I finished watching the civil forum from last week at Saddleback Church. A few thoughts on the entire event.
First, this is exactly the kind of event that we need in an election year. A clear discussion with Presidential candidates on issues that matter to people of faith. I concur with Rick Warren when he said that we believe in a separation of church and state, but not with the division between faith and politics. Faith must influence politics, and it is my hope that people of faith will look at the issues facing our country and make the best decision possible when they head into the voting booth in November.
I thought Barack Obama was engaging in his discussion with Rick Warren. It felt like two old friends having a conversation. I loved his comments on the direction of America and Matthew 25: What you have done to the least of these you have done to me. That is the direction that I want to see America head in.
John McCain was also insightful in his comments. He was direct and to the point on issues that matter to Republicans, and particularly the religious right. His direct answers will calm the fears of many on the right who assume that he is a moderate in Republican clothes [which I think he really secretly is].
The issue of abortion always plays an important role in Presidential Elections. The right wants a President who will be stridently pro-life. At times this is the deciding issue for voters. All they want to know is who will be pro-life, and who will stand against gay marriage. I wonder if this will finally be the year when people start to look beyond a couple of issues when voting for President. As time goes on I am not so sure that the abortion issue can or will be solved by a conservative in the White House for another four years. The past eight years have not seen a significant drop in the abortion rate.
While we are distracted by the abortion issue, other issues that should be primary for Christian voters go unnoticed. Let me be clear, I am pro-life. I find abortion to be immoral. But my pro-life stance also requires me to be consistently pro-life. From the cradle to the grave. More people will die today from preventable diseases than died in the 9/11 attacks. Where is the Christian outrage over such a calamity?
I hope this will be the year that Christians across our great country begin to look at all the issues that face our country. I believe that a Christian can be fervently pro-life, and at the same time care about the poor, and support initiatives that will stop the crisis currently decimating our world. I hope for a candidate that can make the bold move forward to being both pro-life, and pro-poor. And I hope that all Christian voters will remember all the issues when casting their vote this November.