July 13, 2011

What We Know: Ron Paul

The What We Know series attempts to explain each of the 2012 Presidential Candidates' views on abortion. Earlier, we did Mitt Romney. Next up is Ron Paul, who won the 2012 republican straw poll in June.

The Simple Answer: Three quotes compiled together, all found here: "I am strongly pro-life. . . . I can assure you life begins at conception. . . . The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of it [abortion]. We don't need a federal abortion police."

Behind the Answer: Four long articles on Paul's stance on abortion can be found here, here, here, and here. Paul himself is pro-life, but he believes that the federal government should stay out of the issue of abortion. He believes that the states should decide whether or not to allow abortions. As a result of his mixed views on abortion, his voting record is similarly mixed. NARAL, which rated President Obama 100% pro-choice, gives Paul a 0% rating, indicating a firmly pro-life voting record. However, NRLC, which also gave Obama a pro-choice rating, gave Paul a 56% rating, indicating a mixed record on abortion voting. Prolifeprofiles.com (second "here" link in this section) is extremely harsh on Paul, placing him in their lowest tier of pro-lifers, which is reserved for those who are "pro-choice with exception." In summary, Ron Paul doesn't believe in federal regulation of abortion, even though he doesn't think that abortion is morally right.

July 12, 2011

"The Millennials, Religion, and Abortion Survey"

The Public Religion Research Institute recently released a study on abortion that they termed "the largest national public opinion survey ever conducted on abortion and the influence of religion and moral values on the issue." The survey, which can be found here, is forty-one pages long and was compiled through 3000 interviews. To go through all of the survey would take hours, so I will give you some highlights. The survey focused on the "Millennial" Generation's (18 to 29 year olds) view of abortion and the issues surrounding it. The study found that, contrary to popular belief, the Millennial Generation is not significantly more likely to favor abortion than the rest of American society, meaning that roughly 60% of their generation believes abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 40% believes that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. The study also found that those who knew someone who had an abortion were far more likely to support abortion than those who didn't know anyone who had an abortion. Those who had recently seen an image of an ultrasound were slightly less likely to support abortion than those who hadn't. Those who had seen TV shows such as "Teen Mom" or "16 and Pregnant" were more likely to support abortion than those who hadn't seen those shows. Another interesting fact this study found is that 60% of Americans who attend church weekly say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

So what does it mean? Well, it confirms a lot of things that we already knew. Religious people are more likely than atheists or agnostics to oppose abortion, friendships influence beliefs, and television and the internet are now large influences in our lives. However, the key part if the survey made me pause temporarily. The survey suggests that the Millennial Generation, a generation considered one of the most liberal and "open-minded" generations ever, is no more open to abortion than the rest of society. In fact, the survey says that exactly half of that generation (50%) believes that abortion is morally wrong. The pro-life movement, contrary to popular belief, will not suffer through the Milennial Generation. In fact, this study shows that the pro-life movement could conceivably grow through this generation. That, I think, is the key find of this survey.

In Christ,

July 8, 2011

What We Know: Mitt Romney

The What We know series attempts to explain each of the 2012 Presidential candidates' views on abortion. Earlier, we did President Obama. Next is Mitt Romney, considered by many to be the front runner for the Republican nomination.

The Simple Answer: A quote from Romney, found here: "I am prolife. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother"

Behind the Answer: Three articles on Romney's stance and record on abortion can be found here, here, and (wikipedia warning) here. Romney, at one point, was in favor of abortion and said he was pro-choice. However, in 2004, Romney claimed that he had become pro-life. Despite his proclaimed conversion, in 2006, Romney, then governor of Massachusetts, signed a health care bill that included taxpayer funding for abortion. Romney later claimed that, despite evidence to the contrary (noted in the first linked article in this section) the bill he signed did not fund abortion, and even if it did, it wasn't his fault. Romney now claims to be firmly pro-life and ready to de-legalize abortion, but his past record takes some of the legitimacy out of his claim.

July 6, 2011

LOVE will overcome abortion: Part 1

Mother Teresa is probably a person who I should know much more about.  She is a blessed person and someone who loved the people of this world much like Jesus Christ did.  For that I respect her.  She never stopped trying to love people.  She just loved people!  I can definitely learn a lot from her!

So, I am reading this book called ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments by Randy Alcorn.  When I am done, I'll write a book review on it.  I've barely gotten out of the introduction and I would already recommend it to anyone!  But in this book, there is an excerpt from a speech Mother Teresa made at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast.  Just the little bit that was in the book inspired me, so I decided to look for the rest.  I found the entire speech here.  It. is. amazing.  And it's not just about abortion.  Wouldn't you know it?  It's about love!  And it reminded me of something:

Day before last was the Fourth of July.  Different people have different things that they do on the Fourth and my family goes to a huge park called Riverfront Park that is in downtown Spokane, the city that I live in.  The park has a band come every year and a big fire works show and lots of booths where you can buy food and crafts and different things and it's really fun!  But there are also many, many people that smoke, get drunk, break rules, wear immodest clothing, and well, you get the picture.  These kinds of people scare me and disgust me.  For one, I'm not used to people like that, the "normal" people for me are Christian people who go to church regularly, don't smoke or have tattoos, don't swear constantly, and are law-abiding citizens that have a job.  So the contrast between those people and the people at the park last night was, shall we say, quite distinct.  After I got tired of all those people looking at me and coming too close to me, I sat down on the ground and hid behind my family. 
Then I prayed for every person that walked past me.  I wish I could say that I did this like God wants me to, humbly and lovingly, but I really didn't.  It was kind of an excuse to hide and I still felt that I was above them and better than them.  It is true that most of those people are to blame for the way that they are living, but does that make me any better than them?  After all, Jesus came for sinners, and sometimes the worst of sinners can understand and appreciate His love better than the best of them.  Mother Teresa, in her speech, paints a beautiful picture of what love should look like.  She was not afraid of picking up people on the streets and loving them as Christ commanded.  She had the courage to love, even those who were beneath her.

I have realized that I do not have the courage to love.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will give me that courage.  I pick and choose who I want to love, and the people at the park last night did not fit into my category of the people who "deserve" my love.  The problem is, I didn't realize that I don't deserve to love them!  Or, for that matter, to be loved by Christ, my Savior, the Man who loved me and everyone else (including those people I think are beneath me) enough to die.  So why am I writing this?

I am writing this because the Church (in America, in general) does the same thing to women who have become pregnant and who have had an abortion.  We judge.  We condemn.  Like we have any right at all to condemn those women!  We feel that we are above those women.  The Pastors in our Churches don't preach on abortion because they feel uncomfortable with it.  But this communicates to women who have had an abortion that their sin is too big for God to forgive.  This is why the best way to combat abortion right now is to love!  Making abortion illegal will help, I'm not saying we shouldn't try for that, but will that fix the real problem?  People (both girls and guys) are trying to find worth in dating and sex and when they make a mistake, they try to fix it with abortion.  Making abortion illegal won't stop people from trying to find worth in a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  But love will.  I encourage you to try to help those struggling in your school, and in your Church.  God calls on us to love, so please, love.

I encourage you to read Mother Teresa's speech (the link is above).  It has helped me gain a new perspective on what love really means.



*Part 2 to come soon!*