Thursday, December 18, 2008

OBAMA PICKS RICK WARREN FOR INVOCATION-- A STORM OF PROTEST ENSUES



In a move that suggests that Obama does indeed intend to try to be everyone's President, the President elect named Rick Warren to say the invocation at his inauguration. Here is the link to the story---

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/18/us/politics/18inaug.html?th&emc=th

The reaction today to this move was predicable as protests came from both the gay and lesbian lobby on one hand and from conservatives as well, but for different reasons. The gay and lesbian lobby of course was angry because of Warren's strong opposition to gay and lesbian marriage and support for Proposition 8. Some of the vitriolic gay response revealed the ugly face of gay and lesbian stridency and strong arm tactics to try and force their views on the majority of Americans who do not agree with them on their key issues.

But it would be hard to say that that response was uglier than the response of those Christians who are angry with Warren, their own fellow conservative Christian, for agreeing to PRAY FOR OUR PRESIDENT ELECT, in view of Obama's pro-choice views in regard to abortion. As Obama said however at his press conference today, Americans need to learn to be civil towards one another, and learn how to disagree without being disagreeable and ugly. In the case of Christians the issue is whether one can disagree and not do it in an unChristian manner. One thing is clear-- controversial appointments and actions do indeed smoke out people's real views and feelings, and often those feelings are subChristian at best, and positively carnal at worst.

Tell me how you respond to this story.

BW3

49 comments:

Denny Burk said...

Dear Dr. Witherington,

I have read some reporting on the angry reactions from gay activists (e.g., Politico.com has a story). I haven't seen any stories yet on angry evangelicals who are reacting. I'm not saying that those stories are not out there. I've just been out of the media loop today. Can you give us some links?

Thanks,
Denny

Mich said...

I think it's a great choice!
Christians will have to be led by the Spirit and applaud the choice of Brother Warren.

Ben Witherington said...

It was on the national news tonight. I saw it twice, once reported by Wolf Blitzer and once by Charlie Gibson.

BW3

Jake said...

Dr. Witherington,

I agree with what you wrote regarding the ugliness of the response of some Christians. I'm a student at an evangelical seminary and today I read a blog post from one of our professors essentially condemning Warren for accepting such an invitation to "bless the most pro-abortion president in history." I respect this professor very much, and I agree with his absolute resolve on the issue of abortion, but I think it should be okay for a leading evangelical Christian to pray for the world's most powerful political leader.

Grant R. said...

Dr. Witherington,
This question is totally off-topic, but where do you think there is a greater need for more evangelical scholars, in OT or NT studies? It may not even be possible to answer that question. If not, where do you think current need exists for evangelicals? Thanks,
Grant

gbroughto said...

I have probably got this all upside down, living 'down-under' in Australia, but whose negative response to this decision reflects a deeper belief in prayer? It seems to me the angry response from the gays at least reflects some suspicion that Warren's prayer might change something or someone... the angry response from the conservatives is harder to grasp: they argue Warren shouldn't pray for the President-elect Jesus urged us to pray even for enemies / persecutors) because of why exactly...??? Why wouldn't they want loads of people praying, privately and publicly for the new president.

cheers, Geoff

Ben Witherington said...

Jake I will say this one more time. Barack Obama is not pro-abortion. He believes that women should have a choice about the matter. That's all. There is a difference. You will not find Obama writing pamphlets that have as their lead line-- abortion is a good thing and it should be promoted. His view is that there are circumstances in which it is a lesser of two evils. That is a very different matter. We may disagree with him in regard to this, but it is not accurate to say he promotes abortion.

BW3

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Grant:

We need scholars in both testaments of course, but you will not be surprised if I say we most need more scholars in the NT. After all, its the only part of the Bible that clearly reveals that Jesus of Nazareth is Lord over all.

BW3

Grant R. said...

Dr. Witherington,
Thanks for your thoughts on my first question. I've got a second that is a little different - in what fields do you think evangelicals are most under-represented? I've got my MDiv and I'm working on a second Master's in NT. Both the Old and New Testaments are extremely important to me, but in today's world of specialization, I want to use my life prudently (i.e., make the maximum contribution for the kingdom). Any wisdom you might offer would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings,
Grant

Erstwhile Editor said...

