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Thread: Is it Immoral to Vote for McCain/Palin? Battle Royale XIII

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Exclamation Is it Immoral to Vote for McCain/Palin? Battle Royale XIII

    Presidential Election 2008 - Is it Immoral to Vote for McCain/Palin? Battle Royale XIII
    GodsfreeWill and The Graphite vs. WandererinFog and Nicholsmom


    This will be the very first ever Battle Royale TAG TEAM battle!

    What: The debate is titled: Presidential Election 2008 - Is it Immoral to Vote for McCain/Palin?

    Where:
    The debate will take place on the Internet at TheologyOnline.com (TOL), the popular online Christian forum, with the moderator, opponents, and spectators all participating and observing over the web.

    Who: The debate will be moderated by the site’s webmaster, through his TOL screen name Knight, who can be contacted at knight@TheologyOnline.com. GodsfreeWill and The Graphite vs. WandererinFog and Nicholsmom will be the combatants

    When: The debate will begin on Monday, September 29, 2008 at noon (MDT). GodsfreeWill's team will post first since they are arguing for the affirmative. Nicholsmom's team will have 48 hours to post their rebuttal. THERE WILL NOT BE A WEEKEND BREAK FOR THIS BATTLE. Each team has 48 hours from the time of the previous post to make their next post. If for some reason a combatant cannot make their post on time they can make arrangements with me (Knight) and we can make an adjustment as long as it is a reasonable adjustment.

    How: The debate will last for five rounds. The recommended maximum word limit for the average post is 6,000 words, but any or all posts could be much briefer or possibly longer if need be. For each round, the opponents will login to TheologyOnline.com to upload their posts. The official BR XII clock is the post time of the last post. (Remember to log in to TOL so that the system will automatically adjust references to your time zone and remember to make sure your time zone is set correctly in your TheologyOnLine USER Control Panel)

    Battle schedule....
    Post #1 - Round #1 - opening statement (GodsfreeWill Team)
    Post #2 - Round #1 - opening statement and rebuttal (Nicholsmom Team)
    Post #3 - Round #2 - rebuttal (GodsfreeWill Team)
    Post #4 - Round #2 - rebuttal (Nicholsmom Team)
    Post #5 - Round #3 - rebuttals (GodsfreeWill Team)
    Post #6 - Round #3 - rebuttals (Nicholsmom Team)
    Post #7 - Round #4 - rebuttals (GodsfreeWill Team)
    Post #8 - Round #4 - rebuttals (Nicholsmom Team)
    Post #9 - Round #5 - closing statements (GodsfreeWill Team)
    Post #10 - Round #5 - closing statements (Nicholsmom Team)


    Guidelines

    Clarity: Both sides will attempt to achieve clarity and avoid obfuscation.

    Responsiveness:
    Each side will make an effort to be responsive to the other, to interact, and to answer relevant questions forthrightly, which also ensures that the participants actually debate one another and not simply post material written for other purposes, especially if that material is not specifically responsive.

    Specific BR XII Rules

    Rule 1:
    Question Numbering: To help focus the opponent on the topic(s) of a particular post, and to enable readers to follow the debate more easily, participants will sequentially number their questions using TOL’s Battle Royale convention of first and last initial, a Q for question, an A for answer, and then the question number. Godsfreewill's team will be identified as GG (Godsfreewill and the Graphite) and Nicholsmom's team will be identified as NW (Nicholsmom and WanderinFog) Therefore questions and answers can be identified as : GGQ1, GGQ2, NWQ1, and would mark any answer given with GGA-NWQ1 (Godsfreewill's team answers Nicholsmoms team first question), NWA-GGQ1, etc. After reading a post of, say, fifteen paragraphs, without such a convention, it may be unclear to the audience and even to the opponent exactly what is being asked. So this also saves participants time in evaluating an opponent’s post. And it discourages unresponsive replies that focus for example on rhetorical questions or incidental details while ignoring the primary challenges. Of course there can be valid reasons why an opponent may refuse to answer a given question.

    Please summarize your new questions in each round for your opponent at the bottom of each post.

    Rule 2:
    Tag Team: This is a tag team battle which means there are two combatants on either side: GodsfreeWill and The Graphite on one side and WandererinFog and Nicholsmom on the other side. Each team may make only ONE post in each round. Therefore there will be 10 total posts in this battle (5 per team).

    Only Admins and Battle Royale participants will be able to post in this battle thread.
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  2. #2
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    The tale of the tape!

    Lets get to know our combatants.

    In one corner.... the team of Godsfreewill and The Graphite. This team shall be abbreviated as "GG".

    Will Duffy aka (GodsfreeWill) is the General Manager for Christian radio talk show Bob Enyart Live. Duffy founded the Collaborators Project as part of American Right to Life's three-fold strategy to end abortion. The Collaborators Project focuses on demoralizing abortion, to "create unbearable social tension to coerce the government to correct the injustice of shedding innocent blood."

    The Graphite lives in Westminster, CO and attends Denver Bible Church, pastored by Bob Enyart. Since coming to the Lord in November 1999, he has spent about 5 years working with a radical street evangelism ministry called GODISNOWHERE based in eastern Colorado, and currently gives time to the pro-life community here. A lifelong registered Republican for two decades, he renouced that party affiliation just two weeks ago. He voted for Bush in both 2000 and 2004 and now deeply regrets both votes. The Graphite is a strong proponent of legally recognizing the personhood of the unborn from conception.

    And in the other corner... the team of nicholsmom and WanderInFog. This team shall be abbreviated as "NW".

    nicholsmom is a 44-year-old married mother of 6 children aged 14 to 3 years. She is a strong advocate of Federalism, and has always voted straight-party Republican ticket. On the issue of abortion, she believes that any human life includes personhood; that abortion is murder every time it is exercised. She is a conservative, Bible-studying Christian dedicated to being a vessel for the work of Christ. She teaches a women's Sunday school class, currently working on hermeneutics.

    WandererInFog, born and raised in the southeastern US, Wanderer is a 31 year old, married, father of 2 of two and small business owner. A rather busy and often unpredictable life has prevented Wanderer from ever quite finishing his college education despite having a large number of credits towards a degree in Philosophy. Still Wanderer attempts to take the approach of a lifetime leaner reading, on average, 3-5 books a week on such subjects as Theology, Politics, and Science.

    Theologically, Wanderer considers himself best described as paleo-orthodox with a great deal of respect for such writers as Alister McGrath and Thomas Odom.

    Politically, Wanderer is a conservative and an Independent who has in the past supported and done volunteer work for the Libertarian and Constitution Parties, but finds himself now largely critical of the effectiveness of 3rd party politics in the United States.
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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Battle Royale's are limited to the participants within the battle. However feel free to discuss and debate this battle yourself in our battle discussion thread located here.
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    What if he were willing to kill some Jews or some blacks?

    BATTLE ROYALE XIII: Round 1

    The Commander [In Chief] of the Army of the Lord



    Do You Really Believe Abortion is Murder? Are You Sure?

    It's no secret that John McCain is pro-choice. It was no surprise when he was endorsed by the organization Republicans for Choice. John McCain's official position is pro-choice with exceptions. McCain believes it is okay for a mother to kill her unborn child if his/her father is a criminal (rape/incest). McCain believes it is okay to dismember an unborn child if the mother's life is threatened, rather than removing the living baby to attempt to save the mother and her baby (life of the mother). McCain believes it is okay to do grisly medical research on the tiniest living boys and girls through embryonic stem cell research (Dr. Mengele-type research).

    In other words, basically, McCain is willing to kill some kids.

    To get at the principle, let's assume it is legal to kill Jews, as it was in Nazi Germany. Would you vote for McCain if he was willing to kill some Jews? Or what if it is legal to lynch blacks? Would you vote for McCain if he was willing to lynch some blacks? We assume your answer is "No," but that leaves us with quite the dilemma. We only see two choices here, and we challenge our opponents to correct us if we're wrong.

