In September 2009, the blog Abortion in Washington, reported on the employment history of Dr. Julie Komarow, MD. According to the AIW investigation, Komarow had moonlighted for years at Cedar River Clinics, Washington’s notorious late-term abortion chain. Cedar River provides abortions up to 26 weeks (LMP) using a the D&E procedure in which the preborn child is torn apart and removed, piece by piece, from the mother’s womb.
Fortunately, Komarow has since left Cedar River, and works out of Sound Family Medicine of Bonney Lake, providing “family medicine, with a special emphasis on obstetrics and preventive care.” Her professional bio makes no mention of her history at Cedar River or other abortion clinics.
I applaud Komarow’s decision to quit the horrifying late-term abortion industry. Many doctors and medical workers have done the same, shedding light on the abortion industry, and offering powerful testimonies of redemption. But in this case, there is no evidence that Komarow shares in this desire to walk in the light. To the contrary, she is now pursuing legal action that would not only block inquiry into her past, but would also interfere with the free speech rights of pro-life bloggers.
In a hearing before the King County Superior Court scheduled for December 26th, 2010, Komarow will seek to renew and expand a restraining order against the AIW reporter who first broke the news in 2009. Komarow first obtained the one-year restraining order against the reporter (who wishes to use the pen-name “John Hubert”), in 2009, complaining of “unlawful harassment”.
Komarow’s statement to the court reveals typical journalistic persistence from Hubert, but no verbal or physical threats of any kind. The judge awarded Komarow’s request and issued the restraining order against Hubert, barring him from asking any further questions of her via e-mail, phone, or through a third-party. These restrictions were honored by the Hubert, but in Komarow’s latest request for another restraining order, she makes a new demand that, if granted, would set a dangerous precedent threatening the free speech of any blog or media outlet.
Komarow requests that the court prohibit Hubert from even mentioning her name in any blog, article, or website. As an example to the court, Komarow attached a copy of a recent AIW article to her statement, which briefly makes mention of her name. It is interesting to note that the reporter who posted the article isn’t even Hubert, but another AIW reporter.
One has to ask if Komarow is prepared to take restraining orders out against all bloggers who use her name in association with the abortion industry. And more importantly, will the courts actually grant such requests that would stifle the new media’s ability to report on this politically correct holocaust?
Stumbling towards what?
“Stumbling block”–it’s one of those biblical terms that sends a shiver of conviction down my spine.
The command is given “…make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)
But what exactly is a stumbling block? “To stumble” generally implies an interruption in progress down a given path (difficult to stumble when you’re standing still), and the path that God is so jealous to guard among His people is that of sanctification–the process of being set apart for our “chief end”, which as the Westminster Catechism declares, is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.
In 1 Corinthians 8, the Apostle Paul admonishes the church:
“[T]ake care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak…by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.”
Here we see that our responsibility extends beyond our own lives–I may be permitted to engage in certain “disputable” behaviors, but if doing so misleads or agitates the conscience of my brother or sister in Christ, I am commanded in love to bend my liberty to their sensitivity. It is in this command that I am reminded that God’s standards of love and holiness are much higher than my own technical definitions of “obedience”.
A New Kind of Block
But a recent statement from a local Baptist reverend had me rethinking my whole understanding of “stumbling block”. During last month’s Pharmacy Board hearings, the reverend testified:
“As a Christian minister for over 45 years, I cannot find any place in the scriptures I hold sacred that would condone the refusal to help someone who is in need of medical care. Quite the contrary, the Christian Biblical text admonishes believers that we must never be a stumbling block for others. That is exactly what is proposed in the [pharmacy regulation change]: to create a stumbling block for some of the most vulnerable and needy by restricting or denying their compassionate care.”
Interesting application–surely as Christians we are to be concerned with the physical, as well as the spiritual needs of those around us. The Proverbs tell us not to withhold good from those who are entitled to it when we have the power to give it.
