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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why This Pro-Life Christian Fundamentalist Is Voting For Jill Stein

With every Presidential election, we have a replay of Lucy calling out to Charlie Brown to kick the football. Resistant at first, Charlie eventually succumbs to her requests only to end up on his back. At this point, we should remember the definition of insanity that says it is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That is our Presidential election. Each time, we are invited to vote for and support one of two heroes who promises to either stay the course or bring America back. And everytime, each side accurately points out the failings of other hero and the only change we can detect is that each successive President becomes more and more indistinguishable from the previous one.

On the Left, we accurately say that there is only one political party, the Business Party, of which there are two heads. Of course, the Business Party hedges its hold on power by paying off both the Republicans and the Democrats. Only party loyalists and hero worshippers fail to believe what is obvious to the world.

In this year's election, Lucy is calling out to us to vote for Romney because of all of the jobs that were lost under Obama's watch. Now certainly the Obama Administration has failed workers in recovering those jobs. But a large majority of those job losses occurred either under Bush's watch or well before Obama's policies could take effect. Yet, Lucy's voice is calling us to kick the football that Romney is holding. What if we ignore Lucy's command to kick that football? We will hear her tell us to kick the football that Obama is holding despite the fact that the main beneficiaries of his policies have been the big corporations and financial institutions. In addition, we have less protection from the government and a dangerous and destabilizing expansion of the Afghan war in to Pakistan. And yet Lucy keeps nagging us saying that we can only move forward by kicking the football.

Now being Charles Schulz fans, many of my fine fellow flaming fundamentalist friends and family feverishly favor the former Governor of Massachusetts in this election. The reasons have been best summarized in a sermon by Rev. David Jeremiah (access the sermon here). First, there are doubts regarding Obama's and the Democratic Party's commitment to God, there is opposition to Obama's support for the right to elective abortion (the central issue of this election according to Jeremiah) along with other birth control issues, there are objections to Obama's inconsistent commitment to family values that must include opposition to gay marriage, and there is Obama's spotty support for the nation of Israel. The American Family Association Action website includes some of Dr. Jeremiah's issues in its list: religious freedoms, the right to life for the unborn, the forbidding of homosexual marriages, the selection of judges, Capitalism, and national defense.

Those who are fans of the smooth talking Rev. Jeremiah seem eager to overlook the flaws in his logic. For example, when talking about what we know about Obama's actions, Rev. Jeremiah correctly pointed out that we have Obama's record from his first term in office. But when listing what we know about Romney's record, Rev. Jeremiah conveniently leaves Romney's tenure at Bain Capital off the list. When Rev. Jeremiah included in his justification for opposing gay marriage the assertion that children are happier in a home with a mother and a father and the same reasoning could be used to make single family home as illegal as gay marriages. In addition, when Rev. Jeremiah talked about how the Obama Administration had failed Israel, he went on about how the Israeli people disapprove of and were upset by Obama as if such reaction is proof positive that Obama had sinned.

At this website, I have addressed some of the concerns that Rev. Jeremiah and other Conservative Christians have about what stands the government should take. I have opposed elective abortions here but have not made abortion the single issue in what we call a pro-life viewpoint (Christian Fundamenatlism and Abortion). I have explained why agreeing with the Bible's opposition to homosexuality does not imply that one must oppose equal rights for gays (Christians and gay marriage). And I have addressed how Christians should view Israel in several articles (Brickner vs Piper debate, Redeeming the Promised Land review, the article on CUFI, and looking at Israel and Palestine). Outside of Rev. Jeremiah's expressed concerns in the sermon linked to above include articles on Capitalism (how I became a Socialist and a review on a review of Ayn Rand) and on supporting war (reviewing R.C. Sproul on war and questioning Christians' involvement in war). Finally, I have already written about a general approach to voting (taking Fundamentalism into the voting booth). So there is no need to reinvent the wheel by regurgitating my opposition to the political views that most of my fine fellow flaming fundamentalists friends and family forever find favorable to fortify.

So the question becomes, how does voting for Presidential candidate Jill Stein figure in all of this? It is rather simple. Because of her stand on the environment, the economy, healthcare, and war, though Stein is pro-choice, she is still offering the best pro-life structure for a platform (her position on the issues can be viewed here). Here we should note that pro-life is more than just one's view on abortion. And us pro-lifers should admit that if we wreck the world by waging war or destroying the environment, we have made our objections to elective abortion moot. Of course, the same can be said about the concern for women's issues voiced by Obama supporters. Though they favor his individual stand on specific women's issues, many of which are shared by Stein as well, these supporters must ask, what will become of women if all of us continue down Obama's slower road to destruction?

But there is another reason why I am voting for Stein. It is not because I think that the Green Party has the best overall platform; I prefer the goals stated by the Party for Socialism and Liberation' candidate Peta Lindsay and the Socialist Party USA's candidate Stewart Alexander. Presidential candidate Jill Stein's platform offers the best intermediate steps to make America a Democratic Socialist country where the Socialism is led and contained by an extended democracy rather than by some group of elites. We should note that we currently have an elite-centered government, it just isn't Socialistic. And regardless of the economic policies followed, the first concern of all elite-centered governments is how to stay in power.

There is yet another reason to vote for Jill Stein, one she shares with Peta Lindsay (who is my second choice for President). That is that both Stein and Lindsay put their bodies where their beliefs are. Both are activists. And though I do not know about Peta Lindsay's record, Stein has been arrested this year for standing up for her moral convictions.

Obviously, Jill Stein does not share my views on abortion. But kosher abortion views alone does not a good candidate and future office holder make. And it seems that with the way the world is going, we cannot afford another 4 years of either a Republican or Democratic President. Jill Stein is providing the best intermediate steps in helping America become a better country.

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