Sunday, October 14, 2012

Election Thinkings (Part 1) "The Lesser of Two Evils"

A couple of days ago the vice-presidential candidates for the two major parties debated.  The debate was full of dodged questions, political rhetoric, empty promises, and bad politics.  Many people enjoyed watching it as a duel between good and evil.  Democrats and Republicans each rooted for their candidate and booed the opposition.  Their man could do no wrong and his opponent could only produce gaffes and laughable moments.  Oh yeah, and the moderator was biased.  Only politics can make us complain more than Cornhusker fans when Nebraska was still in the Big 12.  We all feel so good about ourselves while we whine.

Good versus evil?  Was it?  Granted, right now most conservatives see this coming election as a matter of “Better vs. Bad” or “the slow train heading toward a cliff vs. the fast train heading toward a cliff.”  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase “lesser of two evils,” but it’s almost daily!  Is the lesser of two evils good enough?  

If a person really believes anything then he has to understand something called a “non-negotiable.”  I think a lot of people are willing to bend a little on certain things.  Some things are important and some aren't.  Maybe they are right to bend and maybe they are wrong, but a simple fact stands, true conviction, the non-negotiable, CANNOT be bent!  Part of Webster’s definition of conviction is “the state of being convinced or convicted by conscience.”  So, it is possible for a human being to perform an act that is contrary to their conviction, but is so doing they are sinning against their own consciences.  If Christians have their consciences aligned with God’s standard, then acting against conviction is sin against God!

Conviction applies to voting in two ways.  What do the candidates actually hold as conviction, and what does a voter hold as conviction?  If a voter truly holds a conviction, is it possible to vote for someone who does not hold that conviction?  Have you compromised your own conviction (or proved you never truly believed it) if there is a conflict?  I believe that Christians can choose ONE ITEM that they actually believe with “I’d rather go to the fiery furnace” passion and use that as a yardstick by which to measure a candidate.  True conviction does not bend!

So, what issue should we choose?  Which one will lend some clarity to the situation?  Last week's debate dropped that issue in our laps.  The moderator asked a question. “This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion.”  Everyone sitting near me at this point let out a collective “oooohhh!”  This was a good question!  This is a question that begs an answer that is held with conviction!  What does the candidate actually believe?

Biden’s answer shouldn’t surprise anyone.  He can somehow reconcile his “pro-life” personal faith with a “pro-choice” political platform by letting other people make up their own minds.  In other words “I wouldn’t kill my own kids, but everyone else should be able to kill theirs if they want to.”  

Paul Ryan’s answer made me groan.  Honestly, I think Biden is more consistent.  Ryan began with a compelling argument for life beginning at conception and then proceeded to say, “All I’m saying is, if you believe that life begins at conception, that, therefore, doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.” AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  I wanted to scream!  Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE!  It is really that simple!  You cannot make ANY exception and actually believe something.  It is a classic case of political expediency.  Romney had abortion issues in the past, but attempts to appear pro-life now, while Ryan holds a high personal view, but is willing to bend it a little so he can be vice president.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is not conviction!  Both parties are weak, ungodly options.

So, here’s where we get back around to “the lesser of two evils.”  That phrase is pretty accurate.  Only maybe we should take out the “lesser of” portion of the phrase.  If we only pull one issue out of the pot – abortion - both options are EVIL.  It’s doubtful that either party would actually do something about abortion if they were able.  Everyone is to busy with wars and dollars and storms and parties to get around to abortion.  But Romney/Ryan’s empty campaign promises are informing us that part of their plan is to keep killing babies.  We have no right to be surprised if they get into office and they kill babies.  That’s what they said they would do!

To be continued…

What do you think about our options this election cycle?
Do those "minor exceptions" push the Romney/Ryan ticket past the non-negotiable line?

Read part 2 - "God Decides"