This article addresses Christians in general, but makes a special appeal to those who voted for Obama.
Now as always, my objective is to explore and think through with you how we can develop a Christian worldview and how we can bring our country towards greater righteousness, for surely righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Prov. 14:34). Regardless of whether you live in America, Asia or Europe, the principles are the same, even though the direct application here is to American Christians.
Obama has won the election by a landslide. My personal interactions suggest to me that many Christians who might have traditionally voted Republican have voted for Obama. I am not here to evaluate your vote. My concern is not for the Democrats or the Republicans, but for the Kingdom of God.
Christians in general hold to the sanctity of life. Even if we are not all agreed that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, we are agreed that the wonton loss of life through abortion is morally unacceptable. Some vote simply on the basis of pro-life while others vote simply on the basis of pro-abortion. The bases of how we should vote are complicated and I am still learning, and not quite ready to discuss them.
What I wish to discuss with you in this article is Obama’s real position on pre- and post-natal life. You will see that his position is not consistent with the Christian faith. Next, I will discuss with you how Christians should relate to a non-Christian political leader (not just the president), or to a professing Christian leader who espouses unchristian values.
I do not pass judgment on those who voted for Obama. Instead, I’ll like to suggest that you have a special opportunity to serve God effectively. If you have voted for Obama, this is the time for you to understand where he stands and how you can be constructive in moving him closer to the truth.
Obama’s Policy on pre & Post natal Life
Does Obama support infanticide?
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) accused Obama of supporting infanticide. Obama insists they are lying. I refer you to “The Political Fact Check” by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (emphasis mine):
Anti-abortion activists accuse Obama of “supporting infanticide,” and the National Right to Life Committee says he’s conducted a “four-year effort to cover up his full role in killing legislation to protect born-alive survivors of abortions.” Obama says they’re “lying.”
At issue is Obama’s opposition to Illinois legislation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 that would have defined any aborted fetus that showed signs of life as a “born alive infant” entitled to legal protection, even if doctors believe it could not survive.
Obama opposed the 2001 and 2002 “born alive” bills as backdoor attacks on a woman’s legal right to abortion, but he says he would have been “fully in support” of a similar federal bill that President Bush had signed in 2002, because it contained protections for Roe v. Wade.
We [Fact Check] find that, as the NRLC said in a recent statement, Obama voted in committee against the 2003 state bill that was nearly identical to the federal act he says he would have supported. Both contained identical clauses saying that nothing in the bills could be construed to affect legal rights of an unborn fetus, according to an undisputed summary written immediately after the committee’s 2003 mark-up session.
I draw your attention to the pro-abortion bias of www.factcheck.org in that they chose the derogatory term “anti-abortion activists” rather than the term “pro-life.” In addition, U Penn is well known as a left-leaning university. Despite their pro-abortion bias, they rightly conclude that Obama was lying, and was lying when he said the pro-lifers were lying. The bill finally passed in Illinois in 2005 after Obama left for Washington and was no longer around to oppose it. The pro-lifers correctly represented Obama. Obama was lying all along. He has been deceiving the American people that he does not support infanticide when he does, as noted by www.factcheck.org.
Simply put, the proposed bill says that if a child is born alive, even in the case of an abortion, the doctors are obligated to treat the child as a person with the same right to life as any other child. Obama opposed it, supporting the view that the unwanted child should be left to die because his/her mother had elected an abortion.
This bill is not theoretical. The Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) came about as the result of a nurse Jill Stanek, who is the conscience of the nation. While working in a hospital in Illinois, she discovered live-birth aborted babies were left to die in soiled utility rooms where their cries for life can be ignored. (The policy of that hospital has now changed. The babies now die in a Comfort Room.)
Jill Stanek recounts one incident for us:
One night, a nursing co-worker was taking a Down’s syndrome baby who was aborted alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. … After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken.
