12 October 2012

I CAN'T VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY! (2 of 6)

by Frank Turk



Now, the question, really, is, "WHY?"  Why endorse a Mormon son of a Mormon who was not very conservative in Massachusetts and has not demonstrated very safely-right ideology in governing in the past rather than, for example, sit out the election or vote 3rd party?

This is where my story comes in, before we get to the meat and potatoes.  I know a Fellow named Jack, who believes that every human life is sacred -- they are all in the image of God. He would tell you that the slogans which minimize this are utterly false, utterly deceptive, utterly blanched from any human kindness or parently instinct -- let alone real moral courage.  Jack is intent on making sure EVERY abortion is made illegal, and he has branded all intermediate steps to that end as complicity with evil.  He says it is a matter of personal holiness.  His syllogism goes like this:

[1] Murder is immoral
[2] Abortion is Murder
[3] Abortion is immoral

[4] If you assist in any way with an immoral act, you are an accessory to that immoral act
. . . [3] Abortion is immoral
[5] Voting for a candidate who supports any abortions assists that candidate in creating abortions
[6] Voting for a candidate who supports any abortions makes you an accessory to that immoral act

[7] Personal holiness requires shunning sinful acts
[8] Accessory to immoral acts is itself a sinful act
[9] Personal holiness requires shunning Accessory to sinful acts

So Jack is going to vote for someone who cannot, mathematically, win the Presidential race because in his view, there is no difference between one candidate who wants all abortions legal and another who would make only 98% of all abortions illegal -- the 2% is the deal-breaker.  Jack has a brother named Mack, and Mack agrees with the whole scheme here except who to vote for: he's voting for nobody.

Now, here's the thing: the advocate for abortion -- the people who want it legal in all cases -- wants a better life for someone.  (One example)(Another example)  In their view, an abortion is a legitimate way to make sure someone has a better life.

The problem for Jack and Mack is that they are using the exact same reasoning, and achieving the exact same end, as the pro-abortion advocate.  The Pro-abortion advocate is perfectly satisfied if there are abortions as long as someone's choice or alleged economic freedom is protected; Jack and Mack are perfectly satisfied if there are abortions as long as their personal holiness is still intact.  Jack and Mack protect their holiness by doing nothing -- or worse, doing something they know cannot change the outcome -- but that's fine as long as their understanding of their own holiness is protected and justified.

Doing nothing and calling it a moral victory is cowardly.  It may actually be evil.  But if it is nothing else, it is certainly this: failing to do as much as possible to make a difference toward the improvement of those things which you can effect and can make better.  Failing to show that much compassion and effort is morally lazy.

See: if we imagine that the world is a place where there are no abortions right now, of course saying that 40,000 abortions a year should be considered as a policy is evil.  But in the world we actually live in, where in our country there are about 1,200,000 abortions every year, one candidate/party is saying that we could eliminate 960,000 abortions by saying the only exceptions might be physical health and welfare of the mother (though formally: they actually exclude that option).  It's moral malpractice to say that seeking to reduce the number of abortions by 80% is the same as saying 100% of all abortions are politically and morally OK.

So the primary answer to the question, "Why write posts advocating to vote for Mitt Romney for President?" is this: "To avoid the obvious moral failing of doing nothing at all -- or participating in the moral equivalent of performance art -- to turn back an unacceptable outcome even if the alternative is only less-unacceptable."








82 comments:

Christoph VonKlinger said...

I'm assuming the "solipsism" bit was intended to be syllogism but I've had great fun for the last few minutes musing about a solopsist president.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Hmmm - I'm pretty sure I also know both Jack and Mack! Great logic here.

Linda said...

I disagree that not voting for either candidate is (cowardly). Some issues in a Christian's life are non-negotiable.

Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever say do the lesser of 2 evils for my kingdom so that good may result.

The apostle Paul even said-

Rom 3:8 Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved."

If either candidate supports abortion then both candidates are automatically disqualified for Christians to vote for with a clear conscience. Mitt Romney is unclear and I believe is covering up his beliefs.

"In a 1994 debate with Senator Ted Kennedy, Romney said: "One of the great things about our nation ... is that we're each entitled to have strong personal beliefs, and we encourage other people to do the same. But as a nation, we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want and not to impose our beliefs on other people. I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law, and the right of a woman to make that choice, and my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign."
Has Mitt Romney "really changed" his stance?

Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world if it were my servants would fight for it"--
So Christians do have a 3rd option.. The wisdom of this world is incompatible with the wisdom of GOD.

As one young man Josh Craddock stated so well from his video "the lesser of two evils,--

"In order to stop one man who doesn't represent them they vote for the other candidate --that does not represent them.. So we end up with a government that does not represent us"

"Christ's standard is that we fear NO ONE but GOD"-Matthew 10:28

"We who are Christians are called to seek FIRST God's "Kingdom and HIS righteousness and all these things will be given to us as well"

"our standard of behavior and choices should be based on trusting GOD. It is every Christian's moral responsibility to only use the authority he has been given in the bounds of righteousness and to act in accordance with God's will. Christians ought to act on the wisdom of God even though it appears foolish or(cowardly)from a mere human vantage point"

"It's the devils game to give us only 2 choices and act like he's the good guy for letting us choose one"
end quotes

LanternBright said...

Linda,

You completely failed to interact with any portion of Frank's argument whatsoever.

Care to take another pass?

Rational νεόφυτος said...

To me it boils down to: there are two guys running this election, and one tends to favor killing more unborn than the other, so it's basically a less or two weevils scenario.

BTW - on the first post, regarding "Phil is gone, the blog has jumped the shark", I've been thinking about this, and there is some truth to this statement. You need to recruit a theological power-house to join your ranks. Sure, he won't be able to fill Phil's shoes, but it might help fill the gap so you won't have to resort to posting Leggo movies (perhaps the Great Gazoo of the planet Zetox is available....?)

Frank Turk said...

Linda:

So it is better that 100% of the babies being aborted right now meet their gruesome fate in order that your personal holiness be stainless than it is for 80% of them to be saved?