I find Obama's selection of Warren to be consistent with his broad outreach to people who may differ with him in some ways. This is a reassuring trait in a president-elect and one that Americans should celebrate.

Ben Witherington said...

Grant I honestly think the most under-represented areas when it comes to Evangelicals are the General Epistles of course. And I would add that NT ethics is under-represented when it comes to most of the NT books. Too much of the focus has been on theology, and too little on history or ethics. Of late I have been encouraged by more work being done on the oral and rhetorical character of the NT documents, but more needs to be done.

BW3

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Hal:

I always enjoy and appreciate your comments. Any interest in becoming the editor of Good News magazine?

BW3

Grant R. said...

Dr. Witherington,
Thanks for the info. I'll give it plenty of thought as I wrestle with my next steps. I'm sure you've got quite a few other things to do, but it would be interesting (to me at least) if you ever had the time to blog about some areas/questions/problems/books that haven't been explored or need to be in more detail. With all the eyes that see your blog, you might just trigger an idea in someone's mind that God could use to advance our knowledge in some way. Thanks again!

Grant

Eric Nygren said...

First time commenter, long time reader.

Since when does leading in prayer equal a complete endorsement? My guess is that the Apostle Paul would have jumped at the chance to do something like this (1 Tim. 2:1-2)

What a tremendous opportunity to show the watching world what the love of Christ looks like.

Farley said...

In my opinion, it is no surprise that some on the left are outraged over Warren; however, I am a little disappointed with their mischaracterization of him being some sort of Falwell/Dobson replicant. On the other side, the 'religious right' (or a vocal block therein) have opposed him for years over the 'seeker-friendly' movement, as well as his views of climate change and AIDS. So, they are not really a surprise, either. Disappointing, but not surprising.

Stanford J. Young said...

One only wishes that Christians could have the attitude that President-elect Obama has about disagreeing without being disagreeable. I don't agree with much of Mr. Obama's politics. But, I do think he brings an attitude that is much more tolerable than the vitriolic one that has been present in both the Bush and Clinton administrations. I find it quite refreshing.

How could any disciple find Mr. Warren's leading of prayer for the president and country disagreeable in light of 1 Tim. 2:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:13-17?

Julie Glavic said...

Some thoughts from someone else (who is a little miffed about the anger on the liberal side): http://paulglavic.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/warren-a-good-fit-for-obamanauguration/

Jc_Freak: said...

Though I would have issue if I was asked to pray in a "inter-faith" manner, I will not fault a man who agrees to pray for someone, regardless of who that person is. The president-elect's political positions, no matter how abhorrent, shouldn't illegitamatize him from prayer.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ben:

Thanks for your comments. I certainly agree and I am pleased that President-Elect Obama has asked Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.

I am curious to know how you undertand Barack Obama's position on abortion in light of his campaign pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

José Solano said...

To be pro-life one must be proactive for life. To be pro-choice when one of those choices is murder is to be pro-murder in "qualified" circumstances. One cannot be pro-murder in any circumstance and claim to be pro-life. By "pro-life" I understand a proactive effort to prevent murder. We can twist the term to mean something other than that and thereby condone selective infanticide and proactively support a woman's so-called "right" to murder her baby.

Obama is the most proactive supporter of a woman's "right" to murder her baby that has ever been elected president. He and our nation desperately need our prayers. May Rick Warren's unequivocally proactive pro-life stance and his prayer for Obama bring about a change of heart and mind in Obama that will make him truly proactive to stop the wanton slaughter of the innocents, for Christ's sake. Let us have prayer vigils for Obama.

Starlyth said...

