Evangelicals are spilt during this election season and one of the reasons why is the seeming success of labeling anti-abortion voting as ‘single-issue’ voting.  Some liberal and ‘progressive’ talking heads have gone as far as to label these voters as ‘immoral.’  This line of philosophy has made inroads in the evangelical realm.  This should not be surprising as the rise of liberal thought within evangelicalism has shown a stunning lack of deeper thinking, especially among younger evangelicals.  The main problem is that the ‘single-issue’ charge is unfounded.  ‘Prioritized voter’ is a better definition, and considering the stakes, to not be one raises serious moral concerns.

Let’s walk through 4 different hypothetical situations and how they change dramatically.

1. You are walking home in a city and are mugged.  The thief takes your wallet and then runs off.  You might or might not call the cops, knowing there would not be much they could do unless the thief used the credit cards.  You would cancel your credit cards and debit cards.  You’d have to get a new driver’s license, etc.  You would probably be a little skittish walking alone for a while, but eventually it would become a story you would tell.  No permanent damage.

2. You are walking home in a city and are mugged.  The thief takes your wallet and the watch your mother gave you before she died.  You would probably call the cops, hoping that there would be a chance that you might get the watch back.  You would cancel your credit cards and debit cards.  You’d have to get a new driver’s license, etc.  You would probably be a little skittish walking alone for a while, but eventually you would get over it.  You would, however, always want that watch back.  But it wouldn’t seriously hamper your life long term.

3. You are walking home in a city and are mugged.  The thief takes your wallet and a watch your mother gave you before she died.  But before the thief runs off, he shoots you.  The police are called to investigate the crime.  They, by necessity, work the case harder looking for a mugger who shoots.  You don’t die, but are seriously wounded.  You spend time in the hospital and rehab center.  You have to have someone cancel your credit cards and debit cards.  You have to get a new driver’s license, etc.  You hope to get the watch back and think about it often.  You are skittish walking alone for years.  You may or may not be able to tell the story and it does effect you for years.

4. You are walking home in a city and are mugged.  The thief takes your wallet and a watch your mother gave you before she died.  But before the thief runs off he shoots you and your spouse, wounding you and killing them.  The police are called to investigate the crimes- murder, attempted murder and theft.  The case is a priority.  You spend time in the hospital and rehab center.  You can’t attend the funeral of your spouse.  You have to have your credit cards and debit cards cancelled.  You have to get a new driver license.  In years to come, you occasionally think about the watch.  The emotional turmoil of violence against you and your spouse requires years of counseling.  You can never speak of it.  It is a scar on your life.

There is obviously no way to examine all the fall out of what would really happen in these events, but here is the point.  While the situation of the original scenario, the stolen wallet, does not change in any of the scenarios, the LEVEL OF ITS IMPORTANCE DOES.  Do we blame the person who only thinks about the loss of their spouse for NOT PUTTING AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF THOUGHT ON THEIR WALLET?  REALLY?  No, of course not.  Their issues are prioritized.  We would, in fact, worry about the person who didn’t.

If abortion is infanticide (I think it obviously is), then it would have to rank extremely high in a Christian’s ethical priorities.  Calling it a ‘single-issue’ is to not allow it to settle into its proper ethical landscape.  It is a ‘single-issue’ like Everest is a ‘single mountain.’

One thought on “The Myth of the ‘Single Issue Voter’

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