Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Voting Romney = Voting Wrongly?

I have something of a history of voting for neither major presidential candidate.  As I recall, I did not vote for Bob Dole or Bill Clinton in 1996 (and 2012 feels a lot like 1996, only worse).  In 2008, I voted for Chuck Baldwin rather than Barack Obama or John McCain.  I also have a habit of picking (very conservative) losers in the presidential primaries.

This trend of protest voting seems to be gaining momentum.  More and more people are buying the logic that it's better to vote for no one than to vote for the lesser of two evils.  Doug Phillips promotes this philosophy with great intelligence and passion.  Here's an example from his ministry's Facebook page:
1. The Scriptures are still the only rule of action for Christians.

2. The duty of believers at the ballot box is the same today as it has always been. We may only select leaders who meet the Scriptural requirements for civil magistrate. Leaders need not be pe
rfect, but they must be qualified.

3. The obedient response of the elect of God to the Lord Jesus Christ and His law-word, not partisan politics or the results of presidential elections, is the key to national blessing.

4. The results of the presidential election, regardless of who wins, will work together for the good of the elect of God.

5. God is still on the throne.

Bonus Observation: The great and beautiful hope of tomorrow is the obedience of the Church in the face of opposition and challenging political scenarios. There is more hope for God's blessing on America if the people of God do what is right before the Lord, then if if they check their consciences at the ballot box to gain a perceived short-term victory. Perhaps God will save the city "if there be but ten..."
Here's an even more explicit warning blast from Phillips about Romney:
Report on the {First}Presidential Debate from Doug Phillips: It was a tragic day for America as our nation sat and watched two committed socialists, representing the Democratic and Republican parties respectively, argue between each other over which was the most committed to government interference in the private sector, wealth redistribution, and statist intervention in the economy. Tonight we learned that both candidates believe that social security is a success, that the government is responsible for education, and that the market will only work with heavy government regulation. Historically, presidential debates are shallow in terms of constitutional analysis of issues, but tonight's debate may have set the standard as the most constitutionally illiterate presentation by opposing primary party candidates for president in a national debate in the history of our nation. Tonight, (in case anyone needed reminding) Mitt Romney proved that he could be every bit the neo-Marxist that president Obama has become. What he may have lost in the first part of the debate through his petulant nit-picking, Governor Romney made up in the second part of the debate by unnerving President Obama, who clearly appeared to lose his edge as the evening closed. But the event was more of a clash of personalities then a debate over policy. Both peas were from the same pod, and the difference between the candidates on the issues raised tonight were little more than micro-degrees, with times that honest observers must admit that Obama appeared every so slightly to the right of Romney, and other times, vice versa. In sum: No Bible believing, Constitution-loving American should be proud of what happened tonight. Prediction: Liberals will like Romney much more after tonight's debate. But so will a large body of Christians to whom what Romney has said, done and advocated is irrelevant. The Evangelical political lobotomy is almost complete. His name is not Obama, and any facts pertaining to his radical socialism, statist agenda, pro-abortionism and pro-homosexual advocacy that get in the way of that truth must be ignored or stamped out.
I agree with much Phillips says.  Because of Republican loyalty to party rather than principle, conservativism fared better under Bill Clinton than under George W. Bush.  The GOP may again become the "Dem lite" party if they regain the White House.  More importantly, no matter which man is elected, we will still have a man who embodies the average American man.  A man who claims to be a Christian, but isn't; a man to whom the Bible is errant and fallible; a nice fellow who ultimately cares more about what is expedient than what is right in God's eyes; a man who does not argue "if" but "how much".  The only hope for positive political change in the US is for professing Christians to repent and get right with God. 

But Phillips is not the only one thinking deeply about these topics.  Here is a Roman Catholic apologist, John Martignoni, explaining why he thinks voting for Romney is not wrong:
President Obama agrees 100% with the Democrat Platform when it comes to the “right” of a woman to abort her child. He has on a few occasions spoken to Planned Parenthood conventions and made it very clear that there isn’t an abortion that he wouldn’t support. He even pledged to Planned Parenthood that he would make passage of the “Freedom of Choice” Act – which essentially removes any and all state restrictions on abortion (parental consent laws, 48–hour waiting periods, laws requiring women see a sonogram of their baby before the abortion, and so on) – as one of the highest priorities of his administration. Thankfully that hasn’t happened…yet.

