David P. Gushee: Mr. President, we need more than lip service

But this kind of calculation is precisely what has gotten Christian political activists in trouble in the past, not just for 40 years but for 1,600 years. We gain access to Caesar in order to affect policy; we hold onto access even if it involves compromising some of what we want in policy; in the end, we can easily forget what policies we were after in the first place. I think this definitely happened to the Christian right. It doesn’t need to be repeated by the Christian center or left.

My understanding of the majestic God-given sacredness of human life tells me that a society that legally permits abortion on demand is deeply corrupt. It pays for adult sexual liberties with the lives of defenseless developing children. That practice, in turn, desensitizes society to the implications of paying for prospective medical cures with defenseless frozen embryos, which themselves are available because our society pays for medically assisted reproductive technology by producing hundreds of thousands of these embryos as spares. And yes, that same commitment to life’s sacredness has grounded my opposition to paying for national security with torture, or paying for today’s affluence with tomorrow’s environmental destruction.

Christian conscience requires me to make this case even if it has no chance of prevailing in American society. And if we lose on abortion, as it appears we will lose for a long time to come, Christian conscience requires me to ask the government not to require citizens to pay for procuring services that violate their sacred beliefs.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Life Ethics, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

4 comments on “David P. Gushee: Mr. President, we need more than lip service

  1. Daniel Muth says:

    The more things change… What Mr. Gushee seems to be discovering, bit by bit, ever so slowy, is that the Church, in addition to being right in her consistent opposition to abortion for the last 2000 years, has been correct in her traditional recognition of the difference between matters of prudential judgment, such as the manner of conduct of a just war, and unconscionable moral evil, such as the intentional killing of the innocent. While there were certainly legitimate grounds for critique and disagreement, by and large, the ideological – and thoroughly unnuanced – grandstanding against interrogation techniques and incarceration of difficult-to-classify combatants in a justified war against a religion (and only a portion of that religion’s adherents) vice a nation, was generally cheap, ill-considered, and founded primarily on grossly uncharitable (not to mention largely unfounded) assumptions about certain individuals leading the previous administration. In the meantime, objective evil (and here, unlike the critics of the former president, I do not refer to any individuals, but rather to their wrong-headed and perverse policies) has willingly been given aid and comfort by well-meaning Christians (not to mention dubiously orthodox believers such as the current president).

    One need not be an adherent of the Republican Party to see that, while compromise on abortion may be a tragic necessity in a sinful and broken world, the gross extremism and enthusiastic embrace of evil by the Democrat Party is indefensible. That such evil corrupts everything it touches is something any Christian should recognize and should have come as no surprise to Mr. Gushee. He should have known better. The fact is, whatever the deficiencies – and they are considerable – of the Republicans, a properly formed Christian conscience cannot support the Democrat Party so long as they remain wedded to the objective moral evil entailed in the legalized homicide that is elective abortion. It is, however, to Mr. Gushee’s credit that he seems to be coming, alas belatedly – to that realization.

  2. Joshua 24:15 says:

    The saying, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” comes to mind, although I think Prof. Gushee and other self-described “moderates” really had plenty of information with which NOT to be fooled when they voted last November. Even a cursory reading of Mr. Obama’s voting record and pronouncements on a gamut of life issues (abortion, stem cell research, etc.) should have given him considerable pause, IF he really is as strongly pro-life as he seems to articulate at the close of this op-ed piece.

    The unfolding tragedy is that untold hundreds of thousands more unborn children’s lives will be snuffed out, or worse yet, regarded as fodder for ESC research (which has been to date singularly unproductive compared with adult stem cells), AND healthcare professionals like me will likely have increasing pressure exerted on us in the near future to violate our consciences as a direct result of the anti-life policies of this administration, and the willingness of many accomodationist “pro-life” folks like Mr. Gushee.

  3. azusa says:

    The useful idiot begins to wake up … rather late.

  4. Dave B says:

    The fact that Professor Gushee didn’t seem pay attention to how President Obama voted on the Born Alive act and then lied about it shows that he had marginal interest or deluded himself about President Obama’s true postion on human life. Abortion isn’t just about adults either. Pedophiles are using it to hide their crimes and Planned Parenthood is a willing accomplice!