Rick Warren has called President-Elect Obama a friend. It would seem that Obama shares similar feelings along those lines. That Obama trusts Warren with this (think about it--a free, worldwide stage) says a lot about Obama and Warren (in my view, all good things). I think a lot of "conservative" Christians are going to have to get used to this. There are a lot of people who want to get to the Lord's work, and feel that pure politics has been more of a hindrance than a help. I can't remember his name, but the pastor who did the closing invocation, who out of respect, left the ending open to each individual, at the Democratic Convention, said that his purpose was to build bridges. We Christians have burnt a lot of bridges, and at least stood by as others burnt them "for" us. Obama seems to be providing us a starting point that we desperately need to reach the lost. In fact, I see the potential that Obama may provide greater opportunities for Christians to engage the world than we have had.

However, I also fear that I am projecting my hopes onto Obama as I believe so many already have.

Paul enjoins us to pray for those in authority. When Obama won, I prayed for him and his family, and all those that would become leaders. I will continue to pray for him, and all our leaders, especially for those with whom I disagree.

To fight the battle, one must start on ones knees.

Daniel Davis said...

I am embarrassed by the response of my conservative brothers and sisters in Christ. Evangelicals should rejoice that (1) a stable evangelical pastor clearly has some influence with the President-elect and (2) that pastor is obeying the Scripture enjoining us to pray for our leaders.

I will reveal my political stance and say I did not vote for the President-elect for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, he will soon be the president. I am determined to support him, loyally disagree with him when necessary, and treat him with more civility and respect than certain factions have treated the current president.

Finally, regarding the biblical injunction to pray for our leaders: are we not forgetting that the Scripture was directing prayer for, not against, Caesar and his powers? If the Pastorals were written in the 60s, I should say that our president-elect is far far far more to the right on moral issues than was Nero whom the Bible wanted people to uphold in prayer.

mario said...

Mr. Witherington,

Do you mind if I share something with you guys? The craziest rumor that was going around our seminary during the election time was that Mr. Obama is a Moslem because he never renounced his Moslem faith. He went to school in a "madrasah" in Indonesia, therefore, he was a Muslim then. Since he never came out and renounce his Muslim faith, that means he's still a Muslim.

Well, I'm from Indonesia. I can assure you that Mr. Obama school was not a madrasah, it's an Indonesian public school. To call an Indonesian public school a madrasah is as ridiculous as calling an American public school "Christian". Regarding his renouncement of his "supposed" Muslim faith, Mr. Obama has been baptized. BW3, you wrote a book on baptism, don't you think that's all we need as Christians regarding "denouncement of past religious affiliation"? Seriously...

Anyway, forgive my rantings. Rick Warren is a great choice. His forum with Mr McCain and Mr Obama gave us a snapshot of the spiritual life of each candidate that no other debates could provide. Rick does not go out of his way to seek attention but he handles it well. I can think of a better person for the presidential invocation.

Pastor Warren is a good man doing a good job. I'm happy for both him and the president-elect.

Dan said...

This is a choice that is consistent with both men. Warren truly reaches out to create friendships without compromising his core beliefs. He has much more opportunity to engage Obama this way than to sit in the crowd and lob theological grenades.

Obama is demonstrating his commitment to truly be EVERYONE'S president. This small token shows he is in some say meaning what he says.

One column I remember from the Wall Street Journal before the election spoke of Obama's "mass appeal" and how the masses will throw their image on him. Whatever THEY think he is, they see. That is starting to play out. Liberals thought they were electing an extreme liberal and now that he is not doing their dance at this moment, he has somehow failed them.

Mike B. said...

On the part of Barack Obama, it's a political move, of course. He's been very effective at reach out to the evangelical voting block, and this is yet another attempt to curry favor. Who did you expect him to pick? Jeremiah Wright?

Of course, he also does seem to be trying to build his administration on diversity and bipartisanship in general, but in some cases, I think he is trying too hard to be a great and historic president. I really wonder if history will actually accord him that honor when this is all over.

I think that Warren, for his part, just likes being in the spotlight.

Jay and Milka said...

I think it is every Christian's duty to pray for their leaders, whether their leaders are Christian or Atheist. This is a wonderful opportunity for Rick Warren to pray a prayer that will spiritually challenging not only to our President but to the whole nation. It is also a wonderful decision on Obama's part to reach out to those who disagree with him strongly on some issues.