But it needs to be noted that the reverend seems to have broadened not only the definiton of “stumbling block”, but also what is means to provide “compassionate care”. As it turns out, the cause he was trumpeting was a rule that would require Washington State pharmacists to dispense the “Morning-After-Pill”, even in violation of personal conscience.
Does emergency contraception qualify as healthcare? I have yet to hear of any cases where it treated a disease or saved a life (though there are certainly doctors who would argue it has taken many lives) but we are now asked to believe that it qualifies as “compassionate care” and that those whose conscience forbid them from dispensing it are acting as “stumbling blocks”.
In a sense he is right, such pharmacists are acting as obstacles, but is that necessarily a bad thing?
Anesthesia for the Soul
I confess, part of me likes the Reverend’s application of “stumbling block” a whole lot better than the one found in 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14–how much easier would the Christian life be if God permitted us to lay aside our convictions any time it became an impediment to another person’s choice–if we were no longer charged with helping others to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever”?
It might make life easier, but where would such doctrine lead us? It would lead us to the place we are today, where under the cloak of ecclesiastical authority, certain ministers go so far as to twist the scriptures to sear not only their own consciences, but the consciences of those who look to them for guidance. For not only does this reverend advocate government-forced dispensing of Plan B, he also happens to be the full-time chaplain for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.
His job description is simple: to numb the disquieted hearts of Planned Parenthood’s victims. One such tale of clerical anesthetizing was recounted in a 2006 Seattle PI article:
[A]bortion days take a toll [on clinic staff], especially when they see repeat customers.
For Mona Hinojos, 30, who works at the Vancouver clinic, just being in the office made her nervous…the magnitude of what was about to happen was unshakable.
“The very first time I was involved, I thought, ‘How am I going to deal with this?’ ” she said. “I was raised Catholic, so it’s hard. But the two things — you kind of weigh them out. Women’s rights are very important, just as much as my religion. I believe in what we do here, and I believe that my faith is strong, too.”
[Reverend] Lachina’s counseling further cemented Hinojos’ already strong sense of purpose. But to one medical assistant at the clinic in Oak Harbor, the reality of being present during the termination of a pregnancy, in this case through medication, made her think about quitting.
“We weren’t doing abortions when I started here — I’d thought that would stay closer to Seattle — and when we did, it was really, really hard for me,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be published because she fears her friends will disapprove. “I thought, ‘Should I call in sick? Get another job?’ “…
Lachina listened to her concerns, telling her that God did not judge her and that she should not blame herself. His cleric’s collar, so similar to those worn by the priests she’d been raised to obey, was especially comforting.
“I’m still kind of divided in my feelings,” the woman said. “But I believe that I’m doing right, and [Reverend Lachina] really helped me.”
The reverend “really helped” her? He may have temporarily allievated feelings of guilt, but he certainly did not free her to enjoy the presence of God.
With cleverly crafted words, such ministers attempt to redefine what it means to be “compassionate”. What appears to be an interest in providing medical care to the “most vulnerable”, is in fact opening up a path to destruction. What appears to be an extension of grace to those who are overwhelmed with guilt, is actually a hinderance to true forgiveness, healing, and freedom.
God of Judgement, God of Grace
The most dangerous part of the reverend’s message is not his particular misapplication of the term “stumbling block”, or even his advocacy of abortion rights–what is most dangerous is his implication that God does not judge.
Dear friends, let us never be deceived into thinking that our God is not a God of judgement, for if there is no judgement of sin, then Christ died for nothing. It was on the cross that Christ bore the wrath for God’s judgement of sin. If we acknowledge our sin and rest in Christ’s finished work of redemption, then the penalty for our sin has been paid–we take part in the blessed double transfer of our sins being nailed to the cross, and Christ’s righteousness credited to our account. But for those who brush away the weight of sin, who see no need for repentance, who believe in a God of tolerance without holiness, the way to redemption in blocked.
