I couldn’t possibly say anything more illuminating or informed than what Professor Robert George has to say about Obama’s stance on abortion. Dr. George is Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence. Warning: Reading this article very much troubled my soul–I have no doubt that those of you who are worried about the ramped up “culture of death” will also have similar feelings. May God help us.
This also leads me to wonder just how things are going to change here in Canada. We have NO legislation currently regulating abortion in Canada, and none of the major political parties seem to want to get involved in producing any, including the Conservatives. Prime Minister Harper was quoted in the Globe and Mail in September 2008, saying,
We have a lot of challenges in front of the country. . . We have a difficult world economy, as we all know. That has to be the focus of the government and I simply have no intention of ever making the abortion question a focus of my political career. [Emphasis mine]
I like many things about Prime Minister Harper, and I know that he has some kind of Christian faith stance. But I wonder how long he can expect to avoid dealing with the abortion issue until the moral imperative regarding the abortion laws (or more accurately, lack thereof) pushes itself involuntarily upon he and his cabinet. Given a minority government–again–I’m not hopeful that the pressure will ever be sufficient.
Strategically, I realize that a minority government of any political stripe these days is unlikely to make many changes on the abortion laws in Canada. In fact, I wonder how long it will be until we get another majority government, given the way the vote is being split up these days. Perhaps Harper is simply a realist who realizes that change in this realm is next to impossible and he doesn’t even want to be hassled with what he knows what would certainly fail. And if Obama gets in (which it looks like he will) and some of his hoped-for changes to the laws come into effect in the United States, no one can predict what kind of influence that will have on us in Canada.
Let me be clear on something here. I don’t expect any government to be able to enact sweeping changes in the abortion laws overnight, let alone within a term of office. I think it is a huge mistake for some Christians to have taken an “all or nothing” approach to the abortion issue. Small changes–even infinitesimal changes–are at least a first step. (In this regard, it is very sad that the Unborn Victims of Crime Act died when the election was called. Even though having nothing to do with abortion, it could have been a starting point).
But surely there has to be some kind of starting point, even if just in a small incremental way? It is here that I do not envy the extremely difficult challenges that our pro-life MPs have, whatever party they serve. It is all so terribly hopeless that it must be despairing at times. Let’s not fail to pray for these folks, maybe even write your pro-life MP a letter of encouragement. (I was once at a gathering where Bill Blaikie, now a retired long time serving Christian MP, was speaking. He said Christian MPs almost NEVER get letters of encouragement from Christians, but get some of the worst hate mail from those claiming to be Christians. What a shame that is! I know, just because they are Christian doesn’t necessarily make them a good politician, but surely as a brother or sister in Christ we at least owe them some word of encouragement for their public service…Again, all I can say is, “God help us.”)
It is here that I go back to my previous ponderings on “public reading of Scripture,” particularly my proposal that perhaps it is high time for the church to rediscover the genre of the theological confession. Until the Church in Canada can begin to muster the courage (hopefully a courage led and infused by the Holy Spirit) to not only confess Christ in a unified way again, but also have the courage to reject that which we find to be against Christ–until then, at least a major part of the pro-life voice will continue to be silenced.
Again, may God help us.