True, Obama is not pro-abortion. I have rarely met anyone who claims to be pro-abortion and have not met many meat eaters that are pro-animal killing. It is just that they choose to eat meat, but would rather not think about the slaughter of the animal they are eating.

DJRodger said...

Sorry Ben that seems like faulty logic to me how can believeing that a women should have the right to end their babies life be different from being pro-abortion? Its like saying im personally and morally opposed to rape but I believe others should have the right to rape if they so wish, what exactly is the difference between being pro-rape or pro-choice about rape? I truly don't understand how someone can fully understand in the life/personhood and awesomeness of Gods creation but still allow others to have the rights/choice to end that babies life before its had a chance to exercise its own decisions or rights. Obama seems like more of a man pleaser than a God pleaser to me.

Mason said...

So much of the response to the choice of Warren saddens me deeply, but far and away I am most saddened by the response of some of my fellow Evangelicals.

First, because Obama choosing Warren to pray at his inauguration really ought to be something Evangelicals hear and are joyful for. Warren is a passionately evangelical and God-fearing man, and that Obama would see him as a friend and select Warren for this honor is a very good sign in my eyes that some of the more radical right-wing fear over Obama’s supposed hyper-liberalism is indeed empty rhetoric as I suspected.

I can just see now how the right would react if Obama picked an extremely liberal pastor. Instead of saying “we can’t endorse him” they’d be telling us all how “they knew it all along and don’t we regret voting for him now”.

Just an aside…
How much of this do you think might actually be the underlying resentment from some in the far right that Warren focuses on AIDS and the environment as a part of his proclamation of the gospel, instead of denying the that Christians should care about those thins as some have and thereby become marginalized?

Ben Witherington said...

Here's what I think from spending a lot of time with the next generation of Evangelicals. We are going to see a huge upsurge in involvement in the social Gospel, and this will be perceived as liberalism by various old school more spiritualistic Evangelicals. What they do not realize is that with the passing of Falwell, and the waning of the political influence of people like Dobson and Robertson, especially with the young, that there train has left the station, and they don't even realize it has departed. Like when the strength left Samson, or the glory left Saul, they do not realize that even Evangelicalism has moved on, and Wallis and Warren and Bell and others represent the future. Obama is embracing the more irenic and socially involved future of Evangelicalism, not its fundamentalist past.

BW3

Aspirant said...

BW3,

as always, thanks for inviting comment and writing thought provoking content.

I am surprised at the lack of comments in these posts about gay civil rights. I live in CA, and I fully support gay marriage and same sex blessings in the church. I don't have time to say why here, but you note the "stridency" of some voices. Fair enough. But I think oppression, marginalization, spiritual and civil exclusion, and ridicule make one strident. If in fact homosexuality is a part of the human experience, and it surely seems to be, those relationships and affections, and I know many that are as committed and loving as anything I've seen in my own heterosexual world...those relationships deserve the legal recognition and commitment of the State, and the spiritual nurture and support of the Christian community, the Church.

You are right that there is a move toward social gospel among younger Evangelicals (that movement is not so new among other mainline Christian groups, of course, and it was certainly core material for the prophets and Jesus); let me make a further prediction: Warren's stance on homosexuality reflects distinct cultural and theological positions which will also likely shift, even, eventually, for much of the Evangelical right. It is astonishing to me how much slack heterosexuals have cut ourselves with regards to divorce considering Jesus' difficult words on the topic. As a divorced person myself, I am very glad for it. Yet Jesus says nothing about homosexuality, but many condemn it out of hand without deeply investigating gay relationships/orientation. That too will change over time, or so I hope. Gay persons deserve the right to build loving families within the Christian community. Prop 8 was a piece of horrific legislation (and I would be careful citing the majority public opinion...they are neither expert nor non-biased; what if we had taken a vote regarding slavery among whites in Virginia in 1850). The advertising tactics used here in CA to promote Prop 8 were fear-based, focusing on children and education, as if tolerance and awareness of gay couples will promote little children to become gay; these tactics were barbaric and irresponsible in my view.

