Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Man who helped make anti-abortion central cause of Religious Right endorses Obama

And explains why:

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, your father was a famous evangelical preacher—

FRANK SCHAEFFER: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —a person who gave sermons around the world. Really, you convinced him to take up the anti-abortion line—

FRANK SCHAEFFER: Absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: —to make it central to his philosophy and your own.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: So, here you are, anti-choice, pro-life, and pro-Obama, Senator Obama, who is fiercely pro-choice.

FRANK SCHAEFFER: Right, right. And you know what? It’s an imperfect world, but I would rather have a president that I disagree with on the issue of choice who’s fit to be president than an old man who has just shown such a lack of judgment as to literally connect himself to the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe. It isn’t just someone you disagree with politically. That’s one point.

And I’d say something else about the choice issue. I am pro-life. I haven’t changed in that regard. If people read my book, Crazy for God, they’ll see that I’ve gone left, if you want to put it that way, in many, many areas, but not that one. But I actually believe that if your interest is not ideology and ideological purity, but rather abortion itself, i.e. you want more or less abortions, that the medical and social programs that Barack Obama is talking about for our country, in terms of care of women and children and families, improvement in education and possibilities for all Americans, actually will result in less abortions. So my interest in the abortion issue is that I think abortion is a tragedy. My interest is not the politics of it, as in always appearing to vote for the person who has the correct ideology.

And so, I think there’s a choice for Americans interested in this issue who are like me, pro-life, and that is, do you want to choose ideological purity attached to a party that will so destroy our economy and all the social programs that there will be more abortions, i.e. as there have been through the Republican-controlled years, when they’ve been talking about this issue for thirty years and done nothing about it for actually helping women and children, or would you rather have a president like Barack Obama, who you disagree with on this one ideological point, in terms of what you might call the theology of the issue, but whose program would practically result in a more conducive environment for families to prosper, for people to have children, for kids to go to school, for women to be taken care of? And I would rather vote for a person who’s going to do the job rather than just have the correct ideology.
The rest of the interview is worth reading or listening to.

3 comments:

Paul said...

It's rare to see that kind of sensible politics from the pro-life side of the abortion debate. Commendable of him, actually. But what influence will he have on others? Especially this close to the election.

Hume's Ghost said...

Well, the interview is a few days older than my posting, but I hadn't considered what effect the endorsement might have on the election. I am more interested in presenting his perspective with the longer term goal of ameliorating the deleterious effects of the sort of ideological rigidity he's talking about.

This is the same reason I pointed out Jimmy Carter's similar views on abortion.

James M. Henderson, Sr. said...

My Goodness, his ego seems unbounded. I never heard of either Schaeffer until after I was protesting in the streets in 1980. Still, when you've got nothing else, you can claim that somehow you're the Zeus from whose forehead his father sprung full grown.

In any event, it is just a serious case of sadness.

Sadly, Frank is not his father, whose legacy is better found in these words:

"Faithfulness to the Lordship of Christ means using the constitutional processes while we still have them. .... The Lordship of Christ means using these processes to speak and to act on the basis of the principles set forth in the Bible. .... We implore those of you who are Christians to exert all your influence to fight against the increasing loss of humanness--through legislation, social action, and other means at your disposal, both privately and publicly, individually and collectively, in all areas of your lives. .... On the basis of an unweakened Bible, we must teach and act, in our individual lives and as citizens, on the fact that every individual has unique value as made in the image of God. This is so from a child just conceived in the womb to the old with their last gasping breath and beyond . . . ."

C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer, Whatever Happened to the Human Race, pgs. 132-34.