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August 28, 2008 / beidson

Life and Death: The Two Major Differences Between The Two Major Parties

Let me say, first of all, that I am not here endorsing any political party.  In fact, I have not yet been persuaded which candidate deserves my vote, especially considering the most obvious choices, Obama and McCain.  In light of these two options, I have started snooping elsewhere, wondering if there might be a good candidate out there yet.

Of course I will have to do my research somewhere other than pop media sources.  Both candidates have been misrepresented, and this is no surprise.  Obama is not an American messiah, nor is he the Antichrist, as is rumored.  And McCain is not the original maverick, nor is he a feeble old carmudgeon, as some would have us to believe.  In reality, they are both sinners in need of Jesus Christ, who are currently doing whatever it takes to get more votes than the other in November.  Both are making promises that they may keep, and both are promising to change things they have no control over, but this is nothing new.

Nevertheless, there are some issues that absolutely cannot be pushed aside, that are too great to be neutralized, as if they are no longer as relevant as they once were, issues such as life and death.  You cannot say that it is fine to end a pregnancy for the sake of convenience and in the same breath claim to be a defender of freedom and life.  You cannot say that life is a transcendant issue that can’t afford to be politicized, and then promote embryonic stem cell research at the expense of little lives.  You cannot say that you want our troopers to be safe at home, and then ignore the millions of unborn troopers who never had the chance to even make it home.

Neither can you argue that family is important, and then dilute the term to the point that it becomes irrelevant, to say that a family is any group of people who love each other–of course, we cannot even agree on what love is.  Yes, people are free to sin, but this does not mean that sin must be institutionalized.  It surely isn’t a federal matter, but then some who argue for states’ rights on this issue also oppose any state legislation that prohibits it.  In reality, states’ rights talk is a gimmick that doesn’t really mean anything–it just sounds nice, but is not really truthful.

You can’t fight for the poor and support a candidate who enables poverty by allowing unrestricted, federally funded abortion.  There is a link between irresponsibility and poverty, and promoting the right to kill only does harm to those who daily struggle to survive within a culture of death.  It’s not that all poor people support abortion, or that abortion necessarily leads to poverty, or vice versa.  Nor do I pretend that abortion is the only issue to consider when combating poverty.  But the point remains: the way out of suffering is not more suffering.

All of this is to say that traditionally both party platforms were pro-life until about a generation ago after Roe v. Wade turned life into a consumer product, to be used or dispensed of depending on personal preference.  Choice legally trumped life, and the right to choose was put before the right to live.  The Democratic Party has since stood behind this decision and Republicans have typically been against it for the most part.  However, conservativism is changing as well, and now the right to life is being put on a lower shelf so that other issues may be put at eye level.  Both parties are starting to look an awful lot alike, and this presents a serious problem.

On issues of life and death both the Democratic and Republican parties have compromised a great deal in the past decades.  We are gradually losing any sense of the seriousness of life, and we are replacing it with a different sort of transcendancy, the trascendancy of unrestricted freedom and choice.  Tragically, life and death have now become options from which to choose.  We have even decided that it is okay to destroy a life in order to save a life, in the case of embryonic stem cell research.  Of course, I am not talking about mothers who must choose to abort a pregnancy because of complications that endanger her life, or about captial punishment, which actually reinforces the value of human life.  I am referring to choices about life and death which are made in order that we might have more of what we want: unrestricted freedom and choice.

We are in an existential nosedive and if we do not pull out of it we will most certainly collide with death in the end, and who will be left standing on the side of life?  I fear that those who are may indeed have to lay down their lives in order to save it from the hands of those who are promising to give it to us in the form of deadly moral and ethical compromises.  Democrats and Republicans alike must take heed that they do not overlook the issue of life in their pursuit of life.  But as it is, some have already done just this, and the day will come when they wonder how they lost their right to live.  It is because they lived and fought for rights instead of fighting for the right to live.


See here to see a comparison of the Democratic and Republican Party platforms.

But don’t stop here.  Look at Obama and McCain’s personal views here:


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