Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who will speak for the unborn?

This week, Obama gave another commencement speech, this time at Notre Dame University. Not afraid of a little controversy, he waded into the abortion debate right there in front of a community of Catholics. His "fair-minded" approach was to suggest that since the pro-choice and pro-life views are irreconcilable, we should all focus on reducing unwanted pregnancies and increasing adoption. Sounds good, right?

Maybe in a world where we all accept abortion is not murder. However, less and less of us are buying that, despite our pay grade.

Almost 90% of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Mid-way, at six weeks, the heart is already beating. You don't need special training to work out whether that little fella is alive yet or not. Even if we assume that only 25% of abortions occur after 6 weeks, that amounts to a quarter of a million lives being aborted annually in the US.

None of this resonates with our President, despite his statement that it has "moral and spiritual dimensions". So, who will speak for the unborn? Who will cry out for the millions of lives being sacrificed annually to the god of convenience?

During Obama's speech something quite chilling happened. Watch the video below and turn the volume up between 1.27 and 1.38 seconds. While he babbles on and on with all his "fair-minded" talk about abortion, a baby starts crying in the crowd.

Yes, there's a moral and spiritual dimension to this issue, and yes, sometimes God will even use a baby to make a point, especially when everyone else is silent.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Commencing with the good and the bad

I decided to tune into last night's broadcast of the President's first commencement speech at Arizona State University. Having recently attended my wife's commencement at Vanderbilt University, I was interested to hear what Obama would have to say to graduates entering work life in the current economic climate.

First off, there's no doubt that the President can deliver a mean speech. He could easily have the reverse career of Reagan and go into acting after politics. Not likely, but anyway, besides great delivery, there was actually some good content in the speech.

I think his main take-home for the graduating class of 2009 can be summed up by the simple phrase, "substance over form". While attacking the culture of greed that has permeated American society, he successfully, I believe, inspired the next generation to take a path more righteous; to forgo the pursuit of wealth and status in favour of a life of meaning and accomplishment. Good stuff. Can't fault the man there.

But, here's where the speech lost its way a bit. Obama insists on invoking the legacy of Abraham Lincoln when he speaks. While it's understandable, since everyone admires Lincoln, there's a huge difference between how the two men understand the role of God in this country. Obama attributes the greatness of America to the outstanding character of certain individuals and generations throughout its history. Lincoln, however, saw a direct relationship between the nation's relationship with God and the blessing it subsequently received. He even went so far as to say that the Civil War may been God's judgement for the nation's falling away. (See this excellent analysis by CNSNews.com comparing two men's National Day of Prayer Proclamations).

Imagine Obama telling the nation to repent because it had turned its back on God and was now suffering an economic collapse as a result. Rather, while recently in Turkey, Obama emphasized that point the America is not a christian nation. See below.

While Obama may actually have a point, in that the nation is in the very quick process of turning away from God, as a professed christian himself, he seems to feel no need, or indeed have any courage, to lead the people back toward the God to whom they owe their freedom, liberty and success.

As most politicians do, he ended his speech with a nice healthy "God bless you, and God bless America". And that's where I get really annoyed. If you're not willing to publicly credit God with any previous blessing, then why call upon Him to rain down His blessing now? If Lincoln is a model leader for this nation, then why not be unashamed as he was to call the nation into repentance before expecting a blessing from God?

The good thing is that the President is an inspirational leader with an excellent work ethic. The bad thing is that he doesn't seem to understand God's sovereignty, and that works need faith, just as faith needs works.

Suggested reading for the President: Hebrews 11, James 2, and Lincoln's National Day of Prayer Proclamation.

And here's his speech in case you missed it:

Part I

Part II