The true stumbling block in this situation is not the conscience-bound pharmacist, or an outdated moralism, rather it the counterfeit compassion of postmodern spirituality, which states that “care” should include an unhindered path towards physical, emotional, and spiritual destruction.
As it turns out, there are some paths that need to be blocked in order to redirect us towards the path of life.
Ballots have dropped!!!
I value the work Human Life PAC does to vet candidates here in Washington State, thank you Dan Kennedy. Take a look before you vote!
HUMAN LIFE PAC ENDORSEMENTS
Human Life Political Action Committee has surveyed candidates for the U. S. House, Senate, and the State Legislature.
We urge citizens to review all candidates listed below. Some candidates have a complete pro-life position and have received the Human Life PAC endorsement. Human Life PAC endorses pro-life incumbents in races where the incumbent faces a 100% pro-life challenger. When a previously endorsed candidate and current office holder runs for a higher/different office, that candidate is treated as an incumbent, and receives the endorsement.
Other candidates responding to the survey are in near or partial agreement with Human Life PAC’s pro-life position, and they deserve your consideration also.
“The care of all human life and happiness, and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government,” Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence affirms that Life is first necessary before liberty or the pursuit of happiness can exist. Talk of human rights is but a charade, if it is only for the “chosen” of the human family.
Pro-Life is pro-rights! Election Day affords an opportunity to elect men and women who are pro-life – regardless of their political party – who will vote to protect the right-to-life for all.
Based on qualifying criteria, Human Life PAC has endorsed candidates who assent to the truth that all human beings are valuable – the woman, her preborn child, those with disabilities, the elderly and the terminally ill. Endorsed candidates are indicated by YES in the endorsed column. Other candidates who are in near or partial agreement are noted as “some” and are included in this list.
Codes: C = Constitution Party; D = Democrat; R = Republican
STATE SUPREME COURT Jim Johnson, Position 1 – Endorsed
STATE SUPREME COURT Richard Sanders, Position 6 – Endorsed…
Office District Position End. Candidate US House 2 Yes John Koster (R) US House 3 Yes Jamie Herrera (R) US House 4 Yes Doc Hastings (R) US House 5 Yes Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) US House 6 Some Doug Cloud (R) US House 9 Yes Dick Muri (R) State Leg 01 Pos. 1 Yes Dennis Richter (R) State Leg 01 Pos. 2 Yes Heidi Munson (R) State Leg 02 Pos. 1 Yes Jim McCune (R) State Leg 02 Pos. 2 Yes Thom Campbell (R) State Leg 02 Pos. 2 100% James Wilcox (R) State Leg 03 Pos. 1 Yes Dave White (R) State Leg 04 Pos. 1 Yes Larry Crouse (R) State Leg 04 Pos. 2 Yes Matt Shea (R) State Leg 05 Pos. 2 Some Glenn Anderson (R) State Leg 06 Senate Yes Michael Baumgartner (R) State Leg 06 Pos. 1 Yes Kevin Parker (R) State Leg 06 Pos. 2 Yes John Ahern (R) State Leg 07 Pos. 1 Yes Shelly Short (R) State Leg 07 Pos. 2 Yes Joel Kretz (R) State Leg 08 Pos. 1 Yes Brad Klippert (R) State Leg 08 Pos. 2 Yes Larry Haler (R) State Leg 12 Pos. 1 Yes Cary Condotta (R) State Leg 12 Pos. 2 Yes Cliff Courtney (R) State Leg 13 Senate Yes Janea Holmquist (R) State Leg 13 