    Option 1: Our opponents would not vote for McCain if he were willing to kill some Jews or some blacks.
    Conclusion: Our opponents do not really believe abortion is murder, as demonstrated by their inconsistency.

    Option 2: Our opponents would vote for McCain if he were willing to kill some Jews or some blacks.
    Conclusion: Our opponents do believe abortion is murder and have no problem supporting a man willing to slaughter innocent children, innocent Jews and innocent blacks.


    ROUND 1 QUESTIONS:

    GG1: If you were about to do something that God did not want you to do, would you want to know?

    GG2: Would you still support McCain if he were willing to kill some Jews or some blacks?

    GG3: Two men are trying to break into a school. One wants to kill all the kids in the school and the other only wants to kill some of them. Neither one is personally threatening your life. You have a key to get into the school. Which one are you going to support, knowing that eventually one will succeed in getting in? To whom do you give your key?

    (Please note, throughout this debate, we may ask many yes-or-no questions. We expect to receive yes-or-no answers, or at least “both, neither, sometimes one and sometimes the other,” or at minimum, “I don’t know.” But without one of these direct answers, all the explanation in the world will not persuade us that the question has been answered. Please answer appropriately as a yes-or-no to make your position clear. We fully intend to do the same, in return.)

    The famous acronym “WWJD” or “What Would Jesus Do?” is a great way of helping one determine whether or not something one plans on doing is something God would approve of. Paul, in his epistles, teaches us that the flesh urges us to do many things in its battle against the Spirit and can create fear in us to do wrong. In this debate, we will show you biblically that it is immoral for an informed Christian to support or even vote for John McCain and his vice-presidential running mate, Sarah Palin. (Of course we are talking about the Christians aware of the facts and not just an uninformed and naïve vote for McCain simply because he's a Republican.)

    If you're a Christian and planning on voting for John McCain, as our opponents are, please consider two questions:

    If you were going to do something that God did not want you to do, would you want to know?

    and…

    What would Jesus do?



    Position Statement


    Our position is that it is immoral to vote for the John McCain/Sarah Palin ticket in the 2008 presidential election. The following is the basic explanation of our line of reasoning.

    A voter has no moral obligation to vote for one of two evil choices. Of course no Scripture implies that he has such an obligation.

    We should not do evil so that good may come of it.
    Romans 3:8
    And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.


    If God's law conflicts with man's law, then we must obey God rather than men.

    Acts 5:27-29
    And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!" But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men.”


    We should not fear men; we should fear only God.
    Matthew 10:28
    And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    McCain has a long-time, consistent pro-choice record and promises to use his authority to continue to promote and support abortion.

    Our government has delegated authority to each registered voter without telling them whom to vote for. It is any Christian's moral obligation to use the authority given to them only within the boundaries of righteousness and to act in accordance with God's will, even if it isn't in our earthly, personal interest -- that is, to "do right and risk the consequences."

    We question whether those advocating voting for McCain actually believe abortion is murder.

    We hold that refusing to vote for Obama or McCain does not equate to helping Obama or McCain's campaign. Rather, it simply has no effect on either campaign. The belief that a Republican not voting for McCain is helping Obama is an example of moral relativism and therefore directly contradicts the absolute truth of God's word and the absolute moral law of God.

    Therefore, it is not immoral to withhold a vote for McCain. In fact, it is immoral to vote for either Obama or for the McCain/Palin ticket in the Nov. 11th election.

    Our Nation’s Leaders Are Killing Innocent People

    Grave injustices and crimes against humanity have plagued human history. Saul of Tarsus killed Christians; Hitler killed Jews; whites lynched blacks, just to name a few. To make matters worse, these grave injustices were all legal under the law of the land. A terrible injustice plagues the world and our own nation, today. It is a holocaust greater than that of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, combined. They call it abortion. The Bible is clear on the humanity of the unborn.

    Jeremiah 1:5
    "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;"

    Luke 1:44
    For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

    Judges 13:7
    And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.' "

    Job 10:18
    'Why then have You brought me out of the womb?
    Oh, that I had perished and no eye had seen me!

    Luke 1:15
    For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

    Psalm 22:10
    I was cast upon You from birth.
    From My mother's womb You have been My God.

    Isaiah 49:1
    "Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
    And take heed, you peoples from afar!
    The Lord has called Me from the womb;
    From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.

    Genesis 25:21-22
    Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her;

    Exodus 21:22
    "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child…

    We could use up our entire allotted word count with the biblical material dealing with the humanity and personhood of the unborn. God knew us before He formed us in the womb. Conception and the embryo's trip down the fallopian tube to the uterus (the womb) is all that takes place before our formation in the womb. God knew us from the moment of our creation, the moment of fertilization. Even John McCain says not only does life begin at conception, but that such a “baby” is entitled to human rights from conception. This will become of great importance later in the debate.


    It's the devil's game to give you two evil choices and act like he's the good guy by letting you “choose” between two wrong choices. When given choices A and B by the devil, what would Jesus do?

    The answer is "C."

    Joshua 5:13-14
    Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"

    "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"

    And in the New Testament:

    John 9:2-3
    And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
    Jesus answered, "Neither…"

    Christ is too wise to fall into such an obvious trap. Given two choices, both wrong, He answers: neither.
    "Ignorance sustained by denial is crippling this nation's response to abortion. When something is so horrifying that we can't stand to look at it, perhaps we shouldn't be tolerating it." -Gregg Cunningham (Center for Bio-Ethical Reform)

  5. #5
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    The team of nicholsmom and WandereerInFog (NW) are now on the clock and have until noon (MDT) on October 1st to make their 1st round post. Keep in mind they need not wait that long and can post whenever they are ready, but they have 48 hours from the time of the previous post to make their post.

    Have an opinion about what the team of GodsfreeWill and The Graphite (GG) just posted? Feel free to discuss this battle here.
    Last edited by Knight; September 29th, 2008 at 03:29 PM.
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    We'd like to start off by thanking Knight for allowing us the opportunity to enter into this debate and those members of TOL who are taking the time to follow the subject being discussed. The specific question being addressed in this debate is a timely one, and the general principles lying behind it have important and far-reaching consequences for Christians living under democratically-elected governments.

    Before delving full-on into the topic under discussion, it's important to take a moment to step back and make note of what is not being argued here. While we are arguing that voting for McCain/Palin is not immoral, we are not arguing that doing so is a moral imperative. While we defend the position that a Christian voting for McCain/Palin is moral, we are not saying that Christians who choose to vote for other candidate, or even those who abstain from voting altogether, are doing anything immoral.

    Towards a Theology of Voting

    The subject of what represents a moral or immoral choice in regards to voting is an important one, and one that's underdeveloped in Christian Theology. As Christians have, in large part, only had to deal with voting for a few centuries, this isn't terribly surprising but really is something that should be remedied. To explore this subject we'll begin by examining what voting represents as an action and then examining what the scriptures say in regards to that action.

    So then, what does it mean to vote for a candidate? At it's core, voting is the decision to choose, from a group of available candidates, the one who will serve in a specific office. As one's choices are limited to an available pool of candidates, voting may not be seen as an expression of absolute allegiance to or agreement with everything believed by a given candidate. It is simply an expression that, for a given set of reasons, one has decided to provide their support to a given candidate.

    This means then that we must consider what reasons might lend one to provide support to a given candidate or another. While the reasons are many, they all fall under essentially three categories: the moral character of the candidate, the stated positions of the candidate, and the practical consequences of placing a vote for the candidate.

    We place moral character first, because each of the other categories can only be evaluated once basic moral character is established. This does not mean we are to only vote for a candidate who has always been perfectly moral, because then we'd never be able to vote at all. However, unless a candidate is, at a basic level, trustworthy, then it becomes exceedingly hard to vote for him as we can depend on nothing they say regarding their positions, and make few realistic predictions regarding what will be the actual consequences of voting for him.

    Next, we evaluate their positions. In this regard we seek a candidate whose positions most closely conform to our views regarding what laws should be enacted and government actions taken.