Be clear. Be honest with yourself. You're saying that unless you can save them all, you will not try to save any of them.

I wonder how you would feel if your fire department operated under those terms? That is: unless they can save every person caught in a fire next year -- 100% success and achievement -- they won't go out to save anyone. They will wait for better tactics to come around, maybe some better equipment -- because plainly, equipment that fails to save them all is faulty equipment that ought not to be used.

Frank Turk said...

Rational:

I am sad that you found the Lego video non-entertaining.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Great rejoinder to Linda from Frank.

I might add that another possible rejoinder to Linda would be "so, you're not willing to lift a finger to save 80% of unborn babies who might otherwise be aborted? And that's supposed to be a holy act on your part?"

Justin Edwards said...

"Jack and Mack are perfectly satisfied if there are abortions as long as their personal holiness is still intact. Jack and Mack protect their holiness by doing nothing -- or worse, doing something they know cannot change the outcome -- but that's fine as long as their understanding of their own holiness is protected and justified."

Respectfully, Frank, this is a straw man. It is not about protecting personal holiness, but rather doing what is righteous. The issue isn't that Romney believes in saving most babies, but that he believes in murdering some babies. The only difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the issue of abortion is the degree to which they are willing to keep the murder of children legal in this nation.

"Doing nothing and calling it a moral victory is cowardly. It may actually be evil."

It is hardly cowardly that one refuses to vote for someone who favors the murder of unborn children, Frank. And to suggest such a position is sinful is yoke territory. It takes courage to be uncompromising on the issue of life and to proclaim justice for all life, not just for those whom God chose to create through non-violent means of conception, but also for those whom God chose to create through violent means. Babies conceived by rape are just as fatherless as any other baby threatened by abortion. The only way abortion is going to be abolished in this nation is if the heart of the culture changes. Incrementalism has not worked over the last 40 years, and the only way change will come is through engaging the culture in an uncompromising campaign speaking against the culture of death and proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

My issue is not that you or Dan (or anyone in agreement with you) is voting for Mitt Romney. If you're at peace with that decision, then go for it. My issue with you guys is the way you vilify believers who have decided, based on their convictions from Scripture, that they cannot vote for an unrighteous man who favors the murder of even 1 child. The impression you give is that it is sinful to not vote for the Republican because of the risk of having an extremist pro-abort in the White House. On the contrary, some of us believe our given choices are because of God's judgment coming to this nation (see John MacArthur's latest sermons on Romans 1 for example), and we feel no obligation to sin against our conscience (oops, there's that word again) and fully trust in the sovereignty of God to appoint who He has determined to govern this nation (not hypercalvinism mind you), under His divine judgment.

I love you and Dan as my brothers, but I think you should examine how you have handled this topic. I as well as others have found your words to be caustic toward the brethren. I know some of that might be Pyro flare, but there is no excuse for condemning your brothers and sisters who believe they are standing for righteousness and are responsible in drawing their conclusions from Scripture.

Grace and peace to you.

Justin Edwards said...

If you are willing to allow the link, I gave two illustrations earlier this week that might be helpful to the reader in understanding "our side" better: http://airocross.com/2012/10/10/mitt-romneys-rape-and-incest-exceptions-for-abortion/

DJP said...

LanternBright, that's what Linda does.

See her on this thread.

Eric said...

"It takes courage to be uncompromising on the issue of life and to proclaim justice for all life, not just for those whom God chose to create through non-violent means of conception, but also for those whom God chose to create through violent means."

One can "proclaim justice for all" while still voting for a man whose position is not perfect, but much more in line with God's will.

Justin, it seems to me that if you are to be consistent in your position, then you are left with only Jesus as a candidate that you would vote for at any level of government ever. All human candidates for office will be flawed and sinful and I dare to say there is no single candidate at any level of government that will have a totally righteous platform. So, you are left with no choices if you chose to believe that a vote for the viable candidate who will most accomplish what is righteous is actually a vote for unrighteousness.

Justin Edwards said...

Eric, I fully understand that no one is perfect, but the issue of life is not something I am willing to compromise on. If the candidate is not 100% pro-life, which means they are at least partially pro-death, that is an evil position I cannot and will not support.

Justin Edwards said...

For convenience, the following are the two illustrations I posted this week:

Illustration 1

Suppose Candidate A favors the woman’s “choice” to murder her baby up to six months after birth. The reason for killing the child does not matter – it’s all legal. On the other hand, Candidate B is against the woman’s “choice” to murder her baby up to six months after birth, except when the baby has a disability (such as Down syndrome). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 out of 691 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States each year. This means that out of the 4 million babies born each year, 6,000 will be diagnosed with Down syndrome. So for our example, if Candidate B won the election and the laws were changed to reflect his position, up to 6,000 babies could be legally murdered up to 6 months after birth (just in the case of Down syndrome alone).
This really isn’t too far from reality today. Physicians for Life reports that 70% of all pregnant women in the United States choose to have prenatal screen tests, which may reveal certain genetic abnormalities. When Down syndrome is diagnosed prenatally , it is reported that 84% to 91% of those babies will be killed by abortion (source).

Truly, what is the difference between a baby inside the womb being murdered for having Down syndrome versus the 6 month old baby being murdered for having Down syndrome? Does it not show the hypocrisy of society who is outraged that 14 year old Cassidy Goodson murdered her newborn baby because she “didn’t know what to do with it”? According to police, Cassidy

"used scissors to pry the baby out of her body and into the toilet. Lifting the baby out of the toilet, Goodson “placed her hands on the infant’s neck and squeezed until he wasn’t moving or breathing any longer.”"

Why should society, or the government, be outraged at this when society and government cherishes and fights for a woman’s “right” to have a Dilation and Evacuation Abortion (D & E) where the baby’s body parts are grasped at random with a long toothed clamp, then each arm and leg is ripped off one at a time, then the baby’s torso and insides are torn a part until nothing remains but the head, then the head is grasped and crushed in order to remove it from the womb, then the remainder of the “contents” are suctioned until the uterus is emptied.