Pos. 1 Yes Judy Warnick (R) State Leg 13 Pos. 2 Yes Bill Hinkle (R) State Leg 14 Pos. 1 Yes Michele Strobel (R) State Leg 15 Senate Yes Jim Honeyford (R) State Leg 15 Pos. 1 Yes Bruce Chandler (R) State Leg 15 Pos. 2 Yes David Taylor (R) State Leg 16 Pos. 1 Yes Brenda High (C) State Leg 17 Pos. 1 Yes Brian Peck (R) State Leg 17 Pos. 2 Yes Paul Harris (R) State Leg 18 Pos. 1 Yes Ann Rivers (R) State Leg 18 Pos. 2 Yes Ed Orcutt (R) State Leg 19 Pos. 1 Yes Kurt Swanson (R) State Leg 19 Pos. 2 Yes Tim Sutinen (LT) State Leg 21 Senate Yes David Preston (R) State Leg 21 Pos. 2 Yes Elizabeth Scott (R) State Leg 22 Pos. 1 Yes Jason Hearn (R) State Leg 23 Pos. 2 Yes James Olson (R) State Leg 24 Pos. 1 Yes Dan Gase (R) State Leg 24 Pos. 2 Some Jim McEntire (R) State Leg 25 Pos. 1 Yes Bruce Dammeier (R) State Leg 25 Pos. 2 Yes Hans Zeiger (R) State Leg 26 Senate Yes Marty McClendon (R) State Leg 26 Pos. 1 Yes Jan Angel (R) State Leg 28 Pos. 2 Yes Paul Wagemann (R) State Leg 29 Pos. 1 Yes Steven Cook (R) State Leg 30 Senate Yes Tony Moore (R) State Leg 30 Pos. 1 Yes Mark Miloscia (D) State Leg 31 Senate Yes Pam Roach (R) State Leg 31 Pos. 1 Yes Cathy Dahlquist (R) State Leg 31 Pos. 2 Some Patrick Reed (R) State Leg 32 Pos. 1 Yes Art Coday M.D. (R) State Leg 32 Pos. 2 Yes Gary Gagliardi (R) State Leg 33 Senate ? Jack Michalek (R) State Leg 35 Senate Yes Nancy Williams (R) State Leg 36 Pos. 2 Some Jill England (R) State Leg 37 Pos. 2 Some John Stafford (D) State Leg 38 Pos. 2 Yes Iris Lilly (R) State Leg 39 Pos. 1 Yes Kirk Pearson (R) State Leg 39 Pos. 2 Yes Dan Kristiansen (R) State Leg 40 Pos. 1 Some Michael Newman (R) State Leg 42 Senate Yes Doug Erickson (R) State Leg 42 Pos. 1 Yes Jason Overstreet (R) State Leg 42 Pos. 2 Yes Vincent Buys (R) State Leg 44 Senate Yes Dave Schmidt (R) State Leg 45 Pos. 2 Yes Mark Isaacs (R) State Leg 47 Pos. 1 Yes Mark Hargrove (R) State Leg 47 Pos. 2 Yes Rodrigo Yanez (R) State Leg 48 Pos. 2 Yes Philip Wilson (R) State Leg 49 Senate Some Craig Riley (R)
Standing in front of an abortion clinic, where young women come in and out, tending to their most private concerns: I often wonder if this is the right thing to do.
Praying openly in the streets: it feels Pharisaical. I become painfully aware of my own deceitful self-righteousness. Shouldn’t I be praying secretly in my room with the shades down low?
These are the things I wrestle with every time the bi-annual 40 Days for Life prayer vigils roll around. Is this really the right thing to do?
Of course, I have to consider the particulars of the 40 Days for Life movement. I have never seen a disrespectful outburst or accusation from the prayer volunteers. I have never heard them speak prideful condemnations against the clients inside the clinics, even in private. Clearly, the motivation and spirit of these volunteers is not the same as the Pharisees of old.
And still, it feels obnoxious. What am I doing out here?
I keep falling back on one question:
Would it be considered obnoxious if children were really being killed inside these walls?
If children were really being brought daily to this ground to be put to death, would I still be concerned about appearing obnoxious?
If this were the case, the question wouldn’t even cross my mind. If children were really being killed, the streets would be lined with volunteers of every creed: Christians, Muslims, and Atheists alike, Conservatives and Liberals, standing together against the barbaric practice.