His administration has gone so far as to sue at least one state to force them to reinstate funding for Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion provider in the country. Also, he is 100% in favor of the Health and Human Services regulations, which are a part of Obamacare, that would require all Catholic hospitals, Catholic businesses, and most Catholic organizations to pay for abortion, contraception, and sterilization in the health care plans they provide to their employees – trampling all over the religious freedom rights of Catholics.

While a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama was the lone vote against a bill that would require doctors to give proper medical care to infants that were born alive after a failed abortion. It was, essentially, a vote to allow infanticide when a baby survived an abortion.

Now, Mitt Romney does not have a stellar record on abortion. It seems he has gone back and forth a bit. He has however, made a pledge during this campaign with the following provisions:

1) I am pro–life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

2) I support the reversal of Roe v. Wade, because it is bad law and bad medicine. Roe was a misguided ruling that was a result of a small group of activist federal judges legislating from the bench.

3) I support the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions. And as president, I will support efforts to prohibit federal funding for any organization like Planned Parenthood, which primarily performs abortions or offers abortion–related services.

4) I will reinstate the Mexico City Policy to ensure that non–governmental organizations that receive funding from America refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a method of family planning, in other countries. This includes ending American funding for any United Nations or other foreign assistance program that promotes or performs abortions on women around the world.

5) I will advocate for and support a Pain–Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

6) And perhaps most importantly, I will only appoint judges who adhere to the Constitution and the laws as they are written, not as they want them to be written.

7) If I have the opportunity to serve as our nation's next president, I commit to doing everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America.

Now, the first point above is not really a “pro–life” position. But, if we can limit the number of abortions to only those associated with rape or incest, we will have eliminated around 99% of the abortions in this country. We can then start working on legislation and education campaigns to eliminate the remaining 1%. So, while this position is not a pro–life position, it is much less of a pro–abortion position than President Obama’s. It is the lesser of two evils.

The other six provisions, however, are indeed pro–life provisions. So, you have one candidate who is a pro–abortion extremist, and one who is pro–abortion, but much less so, in certain respects, but pro–life in other respects. You clearly have a situation where, on the issue of abortion, one candidate is the lesser of two evils. And, we are allowed, when there is no other viable alternative, to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Now, the prudential question becomes, can I trust Mitt Romney’s pledge to do these things? After all, he is a politician and he has seemed to flip flop before on this issue. I don’t know if you can trust him or not. However, I know that with President Obama, we are absolutely assured that a pro–abortion mentality will dominate his administration – that has already been demonstrated over the last 3 and a half years. With a Mitt Romney administration, there is at least a chance, that some babies lives – either in this country and/or in other countries – will be saved by his policies. I’m not a big fan of Mitt Romney (he was my 5th favorite out of the 6 main candidates on the Republican side), but I personally have to vote for the potential of pro–life policies being implemented vs. the absolute no hope of pro–life policies being implemented.

Also, this is where I factor in such things as Romney’s running mate – Paul Ryan – having been a pro–life Catholic for many years. This is where I factor in the Republican vs. Democrat Platforms. The Republican Platform does not have a plank advocating abortion “rights,” while the Democrat Platform does. So, even if Mitt Romney is not very pro–life in his heart of hearts, he is a politician. And, he knows that the pro–lifers are very important to his election and, if he is elected, to his re–election. If he is elected, and he reneges on the above–mentioned pledges – he is up the creek without a paddle and I believe he knows that. Which, will give him incentive to work on fulfilling the pledges he has made.
I find Martignoni's reasoning ultimately more compelling than Phillips this year.  As someone else has said, "Whenever humans are running for office, you are voting for the lesser of two evils." I will vote for Romney.  I will not rejoice no matter which man wins.  But I will pray that God will help me to see and repent of my own sins.  And I will pray for the return of the King.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Just read this
    after seeking to understand why some evangelical Christians are not voting.
    I agree with the conclusions you've reached. Christ is the only perfect King. In the meantime, I think we must make the wisest choice we can given the options presented to us in our democracy.