This week, my Revolutionary War-intrigued son was completing a place-value project for math that involved the number of American casualties incurred since our country's birth. At the risk of sounding callous, I'd actually assumed it would be more; as my husband roughly tallied the numbers we viewed, it was very roughly around one million lives lost in war from the Revolutionary War to the present. Considering our present-day-only population of around 307 million, this seemed like a precious and graciously limited price, though still tragic and horrific, to pay for the generous freedoms in which we bask. Proportionately, I assume that many countries have paid much more dearly. But my husband was amazed: For comparison, in the last thirty years, over 45 million babies have been lost to abortion. Forty-five million. If I'm right, that's about five times the city of New York.
This grieves me deeply. I was impacted recently by an intriguing interview between author Randy Alcorn and Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, covering some interesting topics, including abortion. Alcorn pointed out Planned Parenthood's slogan: "Every child a wanted child." He wisely noted that he agrees with this premise, but (in my paraphrase) that Planned Parenthood's conclusion from this premise—taking the lives of the unwanted children—and ours as Christians, which involves changing our culture's value of children and life, among other things—are dramatically different.
He then pointed out something that I won't quickly forget. He noted that some Christians don't have a problem voting for pro-choice candidates because other issues are so important; and there are, indeed, a lot of crucial issues that should not be minimized. But, he asked, would you vote for any candidate who thought that it should be legal for parents to take the life of their three-year-old? Never. Any other issues would clearly be secondary. In this way, how we vote does reveal our true value of the unborn.
I firmly believe that God loves deeply the women who are faced with these agonizing, life-changing decisions and are often utterly alone. I have known and truly loved some of them, and my mom's gently counseled many of them. At a Teen MOPS group the other night, I was reminded of the great courage required of women who choose to keep their babies, and by those who choose to give them up for adoption. I believe God offers forgiveness to women who choose abortion, and I am convicted that as followers of Jesus, we need to be known far more by what we support: healthy, whole women who have options and support; children and families; life-uplifting morality; help and preservation.
But, particularly after watching that interview, I will be a single-issue voter. Because I believe that even those other key issues that are life-preserving--the environment, the poor, the war, the healthcare system, among many—are affected by a person's view of life and the goodness and sacredness of the One who gives it.