The Senate voted 52-0 to support the bill. This means even pro-abortion senators supported it. Obama’s own reason for supporting infanticide is so that the right to abortion may be not compromised even though no other pro-abortion legislators agrees with him. It may not be an exaggeration to say that Obama’s support for abortion is fanatical. He is not merely pro-abortion, he is a hardcore abortion activist.
In the development of a child from embryo to a new born, I can understand if some are reluctant to regard a human embryo as human life (though I would assert it is human life). As the embryo develops in the womb, the case that it is human life becomes stronger. By the time a baby is born alive, I cannot see how anyone can still deny it is human life. I am prepared to assert that no Christian can support infanticide.
Infanticide is murder of the most egregious kind.
In the case of BAIPA, it is water under the legal bridge. The Illinois version passed in 2005 when Obama left for Washington and was not longer around to strike it down. The issue today is not the bill but Obama as an advocate of infanticide. It is not NRLC that is lying.
It is Obama who is lying.
Let me take you back in time to the early Christians living within the Roman Empire. Roman law gave the father the right to the life of the child. In fact, it required a father to put to death a deformed child. Infanticide was common, and babies were abandoned to die. The early Christians were powerless to change any Roman law, but they were not powerless to act. They adopted these abandoned children as their own, and over time, became the conscience of the Empire. Around AD 374, the laws requiring and allowing infanticide were changed.
In today’s society, it is the mother who is given the right to the life of the unborn child. Morally, we are hardly better than the Romans. We have simply switched the father’s right to choose to the mother’s right to choose. Did God give us the right to choose another person’s life or death? What hubris to think that a father or mother can take away the life of his or her child.
Obama on Abortion
Obama is simply pro-abortion on the premise that the woman’s right to choose outweighs a child’s right to life. There is no need for extended discussion here as his position is clear.
Obama on Embryonic Stem Cells
Immediately upon his election, as president-elect, Obama announced he will review the current policy on embryonic stem cell research. The current policy under the Bush denies federal funding for embryonic stem cell research with the exception of the existing lines. This does not stop embryonic stem cell research, it only limits federal funding for it. Embryonic stem cell research continues throughout the world and in the US. Perhaps as a result of Bush’s policy and perhaps for other reasons, scientists have discovered how to extract stem cells from non-embryonic cells, like skin cells. This removes the moral question entirely and unlike embryonic stem cells, it opens the way to a limitless supply of cells to convert to stem cells. The current situation is much better than anyone can expect to hope. The moral angst of destroying human embryos can be rendered irrelevant through this discovery.
We may justly question why Obama has made it his urgent post-election commitment to move towards funding embryonic stem cells. In part, he is responding to the demand of his base supporters, and in part he is simply being consistent. If he has no regard for the child in the womb or the born-alive child outside the womb, how can he have regard for an embryo in a Petri dish?
Influence Your President
Who is the best person to speak to Obama and get his attention? His opponents or his supporters?
It no longer matters why you voted for Obama. The fact that you did can be put to good use. Obama has to respond to those who voted for him. He has to respond to you. You are now the force for good because you have the president’s ear.
Obama’s Christianity is fringe, and is heavily tainted with black liberation theology. In black liberation theology, salvation is the deliverance of blacks from social oppression. How much does Obama really know Christ? I don’t know. How much of black liberation theology does he adopt? I don’t know. Who can read the heart? It seems unlikely to me that a heart touched by the love of Christ would support infanticide. For practical purposes, I will simply consider Obama an unbeliever needing the grace of Christ.
It is vitally important for Christians to know how to relate to political leaders whose religious and moral positions differ from ours. My observation is that many Christians are adversarial towards Democrat presidents and take up the Republican cause of opposing a Democrat president. The case in point is how some Christians joined the Republican Party’s scurrilous attacks against Bill Clinton.
Christians need to understand that from time to time, there will be political leaders who hold unacceptable moral-ethical positions. The American way is to try and remove that leader through fair means or foul, and to replace the person who is closest to our thinking. In the OT, Israel was a theocracy and the king’s right to rule was contingent upon his fidelity to YHWH. This is not the case in our world today. In the NT, Christ commissioned his followers to reach the world and to turn it around from moral turpitude.
