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September 05, 2008



Brett, I don't even understand why you bothered to include that second point. Republicans are statists too. They prefer some slightly different flavors in policies, but that is all.



Mostly valid points, a little broadbrushed, but generally valid.

I'm going to go a round-a-bout way of stating a point, so bear with me.

Most Republicans pride themselves at being "pro-life", but most are pro death penalty. How's that for an oxymoron? So maybe it's just a matter of semantics. Maybe what Republicans really mean is "anti-abortion". Which is fine, if that's what they mean.

But aren't those two (death penalty/abortion) similar? It's death either way.

So, what I'm getting at is I feel your pain. Being Republican isn't the answer. Being a Democrat isn't the answer. And that's the point I was trying to make in your previous post. You may not always agree with every stance that a politician holds, but what are they going to do? Everyone votes their beliefs, so voting -- no matter who you vote for -- is never throwing your vote away.


Brett - I haven't done a ton of homework on this group but some folks I greatly respect have mentioned it and I do like what I've seen so far.

The basic movement is called "The Consistent Ethic of Human Life".




Dude - you dodged the conversation.

I checked-out the site and the wiki briefly... Boy. That's a yes and no for me. Yes, we should be "for life," but this approach seems to muddy the waters. Killing is not a moral problem. We are called to war, self-defense, and captial punishment at various times and ways. Murder is unjustified killing. Abortion is murder and death row is not.

Further, what is the wiki reference to animal rights? This seems to be a kind of quasi-pacifistic group to me.

Again, I don't "get it."



The animal rights stuff is kind of the fringe element there as far as I can tell.

The argument is against unjust war, not all war. And while capital punishment is scriptural, are we positive that's a standard to uphold today?

I'll dig deeper on it when I get a chance.

And, even if it is, with a system where innocent people have been killed via capital punishment, shouldn't we do away with it anyway? One unjustified execution of capital punishment is one too many.


You're dead on, Brett. Regardless of how well anyone or any faction lives up to the words, it all comes down the platform. The platform is the creed. And signing on with the party of abortion will be indefensible on Judgment Day.

Like I told a friend recently on the same topic, God may not be a Republican or a Democrat, but He really, REALLY isn't a Democrat.


So what would one say about the Sadducees?


But how do you death row is not murder? What is murder? How can we be the ones to decide who lives and who dies? If standing against abortion is us deciding who should have the right to live, how can we then turn around and decide who has violated that right -- hence deserving death?

Besides, how sure can we be that the capital punishment excised in the OT wasn't one of those things that God loathed having to ask us to do? What I mean is, it's obviously one of the consequences of sin -- so it's almost as if God is saying, "you brought this to me, now there's no other way of dealing with it."

But if Jesus is the fulfillment of that, then if we support capital punishment, aren't we just supporters of death, a backslide away from Eden?


To your Statist comment...


It's the S&L's all over again. Both on a GOP watch.


I'm with you, Brett. I don't get how Christians can get past the abortion issue and vote democrat. It's such a huge issue!


You guys are killing me on the capital punishment thing (pun intended)!

Let's go through the theology of this really briefly and then I want to address the "one unjustified execution is one too many" comment...

Capital Punishment. This was instituted in Gen 9:1-7. A few huge comments here. This was AFTER the flood - and was instituted to PRESERVE life. The whole context is "be fruitful and multiply." Repopulate the earth - and take out the murderers who stand in your way. The Noahic covenant was the covenant of "preservation."

Watch this - Gen 9:4 institutes the only "food law" not repealed in the New Testament. We still cannot eat living things with the blood still in them (Vampirism). Oh forgive me, with one exception... The blood of Christ. We'll talk about the meaning of that in another post. The point is that the mandates given in Gen 9 are universal in scope and not restricted or even addressed specifically to Israel or Christians.

This mandate was not part of the Mosaic Law, but preceded it. The specific penal sanctions of the Mosaic Law have been repealed - for example, stoning adulterers. However, the "general equity" of the Mosaic penal system is still in force (Westminster Confession language). So for example, "an eye for an eye," speaks to the rule of "proportional justice." It isn't about extending cruelty, it is about a justice system that has boundaries and guides.

A great example of this is found in the 9th commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," and its corollary Deut 17:6ff, "Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses..." Capital punishment required witnesses and due process. It was not an individual ethic or affair. It involved the leadership and governance of the community. The "general equity" of the Mosaic Law as it relates to the Noahic mandates are still applicable and in force.

One of the reasons our prison system is so messed up is because we have wholesale abandoned God's parameters for JUSTICE - which results in MERCY and preservation of life.

I'll stop for now with Scott's comment. Scott - are you saying that since we can't execute justice perfectly (pun intended) we shouldn't seek to mete out justice? Really? That cannot be. Our justice will never be perfect, but that is why we have the "general equity" of the law (Deut 9, etc) to protect us. Bottom-line, we can't forsake God's plan because we're imperfect. We just do the best we can.

I challenge you to take abortion and insert it into your quote. One abortion is one too many. There can be NO moral equivalency between this and capital punishment! C'MON! Now, take a look at the Democratic platform (creed) again.




"And he said to his disciples, "Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin." - Luke 17:1,2


Alright man. I'll try to find time to expound more on this later. But I am not trying to create that equivalent. I buy your explanation. I even said in my previous post, to me, it's more about the execution of that type of justice and seeing that it's done properly. And I'm not convinced that we do.

