Lesser of Two Evils?: To Vote or Not to Vote, That is the Question

Steve Podcast 3 Comments

We sometimes face ethical dilemmas in our lives. Some are relatively inconsequential. Others, like the presidential election in the most powerful country in the world, have grave consequences. With higher stakes, the voices for and against a particular option become more and more aggressive. That seems to be the case with comments attacking the article written by Christian theological, Wayne Grudem, as he defends the idea of voting for Donald Trump whom many regard as immoral and incompetent. Join Andy and Steve as they mull over this issue in this week’s episode of the Apologetics Canada Podcast.

CORRECTION: The New York Times article mentioned in the episode states that it’s 9% of the entire population who voted either for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Links & Articles

Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice from Townhall.com

Kingdom First from First Things

The Supreme Court Is Not a Sufficient Reason to Vote for Trump from National Review

Only 9% of America Chose Trump and Clinton as the Nominees from New York Times


Outro Music “Nameless: the Hackers Title Screen” by BoxCat Games
Available on the Free Music Archive freemusicarchive.org/
Under CC BY license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Comments 3

  1. I appreciate that you waded into this difficult topic. Although as a Regent alum, I will never include Grudem and Packer in the same breath! I would say Packer trumps Grudem by a huuuge margin. But this is what gets me about the whole Grudem, Trump and Clinton discussion. Seemingly, voting for the pro-life party does not in any way lead to fewer abortions in the United States. According to statistics, there is an apparent correlation between democratic presidents and decreasing numbers of abortions. The abortion rates are the lowest in the last 40 years. My conviction is that the pro-life movement’s goal should be eliminating abortion, more so than making it illegal. I am convinced that the latter does not necessarily follow the former. If it did, I would hands down be a 1 issue voter. But the Republicans seem unwilling, unaware, or unable to address the underlying reasons that lead many women (or families) to see abortion as a realistic option for them. My question, then, is this, over the next four years (or heaven forbid 8) will America see more abortions with Clinton or Trump? Yes, there are Supreme Court nominees, privacy and religious liberty concerns related to this, but Trumps stance on abortion is the banner that many in the religious right have rallied around.
    Secondly, can any trust Trump’s stance on abortion? Yes he now claims to be pro-life, but was previously pro-choice and this April seemed unable to articulate a consistent position related to his views about abortion. Last August, although he was prompted, he suggested his sister would be a “phenomenal” candidate. She is not known for her conservative views of abortion and later she wasn’t among his list of potential candidates. Also the fatal flaw of the pro-life movement it that they are inconsistently pro-life. Trump is a perfect example of that mentality: extremely pro-guns, functionally pro-violence, vengeful (bomb the s*** out of them, kill their families), and xenophobic. For Grudem to suggest these are flaws rather than immoral and unbiblical comments, reveals a position that is dangerously close to what Michael Gorman would describe as the ‘civil religion” of Americanism and not biblical Christianity.

    1. Post

      Hi, Mat! Great to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this topic. Yes, like you said, this one was – to use the philosophical term – a doozy to tackle, because it’s so volatile an issue right now. That’s why I particularly appreciate your civil tone. With that said, let me offer my thoughts on this as well.

      Just a quick preface here: we spoke on abortion because it is an important issue, but it is certainly not the only political issue at play here. I just want to acknowledge that going in.

      In discussing the topic of abortion, talking about abortion rates pre- and post-Roe v Wade can be a bit tricky, because reporting can be somewhat unreliable, especially pre-Roe v Wade. It is true that abortion has been on the decrease in the US since 1973 when the Roe v Wade decision was delivered, but you will also notice that there has been a great increase in the abortion rate after 1973 and it wasn’t until about 1980 (that is, according to Guttmacher Institute. According to CDC, it was about mid-1980s) that we start to see a slow decline. But, again, these stats are based on voluntary reporting and so they need to be taken with a grain of salt, as CDC will acknowledge.

      As for the correlation between abortion rates and US presidents (and their political affiliation), I don’t think it’s that simple. Since about 1980 when the number of abortions began to decline in the US (at least as far as they have been reported), the decline has been more or less consistent (at least according to Guttmacher – remember that they are the research arm of Planned Parenthood). During that time, we’ve had Ronald Reagan (Rep.) for 8 years, followed by George W. Bush Sr. (Rep.) for 4, Bill Clinton (Dem.) for 8, George W. Bush (Rep.) for 8, and then Barack Obama since.

      But, metrics and stats aside, there is a critical question we have to ask, the question that all abortion debates ultimately boil down to – what is the unborn? If they are indeed human beings (and we can make a good case for that), over 3,000 murders are being committed per day in the US alone, mostly for reasons of convenience. To say that we should make abortion a matter of choice in order to reduce the number of its instances is no different than saying we should make rape a matter of choice in order to reduce the number of its instances. Will making abortion illegal eliminate abortion? Most likely not. Abortion will only be eliminated when it becomes unthinkable But neither will keeping rape illegal and we don’t want to repeal that law even if we knew hypothetically that it would lead to its reduced number of instances. Abortion is not some disease whose instances must be reduced – it is a moral evil that must be opposed. (This point becomes even clearer when you take a closer look at what happens during an abortion. Check out Canadian Centre Bioethical Reform, for example.)

      As for religious liberty, it seems to me that this is as much a concern for the religious right as abortion is, but we can just agree to disagree on that.

      I think you are right in saying that Trump’s so-called ‘flaws’ are more grave than that. I have been saddened and angered by how callous Trump is in uttering some really terrible things. (The one about killing families of terrorists is particularly heinous to me.) Grudem downplayed it way too much. Against this backdrop, the reports that Trump is a ‘baby Christian’ sounds unconvincing at best.

      As for whether Republican supporters can trust Trump, that’s the real kicker for many people. Many (including myself) think he is unpredictable (on abortion and many other issues), and sources conflict on whether he is really pro-life. But many of them also think playing Russian roulette with a revolver (Trump) is still better than with a Glock (Clinton), and that not to play it with the revolver *is* to play with the Glock.

      In short, I’m glad I’m not an American voter. I would hate to be in the shoes of my American friends. They have a difficult choice to make. I can only hope and pray for more conversations to take place in a cordial manner.

      PS – You mention the pro-life movement being inconsistent. I personally prefer to use the term ‘anti-abortion,’ not because I think people getting bombed is just fine, but because it narrows down the issue. With that said, the ‘inconsistency charge’ is one I hear often levelled against the pro-life movement, and I find that it is mostly dealt with if the argument against abortion is understood correctly. This is whole another can of worms and my response is long as it is. Perhaps we can talk some more over coffee when you are out my way or when I’m out your way. Blessings, bro!

      1. Thanks for taking the time to respond, and with diplomacy and grace. I appreciate your thoughts and do not want to belabor it too much. I don’t really disagree with you. I believe abortion is morally reprehensible- and to be honest, I am not I am willing to accept any “exception clause” but this is not the time or the place. To clarify, I should have been at bit more clear that I am commenting on the your of AC pro-life comments, but those of the “religious-right” down south. I believe your attitude is one we need to see more of, or that of Russel Moore. The Republican party did this too themselves…somehow they nominated the only candidate that Clinton can beat.
        Anyway, I am sure the opportunity to chat face to face would be a lot more fruitful than only and I do hope it can happen.

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