My oldest daughter came and sat on my bed last night, while I was sitting at my desk grading her latest essay. She saw some blog post on my screen about politics and asked me who I was going to vote for. I answered that I wasn’t happy about McCain, but I certainly wasn’t going to vote for Obama. This began a decent conversation with my 13-year old child who is learning how to think for herself. This is something that I desperately want to encourage in her, because I didn’t start thinking for myself, I mean really thinking, until much later in life. I want there to be a weight to her, not a lightness of being.
It seemed obvious to me that in her perception, Obama is the cooler choice. He is young, seemingly hip, and doesn’t look like McCain. However, she is not so light in her thinking that she doesn’t realize that real issues are at stake. While I was trying to read her, she asked me another question. (Kids want to understand. They are watching. They want to know what you believe and why you believe it. This was a good conversation.) “Why won’t you vote for Obama, Daddy?”
I could feel pressure around my eyes as I answered in a whisper, “Fifty million babies.” My eyes continued to well with tears as the thought of 50,000,000 dead babies filled my imagination. Never before have I felt the emotion over abortion that I did last night.
I have studied the biblical basis for a pro-life view. I have seen videos from Abort73.com that turned my stomach. I have thought about the inconceivable numbers of deaths since Roe v. Wade. But never before did I feel what I felt last night. I cried. My daughter watched me cry and I was happy about that.
But now, long after the conversation, I am trying to understand why I felt that emotion. Is it because Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion presidential candidate ever? Is it because he is the most extreme pro-abortion senator ever? No, I don’t think so.
Instead, I think my tears were a mingling of sorrow over a nation’s sin. I finally felt the weight of a nation’s sin. I have four wonderfully beautiful healthy wanted children. I have never been close to abortion. It has always been in the abstract. But a series of circumstances have brought some things to mind that are causing me to recognize that there is a lot more going on.
First was a recognition, again, of the utter depravity behind Israel’s sacrificing their children. Ezekiel describes how God’s people had turned from him and sacrificed their children to idols. Move your mouse over these texts: Ezekiel 16:20-22, Ezekiel 23:35-39. Judgment fell on the nation because of this kind of abomination. Sacrificing their own children was not the cause of judgment, but a clear indication of how far their hearts were from God prior to judgment. The people had broken the first commandment; they had other gods before God. And they were so devoted to those other gods that they sacrificed their children.
Second, it dawned on me that modern-day abortion is really no different than ancient near-east child sacrifice. The idols are different, but the idea is the same. Instead of Baals and Asheroth poles, we have convenience and poverty. We have iPods and angry parents. We have the desire to be responsible to nothing, and hindered by nothing.
If we are honest with ourselves, how can we not expect imminent judgment from the God of the Universe? This cannot, I dare say, will not go on forever. God is not mocked.
I am afraid. 2 Chronicles 19:7, Proverbs 14:26-27.