Yes, friends, this is gruesome, but this it is the sick reality of the evil of abortion. And it shows the hypocrisy of our nation who condemns Cassidy’s act but celebrates the very same murderous act against babies in the womb 3,700 times a day in America.
Whether the baby has Down syndrome or not, should not, and must not, the murder of babies inside or outside the womb be illegal? Getting back to the illustration, while Candidate A’s election would result in more babies being murdered, Candidate B’s election still results in the legalized murder of up to 6,000 babies every year (just in the case of Down syndrome alone).

If 1.3 million babies are murdered each year in America, Romney’s position allows for the murder of 13,700 babies each year (1% of abortions result from rape or incest). This is an even higher rate of abortion than the hypothetical illustration given in this post! Just as I would not vote for Candidate B, I cannot vote for Mitt Romney who favors the murder of children conceived through the violent crime of their father.

Justin Edwards said...

Illustration #2

God commanded Israel to not sacrifice their children to the false god Molech. He warned them in Deuteronomy 18:10, but in 2 King 17:17 we see they violated His command and “burned their sons and daughters as offerings”.”

Concerning Israel’s rebellion, Jeremiah prophesied the following in Jeremiah 7:30-32:

For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.

Jeremiah later prophesied the judgment of the Lord in chapter 19:

You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 4Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, 5and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— 6therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

With this background laid, suppose Israel obeyed God’s command to not sacrifice their sons and daughters to Baal, except when their babies had a disability. They reasoned that babies with disabilities would not have a fulfilled life and neither could they contribute to society, so they took it upon themselves to cleanse their gene pool by shedding the blood of their innocent children on these altars of demons. Surely, many babies were allowed to live, so sacrificing a few babies to please Molech could not be a bad thing, could it? How do you think God would have reacted to such a scenario? I think you know the answer to that question – He would have judged them just the same.

Just like ancient Israel, Isaiah 59:7 rings true for society today:

Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways.

God is not silent on His hatred of the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). And just like destruction came upon Israel for their rebellion against God, I believe a principle can be drawn that God will destroy all nations who celebrate the shedding of innocent blood and sacrifice innocent children on the altar of self. A nation that makes exceptions for abortion in the case of rape and incest is still storing up wrath for itself as is the nation who openly embraces the shedding of blood in any and all cases. America today is the modern day Valley of Slaughter, and I believe judgment awaits her.

David Carlson said...

I agree completely with Franks proposition - however Frank's argument fails because of a presupposition - that Romney actually might want to do anything on the abortion topic.

Romney is a Rockefeller Republican. He is liberal on social issues and has clearly demonstrated only that he has a willingness to mouth platitudes to social conservatives during the nomination process, running as fast as he can to his normal position afterword.

8 years of President Romney will bring us zero changes in the current law as it relates to baby killing.

Now I am voting for Romney, but I like Rockefeller Republicans. In no way am I fooled that he might actually want to address the issue.

Zorro! said...

Obviously how it is said seems to present two different situations.
Presupposing that voting for anyone other than Romney or Obama is a wasted vote:

Mr. Turk says by electing Romney, potentially we save 80% of babies who would otherwise have been aborted. Not electing Romney would maintain the status quo of allowing 100% of the abortions.
So voting for Romney is not evil and not voting for Romney, or simply not voting is allowing the status quo to go unchallenged.

Mr. Edwards says that by electing Romney we condemn 20% of babies to death. Not electing Romney would maintain the status quo of 100% abortions. So voting for Romney and not voting for Romney are all evil and should be avoided. But I don't see how that is logical.

There has to be something in between. A "grey" area.

I was wondering if anybody else see's a parallel to our progressive sanctification? Why, once we have been regenerated, do we still continue to sin? We (Christians) are somewhere in between eternal damnation and eternal glory - so we see that in our own lives there is some sort of grey area right?
Are we only to contend when we know we can win or do it perfectly? Do you think Paul was thinking along these lines when he wrote:

"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained."
[Philippians 3:12-16]

LanternBright said...

Justin,

Your argument essentially boils down to this: you're not willing to oppose the slaughter of 1.3 million babies for fear of staining your soul by voting for a man who would permit the slaughter of 13,700 babies.

Your moral calculus is most impressive.

DJP said...

...to say nothing of simply ignoring what Frank said, to use his post as a bulletin-board for folly.

Scott Welch (formerly Scooter) said...

So Justin, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that abortion is morally repugnant, but you avoid actually doing something (voting) that might change our present reality for a scenario that only exists as an ideal (your illustration)? So you're saying we should not do some good to some babies in order to wait for a potential scenario where we can do good to all babies?

Then I believe by that logic I should never share the Gospel with anyone, because I might give someone a chance to sin by trampling on the Words of Life.

*crosses fingers, hoping that I get Frank's point*

Scott Welch (formerly Scooter) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Johnson said...

"the moral equivalent of performance art"

I'm Phil Johnson and I approve this message.

LanternBright said...

That was by far my favorite line, too, Phil. Glad I'm in good company with that.

Justin Edwards said...

Lanternbright, you're using the same straw man that Frank has used. I think you should reread part b of your last sentence and get back to me ("voting for a man who would permit the slaughter of 13,700 babies").

Tom Chantry said...

Phil's back?

We should accuse Frank of jumping the shark more often!

Nash Equilibrium said...

Justin, your logic is exactly the same what's been described: You're unwilling to lift a finger (literally, in the case of casting a vote) to minimize the slaughter of millions.

Also, get this irony: the fact that you've shown up as an actual human being destroys your prior argument that Jack and Mack are nothing but straw men!

Justin Edwards said...

Scott Welch, I am not saying anything at all about what you should do. If you vote for Romney, great. I am not opposed to you. If he wins, and he defunds Planned Parenthood, great, that is a win for the pro-life movement. IF he appoints conservative judges to SCOTUS and they overturn RvW, wonderful, and I'll rejoice. But these are still IFs. The person who will get my vote will be the one who does not favor the barbaric murder of a single child. You call me an idealist, I believe it's not compromising on biblical principles and trusting in the providence of God.