    Finally, we must weigh the practical consequences of voting for a particular candidate. This is where things become most difficult and we must sometimes make tough decisions such as choosing between a candidate who most perfectly reflects our values, but has little chance of achieving victory, and one who more imperfectly reflects our values, but has garnered a broader coalition of support and has a great chance of victory in the election.

    So where in all of this are we making a decision and taking an action that must be regarded as either moral or immoral?
    This is not a simple question to answer, because the Scriptures never directly address the act of voting, and as such we must be extremely careful with any proclamations we make.

    We are warned quite explicitly by Paul not to make our own opinions into rules with which to judge our fellow believers. (Romans 14:1-3 and Romans 14:4) So, as we venture into this subject we must be careful that we limit ourselves to only those things which are found in Scripture through careful exegesis, and not force our own opinions, however well intentioned, onto the Scriptures.

    After careful thought and consideration we have come to the opinion that the only instance in which voting could be definitively considered an immoral act is if a vote is cast for someone who God himself would not command us to obey as a legitimate authority. God himself is fairly broad in this regard. He commands us to view as legitimate, and often chooses to work through and commands us to obey, magistrates who are imperfect individuals, and who do not follow his commands at every point. Where he give us not only the right, but the imperative to rebel against a magistrate is where that magistrate would force us to engage in actions in violation of God's commands. Notice it is not enough that a magistrate merely allows things to go on which are contrary to God's will, he must actively be forcing others to commit such actions before rebellion is sanctioned or required. Therefore, to knowingly vote for someone who would attempt to force citizens to engage in immoral acts, would be immoral.

    After careful consideration, we can see no evidence based on character, stated beliefs, or past actions to believe than either John McCain or Sarah Palin would enact any law or take any governmental action which would force Christians to commit acts contrary to God's law. This then places the action of voting for McCain and Palin into the category discussed by Paul previously in which each Christian is accountable to his own conscience for his actions. With this in view, there exists no scriptural warrant for judging another believer's voting to be an immoral act.

    Now none of this is to say there might not be very specific reasons why we, as Christians, would prefer to see one candidate elected over another or view a vote for one candidate as wiser than the vote for another, but that isn't the question being addressed in this debate.

    In response to our opponents:

    Positions upon which we agree:
    1)We should not do evil so that good may come of it. We concur absolutely with this statement.

    2)If God's law conflicts with man's law, then we must obey God rather than men. We would add, as we stated in our opening statements, that we are obligated to rebel against any inducement to violate God's law.

    3)We should not fear men; we should fear only God. We agree.

    4)Our government has delegated authority to each registered voter without telling them whom to vote for. It is any Christian's moral obligation to use the authority given to them only within the boundaries of righteousness and to act in accordance with God's will, even if it isn't in our earthly, personal interest -- that is, to "do right and risk the consequences." Agreed.

    Positions upon which we disagree:
    1)McCain has a long-time, consistent pro-choice record and promises to use his authority to continue to promote and support abortion.
    You have yet to prove that John McCain is pro-abortion. We will not be accepting "common knowledge" arguments as evidence in this debate. Even according to the article you cited "(McCain) is (pro-life), but it's not at the top of his agenda,"

    2)We question whether those advocating voting for McCain actually believe abortion is murder.
    Question no further: abortion is murder every time. We completely agree on the question of abortion being immoral. This, however, is not the question to be answered in this battle. Please see the opening statements.

    3)We hold that refusing to vote for Obama or McCain does not equate to helping Obama or McCain's campaign. Rather, it simply has no effect on either campaign. The belief that a Republican not voting for McCain is helping Obama is an example of moral relativism and therefore directly contradicts the absolute truth of God's word and the absolute moral law of God.
    This argument is beyond the scope of this limited battle. So will not be further addressed

    4)It is not immoral to withhold a vote for McCain. As seen in our opening statement, this is beyond the scope of this battle.

    General thoughts pertaining to our opponents argument:

    WWJD is poor theology at best. Jesus would hang upon a cross and die to redeem us from sin - can you, even if you wanted to, do that? No. Jesus is God. We cannot be God, and we would add that it is blasphemy to talk as though we can. The proper question here, in light of our becoming like Christ, is "What would Jesus have us do?"

    This is the essence of our position: Would God put us under John McCain's leadership? If the answer is "yes," then we must see that it is not immoral to cast a vote in his favor.

    Questions answered:
    GG1: Yes

    GG2: Please explain & clarify this question: "willing" under what circumstances? We are willing to support a leader who will kill people in a just war regardless of ethnicity, or if they've been convicted of capital crimes. I would also add that this is an unnecessary argument in the face of our agreement upon abortion - it is always murder.

    GG3: This question does not pertain to this battle & will not therefore be answered. No candidate in this election is personally going around killing children and as such the hypothetical is irrelevant. If you wish to rephrase it in a manner that actually reflects the question at hand we'd be happy to address it.

    Questions for GG:
    NW1: Has God ever put His people under a leader who was less than perfectly moral?

    NW2: Under what circumstances are God's people instructed to rebel against an immoral leader? Please be specific & use Scripture references.
    "When the lights go out all over the world, when history seems headed only into a dead end and total disaster, God brings forth light. He changes the direction of history and regenerates men and redirects events and institutions to fulfill His purposes."

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    DING DING DING

    Round #1 is OVER!!!

    The team of GodsfreeWill and The Graphite (GG) are now back on the clock and have until 4:03PM (MDT) on October 1st to make their 2nd round post. Keep in mind they need not wait that long and can post whenever they are ready, but they have 48 hours from the time of the previous post to make their post.

    Have an opinion about what the team of WandererInFog and nicholsmom (NW) just posted? Feel free to discuss this battle here.
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    Over 750 post club The Graphite's Avatar
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    BATTLE ROYALE XIII: Round 2a

    The Conspiracy That Surrounds Us


    We’d first like to point out that our opponents are already allowing their humanistic foundations to show in their arguments. They discussed the standards by which they evaluate candidates during an election – moral character, the candidate’s stated positions and record, and finally the practical consequences of electing that candidate. But they let this slip in their explanation of standard #2:



    This is false. We are not our own standard of right and wrong, and our aim should not be to choose a candidate whose positions most closely conform to our own views. This is humanism and relative morality. If a person is a racist, should that racist choose a candidate that most closely conforms to his own views? No, the right thing to do for a racist is to support a candidate that is not racist, because racism is evil and denies that we are all one race – human – and denies that we are all made in God's image.

    What a voter should do, in choosing a candidate to approve for office, is to pick someone who advocates God's standard of absolute right and wrong. Although Team NW doesn’t realize this idea has tainted their reasoning, their words have exposed that, deep down, they believe we are our own standard for right and wrong in the voting booth, and we expected this. But, Christ is the only standard of righteousness. It may sound like we are mincing words. But in my childhood (the Graphite here), my father taught me that "Words mean things" (usually uttered in respect to nonsense from liberals), and such things can give away underlying and fundamental differences in people and what they believe. So, we posit that this is not a minor thing, but quite a major thing. What is our standard? Our own conscience? No, that is a created thing, given to us by God, but He is our standard.

    Continuing, Team NW said:

    Finally, we must weigh the practical consequences of voting for a particular candidate. This is where things become most difficult and we must sometimes make tough decisions such as choosing between a candidate who most perfectly reflects our values, but has little chance of achieving victory, and one who more imperfectly reflects our values, but has garnered a broader coalition of support and has a great chance of victory in the election.
    Our opponents are correct that this issue is the hardest of the three they listed, and at the very heart of this debate — the practical consequences of one's moral choices. If this were an issue of choosing between candidates who are more or less experienced, more or less competent, or who disagree on things like political strategy and other amoral or secondary issues, we would certainly agree with our opponents. However, this election and this debate concern whether a certain candidate is evil and whether it is moral or immoral to approve of one who is evil. We are not talking about someone who simply “imperfectly reflects our values.” John McCain does not “imperfectly reflect our values.” He almost perfectly reflects the opposite of our values – he murders the innocent, supports homosexual marriage, promotes socialist legislation that redistributes wealth unjustly, has acted to obstruct freedom of speech, and worst of all, as a leader who promotes all of these things, he thus is leading others to believe and support these things. This is his legacy. Here is a man who will leave the world (particularly our nation) far worse off than it was when he entered it.

    We would like to add that we are somewhat disturbed by our opponents’ habit of referring to some of the most evil of historical rulers – mass-murderers, rapists, enslavers, etc. – as men who “imperfectly reflect our values,” who are “imperfect individuals,” men “who do not follow his commands at every point,” or who are “less than perfectly moral.” Once again, words mean things, and this is a reflection of a point of view or way of thinking that is tainted by moral relativism. We will address this much more extensively, later.

    NWQ1: Has God ever put His people under a leader who was less than perfectly moral?

    GGA-NWQ1: Yes, of course. And He has given them prophets who turned out to be rebellious, and apostles who have sinned. But that doesn't mean that the New Testament qualifications of church leaders should be set aside. Neither does that mean a businessman should hire an otherwise great worker who promises to steal from the cash register; nor a church install an otherwise successful pastor who admits to an ongoing affair.

    NWQ2: Under what circumstances are God's people instructed to rebel against an immoral leader? Please be specific & use Scripture references.

    GGA –NWQ2: This is outside the scope of this debate. McCain is not our leader. But we will answer. Peter says that whenever the two conflict, we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:27-29); the Hebrew midwives lied to and disobeyed Pharaoh who commanded them to kill kids at childbirth (Ex. 1:8-9; 15-21); Rahab lied to Jericho's king (Josh. 2:1-7) to save God's men from arrest and worse; David's wife Michal deceived her father King Saul to protect her husband from unjust treatment (1 Sam. 19:10-18); Daniel openly disobeyed King Darius (Dan. 6:10) even though he could have prayed to God silently; John disobeyed the governing authorities by continuing to preach (Acts 4:19); Paul disobeyed the Philippian magistrates (Acts 16:35-40) and yet wrote that as a general rule, we should obey the government (Rom. 13:1). God even punished Israel (2 Kings 17:20) for keeping their own manmade laws: "Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made" (2 Kings 17:19); some believers made it into the Book of Hebrews Hall of Faith by disobeying the governing authorities including Moses parents (Heb. 11:23); Moses (Heb. 11:27, 29); Rahab (Heb. 11:31); others tortured (Heb. 11:35); others imprisoned (Heb. 11:36). And God even required the Israelites to disobey God's own symbolic ordinances, for example, when necessary to save lives (Mark 2:25-27; Ex. 29:32-33; Lev. 24:5-9; 1 Sam. 21:1-6).

    Team NW refers to Paul without quoting him, so many readers may not have actually checked out what Paul said here.

    Romans 14:1-4
    1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

    Is Team NW saying that the question of funding the murder of babies is a “doubtful thing?” Our opponents ignore the context of this passage, which was about members of the early Christian church disputing over whether it was acceptable to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Paul rightly pointed out that if someone abstains from eating that meat, this is not an immoral thing. We agree we should not despise Christian brethren who disagree with us on amoral and/or secondary issues. But, we aren’t here to discuss “doubtful things,” but rather issues of murder and conspiracy to murder, and there is no doubt about the moral and sinful nature of such things.

    We trust that Team NW would agree that in such serious matters as murder and conspiracy to murder, Romans 14:1-4 does not apply, but rather we should turn to Paul elsewhere:

    2 Timothy 3:16-17
    16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    2 Timothy 4:2
    Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

    GGQ4: Does Team NW think that Paul’s passage about “disputing over doubtful things” regarding what kind of food to eat actually equates to the Nov. 11 election and our consideration of whether to approve one accused of having a pro-abortion record for the job of president of the United States?

    Team NW is also confusing two issues, here. On the one hand, we wholeheartedly agree that if a government official is in place in a government, they should be obeyed except insofar as they command one to commit a sin. But that is not the issue at hand, here.

    McCain is not yet president. He has applied for the job of president, and we have been delegated the authority to decide whether he should be or not, whether we should give him our approval to represent us and to lead us. If he is elected, then at that point we would recognize his authority under God's overarching divine ordination of human government, with the limits upon which both teams agree in this debate. So, Team NW's point is valid only after January 20th of next year, not on or before November 11th.

    At issue here is not at all whether we should rebel against his authority, but how we should exercise OUR authority. We have the authority in this situation. We have authority over John McCain, to approve him for this job, or to withhold approval. We are the human resources department’s hiring committee for the job of president of the United States.

    One could pose the question, “Whom FDR sided with in WWII and why? Why didn't he fight Germany and the Soviet Union, two evils?” However, Roosevelt did not have authority over the Soviet Union; he did not have the authority to appoint them to a position of authority. Rather, they independently opposed the Third Reich, and Roosevelt coordinated military actions with them for our greater strategic effectiveness.

    On the other hand, we do have authority over John McCain in this situation.

    To bring further clarity on the issue of culpability in sin, we pose the following three cases:

    Robbery Case #1

    I am in my car at a red light, and a man comes up to my window and says: "Hi. Could you please give me a ride to the bank? I have some banking to do and my car just broke down."

    I say, "Sure. Hop in…" and take him to the bank. As I am leaving, to my horror I see him pull a mask over his face, draw a gun from his pocket, and enter the bank.

    Gunshots and screams fill the air, and the man I drove to the bank comes running out --- after he murdered the banker, and stole all the money he could carry. He flees successfully.

    GGQ4: Did I sin by giving this murderer and robber a ride to the bank?

    Robbery Case #2

    I am at a traffic light, and a man comes up to my window and says, "Excuse me; I'm going rob the bank, then shoot the teller so that he won't be able to testify against me at trial if I get caught. Would you please give me a ride to the bank?"

    I say, "Sure, hop in…" and give him a ride to the bank, and he fulfills his promise.

    GGQ5: Given those facts, have I participated in the sin of theft and murder?

    Robbery Case #3


    I am at a traffic light, and a man comes up to my window and says, "I have a friend who intends to rob the bank and shoot the bank teller. I want to keep him out of trouble, so I promised to watch out for him while he commits the crime. If a policeman comes, I will distract him so that my friend won't get caught. Will you please take me to the bank?"

    I say, "Sure. Hop in…" and take him to the bank. (On the way over, we discuss how neither of us could ever rob a bank or murder a bank teller.) We arrive and see the thief/murderer drive up, exit his car, cover his face, draw his weapon, and enter the bank. We hear screams and gunshots. Within seconds, a policeman emerges on foot from around the corner with his gun drawn, looking anxiously for assailants or victims.

    The man I gave a ride to plays his role perfectly. He jumps out of my car, yelling and pointing; "I just saw a man running down that alley with a gun in his hand and a bag he brought out of the bank!" The policeman takes the bait, and runs down the alleyway, vainly chasing a villain who is not there.

    The murderer merges from the bank, glances over at his friend (my passenger), nods appreciatively, gets into his car, and escapes.

    GGQ6: Given these facts, have I participated in the sin of robbery and murder?

    Jesus used parables to illustrate moral principles. In this debate, we will use hypothetical situations and real historical situations to illustrate moral principles. Our opponents have obviously obfuscated in our first of such hypothetical situations, claiming that it is irrelevant to the debate. We will let you, the audience, decide what is irrelevant and what is not. We are not afraid to answer any questions given to us by our opponents, even if we feel they are irrelevant to the debate and promise to do as such. We would like to restate this hypothetical situation again and ask our opponents to give us all an answer.

    A School Full of Kids

    Two men are trying to break into a school. One wants to kill all the kids in the school and the other only wants to kill some of them. Neither one is personally threatening your life. You have a key to get into the school.

    GGQ7: Which one are you going to support, knowing that eventually one will succeed in getting in? To whom do you give your key?

    WandererInFog and nicholsmom – “Abortion - it is always murder”

    Our opponents are correct that abortion is murder and we’re very happy to say we are in agreement here. Now that we’ve established common ground, we would like to ask our opponents some questions about the baby pictured below:

    7 week old unborn baby


    GGQ8: Is it immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to kill this innocent child?
    GGQ9: Is it immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to fund the killing of this innocent child?
    GGQ10: Is it immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to use his power as President to keep it legal to kill this innocent child?

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    The team of nicholsmom and WandereerInFog (NW) are now back on the clock and have until 4:03PM (MDT) on October 3rd to make their 2nd round post. Keep in mind they need not wait that long and can post whenever they are ready, but they have 48 hours from the time of the previous post to make their post.

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    Addressing Objections

    (opponent's quotes in red, ours in purple)
    We’d first like to point out that our opponents are already allowing their humanistic foundations to show in their arguments.
    ...We are not our own standard of right and wrong, and our aim should not be to choose a candidate whose positions most closely conform to our own views. This is humanism and relative morality. If a person is a racist, should that racist choose a candidate that most closely conforms to his own views? No, the right thing to do for a racist is to support a candidate that is not racist, because racism is evil and denies that we are all one race – human – and denies that we are all made in God's image.
    We made an assumption that we did not state: As everyone involved in this discussion is a conservative Christian, when speaking of "morality" and "immorality" that we are really speaking of the Christian view of these; and when we speak of "our" opinion that those opinions are based on our best effort's to ascertain God's will through the exegesis of His Holy Scripture. We apologize for the confusion.

    their words have exposed that, deep down, they believe we are our own standard for right and wrong in the voting booth, and we expected this.
    Our words have rather exposed that even on the surface, and all the way through, we believe that (from our first post)
    the only instance in which voting could be definitively considered an immoral act is if a vote is cast for someone who God himself would not command us to obey as a legitimate authority.
    We base this belief in Scripture: (also from our first post)
    the Scriptures never directly address the act of voting, and as such we must be extremely careful with any proclamations we make.

    We are warned quite explicitly by Paul not to make our own opinions into rules with which to judge our fellow believers. (Romans 14:1-3 and Romans 14:4) So, as we venture into this subject we must be careful that we limit ourselves to only those things which are found in Scripture through careful exegesis, and not force our own opinions, however well intentioned, onto the Scriptures.
    Our opponents later attempt refute the application of these verses:
    Team NW refers to Paul without quoting him,
    This site possesses a feature whereby scrolling over any verse reference, the verse appears in a pop-up. Therefore, unless we are attempting to engage in particularly detailed exegesis of a given verse, we will simply provide a reference.

    However as this particular verse has been singled out, we will quote in it's entirety:

    Romans 14:1-4
    1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

    Of “Doubtful Things” and Selective Morality

    Is Team NW saying that the question of funding the murder of babies is a “doubtful thing?”
    This should have been among GG's labeled questions, but we'll answer nonetheless: no. The question being asked in this debate (and I honestly don't know how our opponents keep forgetting it) is the morality of voting for McCain/Palin.
    It is the morality of voting that is a "doubtful thing"
    Our opponents ignore the context of this passage, which was about members of the early Christian church disputing over whether it was acceptable to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Paul rightly pointed out that if someone abstains from eating that meat, this is not an immoral thing. We agree we should not despise Christian brethren who disagree with us on amoral and/or secondary issues. But, we aren’t here to discuss “doubtful things,” but rather issues of murder and conspiracy to murder, and there is no doubt about the moral and sinful nature of such things.
    While the question regarding the eating of meat sacrificed to idols is the specific example used by Paul, the fourth verse obviously goes beyond this specific example. The Greek word here translated as "servant" is οἰκέτης and refers to menial household servants or slaves. What Paul is reminding us here is that we are God's property and God's alone. When go beyond God's will revealed in Scripture and declare or create additional laws for our fellow believers, we are stepping out of our place and attempting to usurp the authority of God himself.

    The question of this debate is not abortion, if it were, we'd not have entered into it. We all agree that abortion is no "doubtful thing," nor is the funding of abortion. What is debated here is whether or not a Christian commits an immoral act by voting for candidate who does not follow God's law on every point. Because, let us be frank here, if one is to say, as a matter of principle, that a candidate's less-than-perfect stance on abortion makes it immoral to vote for him, then one would also have to say that it is immoral to cast a vote for a candidate having a less-than-perfect stance on any other issue which is addressed in Holy Scripture, or else enter into the rankest sort of hypocrisy. Just as violation of even one part of God's law makes us guilty of violating the entirety of it, it follows that condemnation of a vote cast for a candidate willing to allow one type immorality, requires equal condemnation for casting a vote for any candidate who would allow any kind of immorality.

    On Character & John McCain

    They continue:
    We are not talking about someone who simply “imperfectly reflects our values.” John McCain does not “imperfectly reflect our values.” He almost perfectly reflects the opposite of our values – he murders the innocent, supports homosexual marriage, promotes socialist legislation that redistributes wealth unjustly, has acted to obstruct freedom of speech, and worst of all, as a leader who promotes all of these things, he thus is leading others to believe and support these things
    Let's take just a couple of these points:

    To say that John McCain "murders the innocent" is mere rhetoric. The question of whether McCain supports allowing exceptions to the criminalization of abortion with which we would disagree, is another question altogether. (And we note that our opponents have yet to supply any actual evidence of what specific exceptions McCain might allow.) But frankly to say he "murders the innocent", as if he were personally performing abortions, is hyperbole bordering on slander.

    Supports homosexual marriage? Not according the official stance he gives:
    The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.

    So unless you have some example of McCain engaging in actions that undermine this statement, we will have to assume that this is at best a gross exaggeration and at worst an outright fallacy.

    McCain is not yet president. He has applied for the job of president, and we have been delegated the authority to decide whether he should be or not, whether we should give him our approval to represent us and to lead us. If he is elected, then at that point we would recognize his authority under God's overarching divine ordination of human government, with the limits upon which both teams agree in this debate. So, Team NW's point is valid only after January 20th of next year, not on or before November 11th.

    At issue here is not at all whether we should rebel against his authority, but how we should exercise OUR authority. We have the authority in this situation. We have authority over John McCain, to approve him for this job, or to withhold approval. We are the human resources department’s hiring committee for the job of president of the United States.
    It would be immoral to cast a vote for a man against whom we intend to rebel. So the question is on point: what sort of man does God give us the authority against whom to rebel? That is the sort of man for whom it would be immoral to cast a vote. That is the only question being answered by the narrow scope of this battle. Is it immoral to cast a vote for McCain/Palin?

    Towards a Theology of Voting
    - Category 1: Moral Character


    In our opening statements we said:
    .. we must consider what reasons might lend one to provide support to a given candidate or another. While the reasons are many, they all fall under essentially three categories: the moral character of the candidate, the stated positions of the candidate, and the practical consequences of placing a vote for the candidate.

    We place moral character first, because each of the other categories can only be evaluated once basic moral character is established. This does not mean we are to only vote for a candidate who has always been perfectly moral, because then we'd never be able to vote at all. However, unless a candidate is, at a basic level, trustworthy, then it becomes exceedingly hard to vote for him as we can depend on nothing they say regarding their positions, and make few realistic predictions regarding what will be the actual consequences of voting for him.
    Since moral character must be evaluated first, let's begin there. Is John McCain, at a basic level, trustworthy? Can we say that he he has moral character? Remember that we are not looking for perfection here, nor are we looking for the candidate with "the best" moral character. This is a pass/fail test only so that we can decide whether or not to continue with evaluation of stated positions & practical consequences.

    Let's look at the the main accusation leveled at McCain (paraphrased);
    John McCain and his supporters claim that he has a 24-year record of "pro-life voting", yet he has voted for some exceptions whereby abortion can be deemed legal.
    Is this a lie told & re-told by John McCain & his supporters? Or is it rather a difference in definition of what constitutes "pro-life voting?"

