Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pastor Ritch Boerckel: A Single Issue Voter

The following article is by Ritch Boerckel and taken from Bethany Baptist's Broadcaster newsletter.  I think it is appropriate to consider in light of the elections tomorrow.  I share Ritch's conviction regarding voting pro-life and, because of that conviction, I will not be voting for either the Republican or Democratic candidate in several statewide races.

A Single Issue Voter

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." (Pro 14:34 NIV)

I am a “single issue” voter. Abortion is the issue. I know that many may ridicule me for it as though such a stance is simplistic and unintelligent, but I refuse to be embarrassed by my conviction that I cannot vote for anyone who promotes legalized abortion. Often the pro-life option is found in one party; sometimes it is found in another. My conviction over the years has led me to vote variously for Republican, Democratic and Constitution Party candidates for the office of governor of Illinois. Sadly, in the past 18 years, I have not had the joy of voting for any winning candidate for governor. Happily, I have not had the sorrow of voting for any indicted and convicted candidate for governor. This is a trade off that I can live with.

Why do I defend “single issue” voting when the issue is abortion? I understand that there are other issues of great importance. I think it wise to consider these other issues when choosing between two pro-life candidates. But my understanding of the Bible leads me to believe that abortion transcends every other issue. Let me offer you three reasons for your consideration:

First, abortion is the most heinous sin that this nation presently acknowledges as lawful. The evil of abortion is almost too nauseating for me to consider. Thankfully, in the nineteenth century our nation’s conscience was awakened to the evil of slavery. We decided that we could no longer give the practice of slavery refuge within our laws. (I am thankful for the single issues voters of Abraham Lincoln’s day that voted to remove the blight of slavery from our land.) Today, our moral ground is no better than those before us when we legally sanction the taking of an innocent human life. Abortion is a silent slaughter that takes the lives of nearly 50,000 babies each year in the state of Illinois alone. As an evangelical Christian who believes that the Bible is true, I believe that there is no qualitative difference between a baby in the womb and a baby in a crib. If I would be outraged by the legal murder of infants and toddlers, then I must be outraged by the legal murder of babies in the womb. The heinous nature of abortion is masked from our eyes as we do not see the corpses of the little ones whose lives have been taken from them by someone more powerful than they. But it must not be masked from our consciences or from our voting record. It seems schizophrenic to affirm the heinous nature of abortion and then support it by voting for an elected official who will work to see that abortions continue to be lawful. My conscience does not allow me to participate in the evil of abortion by giving power to candidates who openly declare their intentions to continue this great national sin.

Second, abortion directly and intentionally causes the death of 1.3 million Americans each year. I do not know of any other issue that intentionally targets a specific group of Americans for death. Christians may reasonably disagree on social justice topics or on fiscal issues or on a host of other important concerns. However, I do not know of any other issue in which one side says, “I defend one person’s right to actively kill another person.” The abortion lobby’s entire intention is the killing of little ones. And it is very effective at accomplishing those goals. The most fundamental right given by God is the right to life. If this right is abandoned, then no other right has meaning. There is no value in the right to free speech, the right to freedom of religion, the right to bear arms or the right to a free press IF the right to life is undermined. A government that sanctions abortion is a government that is willing to sacrifice any other fundamental human right if the political winds blow in that direction. This issue transcends all the others. Yes, I am concerned about fiscal responsibility and foreign policy, but if I agree with a candidate on every other issue except this one, then I cannot support them. This is too important. I want to vote on the right side of this defining issue of our age.

Finally, I have a responsibility as a citizen of the United States to vote for representatives who uphold the sanctity of life. Ours is a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Our elected officials do not rule over us as kings, but they represent us. We vote for a person that we can honestly say best represents who we are and what we value and how we think. We are the ones responsible for the government that we have. The preamble of our constitution explains what the responsibilities that the citizens of our nation have in governing. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. I do not uphold the Constitution when I vote for a pro-abortion candidate. These candidates deny the blessings of liberty to our posterity. The Supreme Court ruled abortion Constitutional as the Court reasoned that babies in the womb are not “persons”. Justice Blackmun wrote that "the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense alone" to justify abortion up until the precise moment that the infant leaves the womb. The Court understood that if it acknowledged the personhood of infants in the womb, then it would have to declare abortion illegal throughout the land.

Pastor Martin Niemueller was arrested in Nazi Germany for preaching the Bible, and speaking against Hitler, consequently he was one of only a handful of German Christian leaders who did speak out. A Lutheran chaplain visited him in jail and asked him, “My brother, what did you do? Why are you here?” To which Niemueller replied, “My brother, given what is happening in our country, why aren’t you here?”

So I would urge you to consider voting only for those candidates that affirm life. May God bless our nation with a heart of repentance and revival.


Mom B said...

Excellent! I am so grateful for Rich Boerckel, and for his ministry in our family, and for you, Daniel, as you shepherd your sweet flock. Well said, and well quoted!

Frank said...

Speaking of Pastor Ritch. His brother Scott is candidating at my church East White Oak. Pretty exciting.


pattym said...

Thanks for this Daniel, it helps me to put into words what I should be saying to anyone and everyone.