Justin Edwards said...

Nash, if you think your finger alone has the power to abolish abortion, then you are deceiving yourself. I don't think my finger has the power to abolish abortion, but I do believe engaging the culture and ministering to mom's and dad's at abortion clinics through the preaching of the Gospel does. What are you doing to stop abortion besides arguing on the internet about it? Perhaps you are doing something, but be careful in judging someone you don't know with not lifting a finger when you have no idea what a person does in the fight against the injustice of abortion.

LanternBright said...

Justin,

In the first place it's difficult to see how you could accuse ME of creating a straw man when I used YOUR numbers and reiterated YOUR position. (See, the fact that you don't like the logic of your own position doesn't actually make my own argument a straw man.)

But you continue to miss the point: no one here has said that Romney's position is optimum. So no one here is advocating a situation in which we'd vote for a man who'd permit the slaughter of 13,700 babies over a man who'd completely and absolutely abolish abortion. That's the argument that YOU want to make, and THAT is in fact a GENUINE straw man.

The bottom line: by doing NOTHING, you are abetting a man who would by your own numbers slaughter 1.3 million babies because you can't bear the thought of voting for someone who would *ONLY* save 99% of those.

So I reiterate: impressive moral calculus there.

Justin Edwards said...

Lanternbright, the straw man is in your comment of "for fear of staining your soul". I've also not used my argument to tell you that you're wrong, but rather to show why I, and others, cannot vote for him. The point is, let each of us be convinced in our own minds and be careful in our attitudes and speech toward brothers who disagree with us. My problem is not that you disagree, it is with how you are disagreeing.

To your last comment: "The bottom line: by voting for Romney, you are abetting a man who would by your own numbers slaughter 1.3 million babies because you can't bear the thought of voting for someone who would *ONLY* murder 13,700 babies."

That is how I see it, and I stand by it. I'm not abetting anyone, but I cannot bear the thought of voting for someone who favors the murder of one child.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Justin - so... then you are admitting that you are the "straw man" that Frank invented? Because you just keep right on being him.

LanternBright said...

Justin,

Well, since you put it THAT way, it makes PERFECT sense to allow 100% to perish because voting for the other guy might mean that 1% still perish.

Frank Turk said...

Justin: it's too bad you believe that if you can't save all babies, you won't save any of them. I hope your local fire department has a lower view of righteousness and a higher view of saving actual lives.

FWIW, changing the name of what you say is the problem does not change the fact that you are putting your own purity over the actual lives of others. This looks a lot like the problem Jesus was exposing in the parable of the Good Samaritan, and I hope you review that thoroughly as you hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Frank Turk said...

Put another way, Justin (a way I have already put it, but you ignore for the sake of righteousness):

If today there were zero abortions and we were discussing how many to allow vs. ZERO, OF COURSE both options are unacceptably evil. But unfortunately for you and me, we do not live in a country where the law already allows ZERO abortions. It literally allows ALL abortions.

That you think somehow doing nothing makes you a tolerable fan of righteousness means you think it's fine for the current state to go forward. It's too bad -- a million babies will ask you in Heaven why you loved the idea of righteousness more than you loved them.

Frank Turk said...

Phil:

It's not your fault. You always commented, "Good Post."

Nash Equilibrium said...

Justin:
Nash, if you think your finger alone has the power to abolish abortion, then you are deceiving yourself.

It has the power to help abolish abortion, but you won't do it because you've convinced yourself that helping in a practical way by voting, and helping by preaching the Gospel, are mutually exclusive. Which of course isn't true.
I think you need to stop trying to win an argument with yourself, read what Frank just wrote to you over and over again until you start to understand the irrationality of what you are saying.

mindrenewers.com said...

Logically, the argument here relies on a couple of assumptions. The first, which has been challenged, is that there is a substantive difference between the two outcomes (Romney vs. Obama) as far as abortion is concerned.

I understand why some disagree with that assumption, but it's probably sound. Romney may not approve good legislation, but there's at least a decent chance he will appoint reasonable judges. We know Obama won't.

The second assumption is that voting third party, or refusing to vote, is doing nothing. That's not necessarily true. If evangelicals were to, en masse, refuse to vote for Romney, it would send a message to the Republican Party that if they want evangelical support, they need to nominate someone better.

I'm not arguing that this is the decision one should make. I'll be voting for Romney. But I wouldn't be prepared to say that someone who votes 3rd-party (or sits out) is doing nothing.

Finally, in ministry terms, I Tim. 5:22 strongly suggests that in some sense, an endorsement makes you a partaker in the sins of those you endorse, and that this is to be avoided. So the concept of keeping yourself pure is not to be lightly discarded.

So while I agree with the final conclusion, some of the argumentation here seems lacking.

scrapiron said...

Everyone is abhorred by abortion which of course is understandable but yet, most would seem to also condone the massacre of innocent people (adults and children) through wars brought on by Bush, et al, to protect the interests of Chevron, Exxon, Monsato and Cheney. Its defined as fascism. We fought against these types of gov. in WWII. So vote for the Twit and we'll be bombing the crap out of more poor people throughout the world, while the big corporate interests skim off all the money in the treasury. Someone said, "We are in the world but not of the world"

LanternBright said...

Let's see: irrational hatred of Bush/Cheney? check. Unconscionably silly assertion that the imagined evils of big business outweigh the butchering of millions of babies? check. Demonstration of a completely inadequate understanding of a very technical definition (fascism)? check.

Congratulations, scrapiron--you just won the Troll Triple Crown!

Now go to Disneyland or something. We're busy here.

Brian said...

Scrapiron - Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I do have this to say: the entire argument is built around the faulty premise that Romney is 98% pro-life, when in fact, you can look at record (both what he has passed as gov. and his appointments of judges) and you can see he is 100% pro-abortion.