Children are being killed inside these walls. Throughout King County, the abortion rate is 1 in 4.
The very “hypothetical” I have constructed reveals that I still don’t quite get it: that on a certain level, I don’t fully believe that life begins at conception. I languish under the great deception just as the rest, continuing to look at life through man’s eyes versus God’s.
Maybe it is obnoxious to stand outside an abortion clinic–but perhaps a little loving audacity is precisely what is needed to wake us up–to wake me up–from what abolitionist Benjamin Lundy called “that stupid spell of apathy.”
I still question what the right path is, I question my motives and how I am perceived. But maybe I need to continue attending these vigils, if for no other reason than to convince myself that what goes on inside the four walls of Planned Parenthood is far more obnoxious than what happens just outside the door.
Originally published, May 2009:
One of the most vicious ideological battles over American slavery took place long before the Civil War. The fight was over an idea called gradualism and its cousin, colonization. Those who favored these ideas were the great pragmatic moderates of their day, part of the “wise and prudent” class, as William Lloyd Garrison put it.
They generally thought that slavery was an unfortunate, negative institution, believed it was already on the decline, and that the goal should be to reduce and gradually end its practice. Colonization groups were formed under the guise of benevolent societies. Instead of seeking to recognize blacks as equal American citizens, they sought to deport them to colonies in Liberia and Haiti where they could live in “freedom” and racial segregation.
Many indications suggested that colonization was the most practical course of action to reduce slavery. Racial prejudice still permeated American society, and even those opposed to slavery frequently believed that the black population had been so degraded by the institution that they were no longer fit for freedom.
Then came the radicals: the immediatists. They built their movement on the “extreme” views that slavery was a sin, that it could not be allowed to continue for a moment longer, and that emancipation must be centered on the principle that all races are equal and must live in unity as American citizens.
Speaking in heightened rhetoric and often demonizing the other side, this group argued and agitated its way into the hearts of abolitionists, slowly defeating colonization. William Lloyd Garrison presented the key issue at stake:
“This is the question—and the only question, whether it is not the sacred duty of the nation to abolish the system of slavery now, and to recognize the people of color as brethren and countrymen who have been unjustly treated and covered with unmerited shame.”
Despite the shared goal of reducing slavery, immediatists fought tooth and nail against gradualism because they saw that it weakened the abolitionist’s moral argument. “I saw there was nothing to stand upon, if it could be granted that slavery was, for a moment, right”, explained Garrison. In contrast, the moderate gradualists continued to allow the offenders to define the conditions of release for the victims, rather than fighting for the inalienable rights of all human beings.
Incendiary, simplistic, close-minded. These were the early crusaders of civil rights. Well regarded clergymen spoke harshly about these abolitionists, denouncing them as “beneath notice” and members of “the poorest, obscurest and most ignorant” part of society.
But decades later, the principles of immediatism would influence a president and remake America. At the beginning of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln favored gradualism and colonization, but it was through the tools of immediatism: the emancipation proclamation, and the 13th Amendment, that he took the first steps towards dismantling legalized racial injustice. What was close-minded at the time, is now clearly seen as right and just.
The battle between pragmatism and purity has been repeated thoughout history. The “perfect is the enemy of the good” argument sometimes holds true, and there are times when we are forced to choose between the awful, and the imperfect. But we must also recognize the profound danger in promoting moderation: the loss of moral clarity. There are some issues where middle ground is an absurdity, and moderation is a sin. The good news is that moral clarity does win arguments, and it will continue to win hearts.
Too often I seek to be part of the “wise and prudent” class, letting the culture shape my perception of what my priorities should be. If there is one thing we can learn from history, it’s that there is a time to seek common ground, and there is a time to seek solid ground. Some issues are too important to let fester under moderation.
