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Next President?

Time for a little politics. And before you automatically quit reading, hang in there. This is closer to home than you think, especially for Christians.

Are you a single-issue voter? That is, will one thing keep you from voting for a candidate, no matter what else they may believe in? Abortion is that single issue for lots of voters, including people like John Piper. Their argument says that life is sacred and we can’t in good conscience vote for anyone who believes we have a right to end the lives of unborn babies.

Others say that they’re willing to vote for someone who may be pro-choice but conservative in other areas. Their thinking is that the “perfect can become the enemy of the good” — that is, if you have two candidates who are both pro-choice, you vote for the one who is the better of the two in other areas. He or she is not perfect, but is a better option than the other candidate.

The 2008 presidential election might come down to this one issue. Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice and the leader in the race for the Republican nomination. Hillary Clinton is pro-choice (surprise!) and the leader in the race for the Democratic nomination. We could very easily be faced with a choice of two candidates who both approve of abortion.

If that happens, a group of conservative Christian leaders (Dobson, etc.) have said they will endorse a third-party candidate who is pro-life.

The problem with this approach is that it will most likely take a large number of votes (most of the conservative Christian block) away from Giuliani, leaving us with another four or eight years of a Clinton in the White House. And we’ve seen what that’s like. Pragmatics say that even though he’s pro-choice, Giuliani is a better option than Clinton because he will appoint strict constructionist judges who will be more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade (the next President will will likely have several Supreme Court appointments).

To vote for Giuliani, though, seems to be compromising a principled stand for life. It’s a tough call — stand on principle even though it may end up doing more harm to the cause you’re standing for, or bend a bit to accomplish more good.

There are good people and good arguments on both sides. Justin Taylor argues more for the pragmatic approach, while Joe Carter takes a strict pro-life position. I go back and forth depending on who I’ve read lately. Read JT’s list of 10 points. Then read Joe Carter’s last few paragraphs. It’s tough.

Of course, a better solution is if Giuliani doesn’t get the nomination. I think our best chance otherwise is Mitt Romney (Huckabee would be fabulous from what I’ve read, but I don’t see it happening). Would you rather have a conservative pro-life Mormon or a socially liberal pro-choice man who’s on his third wife?

God alone know what will happen and in the end, we have to leave it with him. But should we be fighting for one side or the other? The best solution now is to look to candidates other than Giuliani. If he gets the nomination, though, we’ll be in a difficult spot. Thoughts?



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