce is the idea of not a single issue Qualifying a candidate, but a single issue Disqualifying one. I don't think for a minute one issue will qualitfy a candidate, but I do strongly think that there are single issues out there that would make a candidate disqualified for my vote.

If you have time, and Only if you have time to read the entire thing, would you go take 10 minutes and read this explaination of the particular prolife issue you seem to be mulling over? It's well worth the time, read in its full context.

http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2008/10/im-not-voting-for-man-im-voting-for.html

Now, feel free to let me know what you think.

The Cranberry Paper said...

*sigh* It IS a huge mess isnt it?
The more I read, the more confused I become. Morality means nothing to me anymore...because who knows whos telling the truth? Not me. Would the fact that Barack Obama has no problem with letting failed abortion babies die cold and alone in a locked room affect the rest of his administration? Would that flaw in his what we would call "ethics" contaminate everything else he does?
Would the fact that John McCain supposedly opposes it have a butterfly effect on the rest of his administration?? I dont know. I dont know anything. It scares the perverbial snot out of me to think that my daughter has this to grow up in. This word...these two evils. I didnt write this to say that youre right or wrong....because I dont know. I dont feel educated enough to have the right to vote. I did write it to say that I am glad you addressed the name calling and low blows accociated with most political conversations. If nothing else remains after this election....we are still brothers and sisters in christ...and Jesus preached two big things that we are really missing here..

1. Love one another like you love yourself.

2. And to spread the gospel.

I hate to think we are all missing
the big picture over something so temporary as a presidentail election. :(

Thanks for that great post.

........... said...

To Denise: I actually had read Alcorn's blog before I posted this. I felt that his argument that one issue could disqualify a candidate was sound, but I felt he was inconsistent in the way he applied it. If, indeed, one issue can disqualify a candidate, I would say that the issue of civil liberties has disqualified McCain as quickly as abortion disqualified Obama. A candidate who says, "I intend to remove the right of Habeus Corpus from certain men" disqualifies him from the presidency just as quickly as the candidate who says, "I intend to remove the Bill of Rights from certain people." Criminals & unborn babies are equal in the sight of God. They both are endowed with inalienable rights from their Creator. BOTH candidates are EQUALLY disqualified in my view.

Rachel said...

Hey Susi,
It's me again! : )
I really must disagree with your thoughts on criminals and the unborn. To equate the two doesn't even make sense in my mind! To say that each have equal rights to each other is unbelievable!
On one had we have a person, who is grown, who made a decision to do something bad, even terrible and must now face the consequences of their actions.
On the other hand we have a baby who is not even born yet, has no say whether or not they can even be born into this world or whether or not they will die at the hand of doctor who will cold and callously take their life with their own hands.
How can you equate the two??????
No, the rights are not the same and do not believe that in God's eyes they are the same. Of course in God's eyes they are both fallen creatures in need of a Savior, but does God really look at the unborn child about to be murdered the same as a criminal who may have killed countless people himself, is going to die?? I really don't believe so.

I'm asking that you go here and read this, by Chris, I couldn't agree with him more on this issue and I think there has been too much confusion going around.
http://iowalawyers.blogspot.com/2008/10/election-day-draws-near.html

Herb of Grace said...

Susi, I believe you may have mispoken when you used the two terms "criminals and the unborn". What you mean is SUSPECTED criminals. Right? The point is that "innocent until proven guilty" is what we are dealing with when we talk about the right of Habeus Corpus.

So Rachel, I would agree with you that an unborn child has more of a right to our protection and regard than a convicted criminal. I think Susi would agree with us both on that as well. However, I would DISagree that a man accused of a crime and thrown without trail into Gitmo is less deserving of his right to Habeus Corpus than an unborn child is deserving of his right to life.

The point is that these are all rights "unalienably...endowed by our Creator". It's like a big strong dyke that protects us from dictators. You may personally think one right is more important than another, but once you lose/give up/redefine/regulate one of them, the whole thing will eventually begin to crumle and a tide of opression will sweep into our nation.

*gets down off soapbox*

Herb of Grace said...

In addition, Rachel, you say that God does not look at the man "who may have killed countless people" the same way He looks at an unborn child. I wonder if perhaps you are not saying this quite the way you mean to? We're talking about someone who's being accused of a crime he may or may not have commited. That is, a man who may potentially be as innocent of this deed as the very infant you are comparing him to. I do indeed think that God intends for us to view them in the same manner as regards the Law of our land. He obviously knows the truth of the man's heart, but we don't. I think we are obliged to view the two the same way until the man is proven guilty.