Finally, I'd ask you to consider, respectfully, applying your logic regarding Obama and abortion to gay marriage: does letting gay couples have the choice to marry mean one is promoting homosexual life or denigrating the heterosexual family?

I'm fine with Warren speaking; tolerance matters and Obama must have a positive opinion of the man. But I can understand the anger of the gay community.

That said, my thanks for all the great work you do here, and a Blessed Advent to you, friend.

t

Mike said...

I'm glad Warren decided to do it. I don't think any Christian should pass up an opportunity to witness for Christ. Especially on this big.

Regardless of where individual Christians stand on Obama's political views, all can (hopefully) agree that every president needs wisdom from God.

This prayer doesn't amount to a change in political or spiritual views for either Obama or Warren. Warren can still represent Christ well without giving support to all of Obama's views.

Thanks Dr. Witherington for your posts!

Carrie said...

Dr Witherington!

Sorry to change the subject here, but you have to check out this video some of the Bible Majors at Biola made about Koine Greek. I think you will love it!

http://carriemarieallen.blogspot.com/2008/12/all-things-are-better-in-koine.html

Ben Witherington said...

I honestly doubt many Evangelicals will ever change their views on same sex, sexual activity, since the Bible, including the NT specficially prohibits it. The case with abortion is quite different. It is telling that even the advocates of same sex marriage, at least most of them, realize that the Bible stands against same sex, sexual activity, and Jesus and Paul do indeed define marriage as when God joins a man and woman together in a one flesh union. Frankly, there is no 'right' to redefine the meaning of the term marriage in America. And since gays in many states already have the right to civil unions, they should be satisfied with that, instead of forcing their opinions on the majority who disagrees with them.

Enough said,

BW3

crystal said...

I voted for Obama and I think his choice of Rick Warren was a mistake. Aside from Warren's stance on same-sex marriage, he's the same person who recently agreed with the idea of assassinating the president of Iran, justifying it with scripture.

Brett R said...

I think its great that a Christian evangelical will pray for this country and President.

Perhaps, he could say a prayer about the "least of these", such as those in the womb about to be legally murdered. Perhaps he could pray that the magistrates that permit this will either change their mind or be driven from office.

If this is too tough a prayer, he can just pray that we all can buy nicer cars next year. That's much more important than the lives of 1.3 million innocents a year anyway, right?

BWIII, I think you are playing a semantical game by saying Obama is pro-choice not pro-abortion. The fact of the matter is that he strongly advocates against the lives of the unborn. He believes that there should be virtually no legal hurdles against those that would wish to slaughter their own children. Furthermore, he would have the deeds done on the taxpayer dime.

Personally, I believe we should pray for the President and his family, and I have no objection against Rick Warren praying, but I pray that Warren doesn't become an accesorry to the crime at hand.

Quiddity said...

Being someone on the left side of the political spectrum, most people I know and read are skeptical that Obama's outreach via Warren will change much of anything. While Ben notes that there is a greater interest in the Social Gospel, something that liberals generally applaud, they also note that Warren is dismissive of it (considers it a kind of Marxism). Warren is perceived as being very conservative (doesn't believe in evolution, takes a view about what's "normal" in nature that is axiomatic instead of empirical, says the difference between him and Dobson is a matter of 'tone'). Most on the left would prefer to engage with a vibrant mainstream Christianity, but that's not where the energy is these days. Mainstream Christianity's voice is rarely heard, for reasons that puzzle. So the outreach goes to the more conservative (and successful) pastors. But what then? Can Warren "bring people" to Obama's policy views? Would he even want to? Maybe there are some political/social/religious divisions that should remain, in order that they maintain their own integrity. Sometimes compromise is not optimal. Elections are a sort of non-compromise way of deciding policy. Sometimes you win, sometimes not. Trying to find some sort of happy medium may end up frustrating just about everybody.