American Christians have lost sight of our calling towards politicians with wrong moral-ethical platforms.
Let me take you to the Scriptures.
Barnabas and Saul reached out to Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:6-12)
Sergius Paulus, was the proconsul stationed in Paphos. (The proconsul was a former consul who has been appointed by the emperor to serve a term in a senatorial province.) Sergius Paulus was called an intelligent man, who was, nonetheless, influenced by a sorcerer. Barnabas and Saul reached out to Sergius Paulus by confronting the sorcerer. “When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”
Barnabas and Saul did not dismiss Sergius Paulus for his stupidity of coming under the influence of the sorcerer, nor did they oppose him. They sought to win him over, working on the only angle they had: Sergius Paulus was willing to listen to them.
To whom would Obama listen? His supporter or his opponent? The answer is painfully obvious. If you voted for Obama, you have the right to his ear. What then is your responsibility when you have the proconsul’s / president’s ear? You speak truth to power.
Paul reached out to King Agrippa II (Acts 25:13-26:32)
Paul was arrested and on his way to Rome when he appeared before Agrippa II, the Roman client king over several territories including Judea. Agrippa II was with Bernice who was repeatedly mentioned in the account (Ac 25:13, 23; 26:30). She was not called the queen, yet she was depicted as the queen by Agrippa’s side. Bernice was actually Agrippa’s sister. It was public knowledge that Agrippa and Bernice were living in incest.
Paul tried to convert Agrippa, so much so that Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
What we have is a king from the Herodian line, living in open sin. When Herod Antipas took his brother’s wife, John the Baptist, living under the OT mandate, denounced Antipas, and this eventually led to John’s execution. The NT church adopted a different method. Paul certainly could not have approved Agrippa’s incest, but he did not bother to denounce it. His priority was to bring Agrippa to saving grace. The other things can come later.
Herein lies a Christian principle with regard to political leaders who may not be believers, and do not share the Christian view of certain moral values. Our first duty is to bring the person to faith, followed by a change of worldview, followed by a change of public morality. American Christians’ engagement in politics seems to have placed the cart before the horse.
The tricky thing about American politics is that almost every candidate professes to be a Christian of some stripe, whether or not he has been redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. (Even a Mormon can sound like a Christian!)
I cannot presume that Obama is not a true Christian. At the same time, his church’s position of liberation theology, and his low regard for human life do not appear to be evidences of faith. By these observations, I am not saying he is not qualified to serve as president or that we should oppose him. I am saying that Christians have a duty to minister the gospel to him, especially those who voted him into office.
If he is a Christian, then it is important that he should be gently shown the error of his ways that he may repent, turn from his evil ways, and obey Christ as he serves the people of this country.
Republican Christians should not think they are above reproach because they hold a higher view to life than Obama. Is it possible that Republican Christians are the unwitting pawns of the Republican Party to advance their political ambition? Christians should readily observe that many Republicans are less than exemplary, and they should be as much the object of our prayer and evangelism as Obama. We do this in the hope that they may serve this country more faithfully and justly.
Obama’s presidency has yet to unfold. The protection of the born alive child in Illinois is fait accompli – no thanks to Obama. Securing Obama’s help to overturn Roe v. Wade is wishful thinking. But given the success of securing stem cells from non-embryonic sources, it may be possible to urge Obama to a more life-sensitive position. There is little medical gain in funding embryonic stem cell research. But Obama has political obligations to the pro-embryonic stem research supporters. Does he not also have political obligations towards you?
Your time to act is now.
In every case where a political leader has not bowed his will to the king of kings, we need to bring him the good news that he too may know redeeming grace. That is the priority. Unlike his willingness to snuff out infant life, God does not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax. Fan Obama’s nascent faith to life. You will have a grateful nation. You will please your heavenly king.