People will say anything to get elected and some people will buy it - hook, line and sinker.

Eric said...

scrap,

Are you a 9/11 truther?

Who is this nebulous "most" who you claim "condone the massacre of innocent people (adults and children) through wars". Can you point out any such craziness here? Or is that just a nice blanket liberal talking point you learned at the Daily Kos?

Shane Dodson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane Dodson said...

"Justin: it's too bad you believe that if you can't save all babies, you won't save any of them."

How many babies have you personally tried to save, Frank?

By "personally tried to save," I mean how many women have you attempted to reason with--Biblically--who were planning on killing their unborn child?

I'm not asking this question expecting any particular answer. Just curious.

Eric said...

"People will say anything to get elected and some people will buy it - hook, line and sinker."

That would make a good caption for an Obama t-shirt.

By the way, Brian, two questions:

1) What is the platform that Romney is running on?
2) How many Supreme Court Judges has Romney appointed to date?

Eric said...

Shane,

Since you admit you don't really expect an answer, you obviously are trying to make a rhetorical statement. Suppose Frank answered "Zero". Would that in any way affect the argument or logic Frank is using?

Nash Equilibrium said...

"Justin: it's too bad you believe that if you can't save all babies, you won't save any of them."

How many babies have you personally tried to save, Frank
?

That's got to take the non-sequitur of the year award, there. Hoooo boy.

Brian said...

Eric - it would make a great Obama shirt. Him and Romney both could wear it.

Romney is running on the same platform he ran on for governor - Republican. You can see how that turned out.

You know the answer to number two. He appointed liberal judges while governor, though. And that should set of your spidey-sense.

DJP said...

Wouldn't it be great if there'd been a post on this topic, and not just an open thread for free-association spewing? You know, something contentful and well-reasoned, typical Frank Turk style?

Then people could, like, read it, and think about it, and learn stuff, and change their minds?

And not say idiotic things the post had already answered?

Yeah, that'd be great.

Eric said...

Brian,

Are you prepared to argue that as the President of the U.S., Romney would be unaffected by the very platform he ran on? Are you perpared to argue that governing Masschusets is comparable to governing the U.S.? Were the liberal judges (can you name a few for me, I'm unfamiliar with them) that Romney appointed from the Kagan or Sotomayor mold?


Nobody is arguing that Romney is the perfect candidate with a perfect record.

Shane Dodson said...

Wait...I thought Frank's initial point was: "If you don't vote for Romney, you won't save babies."

THIS is supposed to be profitable and edifying to the Body of Christ?

Singing off...

Brian said...

Eric - Every president picks and chooses which parts of his party's platform he will push and which ones he will ignore. Some presidents (like our current one) will have parts added to the platform only to make a small minority within the party happy.

You can look up the judges, there are plenty of articles to read regarding the nature of his appointments. Here's two names for you: Stephen Abany and Marianne Hinkle.

I'm not saying that Romney should be perfect. I'm just saying his record is horrible on this issue and I can't see where he would do anything to help even the 98% that Frank describes. He has done just the opposite when he had the opportunity.

busdriver4jesus said...

Romney is (for the moment) conveniently pro-life, but for how long? Check out his words during a gubernatorial debate to Shannon O'Brien: "I am not going to change our pro choice laws in Massachusetts in any way ... I will preserve them, I will protect them, I will enforce them. Therefore I am not going to make any changes which would make it more difficult for a woman to make that choice herself." Obama once supported the biblical definition of marriage too!

Nash Equilibrium said...

It worked!

Eric said...

"He has done just the opposite when he had the opportunity."

Thus my question about how many Supreme Court Justices he has appointed. Obviously, he has never had that opportunity, and no other judge appointee really matters in any way similar to a Supreme Court Justice when it comes to this topic.

Several points:

1) You are guaranteeed that Obama will appoint as liberal of a judge as he can find to the Supreme Court if given the opportunity again. That is his exact record of appointing actual Supreme Court Justices.
2) If you think that Romney's thought and decision making process in appointing a Federal Judge would be the same as it would be appointing a Supreme Court Jusice as President of the U.S., then I think you are purposely ignoring many other factors.
3) Romney will be much more inclined (than the only other viable candidate) to appoint a judge or judges that would help eviscerate the "right to privacy" garbage that is the current law of the land in regards to abortion.

So, however you may choose to denigrate Romney's track record as less than ideal, the entirety of Frank's reasoning remains valid.

Brian said...

Eric - you keep telling yourself that his record doesn't matter. Tell me how the sand tastes when you pull your head out of it. If you really think that Romney will suddenly turn hard right once in office, I've got a bridge to sell ya.

On your points: Obama will appoint a liberal judge, true. He will likely do that when a liberal judge retires. So we will net no change. Romney (if he suddenly gets converted) may appoint a conservative judge, if a conservative judge retires. We know a liberal judge will not retire with a republican at the helm. Here's what will likely happen: Romney wins and we end up with another Roberts, who at the time when you needed him most, went liberal on us.

Here's my vote. If we want to see any real change on the abortion issue in this country, vote out the rockstar pastors and get someone in the pulpit who is willing to preach the gospel rather than preaching on The Avengers. Because right now politicians are not the one's having abortions, it's people. And many of them are "christian". Until we change the people's mindset on this issue, the politics are going to stay the same.

Eric said...

Brian,

Never said his record doesn't matter.

You say: Elect Obama = no change in re: abortion. I agree, and add that no change = no good.

As for more pastors preaching the gospel, I'm all for it. However, that is a completely different discussion and realm, and you don't get to vote for other people's pastors. Promulgating the gospel and seeking the most God-honoring civil government available are not mutually exclusive.

Jared T. Baergen said...

Frank,

I think your representation of "Jack" is great, and your "house on fire" argument used in the comment feed is a devistating blow to the "Jack" logic. Jack is the guy who won't go to the abortion clinic down the street to help a few mothers and give them the gospel because, well, he can't save them all...