As to Warren himself, for me, there's not a sense of much theological depth, which is disappointing. I thought his defense of attacking Iran (in theory), saying it was based on Romans 13 to be a misreading of the text (R13 discusses the relationship between a governing authority and its subjects only, not relations between governing authorities - which was Warren's looser reading).

On the other hand, he is an effective communicator and is personally appealing, almost to the point of being the nation's pastor, so what he says and does matters a lot.

Darryl Schafer said...

I thought this was strange not least of all because these were the same people who said that Obama is not a terrorist simply because he has loose connections with Bill Ayers. I guess "guilt by association" is subjective.

Concerning pro-life: the old slogan applies that pro-life is not just anti-abortion. Dr. W's comments concerning a greater focus on a social gospel are a reflection of that statement.

Concerning abortion: the church needs to do more than speak against it. Having a "pro-life" president in office has done little to nothing to dramatically decrease the number of abortions. Interestingly enough, the greatest decline in the abortion rate came during Clinton's presidency. (Abortion rates are still decreasing under Bush's watch, but at half the rate.) Why? The economy was on an upward climb, job opportunities were up, educational opportunities were more affordable. All of a sudden, the number one reason (but not the only reason) why a woman gets an abortion (she can't afford a child) is out the window.

At the same time, where is the church? When will we do more than just protest the issue? What about being the sacrificial body of Christ and caring for mother an child? What about providing child care so a young mother can further her education? What about buying groceries, diapers, etc.? What happened to bearing one another's burdens? I'm not saying this doesn't happen. It does. But our words speak louder than our actions at the moment, and brethren, this should not be. The prophetic voice necessitates prophetic action. It's time to stop talking and start doing.

James W Lung said...

Obama is sooo smart.

United Methodists will be represented too, with Joseph Lowery doing the benediction at Obama's inauguration. Lowery is in favor of same-sex marriage?

This is a great picture of the state of protestant Christianity today. Evangelical mega-church at one end of O's Inaug, white-headed, fading away Mainline at the other.

Suggestion for future commentary: Let's publish the prayer of each Pastor and see what their prayers tell us about their respective theology. Will either one use the J-word? Let's see which one uses the F-word.

Dr. Ben: You can say the Obama is not pro-abortion until you are blue in the face, but you will be forever wrong.

Finally, if anyone out there has an open mind on the issue of same-sex attraction, the website of the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality (narth.com) is a great source. Jeffrey Satinover, in particular.

Ben Witherington said...

Well James your wrong, but Christmas blessings anyway. Arguing that Obama is pro-abortion is like arguing I'm pro-euthanasia because I do not believe that it is necessary or ethically required to put someone who is dying on an iron lung which will only prolong the dying, not prolong the living.

BW3

James W Lung said...

Ben: I love you too. Is it possible we are both right?

Obama is indeed in favor of a woman's right to choose. In fact, his position on the issue is extreme.

In fact, Obama is in favor of a woman's absolute right to end the life of her unborn baby at any stage of that baby's development from conception to live birth.

I contend he is pro-abortion because he assigns absolutely no legal status to the unborn baby. Remember, he is allegedly a Civil Rights scholar. He knows the case law.

I say his version of the "right to choose" accords absolute status to the woman's reproductive autonomy because of his public history on the issue. His support of FOCA has already been cited. FOCA extends a modicum of protection to viable fetuses but allows a woman's "health" to override the life of the baby. Health has been defined in the case law so broadly (he knows the case law) as to give the mother an absolute right to pay a willing physician to kill the baby growing in her womb for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy, so long as she feels her well-being requires the "termination" of her pregnancy. How can you say that this position is not also pro-abortion, as well as pro-choice.

"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

Your anology, though inappropriate, makes my case. (Active) euthanasia) always involves a sentient patient either refusing treatment or requesting death. Abortion kills an innocent human being who has no say in the matter.

The best analogy, though still irrelevant, makes my case. Obama's abortion position is the euthanasia-equivalent of the Hemlock Society's position. A person who favors the right of a non-dying patient to instruct his care giver to administer lethal drugs (as is the case in the Netherlands) is in any sane world a person who is in favor of euthanasia.

