“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.”
Yes, I am a pro-lifer. I adamantly defend the life of the unborn (the born as well) and I will not cast a vote for a pro-choice candidate, but that doesn't make me a single issue voter. The reality is, there might be some circumstance in which the previous statement would not be true, but it is hard to believe those circumstances would come to fruition in the current political climate. I suppose the next question is this, if I will not cast a vote for a pro-choice candidate, how am I not a single issue voter? Let me explain.
It is true that life is the most foundational right that a person has and that without life, no other right really matters. Our founding fathers recognized this and that is why the right to life is the first right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. It is difficult to over state the importance of the previous statement. Without life, your health care doesn't matter, your freedom doesn't matter, your happiness doesn't matter, your religion doesn't matter. But, the life issue isn't a single issue, it is a signpost that declares a person's general understanding of the world. That is to say that you can generally infer several other things about a person based on their view on the life issue.
What about other human rights or social justice issues like health care, immigration, racism, LGBTQ+, and so forth? Everyone of those issues is important! Of the pro-life people I know, none of them would say these other issues are not important or that they are setting aside these issues for the sake of the life issue. Instead, they would tell you, as I am, that the political candidates who are pro-life are generally in agreement on these other issues. That doesn't mean they are in lock step, it is also true that there is less unity on how to approach these other issues than there is on the life issue, but there is still more agreement than disagreement.
Let's take the immigration issue as an example. Children are regularly separated from their parents at the border and pictures of this are thrown in the face of pro-lifers as if to say that pro-lifers are inconsistent and support the breaking up of families as some sort of sport. Nothing could be further from the truth. I should however point out that no one is suggesting that we kill those people (abortion actually kills a human being). The separation of children from their parents is sometimes tragic and sometimes necessary. Taking a child away from abusive parents is a good that must be done; it seems to me that we can all agree with that statement. Is that what is happening at the border? At least some of the time it is. There may be other circumstances as well and some of them may not be justified to be sure. Is there injustice in our immigration policy? I would say that there is injustice in almost every policy. The practices of our government regarding immigration can and should be evaluated and made as just as possible. The answer isn't open borders and there are many changes pro-lifers can get behind. Pro-lifers vary on their approach to this issue, but in general they take a more conservative approach. This isn't an inconsistency, it is a recognition that there are other circumstances to consider and the solution is less clear. My goal here isn't to defend the current policies at the border, but simply to say (whether you agree or not) that pro-lifers think about immigration issues and care deeply about the people at the border. Here is one example of how one pro-lifer thinks about these issues.
Whether it is racism, poverty, healthcare, LGBTQ+, or other issues, there is a general consistency to how these issues should be approached if a person is pro-life. Pro-lifers care about all of these issues and in general take them into consideration in the voting booth. They are not simplistic, single issue voters, that has been made up so pro-choicers can claim hypocrisy. Now, I know some people will even say, "yes, I am a single issue voter, I vote pro-life." But even those people, if you were to ask, would likely agree with pro-life political candidates on a variety of issues. Having a hierarchy of issues doesn't make a person a single issue voter. I think it would be safe to say that there is virtually no one who doesn't have some kind of hierarchy when it comes to the issues they consider in the voting booth, whether they are liberal, conservative, democratic, or republican. The single issue accusation simply has no real foundation in reality.
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John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.