Thursday, November 6, 2008

Freedom and Responsibility: Choice

With the election of Barack Obama to the Whitehouse, things are apt to change in the next four to eight years with a Democratic Congress backed by a Democratic President (or maybe the other way around). The Supreme Court, while it still maintains a conservative majority, may get more action as well if challenges are made to laws that may get passed in the next two presidential terms.

But aside from the very few people we've chosen to lead and represent our country, the people who've elected them have changed significanly too. Christians, evangelical Christians, are part of the reason why a pro-gay and pro-choice president will be leading our nation in 75 days. Things have certainly changed, since four years ago when to be Christian was to vote for George W. Bush. According to CNN's exit polls, 24% of White Evangelicals voted for Obama. In the protestant sphere alone 45% voted for him. Clearly, this is big news.

Part of what happened is that Christians are no longer a single-issue group. Abortion isn't the only topic on the table these days, with many focused on the economy and this mysterious commodity called "change," although there is no concensus as to what that really means. Now there are other issues that may weigh more or less for some people than others. The economy may be more important to some. The age of the candidate and his or her choice for vice president may weigh more for some people than pro-choice or pro-life ideals. For some people, the freedom to choose is not necessarily an advocation for abortion, but simply for the ability to make the decision. It has not yet been discovered if the advocates for choice are disposed to support the freedom to choose whether or not to commit suicide or even homicide, but my guess is that they are not and that they distinguish between fetus-cide and other cides based on their own moral system and not on that of the Bible.

Whether or not choice (a.k.a. abortion) advocates are rectified and the Freedom of Choice Act passes remains to be seen. Clinton never had the chance to fulfill his promise to do it, and Obama may not either, especially if all the attention is on the struggling economy and the Democrats' desires to approve another $100 billion bailout. What remains for Christians is to preach the TRUTH in LOVE. We've had truth, or at least a part of it, for a while. Abortion is wrong! Premarital sex is wrong! But we've never stopped to help those suffering the ill effects of an abortion. We've never helped single pregnant women to learn how to care for themselves and raise a child. We've never reached out to the homosexual or the person with AIDS. Why? Because we don't want to condone those actions. We don't want to condone experimentation on embryos. We don't want to condone homosexuality. We don't want to condone the killing of fetuses. But we ended up never condoning the act of reaching out in love. Christians will never change America for the good through the government. Perhaps if we reach out in love, people will begin to change their minds on what constitutes sin to the biblical perspective. But until America changes its beliefs, how can we change its actions?

When I was younger, I downloaded music online. I downloaded video games. I violated copyright law. Until my beliefs changed, my actions couldn't. I couldn't stop downloading those files because I'd tell myself it wasn't a big deal. It was alright. But when I came to the realization that stealing was wrong no matter how easy it was, I was finally able to change my actions. Laws don't change people's minds. God does. If we spent half our energy telling people about who God is and that He loves them, we wouldn't have to expend so much on our efforts to pass laws in a nation that refused to be called Christian.

No comments: