Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Case of the Missing Social Issues

Has anyone but me noticed that, in all three presidential debates, almost no time was given for debating social issues (ie. abortion, same-sex marriage, the poor, embryonic stem-cell research)? The media is a mighty powerful influence on what society thinks is important. I am sure that many people are rightly concerned about the economy, but by the debate moderators' insistance on only asking economic questions, it solidifies in many people's minds what is the most pressing issue in this election.

Well, it doesn't mine. Even though we haven't heard a word concerning these social issues since Rick Warren's debate at Saddleback Church, I haven't forgotten.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."

Case Closed.


Josh said...

Ryan, I think you're right about how the debates really focused on the economy and foreign affairs, but I don't think that the lack of attention to social issues means that they won't or are not important.

An example of this is when I participated in a phone interview concerning a proposition on the ballot for our county (which is a dry county) and the interviewer wanted to know how I'd vote today on this social issue. I told the interview that I really didn't care whether not beer could be sold on Sunday considering the economic mess Michigan is in. I was polite but firm that I did not know how I'd vote but certainly some "issues" take precedence over others.

I'm not convinced that I should vote based on how I feel about particular "issues." That seems to be a superficial method of voting in a very complex structure. I tend to think that I should vote based on the bigger picture for our nation as a whole, not just what I want. Who to vote for has been a real struggle for me this election year. I don't like voting between the lesser of two evil (so to speak). I've even entertained an Aanabaptist position at one point.

I'm thankful that though I'm a US citizen, my primary citizenship is in heaven, and that I'm called to represent that "other" citizenship in this world.

Thanks for your posts. They make me think and question and sometimes - debate.


Purple Empire said...

I've heard a lot of people this fall tell me very similar things to what you wrote. As a pastor, I deal with people going through 1000's of issues. I can think of nothing that destroys people more than abortion. Women just don't get over it unless Christ does a miracle. And since there has been over 40 million since Roe V Wade, I vote that issue. Too simplistic? Possibly. But, I have a clear conscience knowing our God shares my pro-life view. Besides, if you don't share this view with me, chances are our worldviews are miles apart and we are not going to share much in common.
God bless, buddy.

Josh said...

Hey Ryan,

Three things (not make that four):

1. As I re-read my original post, I'm ashamed of the number of misspelled words. I thought I was a better spellerer than that! =)

2. How did you get your blog title to do that? I've been trying to change mine and I can't get it to do anything. I like what you did.

3. Something I have been thinking about...have you ever heard or thought about advocating pro-life through all stages of life and not just prenatal? I'm pro-life but I've wondered if I should be pro-life throughout the whole life, and advocate for elderly care, and even advocate for life that is not human life (ie., creation life). Any thoughts? I should develop this further, but a blog response is not the best place. I'll put something up on mine soon.

4. At the risk of embarassing you, I'd just like to say that I'm thankful God placed you in my life in high school (1992), because of guys like you and some others, I wouldn't be who I am today, and I came to believe in Christ because of your influence. Thank you.

And for those of you who read this and Ryan is your pastor, not only are you blessed, but you now have the responsibility to ask him to bust out some "Two or Three" songs, and I'm sure Pastor Ryan would love to sing Shut De Do for you.!! Peace.

Purple Empire said...


First of all, thank you for your nice words. I can't think of a better compliment. Praise God!

Secondly, I DO advocate a pro-life stance from womb until tomb. I preached a sermon on this at the beginning of October. I really think our generation is understanding that we as God's Church are responsible for ALL the underprivileged and defenseless (the unborn, the poor, the widows, the aged, etc...). But, remember, it all starts in the womb.

Scripture says that the heart is deceitful above all things. I have seen this in my own life and I see it all around me as well. Honesty with self is only possible by the power of God's Holy Spirit. I have talked with people who try to make cases for pro-abortion candidates as if other issues such as the economy are on the same morally-equal ground. I'm unable to do this.

The way I look at it is this: whoever wins this election will nominate judges who will decide the future of abortion for the next 20+ years. My vote is not a neutral issue; I am either saying, "Yes, kill more babies." or "Make the madness stop."

And, I'll only sing Shut De Do if Keepers and McCarty agree to it as well! :)