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Should we legislate morality?

I've been having mixed emotions over Mike Huckabee's recent proclimation that he believes we should have a ban on abortion in all 50 states (which I'm fine with because of my view on the issue of life) but where the concern starts with me is his reasoning:

"It's the logic of the Civil War," Huckabee said Sunday, comparing abortion rights to slavery. "If morality is the point here, and if it's right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can't have 50 different versions of what's right and what's wrong."

"For those of us for whom this is a moral question, you can't simply have 50 different versions of what's right," he said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

I have mixed feelings.

Pro:
I'm glad to finally see a presidential candidate (2nd in Iowa right now) stand up and honestly give us the full story of what he believes.
He doesn't strike me as a politician who is triangulating. I happen to agree with his moral stand. I do believe this is a moral issue and I believe that we need to protect all of life. The life of the yet-to-be-born and the lives of those in serious illness or the life of the poor and elderly. I believe protecting life is a moral issue all the way around.

Con:
I'm not supportive of the government getting to decide what is moral and what is not.
As a self-ruled people, the United States is supposed to have a system upon which the people get to decide. Thompson argues that its a states-rights issue from a stand on Federalism. Huckabee wants a Constitutional Amendment. I think Thompson is being a little more pragmatic but I do applaud Huckabee for his transparency.

As for the con to legislating morality, I submit this story: READ HERE

Saudi Arabia defended on Tuesday a court's decision to sentence a woman who was gang-raped to 200 lashes of the whip, after the United States described the verdict as "astonishing".

The 19-year-old Shi'ite woman from the town of Qatif in the Eastern Province and an unrelated male companion were abducted and raped by seven men in 2006.

Now I personally do not feel that if Gov. Huckabee's plan was enacted that we'd see this type of atrocity in our lifetime. As an American citizen however, I must consider the role of government not only as it stands today's context but also factoring in the context in which it will operate during my son's lifetime and beyond. What happens when in 50 years the prevailing thought in America is something other than a version of Christianity? What legislation will morality bring forward?

Additionally what message are we giving to our nation's churches when we're saying that the goal is to get morality to come from the government and not the church?

Isn't the role of government to support the will of the people?

In our system then isn't it the role of the church to show the "people" why a certain moral position is also the correct one for society? Where else in society do people come to soak up teachings on morality if not the church?

Let's take the arts for example:
Hollywood and New York need makeovers before what flows from Washington is a true representation of Christian morality. The flat-panel television, the movie theater and the ipod provide today's generation with lessons on morality. Lets teach the people in the pews to become excellent in the use of multi-media and then take a moral message to the masses. If we in the church do this (which by the way is the call of Jesus)... then the masses will request their government reflect the morality of the country.

It seems however that we're not doing that. At least not when we come out and argue a position solely for morality's sake.

At the end of the civil war Abraham Lincoln appealed to the fiber of the American soul. Today he wouldn't be able to give the Gettysburg address and invoke God so often. In politics today we're not dealing with a nation that holds deep down to Christian values upon which our governing bodies can call to see us rise up and do the right thing. This is why the church, not the government, needs to get back to breathing the life of Christ into our nation's people. Morality comes from one place. When we have a society losing even an understanding of God it should present us with no surprise that that same society doesn't see issues of politics as issues of morality.

So what is my solution? What would I advocate? I'm not a fan of complaints without solutions so here ya go.

1. The church needs to be the church. Reach people with the gospel of Christ and teach them the desires of God for their lives. I'm old fashioned... I look to scripture for stuff like this: Matthew 28:19-20.

2. Mr. Huckabee (and others), please present arguments that the society at large can comprehend.

- Challenge us as pastors to do a better job teaching morality and...
- From a politicians stand point please present a stronger case.

On a practical front we have an immigration debate going on in our country b/c people are saying that we don't have enough Americans to do the work of industry. Make the point that this is why abortion and greed are bad for us as a nation. Abortion is killing off our workforce for the future. Greed is causing all of us to have fewer and fewer children which is leading to a generation which may not even replace itself.

Following the same thought pattern, explain to the country that our concerns about the impending retirement of the boomer generation would be mitigated if we had a larger workforce to contribute into the current system.

Put it this way.

A. 48,589,993 abortions have taken place since 1973. (source here)

B. 12 million- the number of illegal immigrants who are dominating news coverage right now.

C. Factor in the fact that roughly 15 million of those aborted children would be at reproductive age by now. Therefore the total number of lives we've lost as a nation is much larger.

So Mr. Huckabee and Co., please make the arguments not only from a personal conviction standpoint but from a "What benefits society in the long run?" view.

At the same time continue to lead the way with Pastors around the country and remind them that part of their obligation is not only to make disciples but teach them what Jesus commanded. I'd conclude teaching them to care about life at all stages would be a part of that lesson.

I'm liking what I'm seeing out of Huckabee in terms of conviction. I just hope he and others can make the case in such a way that those outside of Christ can join in the cause. That's the pragmatist in me. That part of me wants to see the right person get into the office in the first place so they can make a difference on the issues that matter most to me.

Perhaps he knows this already and his stand is a calculated attempt to appeal to the "values voters" who vote particularly on this issue. The same voters who would stand up and ask "Where is someone speaking out for morality's sake?"

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Tuesday, November 20, 2007

3 Comments:

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Tally -- you might want to check out Ron Paul more closely. At least in this post you are in much agreement.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Tally Wilgis said...

Hey Jason,
Thanks for the comment.

I've looked over Paul. I have much different views on several issues including the war, social programs, drugs, etc.

I had a libertarian professor (among others) in college who really taught from that POV and I'm not comfortable with that version of government either. I respect anyone going with him b/c they really are taking a stand against both parties by supporting him. I just hold too many positions that don't line up with his.

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Definitely understand -- I don't line up completely but I am very interested in his plans for small government, for following the constitution (esp. in war related activities), and for his stance on moral issues.

He's also appealing because it's slim pickings in the Republican party and I couldn't get behind any of the two democrats that have the chance to win.

 

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