Monday, November 10, 2008

They listen to their preachers, he said

“Thomas,” he said. “You just don’t understand. People all over this county are greatly influenced by their preacher.
“I hope so,” I responded.
“And that’s why they vote Republican.”

He is right, I don’t understand that. I was thinking of a budget that robs services from the most vulnerable people among us to give huge tax refunds to the rich. I was thinking of the environment and all the anti-pollution regulations removed by Mr. Bush, and I was thinking about a preemptive war and the 4000 young men and women who have had their lives taken from them and the thousands who have come home with their arms, legs or faces blown off. How could preachers who uphold the love of God for the “least of these” urge their congregations to vote Republican?

“It’s the abortion issue,” he said. They are all opposed to the rampant use of abortion as a birth control.”

Again, I said, “I hope so.” They are right to do so. I hope preachers all over this county feel a call to protect the rights and lives of the unborn. But that is precisely why they should vote Democratic. Anyone with a passion for the unborn is aware that abortions actually went down during the previous Democratic administration, and not by a little bit, but down by 300,000 a year. That’s over a million kids and grandkids running around now who would not have ever been if all they had to protect them was a law aimed at punishing their mothers. The reason abortions went down when Democrats controlled the government was that young mothers were given opportunities for education, jobs and economic hope. Having a baby when you are poor and without health care or even knowing how you will feed it while trying to keep a job is frightening.

Many people perceive Democrats as being “for” abortions because most Democrats believe there are some situations where an abortion seems like the right thing to do, such as when a women has been raped, is the victim of incest or her own life is in danger, but according to polls, a vast majority of Americans, over 75 percent, would consent to an abortion under those circumstances. If we just pass laws declaring all pregnancies, no matter what, must be brought to birth, then the wealthy who seek abortions will simply go to places where termination is legal while the desperate poor will resort to back rooms and coat hangers.

Now here comes the hard part. It’s not enough to force a woman to have a baby and then abandon her. To be truly pro-life includes giving her baby the right to nourishment, health care and education. Otherwise we are merely pro-birth, not pro-life. I believe, and I believe most preachers believe, that abortions should be “legal, safe and rare.” So, I hope the people of our county will keep on listening to their preachers on this and all other moral issues.

Thomas L. Are
One of those preachers

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