You said, "It's moral malpractice to say that seeking to reduce the number of abortions by 80% is the same as saying 100% of all abortions are politically and morally OK." While I'm undecided in the coming elections, I think this is an excellent argument, Frank. But I have a question:

Wouldn't your argument also completely fall apart if the guy who claimed he will end 960,000 out of 1,200,000 abortions actually changed his stance and said that ending abortion to any degree (accept for supporting other countries to have abortions) is not on his agenda at all? So voting for him really wouldn't have any affect on ending abortion. Because that's apparently what Romney said on Tuesday.

So while Jack's logic doesn't hold up if Romney will somewhat end abortion, does your argument still hold up if Romney says he won't really do anything to end abortion? Then voting for someone like Romney would be similar to Romans 1:32 in "giving hearty approval" to Romney's "tolerance" of abortion. That's not a question meant to be inflammatory, but merely an honest question from an undecided citizen :)

Eric said...

"We know a liberal judge will not retire with a republican at the helm."

Lewis Powell, a moderate, (read: liberal on abortion) resigned during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Eric said...

Jared,

Ultimately, any president is limited in anti-abortion fervor by the legislature and especially the established constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court. So, Romney doesn't have to "have it on his agenda" to end abortion in order to potentially affect serious change. He only needs to make one important court appointee. Will it happen? No one can say. Could it happen? Is there any better hope/option in the civic realm?

Frank Turk said...

Shane: this week, this month, this year?

I'm asking because if we are going to go there, you're going to get an answer which will embarrass you.

The point of this post was to talk about a spurious reason not to vote for Mitt Romney - not to start wearing our good works on our sleeves. But here's the thing: if you have done this fewer times than I have, and for fewer years, does that mean you are outmanned a x an illegitimate critic, or does it mean that you just had a lousy argument that you forgot can be used against you easily?

Shane Dodson said...

"The point of this post was to talk about a spurious reason not to vote for Mitt Romney - not to start wearing our good works on our sleeves."

So not voting for a candidate who supports abortion (Romney or Obama) is "spurious."

I think we may be better off comparing our sleeves.

That Crazy Christian said...

"The problem for Jack and Mack is that they are using the exact same reasoning, and achieving the exact same end, as the pro-abortion advocate. The Pro-abortion advocate is perfectly satisfied if there are abortions as long as someone's choice or alleged economic freedom is protected; Jack and Mack are perfectly satisfied if there are abortions as long as their personal holiness is still intact. Jack and Mack protect their holiness by doing nothing -- or worse, doing something they know cannot change the outcome -- but that's fine as long as their understanding of their own holiness is protected and justified."

And here we have a straw man followed by the fallacy of false equivalency. The straw man is that the principled pro-lifer is perfectly happy that abortion happens so long as he is personally holy. Frank, falsehoods about those you disagree with do not an argument make.

The fallacy of false equivalency: That the pro-abort and the principled pro-lifer are somehow acting in a similar fashion.

The pro-abort loves abortion and wants it legal. The principled pro-lifer wants to end abortion and refuses to cast a vote that won't end even one abortion. There is a world of difference between the two.

Voting for a candidate because he claims to be pro-life, and because we're supposed to believe he's pro life, but isn't ACTUALLY pro-life is not a vote that will end abortion. Period.

Use all the fallacies you want, but you're wrong.


"Doing nothing and calling it a moral victory is cowardly. It may actually be evil. "

A baseless assertion followed by a loaded statement that is outright false. What is more evil? Refusing to be a hit man altogether, or merely loading and cleaning his gun?

And don't call us cowards when you give up your principles so easily and go with the vast majority for reasons that make no sense. It is those who stand on their principles in the face of vast opposition that can never be called cowards.


" It's moral malpractice to say that seeking to reduce the number of abortions by 80% is the same as saying 100% of all abortions are politically and morally OK."

And it is moral malpractice to imply that a Romney Presidency will reduce the abortion number by even 1, let alone 1%, far be it by 80%. George Bush had the exact same policies as Mitt Romney. 4,000 babies still died every DAY. Just as they did under Clinton, Bush (the first), Reagan, and Carter.

The sad reality is this compromised stance has led to disaster and a feckless and vapid pro-life movement. Nothing has changed since 1973, except the body count and the depth of the roots of abortion in this country. Yet, you advocate the same response again and again, and expect different results this time. That is insane, by its very definition.

Oh Charlie, Lucy is holding the football again. You'd better run along.

Shane Dodson said...

I believe Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Ready to do the same thing again this year, Frank?

Eric said...

TCC,

In the real world, there is one an only one main hurdle that must be cleared - Roe v. Wade. The only group that can leap that hurdle consists of people appointed by the chief executive. The best civic hope for laws protecting unborn children from their mothers is more conservatives on the court. The best way to get more conservatives on the court is by electing the viable candidate most likely to appoint a conservative judge if afforded the opportunity.

Doug Hibbard said...

First of all, there is more at play in reducing abortion than an out-right end to Roe v. Wade.

Let's take the "Bush didn't do anything about abortion" sentiment apart:

There was the executive order that prohibited foreign aid going toward abortion in other countries. That may not have ended abortion anywhere, but it was a start of a policy.

There was the executive order that federal research funds would not be used for any additional lines of embryonic stem cell research. One of the side effects of that ruling was researchers kept trying with adult stem cells and other options rather than justifying abortion to provide research subjects.

And didn't that work just get connected to a Nobel in Medicine because it actually worked? That starts to go into the same fuzzy math as "jobs saved/created" in that we will not know how many "abortions prevented" that brings up, but it helped deflect the idea that we should raise embryos in a lab to use for experimental purposes.

The reality is that keeping President Obama in the White House for 4 more years will absolutely not change the abortion situation in the US and getting him out will, at the least, potentially change it. I don't like having to choose between "definitely not" and "probably not" but there's a glimmer of hope. Perhaps in attempting to shore up his support, a President Romney will lean pro-life in his Surgeon General or other areas.