Peace.

Jay and Milka said...

Let's assume Joseph did not believe the message of the angel and was not so compassionate to only break his engagement with Mary secretly. Mary could have been in a life threatening situation. If Mary had had the resources to abort this bastard fetus, would have this, besides messing up the fulfillment of a bunch of prophecies, negatively impacted the plan of redemption or just sped it up by about 30 years? If Mary, in faith, decided to keep the baby, but Joseph publicly accusing her of sexual immorality causing her to be stoned, would this also have had the same result as the previously mentioned scenario? I just thought this might be an interesting thought for our Christmas celebration.

Adam said...

James,
I think all Dr. Witherington is asserting is that there is a clear distinction to be made between allowing one to have the choice of aborting a fetus, and actually encouraging an increased number in abortions (that is actively promoting the practice).

One could allow for the choice of abortion, even in a wide array of circumstances, without encouraging people to excercise that choice. In fact it would be completely consistent for someone to be pro-choice, but also seek to minimize the number of abortions through various programs and resources for un-wed and teenage mothers.

Pro-choice is for the allowance of the option of abortion. Pro-abortion would be the promotion of abortion in itself, as a good thing to be celebrated. Most pro-choicers I have spoken with lament abortion as a last resort for ill-equipped mother's-to-be. I ardently disagree with them, but I can still easily distinguish this position from one that actually promotes abortion as some sort of celebrated activity.

Peace,
Adam

Ben Witherington said...

Since I have personally heard Obama talk about the need and the desire to reduce the number of abortions, something we could all applaud, it is frankly ludicrous to call Obama pro-abortion. You can't be 'pro' something you think we should do our best to eliminate.

BW3

Terry Hamblin said...

From outside the maelstrom of US politics I suspect that Obama is just taking a political position that says nothing for his personal beliefs (if he has any). A large proportion of the US public favors Rick Warren, so it is a popular choice to invite him. There are a lot of gay voters and no politician wants to antagonize them so his relationship with Warren is friendly but at arms length. By calling for a reduction in the number of abortions while supporting a woman's right to choose he hopes to appear moderate. Politicians always act like this. Like Clinton before him, he will go out of his way not to take a firm position on anything for fear of antagonizing those who might not vote for him next time.

charles ray loudermilk said...

What better person to pray for!! I do, hoping Yeshua will work to change Mr. Obama's heart as Yeshua does for mine, constantly.

We are 1 Tim chapter 2, commands us to pray for those in authority.

I applaud Mr. Obama's choice and Rick Warren's accepting the invitation.

zefiriel said...

Just wondering, what have pro-life advocates been doing aside from just expressing their disagreements and protesting?

Are they doing their best to make it easier for those who faced with the dilemma of either keeping or aborting their baby, or are these people backbenchers contented with being able to express their views?

zefiriel said...

Like Clinton before him, he will go out of his way not to take a firm position on anything for fear of antagonizing those who might not vote for him next time.

And is that wrong?

James W Lung said...

zefiriel: I don't know where you live, but I bet that there is a crisis pregnancy center or pregnancy care center near you. Check is out. You might also want to check out the website of TUMAS at www.lifewatch.com. If you are seriously wondering, with only a little research you will will discover that the outreach to women with crisis or untimely pregnancies is quite substantial. Not to mention that almost every crisis pregnancy ministry also provides counselling to women who hurt because of prior abortions.

Peace.

zefiriel said...

James, I didn't recall asking for information about how pro-life advocates are making it harder for people to choose abortion. I asked how they are making it easier for them to not choose abortion. If you think these two are the same, no, they're very different.

This is an article addressing the issue that I'm asking here. It's an old article. So, I'm asking you who knew more about these things: are things different and better now from when the article was written?

And in Malaysia, either these crisis pregnancy center or pregnancy care center are very low profile, or are virtually non-existent, or I'm not looking hard enough. Or maybe in this part of the world, we're not really having this problem of mass abortion, yet.