I only bring this up because I am concerned when I hear people assume (sometimes unconsiously, as I think perhaps you are doing here)that every person accused of terrorism MUST be guilty. The day is coming, people, when it is going to be Christians who are being accused of terrorism and denied the right of Habeus Corpus. God practically promised us that.

Denise said...

Glad to know you already read that post Susi. I figured you were educating yourself with a lot of reading before even pondering it on here.

You make a valid point, except that not everyone feels the same way you do. i.e. The right of Habeaus Corpus may be a disqualifying idea to YOU, but it is NOT to everyone. Nor does it need to be. It's not a right God tells us to protect in the Bible, so Christians are not bound to necessarily hold that particular right in high regard.

But since it's a disqualifying issues for YOU, then you definitely need to honor your conscience and vote 3rd party or not at all. Which is what this blog post was about, right? Your confusion on WHAT to do reagrding voting.

j said...

I can appreciate Denise's (and Randy Alcorn's) idea that while no single issue secures her vote, some single issues automatically lose it. And abortion is one of those issues.

But other issues are deal-breakers for other people, so I think the "you must vote McCain to help stop abortion" argument falls flat. McCain may have intentions to curtail abortions (I don't really think he does, but that's a discussion for another day), but he has deal-breaking issues for a good many pro-life Christians, myself (and apparently Susi and Ben) included. One of these is his stance on civil liberties.

For myself, the question only remains whether to vote Obama or third party. It's a question I still haven't settled, even after wrestling with it for months. A pro-abortion stance is normally a deal breaker for me, but given Obama's promise to work toward reducing the number of abortions, I haven't dismissed him out of hand.

Denise said...

Absolutely agree with J about the argument falling flat: "you must vote McCain to help stop abortion". I too have my doubts on how committed he is even to that issue. Although I think he wouldn't change current laws in favor(i.e. allowing back partial birth abortions), I am unsure whether he would do anything at all to further the anti-abortion cause or help in that respect. Which is hardly an active "pro" life stance, but I suppose if one believes someone else in office might actually further the abortion cause, there's another argument to be had.

Believe me, Jonathan and I both wrestled long and hard who we voted for (absentte ballot at least let us decide a long time ago). It wasn't an easy matter either, partially because I think McCain is such a poor candidate.

I appreciate all your thoughts (everyone who has participated thus far) on these issues. I think it's important for Christians to hear each other out, in a respectful way. And I'd rather you vote for your conscience and vote against who I choose, than you not vote at all. I am so pleased when Christians choose to participate in the affairs of the government rather than swear allegiance to heaven and wash their hands of the society they live in. Thank you for doing that.

Toni said...

We are not voting for just one man. We are voting for a politician. Certain things are required of politicians. One is that they remember their friends. Therefore, we are not voting just for one politician. We are voting for him and all his friends, that is his party, his financial supporters, the interest groups which elected him. ad infinitum. The entangled network of influences which come with the man are indecipherable, of course. But set that opposite a likewise entangled network of OPPONENTS who are set to knock him down! A man of strong character cannot logically survive, any more than Ghandi could lead the army, Billy Graham could operate a whorehouse, or Ron Paul could head up the IRS. At one time, it would seem from history, things were not so entangled, but greed, hunger for power, personal interests, began to take over our pristine republic fairly early on. Even so, there were not so many of us then, and a man could be called to account for his character and doings. Now, not so. Character is arbitrary, relative to...well, whatever it is relative to nowadays. Looking at the faces of the speakers on tv, I see very little sincerity, no attention to TRUTH, manipulation to get votes. I do not trust McCain to defend the constitution. I do not trust Obama to do so either, but HE would betray it with more flair, beautifully! And teach the children in the schools that "cool" is the way to become President. The only way to cast a wise vote is on the basis of truth and character. There is no discernable strength of character in either candidate from what I've seen, and truth is not even an issue. Perhaps the solution is to pray hard and let the pagans choose their man.

~Susannah Forshey~ said...

Regarding Infants and Criminals: Thank you, Lisi, for clarifying that for me. I over-simplified, I'm afraid. I was commenting on the intrinsically sinful nature of both the criminal and the infant, according to the Bible ("There is none righteous, no, not one.") Until a Just Judgment has been made, men must, MUST remain Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Just as God endowed a right to LIFE (which the Constitution upholds) upon the innocent, yet sinful infant, He endowed the right (according to the Constitution) of habeas corpus upon the innocent-till-proven-guilty criminal. As Lisi pointed out, once we begin choosing which of the rights is LESS DESERVED, the entire system begins crumbling. All you have to do is imagine if there were an innocent man accused of terrorism. Under the Military Commissions Act, that person has no right of habeas corpus, "through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention of himself or another person. The writ of habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action."