I seem to have two choices. Okay, there are a lot more choices for President, but among them only two men have a real chance to serve in that office.
I can vote for Barack Obama and pray fiercely that he will not enact laws that will make convenient abortion* more convenient while Christians are struggling to explain to a post-modern world why they believe it to be morally wrong.
I can vote for John McCain and pray fervently that he will not incite or perpetuate military action that will cause more wholesale death and destruction among lost people in other nations: men, women, children, babies.
Voting for either one, I will still need to pray with all my heart that a second Depression for our nation (and therefore, the world) will not be required to illuminate where true riches need to be sought, and that followers of Christ will still be up to the task of selling their possessions and seeing to it that no one is in need.
Okay, there are lots more issues at stake than these, and if you have read my blog for any length of time, you will know what else I will be praying for. And you can really boil most of it down, weed out the selfishness, and it would be: "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
So I will continue praying, right up to the moment that I pencil that dark splotch next to the name of a Presidential candidate and his running mate on November 4.
If you have any interest at all, right now I am not inclined to vote for John McCain. As President, he would be Commander-in-Chief of military forces which can be sent anywhere in the world at any hour of the day or night to do anything he orders, and Senator McCain has expressed an interest in - I am sorry to have to put it this way - attacking first and negotiating later. And while he might have an opportunity to appoint new members of the Supreme Court, this body has not heard a case in 35 years that has moved it to overturn Roe v. Wade, and its current cast of characters is relatively youthful.
I am inclined to vote for Barack Obama. As President, there is not a great deal that he could do on his own to worsen the existing deluge of women choosing to have abortions - not without the help of Congress, which should have its hands full investigating the nation's economic meltdown and taking measures to keep it from getting worse. On this matter, Senator Obama's plans seem to favor a greater number of disadvantaged Americans without relying only on the generosity of the insanely wealthy to voluntarily redistribute income by employing them, which corporate America seems loath to do.
Given the remarks of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan before the House of Representatives today, it is only astounding to some people that the reason a free market economy must have some legal, restraining factors is common, ordinary, anyone-can-have-it-rich-or-poor greed.
I know this pragmatic choice will offend many people, including many dear brothers and sisters in Christ - some of whom believe with all their hearts that there is one and only one issue upon which their vote must be based.
But, with all due respect to them, voting is only one choice and it is an easy one and it ultimately doesn't really solve the question of rampant, convenient abortion. Solutions usually come as the result of really hard choices.
One really hard choice we are called to make is to reach out, gracefully explaining Christ's selfless nature to women who would choose convenient abortion whether it is legal or not.
Another really hard choice we are called to make is supporting women who choose to keep their babies or to offer them for adoption - supporting them emotionally, spiritually and financially.
Still another really hard choice we are called to make is the one made by eleven couples at my home church, electing to serve as foster and adoptive parents for babies - many of them of a different race - which are born to mothers who might have otherwise chosen abortion.
Now those are hard choices - as well as pragmatic ones - and they make a difference.
*I use the term "convenient abortion" to differentiate it from medically-necessary abortion - and even abortion resulting from rape, though there are those who have valiantly avoided the latter. Scripture does not anywhere suggest that any kind of abortion is the unforgiveable sin (after all, there are spontaneous abortions that no one chooses), and I have to suspect that God has good reasons for that. Abortion that is sought to avoid difficult consequences of foolish actions is what I define as "convenient" - and completely selfish.