Further, expanded beyond this, is the assumption that over the next four we will find a better candidate and elect him (or her). Most one-issue ideological purists don't make it past the fundraiser stage--a 100% pro-lifer that has no concepts for any other aspect of the job of the Presidency is toast. The next option will be just like this one: a candidate that is not as pro-life as I want.

And the message some of you are sending is this: the conservative Christian pro-life group is so entrenched that there is no reaching them for votes next time. So, let's move more toward the middle, because those Christians are never going to like what we have. You're as likely marginalizing the political voice of strong pro-life people as you are making it heard.

Off-topic: only a robot can read those stinkin' wibbly letters on the page.

Doug Hibbard said...

Eric commented about the same time as me---I agree, that's the hurdle to nationwide ending of abortion.

It's just not the only target, and it takes a lot to get that one: the right 5 justices, a law from a state or Congress that gets challenged, a case, and a few years.

But we can start on that and tackle a few other things. Like not letting the adoption tax credit lapse, which gives people on tight budgets a little better chance of paying to negotiate the legal maze it takes to adopt.

That Crazy Christian said...

"he best way to get more conservatives on the court is by electing the viable candidate most likely to appoint a conservative judge if afforded the opportunity."

Conservative Judges like:

David Souter?
Sandra Day O'Conner?
John Paul Stevens?
John Roberts?

All appointed by Republicans.

St. Lee said...

CC said this:
"The principled pro-lifer wants to end abortion and refuses to cast a vote that won't end even one abortion."

Thus, the "principled pro lifer" faces this quandary: a vote for Obama will not end abortion. A vote for Romney will not end abortion. A vote for a third party will not end abortion. And to top it off, a non vote (symbolic as it may be) will not end abortion.

So now what are you going to do, since every action AND inaction violates what you see as a Biblical code of ethics?

Bill said...

I don't truly like any of the candidates and there is no Chuck Baldwin this year :). Anyhow, before I get jumped on, I full agree, save as many babies as you can... period. I probably have more kids than Frank and Dan combined so I know from where I speak. But last nights debate did see a weakening of the walls. It seems Ryan is adopting the abortion is okay for incest and rape position. Completely illogical, period. Now, does it save some, sure does and I'm thankful for it, truly. But when one looks at the following:
{5] Voting for a candidate who supports any abortions assists that candidate in creating abortions
[6] Voting for a candidate who supports any abortions makes you an accessory to that immoral act
I'm at a loss. Tell me where I am wrong on this statement: Both are guilty, one kills some, the other kills lots more, but both kill babies.

That Crazy Christian said...

"a vote for Obama will not end abortion. A vote for Romney will not end abortion. A vote for a third party will not end abortion. And to top it off, a non vote (symbolic as it may be) will not end abortion."

***A*** vote, in and of itself, will not end anything.

My point is not that we can end abortion this election. Sadly, we cannot. But we will NEVER end it if we continue to lie to ourselves that we can end it by voting in the manner advocated here. It hasn't worked in the past and to believe it will work in the future is utter foolishness.

All I'm asking is that you open your eyes and see that. If we Christians, as a voting block, adopt a no compromise stance than a no compromise candidate will emerge. We should work to this end.

Also, you propose an over simplified scenario. It may well be that abortion won't end no matter what we do in 2012. But that does not mean that there is no difference between actively voting for it (as a vote for Obama and Romney would be) and choosing not to vote for it. That's a false dichotomy.

Sir Aaron said...

I really enjoy how those who refuse to vote or vote for somebody who can't be elected equates their position with "righteousness." It's amusing because they don't seem to take the same position with supporting corporations that support abortion or other sins. When it becomes inconvenient their stand for righteousness is suddenly obscured by a more practical solution. An irony that escapes many, no doubt.

That Crazy Christian said...

"If you believe anything and
hold it firmly, all the dogs will bark at you. Let them bark: they
will have done when they are tired! You are responsible to God, and
not to mortal men. Christ came into the world to bear witness to the
truth, and he has sent you to do the same; take care that you do it,
offend or please; for it is only by this process that the kingdom of
Christ is to be set up in the world." -C.H. Spurgeon

Oddly enough, that was from a Spurgeon Sunday on this blog a few years ago.

That Crazy Christian said...

This:

"It's amusing because they don't seem to take the same position with supporting corporations that support abortion or other sins."

is:

A) Unfounded
B) Unprovable
C) Somewhere between the Genetic Fallacy and the "You too" fallacy. With a little of a hasty generalization error thrown in.

And besides, it's an obviously prejudicial statement meant to paint the opposition as hypocrites without actually showing that they are.

St. Lee said...

CC: And yet is was your dichotomy....

Actually, since in your own statement ("The principled pro-lifer wants to end abortion and refuses to cast a vote that won't end even one abortion.")there is no dichotomy since all of your votes or non votes will result in the same outcome.

In the real world there IS a dichotomy though (glad you used that word - its my new favorite). There is one vote that has a chance of eventually moving the nation's abortion policy in the right direction and every other vote or non vote will not.

That is NOT a false dichotomy (had to use it one last time)

That Crazy Christian said...

"There is one vote that has a chance of eventually moving the nation's abortion policy in the right direction and every other vote or non vote will not."

Oh really? Which vote will do that? Romney? Please. This is the same guy who made SURE that abortion was covered in his model for Obama Care while governor of Massachusetts. This is the same guy who, depending on the office he's running for and the audience he needs to impress is either completely for abortion, or completely against it. He voted for abortion before he voted against it.

The republican ticket in general? Please. We've elected 3 Republican Presidents and have had five since 1973. Abortion is stronger than ever. We had Republican control of the House and Senate, The White House, 7 of 9 Supreme Court Justices, and 30 states for the better part of 6 years under W Bush. They prevented not a single abortion.

Please learn this: The only choice to end abortion is to demand a new list to choose from. Supporting proven abortion sympathizers is not a principled stance and no matter how much you try to convince yourself, it is not a stance to end abortion.