“I shall not hesitate to call things by their proper names, nor yet refrain from speaking the truth…Take right hold! Hold on! And never abandon an inch of ground after it has been taken.” -Benjamin Lundy, American Abolitionist
“Truth and justice make their best way in the world when they appear in bold and simple majesty.” -Elizableth Heyrick, English Abolitionist
(Reference: “All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery” by Henry Mayer)
On November 4th, 2008, I lost everything….nearly everything I voted for, that is. It was the best thing that could have happened to me.
What precious memories I hold from that night of bitter concession–surrounded by those dear people who could both empathize with my disappointment, and call me to a higher focus.
Never had the admonishment of Isaiah 40 been so sweet:
21Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
24Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
It seems that the Lord was not shaken by “my” election losses.
Months later, that same chapter in Isaiah would sustain me as I saw for the first time, desolate young women walking in and out of an abortion clinic:
25“To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
27Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired
His understanding is inscrutable.
29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
No, the Lord is not impressed by the power of nations, but He inclines Himself to create, lead, and name the forgotten. That is the God we cast our votes under, and the God who every nation must one day tremble before.
I was set free on that day in November of 2008, as I was forced to see that the worst disappointment is only temporary, and that the greatest earthly victory, is at best, splendidly flawed.
As we go into election season, we face a life and death battle in our nation, a battle which Christians are called and privileged to participate in. And in the words of William Lloyd Garrison, “the struggle is full of sublimity”.
But the Lord does not call us to win–He calls us to glorify Him. He does not call us to cleverly strategize, but to be holy before Him. How miserably I have failed! But thanks be to God, I have been made holy by the imputed righteousness of my Savior, and set free to serve Him by His grace alone.
Today, as we drop off our ballots, may all who are willing, pray for our nation and the State of Washington. Not that God would be on our side, but that we would be on His. May we seek His mercy and forgiveness. May we ask that righteousness would shine forth, that crookedness would be exposed, and that we as a nation would have the wisdom to choose the former.
We submit the results to a mighty God, who “sits above the circle of the earth, He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.” And it is also He, who knows every part of His creation by name, and by “the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. ”
Today is Election Day–the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice.
Last night I received news that Pastor Joseph Fuiten had removed his endorsement of NARAL PAC committee member, Steve Litzow. I appreciate him doing so.
While we can be happy that the adamantly pro-choice Litzow no longer has the sanction of a pro-life pastor, this is not the time to let our guards down. Unfortunately, Pastor Fuiten’s withdrawal of this endorsement does not reflect a change in political philosophy, neither does it mean that his remaining endorsements necessarily reflect pro-life Christian values. Many of them do, but certainly not all. Steve Litzow was the most egregious offender, but he was not the only pro-choice candidate on this year’s Pastor’s Picks (And no, I’m not referring here to Dino Rossi.)
This past week has afforded the pro-life community with valuable insight into the world of political endorsements. I am grateful for Pastor Fuiten’s willingness to elaborate on the process, despite our adamant disagreement on the subject. On Friday, Fuiten released this statement (prior to withdrawing his endorsement):
A special message from Pastor Joe:
I have raised some eyebrows with my recommendation to vote for Steve Litzow over his Democratic rival in the race for State Senate in the 41st Legislative District. It might be a good time to remind friends about my process. When I make a voting recommendation, I have a series of filters:
FIRST, I look for a competent and conservative Christian. Lacking that I choose as conservative a person as possible.
LACKING THAT, I choose a Republican. In this case, all that gets him the nomination is that he is a Republican and the other guy is a Democrat.
Why does the party matter?
The majority party gets to choose committee chairs who in turn determine what bills get heard in a committee. A lot of bad things have happened since Republicans lost a working majority in the Senate. Litzow is on the board of NARAL. However, if Litzow gets elected, his might be the position that returns the Republicans to control of the Senate. Even though he is personally pro-abortion, it might put a pro-life Republican in charge of some committee that would give us the results we want.
