Christianity and Voting for Obama: Compatible?

    We are big fans of the Quinn and Rose morning show out of Pittsburgh. On the 28th of July, Rose read an email from an old acquaintance who was taking her to task for a particular controversial position she has aired in recent weeks - that a person cannot be a true Christian and an Obama voter, and that people of faith who voted for Obama need to repent and apologize for their lapse. On the surface, it is easy for a conservative pro-life Christian to agree. But what does Rose really mean by that? On one level, it seems clear that support of abortion is incompatible with faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings. But it is not so clear that every person of faith who voted for Obama was thinking “The hell with the babies, I want government-run health care,” or “Who cares about murdering infants in the womb - we need a black president.” It’s just possible that a person of faith who voted for Obama might focus their thoughts on the second halves of statements like that without considering the abortion issue at all. One might judge their action in this regard as terribly irresponsible and imprudent, and we would not disagree. We might even go as far as to call it a sin - of omission if not one of commission. And there is a limited sense in which any sin is incompatible with faith. But in a broader sense, one which allows for people who love our Lord but still fall into sin on occasion, there remains some doubt whether voting for Obama is on par with driving a pregnant girl to an abortion clinic. Is it really an excommunicable offense? Or is Rose saying something else? I am pretty sure she is not Catholic, so it is open to question whether she believes in the traditional (and Biblical, but that’s another argument) doctrine of mortal sin, a sin that is so serious that by committing such an act a believer can voluntarily extinguish in his or her own soul the light of grace ignited by God, a light that no external force or pressure could be strong enough to put out without the saved soul’s consent. It may be that Rose embraces instead a notion of salvation that would exclude the possibility of a soul truly saved ever being able to commit such a sin, so that if someone does do something really bad, one might say that such a person was never actually saved in the first place (that position renders nonsensical the Protestant Assurance of Salvation doctrine that goes hand in hand with the theological position heretofore described, but, again, that is an argument for another day). In that case, she might think that someone who voted for Obama might not be a believer because that person might never have been saved in the first place. Such an assumption, taken dogmatically, is incompatible with the Catholic faith. It would also be uncharitable to assume any believer who voted for Obama committed a mortal sin. That would necessarily involve a presumption of certain subjective elements in the conscience of the voter which might not have been there and for whose absence they might not be entirely culpable. But if Rose’s assertion is understood as simply saying that no believer in Christ who voted for Obama could have done so in total moral innocence, having fully considered everything that he or she should have before casting such a vote, we wholeheartedly agree with that assertion, so understood. Regardless of whether there is a subjective innocence, there is an objective moral law by which persons who voted for Obama will be judged by God if they do not repent.

    - Teresa and Kevin Rice (Teresamerica and The Naked Ontologist)

    Here is the audio of that particular segment
    of the Quinn and Rose Morning Show:

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