Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Associating with Terrorists

First, I have to tell you that I associate with a known terrorist. Regularly; weekly in fact. He comes to our house for School of Community.

Ralph wasn't born a terrorist. Raised in a devout Baptist family, he wasn't practicing his faith when he dropped out of college and went to Vietnam. While there as a commissioned officer, he was given an order (the order was reiterated more than once) to shoot an unarmed peasant. In that moment, he made a life-changing decision of conscience and refused to follow the order. He was sequestered from his company for his own protection and returned home after testifying against his commanding officer.

When Ralph went home, he went back to college and joined the Students for a Democratic Society. What he did exactly I don't know, but they did burn down the ROTC building at their school. He had a dramatic conversion during his radical years and became a Bible Christian, and had a neighborhood church at one time. Now he is at the threshold of the Catholic Church.

So now you know about me and my friends. But this is not the type of terrorist we should be worried about, particularly one who left that path long ago.

The charge that Barack Obama is associating with pro-choice dealers is another matter entirely. I read his book Audacity of Hope, and the only thing I see there is a refusal to take a moral position. He listens to and discusses the very concerns we have, but stops short of making a decision. I'm not going to question his motives, because this is the mystery of the soul. I am sometimes surprised to see Obama depicted as some mystical New Age prophet, because he's much more practical than that. I would say even "material", not in the sense of wanting to be personally rich, but reducing human questions to those that would make life more materially comfortable, for the many rather than the few.

Many who sincerely and rightly fear the culture of death demonize those who are pro-choice, especially now in the final month before the election as McCain is slipping down the polls. It is a kind of gut reaction that is understandable. I wrote earlier on this subject, because Sarah Palin as a person was put in contrast with a man associated with a death-dealing agenda.
I don't agree with those who think Barack Obama is conniving and duplicitous. I think he's genuine when he says he doesn't want to put his children or ours through an unwanted pregnancy. There are many people who know better for you. They have those sentimental hearts that don't want you to hurt. They don't do tough love, as Sarah Palin does. Beware of them. They have needles and numbing and killing medicines. The Nazis started with the handicapped.
If anything, since Palin's nomination, the Obama-Biden ticket has taken more trouble to associate with abortion providers, particularly in ads. In the debate the other night, Biden said he would favor appointing judges based on their commitment to Roe v. Wade.

Last night I read a private opinion piece that I think expresses how many of us feel who are still very uncomfortable with the Republican ticket, while being remaining very committed to protecting innocent life.
Much to the consternation of some of my friends, I find voting terribly difficult. It's not because I am uninformed. I think voting for the lesser of two evils ought to be hard, ought to be terribly uncomfortable, ought to make our consciences ache. If we really took it seriously, we would shudder at the thought of what we are sometimes asked to cooperate in. This is especially true in elections where both major candidates, although to vastly different degrees, stand for intrinsically evil policies that in any sane world would be disqualifying. If I haven't decided for sure what I'm going to do, vote for the lesser of the two evils or for neither of them, I am hardly in a position to tell you what to do.

But it's worth noting that we live in an insane world, where about 600 children were killed in my community last year by the violence of abortion, and about a million were killed that way in my country. And that's been going on for 35 years. And most, politicians and voters alike, think that status quo is just fine. And those who think it is a transcendent issue are derided as "single issue voters."

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