    Certainly the pro-choice camp calls McCain pro-life. According to congresspedia, NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Senator McCain a grade of 0 as recently as 2007.

    Even the National Right to Life considers him to be pro-life, stating, "Senator John McCain has consistently taken a strong pro-life position against abortion, has a strong pro-life voting record against abortion and opposes Roe v. Wade." (Source)

    It is disingenuous to say that McCain is lying just because he fails to meet your standard for "pro-life voting record." It is like saying it's a lie to say that the sky is blue when we all know that it is really cerulean, or to claim that the field is flooded when in fact there's just a 1 acre puddle in the NW corner of a 2 acre field. It is a matter of definition, and John McCain's definition matches up with that of the most prevalent pro-life organization in our nation. Those of us who go beyond this stance will often refer to ourselves as being "pro-life without exceptions," realizing that the commonly-understood meaning of the term is broader than ours.
    This claim to a "pro-life voting record" cannot legitimately be called a lie.

    So we come back to the main question: Is John McCain, at a basic level, trustworthy? Since we cannot know the man personally, we are left with trusting the opinions of others - hopefully looking to those who have proved themselves trustworthy:
    Here is what a few of them have said about McCain:
    People who know him:
    Retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe and former Marine Lt. Col. Orson Swindle shared experiences as prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. They recalled that McCain was offered an early release because his father was an admiral but rejected it.

    "There were about 200 people who had been captured before him and he said he'd be coming home No. 201, whenever that day came," said Moe. He and Swindle said their captors tortured McCain and tried to force him to accept release, but he knew that would be a propaganda victory for the North Vietnamese and a blow to morale of other POWs.

    "No matter how beaten up he was, he'd look over at me with this big smile and give me a thumbs up," said Moe. "That was our way of saying, 'We're going to make it.' This is character."

    Swindle said McCain "had a good possibility of dying" from broken bones and bayonet wounds suffered when he was captured.

    "He weighed life and honor and chose honor," said Swindle. "There's not one other political figure in that position who would do that."
    (Source)
    "Now, being a POW certainly doesn't qualify anyone to be President.
    But it does reveal character.
    This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders.
    Strength.
    Courage.
    Humility.
    Wisdom.
    Duty.
    Honor.
    It's pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, "Who is this man?" and "Can we trust this man with the Presidency?"
    -Fred Dalton Thompson in his speech to the RNC
    People who have worked alongside him:
    It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

    With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

    But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

    They overlooked the caliber of the man himself - the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better.

    And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership ... a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

    Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

    He's a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

    And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way.

    ...
    We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

    As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man.
    -Governor Sarah Palin in her speech to the RNC

    In elections, there are no perfect candidates. In this election, however, there is a man of whom we can be proud. John McCain understands that long before he can win your vote, he must win your trust. Sen. McCain has earned the trust of the American people, and I am doing all I can to see that he also earns their vote.
    Sen. John Brownback (R-Kansas) (source)
    "John McCain alone has the experience, character and credibility to lead as commander in chief on day one and defeat the transcendent threat of our time -- radical Islamic extremism. I am proud to support John McCain for president,"
    -John Bauer (Source)

    There are plenty of others out there who also know John McCain and have found him to be trustworthy. So John McCain passes the basic moral character test, meaning that he is sufficiently honest that we may generally trust his stated positions on given issues to reflect how he will actually govern.

    Answering Questions & Questioning Answers

    Dividing the first into two, since it is two separate questions:
    GGQ4a: Does Team NW think that Paul’s passage about “disputing over doubtful things” regarding what kind of food to eat actually equates to the Nov. 11 election?
    NWA-GGQ4a: Yes, it applies (doesn't perhaps "equate" but I think Graphite meant "apply") to elections. The passage uses the example of clean and unclean foods to illustrate the scope of Grace because it was a specific question. That Paul expands that lesson is obvious in verse 4, and continues to expand on the principle throughout the 14th chapter of Romans. So yes, we believe that voting is among those "doubtful things." We must also clarify what is meant here by “doubtful things” by the passage in Romans.


    GGQ4b: Does Team NW think that Paul’s passage about “disputing over doubtful things” [applies to] our consideration of whether to approve one accused of having a pro-abortion record for the job of president of the United States?
    NWA-GGQ4: Yes, because accusation is not even close to conviction.

    For some reason, the next question was also numbered GGQ4, so I'll call it GGQ4c
    GGQ4c: Did I sin by giving this murderer and robber a ride to the bank?
    NWA-GGQ4c: No. If you had power to stop the murder/robbery, and failed to do so, then you'd be somewhat culpable, but not for providing the ride. Rather, letting fear immobilize you prevented your doing good. I don't think that is sin, however.

    GGQ5: Given those facts, have I participated in the sin of theft and murder?
    NWA-GGQ5: Yes.

    GGQ6: Given these facts, have I participated in the sin of robbery and murder?
    NWA-GGQ6: Yes.
    I'll be very interested to see how you manage to tie these to McCain - we will require up-to-date evidence that is reliable.

    GGQ7: Which one are you going to support, knowing that eventually one will succeed in getting in? To whom do you give your key?
    NWA-GGQ7: Neither. But again, the analogy has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    GGQ8: Is it immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to kill this innocent child?
    NWA-GGQ8: Yes. But this is simply more emotionally laden rhetoric, as there is no Presidential candidate involved in this election who has expressed a desire to kill children.
    GGQ9: Is it immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to fund the killing of this innocent child?
    NWA-GGQ9: Yes. Have you read John McCain's stance upon the issue of abortion? He agrees with us.
    GGQ10: Is it immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to use his power as President to keep it legal to kill this innocent child?
    NWA-GGQ10: Yes. Again, this is not John McCain's position. He has pledged to do his part to end abortion - he will nominate constructionist judges who, by definition, would never overturn a personhood amendment, national or otherwise.


    And A Few Questions More

    Concerning your response:
    GGA-NWQ1: Yes, of course. And He has given them prophets who turned out to be rebellious, and apostles who have sinned. But that doesn't mean that the New Testament qualifications of church leaders should be set aside. Neither does that mean a businessman should hire an otherwise great worker who promises to steal from the cash register; nor a church install an otherwise successful pastor who admits to an ongoing affair.
    NWQ3: Are you saying that we should elect government leaders by the standards set out for Christian church leaders?

    Concerning your response:
    GGA –NWQ2: This is outside the scope of this debate. McCain is not our leader. But we will answer. Peter says that whenever the two conflict, we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:27-29)
    It fits our criteria for determining moral acts concerning voting, so within the scope. You are quite right that the only times that we are to rebel are when making a choice between obeying God & obeying man.

    NWQ4: How would the election of John McCain, personally, cause you to make that choice? I will want evidence on the likelihood of this as well, rather than foundationless accusations.


    Finally, as we've answered all of your hypotheticals this, we're going to indulge in one of our own:

    A man owns a factory in WWII Germany. He has personally seen a concentration camp and fully understands what is taking place in terms of the murder of Jews. As the owner of this factory, he is able to requisition the labor of Jews who are currently in those camps, moving them into his personal care, where he can prevent their mistreatment and eventual death. Now, obviously, in doing this he will only save a small fraction of those being killed, and in order to do this he must not speak out directly against the Nazi regime as to do so would result in his immediate imprisonment and death and the return of all those under his care to the concentration camps.

    NWQ5:If he chooses to remain silent and only save those who is able to, is he committing an immoral act?
    Futility: "More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and hopelessness; the other, to total extinction. Let us pray that we will have the wisdom to choose correctly. I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence."
    - Woody Allen

    Hope:
    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
    Philippians 4:6-8

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    Exclamation

    DING DING DING

    Round #2 is OVER!!!

    The team of GodsfreeWill and The Graphite (GG) are now back on the clock and have until 3:47PM (MDT) on October 5th to make their 3rd round post.

    Have an opinion about what the team of WandererInFog and nicholsmom (NW) just posted? Feel free to discuss this battle here.
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    The Case Against McCain

    BATTLE ROYALE XIII: Round 3a

    Is John McCain guilty of murder?




    Our opponents and you, the audience, have been wondering when we will deal directly with the morality of voting for McCain/Palin. Wonder no longer; the time is here. Strategy is often used in debates and especially in this one. Our questions, our hypothetical situations, have been part of a strategy to show you that it is indeed immoral to vote for McCain in the upcoming presidential election and to also show that our opponents agree with us. They stated that…

    … it would be immoral to cast a vote for a man against whom we intend to rebel.
    Based on this, we believe in this round we have won the debate.

    Our opponents stated,

    Because, let us be frank here, if one is to say, as a matter of principle, that a candidate's less-than-perfect stance on abortion makes it immoral to vote for him, then one would also have to say that it is immoral to cast a vote for a candidate having a less-than-perfect stance on any other issue which is addressed in Holy Scripture, or else enter into the rankest sort of hypocrisy.
    In saying that one type of immorality requires “equal condemnation” as any other kind of immorality, our opponents are suggesting that all sins are equal. All sins are not equal, and some are far worse than others, and therefore some require a great deal more condemnation than others. Some doctrinal differences can exist between Christians in fellowship with each other, for example, and other issues must necessarily divide so that we should consider certain people to be “anathema” or “accursed.”

    Christians can debate what issues should be disqualifying issues, but one thing is clear. When a candidate participates in sins which God has said are capital crimes, we become complicit in his crimes by helping him get into a position of power where those capital crimes will be acted out.

    Team NW asked us:

    NWQ3: Are you saying that we should elect government leaders by the standards set out for Christian church leaders?

    GGA-NWQ3: Many of the standards, yes. Because many of the standards are universal moral qualities. Indeed, all of the standards set forth by Paul to Timothy regarding church leadership apply to all Christians, because there is only one standard – Jesus Christ. There are not many moral standards; that is the message of the amoral world. Certainly we don’t require John McCain to adhere to a standard of teaching Christian doctrine as one would expect a church leader to do, because that is an issue of jurisdiction rather than morality. However, all of the moral standards are the same: do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, and do not commit perjury.

    We will answer question 5 before we answer question 4, since the bulk of this post will be spent answering question 4.

    A man owns a factory in WWII Germany. He has personally seen a concentration camp and fully understands what is taking place in terms of the murder of Jews. As the owner of this factory, he is able to requisition the labor of Jews who are currently in those camps, moving them into his personal care, where he can prevent their mistreatment and eventual death. Now, obviously, in doing this he will only save a small fraction of those being killed, and in order to do this he must not speak out directly against the Nazi regime as to do so would result in his immediate imprisonment and death and the return of all those under his care to the concentration camps.

    NWQ5: If he chooses to remain silent and only save those who [he] is able to, is he committing an immoral act?

    GGA-NWQ5: Yes, he is guilty, because he is actively taking part in the slave trade which also involves murder. He is aiding and abetting. He is killing Peter to pay Paul. He is assisting in the process of slave trade and murder… even if he was played by Liam Neeson in a big Hollywood movie.

    Morality is universal and timeless. If everyone in Germany had acted according to Schindler’s standard, well… that’s what happened, for the most part, isn’t it? We know what happens when people do that.

    However, if every businessman in Germany had refused to take part in that system of slave trade and murder, would that have been a wonderful thing, or a terrible thing? Praise God, it would have been a wonderful thing! Just because no one else will do the right thing… that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the right thing, either. It is never the wrong time to do the right thing. And just because he might have been the only one to resist, nevertheless such an act would have been righteous, not cowardly or sinful. To resist that system and refuse to take part in it is exactly what he should have done. Schindler was a slave trader with good intentions. And we all know what the road to hell is paved with. Morality is universal. If it would have been right for everyone to live by that standard, then it was right for one man. There is only one standard of right and wrong and you don’t do evil that good may come of it.

    NWQ4: How would the election of John McCain, personally, cause you to make that choice? I will want evidence on the likelihood of this as well, rather than foundationless accusations.

    The bulk of the rest of this round is devoted to answering this question. In this round, we will ask whether Sen. John McCain is presently responsible for the murder of innocent unborn children. Team NW appears to be in denial of McCain’s guilt as one who uses his governmental authority to knowingly direct taxpayer funds to pay for surgical and chemical abortions and to keep abortion legal.

    What constitutes guilt in a murder? There are several issues that must be covered here.

    1. What is murder?
    2. What is conspiracy to murder?
    3. Is it murder if a society’s laws say it is legal?

    Is an act of unjust killing a murder even though the law says it is legal?

    In round 2, we already covered the definition of murder, on which both sides agree. In that round, we also covered the issue of conspiracy to murder, and both sides agree regarding culpability in a crime and the sin therein.

    The third question mentioned at the beginning of this round was whether an act is murder if that society’s laws say it is legal. Even if the law and government say a killing is legal, it is still murder if it wrongfully takes the life of the innocent.

    The midwives in Egypt refused to obey the government’s lawful order to murder innocent babies. The author of Hebrews praises them (Hebrews 11:23), for they were faithful, and they obeyed God rather than men. Rahab betrayed her own nation and broke its laws to aid Israel’s rightful taking of the Promised Land, and she was justified in the eyes of God for her act of faith (Hebrews 11:30-31). Peter and James refused the order from legal authorities over them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:29), saying “We must obey God rather than men.” If a nation’s law conflicts with God’s law, we must disobey that law, for it is no law at all.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” quoting both Augustine and Thomas Aquinas:

    One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

    Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law [of God]. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law [of God].

    If a man uses a law to condone, support and even fund the killing of innocent, unborn children, then it is an immoral and unjust law, and any person has a moral obligation to disobey that law. To obey and fulfill that law is to be guilty of its unjust nature – in this case, murder – just as Haman was guilty, just as King David was guilty, just as the high priest Caiaphas was guilty.

    The Nuremberg Trials

    After World War II, in January of 1947, Karl Sommer was tried by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. What did he do? According to "Murderous Science: Elimination by Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, & Others in Germany, 1933-1945" by Benno Müller-Hill:

    The SS Economic and Administrative Main Office controlled the use of concentration camp prisoner labor and fixed their wages. The company that employed the prisoners was responsible for their working conditions, lodging, food and hygiene. According to a postwar affidavit of Karl Sommer, a Nazi official who worked in the office responsible for concentration camp labor, the prisoners did not receive any wages. The various plants paid the money to the concentration camp inspectorate's administrative office, from where it was collected for the Reich treasury. Beginning in spring 1943, companies paid wages of RM 4 per day for unskilled workers and RM 6 per day for skilled labor. In addition, companies were expected to hand directly to the prisoners "a so-called 'achievement bonus'" for work in excess of the prescribed wages. Companies were allowed to deduct food and housing expenses from their wage payments to the Reich Treasurer.

    In some concentration camps, the SS employed slave labor consisting of Jews, Gypsies and other undesirables. Müller-Hill’s book goes on to explain that they made a fake show of “paying” prisoners a wage, but the money was fictional and virtually useless except for petty things within the camp itself, otherwise completely worthless outside the camp walls. It was designed to make the slave labor look good on paper.

    Karl Sommer used his lawful governmental authority to administrate and fund the logistics of concentration camps that employed slave labor and murdered countless victims.

    Karl Sommer was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. This administrator, this bureaucrat who stayed behind a desk and dealt with numbers and inventories and logistics, was a slave trader and murderer whose weapons were his tongue, a pen and a ledger. Sommer was guilty of murder; he was culpable in the crime and sin of slavery and murder because he was guilty of “conspiracy” to do so, just as Haman was. Sommer never fired a shot, never gassed a helpless victim. He didn’t have to.

    And neither did McCain.

    Walking in the Footsteps of Karl Sommer and Haman

    On October 27, 2005, at 5:54 p.m., John McCain gave a “yea” vote for H.R. 3010, a bill which provided almost a third of a billion dollars to the Dept. of Labor, Health & Human Services, with a substantial portion of that going to fund surgical and chemical abortions, as well as to "family planning" projects that gave birth control to minors even against parents' wishes.

