A city councilman in Kokomo wrote an editorial this week (which you can read here) calling his readers to have compromising views with respect to such issues as abortion. My “Letter to the Editor,” which I submitted but do not know if it will be printed in its entirety, follows. As many of us will be participating in the Life Chain this Sunday, October 1st, I thought this letter might remind us of the issues at stake.
In his editorial “A Revisitation of Religion and Politics,” Greg Goodnight used an assortment of quotes, Bible citations and personal reflections to support the idea that most American want “a ceasefire in the culture wars” and that individuals and churches should not use God’s name to win votes. Though certainly Christians must be careful not to put their hope in political power nor abuse it, and his personable style seeks to disarm criticism, the fact that Mr. Goodnight contradicted his own thesis within his column invites response.
Mr. Goodnight cites a survey that says sixty-six percent of Americans want a “middle ground” on abortion and that six out of ten white evangelicals also support compromise. This position reflects his own publicly-stated, pro-choice political views regarding this practice. He then refers to the Bible as a basis for having compromise when it comes to issues like abortion: “The point is that the Bible is open to interpretation, and fair-minded Christians may disagree or come to different conclusions about specific points,” such as the abortion issue he had just raised. See the contradiction of his own thesis? Mr. Goodnight does not want Christians to use God to influence politics, but has no problem referring to God and His Word in order to defend his own pro-choice views. He then slips even further when he goes on to quote a reference (I Corinthians 13:12) from the Bible to try to support the idea the Bible is not clear. See then the inconsistency of his argument? He claims that people should not use God for political purposes, then uses God to address his view on abortion; he states that on an important topic like abortion, the Bible is unclear; to support the statement that the Bible is unclear, he quotes the Bible!
Mr. Goodnight, the Bible is explicitly clear, and just because someone goes to church and also believes in abortion does not invalidate the perspicuity of Scripture. An unborn child is a person (Psalm 139:13), and parents who take the life of their own children have committed a vile offense against the child, society and their Creator (Exodus 21:22-23). To those who believe this and want this practice stopped, your muddled arguments for compromise and for us to be silent are patronizing. The next time you preach to others (for that is what you were doing), perhaps beforehand you need to think more deeply upon the Shakespeare you offered the rest of us from the Merchant of Venice about even the devil quoting Scripture, and then look up the line that follows. As the Bard of Avon said elsewhere, “This above all: to thine own self be true.”