Again, this isn't something I've spent a ton of time on, but the disparity of those who can and can't afford good legal counsel who end up on death row is, apparently, pretty credible. Not to mention the fact that we have new ways of determining guilt and innocence in this day and age that can't be ignored.

If we are doing the best we can then I would agree with you whole-heartedly. But are we doing the best we can?


Question for you Brett -

Ron Paul was for de-federalizing the laws against prostitution. With adultery being one of the ten commandments, like murder, I'm curious for your thoughts on voting for him?

While I understand this isn't the same as legalizing it, we are still talking ten commandments here. Shouldn't that be illegal at any level?



1. Didn't understand your question about Sadducees.
2. I still think the linkage between capital punishment and abortion is totally weak-sauce. I just find it fascinating that Democrats and people who vote Democrat would even think to make this kind of argument. How can murder of the unborn be like seeking justice for a murderer? And if capital punishment is still a problem, doesn't that make abortion even MORE heinous?
3. I think I know what you're getting at with the Libertarian thing. This would take awhile to try and unpack in detail, but I'll try to give a short blast... Capital punishment and laws regarding unjust killing (murder) are universal in nature (see above arguments). Prostitution (adultery) is wrong for all men (Gen 2), but the penal sanctions associated with it is for the church to mete out through excommunication and / or divorce decree if necessary (the Mosaic Law had a symbolic / ceremonial aspect in this regard). I see no compelling reason why a secular nation would be bound to have anti-prostitution laws. A Christian nation would be. The USA is not a Christian State.

Honestly, man - I feel like you continue to reach for equivalents that would justify voting for a Democrat. The reasoning seems to be, "Well, abortion is bad, but x, y, and z are just as bad on the other side so it is a wash."


First of all, I'm not advocating justice for a murderer. I'm advocating justice for the INNOCENT (go back and read my two posts about this!) and a system that promotes equal access to justice for all of God's image-bearers.

What I'm ultimately getting at is - do you have to agree with every position to support a candidate?

And I know that you'll say murder is more than a position. And I agree. But, honestly, it goes further than that. It goes to valuing life. At every level. And the agenda of this administration, as well as what I hear from McCain, makes me feel like that's not there. From the war in Iraq to supporting the death penalty under a flawed system.

So, I don't agree with all of their positions either. Positions that effect, directly, the sanctity of human life. So, do I vote for no one?


Ok. Fair enough.

No - what I'm saying is that it is unconscionable to vote for a politician who supports the greatest moral travesty of our age, abortion.

Let's get some context here. My understanding is that since Roe passed we have had something like 46 MILLION abortions. That is a staggering number.

Now. How many folks have been wrongfully executed on death row during that time? I can't imagine it would be even 100, but let's say it is 100. It isn't good, but it isn't 46 MILLION INNOCENT PEOPLE!

The disproportionality of the categories you introduce into this discussion are simply staggering.

So what I am saying is NOT that you should vote for McCain per se. More on that later. What I AM saying is that voting for a party or a person who advocates this single greatest moral tragedy of our era should be unconscionable. Voting Democrat cannot be an option.

Yeah, I know. Not much nuance.



Well, then I guess it's okay, because I'm neither an Evangelical nor a Democrat.


Theisens. You are a total Evangelical. C'mon now,


Don't want to be classified as that. I tend to not like classifications that much anyway. Didn't you have a post about a year ago about that very issue?

Plus, I also have a post about how I've come through that personally as well, which I'm sure you've read: http://mindlesslabor.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/i-used-to-be-presbyterian/


Theisens... I understand what you mean from the standpoint of self-identification. When people ask what I am I stammer - and certainly struggle to say I'm Evangelical.

However, we can't avoid being labeled by others. Fact is, you and I are Evangelical by their definition - even with our many quirks and peculiarities.

Your Evangelical, dude. But I'm glad you're not a Democrat...



I hope you find this interesting. I was talking to an evangelical about this abortion travesty. He stated something I thought was interesting. I am no lawyer, so I don't really understand the nuances of this, but the summary is this. A conservative judge tends to decide more on precedent than a liberal judge. It's basically which end of the "stare decisis" spectrum they end up. So in this person's mind, a republican president will nominate a conservative judge who will decide based on precedent and be uncomfortable with overturning Roe v Wade.
In short, some evangelicals will vote democrat BECAUSE they believe that it is more likely to overturn Roe v Wade.


Well, you can call me that I guess. I'll still deny it.

And, for the record, I'm not a Republican either.


Certainly not my view; but someone with a contrary view:

"I'm sorry, you can be as atheist and libertarian as you like, but if you buy into that line you lose your credibility on choice and are caving to the lifers.

1. Deliberate killing of a sentient, thinking human being, absent an exigent necessity, is wrong, whether it is an individual or the government.

2. The death penalty is a barbaric relic of a vengeful, lex talionis past that teaches "might makes right," and much like the father beating his wayward child, puts the punisher in the same moral standing as the punished. It does not effectively deter, it is far more expensive than incarceration (and must be in a society where there is a modicum of the rule of law), and is applied extremely arbitrarily and capriciously. It is impossible to eliminate the enormous racial bias in its application. Moreover, mistakes are made, and no restitution can be made to the ones wrongfully executed.

3. A fetus is not a sentient, thinking human being. It is not even close to the level of sophistication as the animal on your dinner plate that you thoughtlessly consume as you ponder your next "edgy" column for Salon. For you to elevate a fetus to an innocent human victim is to buy into the worst magical thinknig of the religious right.

-- nkennedy"

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