Some in the pro-life community have made my endorsement an issue, but they really don’t understand the back story as to why I don’t want the Democrat elected. It isn’t a simple question of who is pro-life because neither one is. It is a question of which candidate’s election will actually advance the pro-life cause. In this case, it would be Litzow. I have actually had pro-lifers say they would rather have the Democrat than a pro-abortion Republican. But that might end up being very short-sighted and could actually hurt the pro-life cause.
That is the strange world of politics.
Maybe we won’t elect enough Republicans to make a difference, but I would be really unhappy if the naive attitudes of some left us one Republican vote short to control the Senate and therefore to keep the current bunch in power.
Though Fuiten has since removed this particular endorsement, he continues to operate under this same process. Unless this changes, he will continue to endorse pro-choice Republicans. I can understand the pragmatic reasons Fuiten uses this method–my opposition to his endorsement of Litzow was not based on a misunderstanding of his process.
I could write ad nauseum on the problems I have with this form of pragmatism, but I have a feeling most of you know what those reasons are, and have already come down on one side or the other.
The bottom line is this: We must not assume that when a pro-life, conservative, Christian pastor endorses a candidate, that the candidate shares pro-life, conservative, Christian values. This does not just go for Pastor’s Picks, but many other groups and individuals who issue endorsements. This is nothing new.
Too often Pro-Life leaders have been willing to accept cosmetic agreement by Republicans and ignore deep, real, political disagreements.
In our last US Senate Race, the Washington State Republican nominee merely said he was a Catholic and quote, “against abortion.” Those were, we’re told, his personal feelings. His political positions, however, were extremely pro-choice. He was a defender of a woman’s partially-regulated right to abortion. Trusted pro-life leaders endorsed this candidate, even when the candidate’s actual positions became known. He was a Republican.
On November 4, 2007, former Senator Fred Thompson, openly, on national TV, told NBC’s Tim Russert he believed that abortion is “a woman’s right,” and he would not vote to ban it in the first trimester at any level. Nine days later, on November 13, 2007, the National Right to Life Committee endorsed his candidacy for President of the United States. He was a Republican.
The eventual holder of the Republican nomination for President in 2008 was the recipient, for good reason, of the enthusiastic endorsement of Republicans for Choice. The National Right to Life also endorsed him. He was a Republican.
And so, in practice, applying to one’s chest the Republican logo has, to some degree, become a means of whitewashing pro-abortion views. We believe that for any Republican who understands the gravity of the legalized murder of innocent children, this is intolerable.
Voter vigilance is crucial. On the flip side, I would challenge those who issue endorsements to realize that many who trust them will assume that the candidates they endorse share their values. Ultimately, it is the individual voter’s responsibility to do their own research, but who can blame them for making such assumptions?
What would happen if the pro-life community no longer got behind candidates who blatantly turned their backs on the unborn? What if the Republican Party faced consequences, for running such pro-choice candidates? The brilliant abolitionist writer, Elizabeth Heyrick, wrote: “Truth and justice, make their best way in the world, when they appear in bold and simple majesty; their demands are most willingly conceded when they are most fearlessly claimed.” I think she’s right.
Sacrifice children on the altar of Republicanism? I won’t do it. The children aren’t expendable. The Republican party is.
… I’ll vote for someone who won’t sacrifice children on the altar of expedience, pragmatism, partisanship or economic philosophy. And I won’t consider it a wasted vote, because if the two options on a ballot so blatantly dishonor Christ and His values, then the real waste would be voting for one of them.
To some this is naïve and impractical. But if we acted according to principle and conscience, if we stopped selling out because of our premature analysis of “electability,” if we did it God’s way instead of ours, maybe we would be coming over to His side rather than expecting Him to come over to ours. Maybe then we would receive God’s approval. That’s what will matter in the last day. And that’s what should most matter to us now.
I can live with not being a Republican. I cannot live with ceasing to stand up for the little ones, of whom God says “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-)
Let’s be grateful that Pastor Fuiten withdrew this endorsement, and continue to be vigilant in seeking and proclaiming truth and light.