Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whose 100% ?

Election time is here, and everyone has a different opinion on which candidate will best represents his or her principles. But who ever ideally completely represent everyone's principles 100% ?  This is really an age old question.
The pro-life movement has suffered over the years from a division within its' ranks over this very issue. One side of the argument has contended, that voters of a pro-life conscience should never vote for a candidate unless they represent your principles 100%. This argument has led many of them to NOT vote at all. They oppose the "vote for the lesser evil" approach as a compromise which violates their pro-life conscience. Their approach is "all or nothing".  They need to look at it from the other side. That is, it is not so much that your are voting FOR a lesser evil, as much as it is about voting AGAINST a greater evil in order to CONTAIN it. 
Roe v Wade is the law of the land. Subsequent cases have allowed the pro-life movement to use an incremental approach over the years. This incremental approach has given the pro-life side, the opportunity for legislation on Parental Notice, no taxpayer funding, a woman's Right to Know ACT, ultrasound legislation and more.  If we cannot overturn Roe v Wade with one blow, we must at least chip away with an incremental approach.
Even the Holy Father, in his encyclical "The Gospel of Life", said - and I paraphrase, you get what you can get, and go back for more. Of course if you, by your non-vote, have elected the 100% pro-abortion candidate, you get nothing. Not only do you get nothing, but society loses as more lives are lost. Is this principle?
Everyone knows abortion is a spiritual battle. But it is fought in the public arena. This means the legislative arena. And no one running for office will ever be 100% for anyone or anything. But, if we can contain evil by voting for the candidate who gives us 80%, rather than allowing the candidate who gives us 0% to be elected by our non-vote, whose principle are we compromising?
Debates on philosophy are great. How many angels sit on the head of a pin? However in our real world, where every minute 3 babies are killed by abortion, debates have little merit. The hard core truth is we must work to elect those candidates, imperfect as they may be, who will defend life incrementally.  We accomplish nothing by sitting on our couch praying for God to bring us the perfect 100% pro-life candidate. This has tragically, only benefited the pro-choice side with this split in the pro-life ranks, that has lost more elections and more lives.

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