I’m a conservative evangelical Christian. It says so in the title. For 90% of my life, I have been taught one thing: Abortion is wrong, Democrats are pro-abortion, therefore Democrats are wrong. For the vast majority of my evangelical friends, this election boils down to nothing more than that. Sure, gay marriage may crop up from time to time, gun nuts wax polemic on the topic of the Second Amendment, and there may even be a few sidelong references to Obamacare; but by and large, when the conservative Christian community talks politics, it all comes back to abortion.
But there’s more to voting than just one issue.
As Americans, we have to consider more than just our one pet cause; we have to think about the country as a whole. I do, personally, think that abortion is wrong; but is it somehow “less wrong” to implement poorly-thought-through cuts in social services that could kill as many people as are aborted? Is it “less wrong” to send men and women in the flower of youth, the best and brightest, off to die in foreign lands at the behest of some old warmonger? How can any Christian in good conscience vote for policies like these? How can any good Christian vote for someone whose party openly embraces racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination when Jesus Himself commanded us to tolerance and living at peace?
The correct answer is: You can’t. And I will never understand those who do.
Consider this a public break with my past. I love being a Christian, and I love my conservative community; but I do not agree with their single-minded view of politics. There is so much more to being an American voter than abortion. President Obama, while his record may not be perfect, will be much better on more issues than Mitt Romney could even hope to be. I think I can forgive him his more permissive stance on the issue of abortion when I consider the totality of other things that he is right about.