Opinion

Barack Obama tries to teach Christians about poverty and abortion

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On May 12, President Barack Obama spoke at Georgetown University on poverty and the Christian focus to it as it relates to other issues:

…But I also think it’s important to have a voice in the larger debate.  And I think it would be powerful for our faith-based organizations to speak out on this in a more forceful fashion.

This may sound self-interested because there have been — these are areas where I agree with the evangelical community and faith-based groups, and then there are issues where we have had disagreements around reproductive issues, or same-sex marriage, or what have you.  And so maybe it appears advantageous for me to want to focus on these issues of poverty, and not as much on these other issues.

In his statements above, the president is sort of setting the stage to make his case for why poverty is the issue to focus on. And, recognizing that he does not agree with the Christian faith on what he and other abortion advocates refer to as “reproductive issues,” perhaps the president will stop there. This is not the case.

The president even attempts to advise Christians on what issues they ought to find important. Emphasis is added.

There is great caring and great concern, but when it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what’s the defining issue, when you’re talking in your congregations, what’s the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, that this is oftentimes viewed as a “nice to have” relative to an issue like abortion.  That’s not across the board, but there sometimes has been that view, and certainly that’s how it’s perceived in our political circles.

The president claims to be a Christian, but is hardly a perfect one, especially when he is our nation’s most pro-abortion president. Some argue he isn’t a Christian at all. The sincerity of his faith aside, the president is hardly in a place to lecture any Christian denomination on what values ought to be more important. This is especially the case when the Catholic Church, and others, place such importance on caring for the most innocent, defenseless, and vulnerable in our society.

This last point from the president also strikes an interesting note, particularly about opportunity. Again, emphasis is added.

I think people don’t set out wanting to be selfish.  I think people would like to see a society in which everybody has opportunity.  I think that’s true up and down the line and across the board.

To ensure that “everybody has opportunity” in society, we have to allow everybody the opportunity to be born. And, without the right to life, no other rights can follow. People may be born into poverty, but by being born, they always have the chance to better themselves and the world around them.

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