You're doing the same thing over and over again... why would expect different results?

St. Lee said...

Hey CC, believe me, I am just as frustrated as you are. Romney was my second to the last choice on the Republican side, but I will still vote for him in the hope that he will send Supreme Court justices who will help overturn Roe V Wade. Obama certainly will not, and a non vote certainly will not. Gotta go - God Bless.

That Crazy Christian said...

St. Lee,

Fair enough, brother. Bless you too.

Sir Aaron said...

That Crazy Christian:

I always get a chuckle by the appearance of another reconteur who fancies himself a master of logic but fails to realize the rest of us have seen the same act many times before.

In your particular case, the evidence is before us. You are here and therein lies the proof.

Frank Turk said...

Let's see -- where did I leave off here ...

Frank Turk said...

OK: I have reviewed the self-justifications fo Justin.

He's the part I enjoyed most:

[quote]
My issue with you guys is the way you vilify believers who have decided, based on their convictions from Scripture, that they cannot vote for an unrighteous man who favors the murder of even 1 child.
[/quote]

Yeah: I'm the one who leads with the villification. See: I'm responding to self-convicted statements like that one, and using th terms established by those with such deep convictions, and turning on a 120 watt bulb when they had been reading by a 40 watt bulb (OK: that one is mine), and when they find out that the terms they have used already are, frankly, equally and rightly applied to them for doing things which must fail and which demonstrate no adult comprehension of the moral consequences of doing things which are effectively inaction they want to say that it's a moral failing in me to say they are doing it wrong.

Listen: that's a Barack Obama poly. To put one's self in the place where all criticism is actually a symptom of one's opponents' fatal flaw is to make one's self unrefutable. You learned this, by the way, not from Obama: you learned this from Ron Paul, who says he is a kind of libertarian, but is in fact a kind of anarchist.

So here it is for the last time:

[1] it is unquestionable that every abortion -- every single abortion -- is a kind of murder. We agree on this. Back when I was in college, there was a girl who became pregnant and, due to her physical condition, was going to die if she brought that baby to full term. She dropped out of school, and died delivering that baby. To say "she did the right thing," is morally vacant: she did the motherly and heroic thing. She did something which expresses the Gospel in a way those who think they are taking a moral stand he don't even have the opportunity to aspire to. Every abortion -- every one -- is murder.

[2] If we lived in a world where there were no abortions, every politician or citizen advocating for it would be a criminal. Every doctor administering one would be a murderer. And every mother seeking one out? I'm sure Justin has a word for them -- I don't. I have an anecdote about a mother who died to contrast to the two actions, and I would ask the reader to contrast the two and decide what's at stake.

[3] We do not live in a world where there are no abortions. Forgetting this, or overlooking it, or somehow blanching it out of your moral reasoning diminishes your moral reasoning. We living in a world where there are about 40 million abortions annually, and about 1.2 million in the US. Just so you don't have to do the math, that's 136 abortions per minute. The Republican platform is to have ZERO per minute, with the first step being to reduce it to 3 per minute. And listen carefully: Justin's position is that this is not a satisfactory improvement.

[more]

Frank Turk said...

[con't]

[4] My argument against this, elsewhere in this thread, is actually straw-manned into this: that guys like Justin are "happy" about the abortions they aren't preventing. Indeed not -- I think they, like most abortion advocates are, internally, very sad about them. They see it as a grave matter. They are NOT "happy" about these abortions. What I have in fact said is this: "[they] are perfectly satisfied if there are abortions as long as their personal holiness is still intact."

That is: they won't do the thing most likely to improve the situation in the context of voting. Until everyone will vote for their way of thinking, they are satisfied that voting for a virtually-unknown candidate satisfies their own ethical checklist, and they are satisfied that this is enough.

So let's face it: they are themselves incrementalists -- it's just that they are all-or-nothing incrementalists. They think that they can cause more people to vote their way over time, and if in the meantime there is factually no improvement, that's satisfactory.

[5] Last, and most importantly: the question has come up: "Frank: how many babies have you saved?" Here's my response:

[A] If I tell you, "every month I save one, and I have done it for 25 years," how does that improve or impugne my argument? It doesn't at all. If we change the "every" interval (day, month, year, decade), it doesn't affect this in the least.

[B] If I tell you, "I have never saved any," the same can be said.

[C] The reason these things can be said is that we are not talking about my activism in front of the abortion clinic. We are talking about the kind of activism the "Jack and Mack" pack are talking about: voting. We are talking about the most effective way to cast one's vote. Missing that point is, of course, the way people like Mack and Jack get by: they cast their vote based on their own high-minded view of their own lives and not as a method of actually changing anything.

Finally, what gets lost here is that voting is an utterly-pragmatic activity. This is why (and this will be the third of fourth time I have said this) you need to vote as close to your point on the political spectrum as you can stand in the primary, and then vote for the candidate which emerges from your party in the general election. This is how the Tea Party actually functions when it is not self-immolating over minutia and complaining that they didn't get a 2-3rds majority: they vote hard-right in the primary and in their own party in the general election.

It's not a vote for Moloch to do so: it is the way you make political change happen today.

Frank Turk said...

Jared asked a reasonable question, and I'll answer it and then close the thread.

[QUOTE]
does your argument still hold up if Romney says he won't really do anything to end abortion? Then voting for someone like Romney would be similar to Romans 1:32 in "giving hearty approval" to Romney's "tolerance" of abortion. That's not a question meant to be inflammatory, but merely an honest question from an undecided citizen :)
[/QUOTE]

Well, the formal positions of the two parties in question are these --

DNC: We are pro-abortion, and will do everything we can to keep it legal and available. We will make it free if it is possible.

RNC: Life is sacred and an inalienable human right; this extends to the unborn. We oppose public funding for abortion, and we favor a constitutional amendment to make abortion illegal.

It's utterly clear that the "can't vote for Romeny" people won't vote DNC because of its party platform. It is pretty unclear why that standard (the platform speaks for the candidates) doesn't apply to Romney.