    This bill stated the following:

    SEC. 507.
    (a) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for any abortion.

    (b) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.

    (c) The term ‘‘health benefits coverage’’ means the package of services covered by a managed care provider or organization pursuant to a contract or other arrangement.

    SEC. 508.
    (a) The limitations established in the preceding section shall not apply to an abortion —
    (1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest;

    This bill appropriated taxpayer revenues to fund "health benefits coverage" given by medical care providers which would include abortions in the cases of rape and incest.

    John McCain voted YES to fund these medical services which clearly, in writing, includes funding abortions.

    Does this make McCain a murderer?

    Like Haman (and King David who ordered the death of Uriah, and the Jewish priests who paid Judas to betray Jesus), John McCain has conspired not only to defend but to support and fund the wrongful killing of the innocent. As of today, he is utterly unrepentant of that.

    McCain vs. the Republican Party

    McCain has fought for years, including this year to change the Republican Party platform regarding abortion to include exceptions for rape and incest. This would mean that the party’s official position would be that it should be legal to kill an unborn human being if his/her father is a rapist, thus executing the baby for his/her father’s sin. As recently as one month ago, McCain still held this position and disagreed with the Republican Party platform on this issue. This is his current, “up-to-date” position.

    McCain vs. Mrs. McCain (she didn't get the memo )

    John McCain’s wife, Cindy, stated on to Katie Couric just a few weeks ago that her husband does not want to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Couric: And do you believe Roe V. Wade should be overturned?
    McCain: No. no.
    Couric: No. Why not? Your husband does.
    McCain: No. I don't think he does.
    Couric: He believes it should be overturned. That's what he told me, and that it should go to the states.
    McCain: Well, in that respect. Yes, yeah, I do. I understand what you're saying now. It's a states issue.
    Couric: So, you believe it should be overturned or shouldn't be overturned.
    McCain: I believe it's a states issue. That I do believe.
    Team NW gave us quotes from McCain’s friends regarding non-political events that occurred three decades ago. Surely they will not object if we “call to the stand” McCain’s own wife just a few weeks ago regarding his current stance on abortion. Who would know best where he stands on such a major issue as this, if not his wife? She doesn’t make a grammatical gaffe. She doesn’t misspeak. She emphatically says, not once but twice, that she opposes overturning Roe v. Wade and so does her husband. Of course, after Couric presses her, she realizes she has made a terrible flub, and retreats to a “states rights” stance, as if it is any better to say that states have the right to murder children any more than does the federal government. No government has the right to legalize infanticide. Stephen A. Douglas argued that slavery was a “states rights” issue, and Douglas was wrong.

    McCain vs. the Tiniest Babies

    John McCain wants to keep it legal to perform medical experiments on even the tiniest of humans through embryonic stem cell research. This is his current, up-to-date position. (And here.)

    McCain vs. the Supreme Court

    It is noteworthy that in this same article, McCain says that Antonin Scalia is a model for the kind of justice he would appoint to the Supreme Court. Scalia has stated in the Feb. 4, 2002 of the “Pew Forum” that he would rule against any law that would ban abortion nationwide.

    "[T]he only one of my religious views that has anything to do with my job as a judge is the seventh commandment - thou shalt not lie. ... I will strike down Roe v. Wade, but I will also strike down a law that is the opposite of Roe v. Wade. ... One [side] wants no state to be able to prohibit abortion and the other one wants every state to have to prohibit abortion, and they're both wrong..."

    Scalia does not believe in the unborn’s inherent and God-given right to life. He opposes banning abortion nationwide. He is the kind of judge McCain wants on the Supreme Court.

    McCain’s Public Stance

    John McCain, himself, has gone on record as saying that he wants to keep abortion legal. Project Vote Smart surveyed many politicians, including members of the Senate, asking specific questions on numerous issues, including abortion. When quizzed about abortion, McCain had the option of putting a check next to "Abortions should always be illegal." He refused. Instead, he checked the following two (emphasis ours):

    d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
    e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.

    John McCain went on public record, unapologetically, stating that “abortions should be legal.” And he has repeatedly made this same declaration many other times, too many to include here. This survey was done in 2004. This year, McCain has refused to take this survey, even after the admonition of many to do so. Nevertheless, his statements elsewhere prove that even within the last month, he still strongly affirms this view. It is his current position.


    Today, John McCain wants to



    Last round, Team NW stated:

    It would be immoral to cast a vote for a man against whom we intend to rebel.

    We asked them if it is immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to kill an innocent child? They answered, “Yes.”

    We asked them if it is immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to fund the killing of an innocent child? They answered, “Yes.”

    We asked if it is immoral to vote for a presidential candidate willing to use his power as President to keep it legal to kill an innocent child? They answered “Yes.”

    If the father of that child (pictured at the end of our post last round) raped the child’s mother, then McCain is willing to fund the killing of that child – indeed he has already done so! – and would use the power of the presidential office to keep it legal to kill that child.

    According to the standard set forth by Team NW themselves, it is immoral to vote for John McCain for president.

    ROUND 3 QUESTIONS

    GGQ11: In the case of Karl Sommer, did the fact that he stayed behind a desk and used only pen and paper constitute any defense against the charges of slavery and murder?

    GGQ12: In a general sense, that is to say, on principle, were the Nuremberg Trials just, even though in nearly every charge the defendants were following the law of the land and used that excuse in their defense?

    GGQ13: Is John McCain guilty of mass murder according to these same principles? If not, how is his case different in such a way as to excuse him from culpability?

    GGQ14: Based on the evidence provided here, does McCain believe abortion should be legal in the cases of a) rape and/or incest, and b) embryonic stem cell research?

    GGQ15: If answered yes to last question, do you believe McCain is the kind of man who will refuse to stand up for his principles in this area, who will go against his own views and work to criminalize something he believes should be legal? Or, conversely, do you believe McCain will likely use the authority of his presidential office to keep some abortion legal, including to sign bills that affirm legal abortion?
    "Ignorance sustained by denial is crippling this nation's response to abortion. When something is so horrifying that we can't stand to look at it, perhaps we shouldn't be tolerating it." -Gregg Cunningham (Center for Bio-Ethical Reform)

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    The team of nicholsmom and WandereerInFog (NW) are now back on the clock and have until 9:35AM (MDT) on October 7th to make their 3rd round post.

    Have an opinion about what the team of GodsfreeWill and The Graphite (GG) just posted? Feel free to discuss this battle here.
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    Our opponent have for now spent yet another round showing that abortion is immoral, that murder is immoral, that Nazi's were both murderers and immoral, and well, nothing else. They have thus far not even managed to define what voting represents as an act, and without being able to define what precisely an act actually is, they have no hope of presenting any sort of case regarding when that act is to be judged moral or immoral.

    Again Seeking to Define Voting
    In our opening we provided a working definition of what voting is in a representative Republic like the one we have here in the United States: Voting is the decision to choose, from a group of available candidates, the one who will serve in a specific office. As one's choices are limited to an available pool of candidates, voting may not be seen as an expression of absolute allegiance to or agreement with everything believed by a given candidate. It is simply an expression that, for a given set of reasons, one has decided to provide support to a given candidate.

    It is not sufficient therefore to prove that a given candidate has a stance that is immoral, as voting for a candidate is not an expression of agreement with or allegiance to every portion of what is believed by a given candidate.

    NWN6: Do you agree with the the definition of voting offered? If not, please give one of your own.

    A Further Exploration of Christian Liberty

    While we will address several of the arguments raised by our opponents in the third round, we are going to move forward and begin to explore in greater detail some of the issues we have already presented. First we will expand our discussion of Paul's admonitions in Romans and elsewhere regarding the nature and exercise of Christian liberty. Second, we will explore some of the foundational concepts of God's law and expose how, despite having leveled the accusation of humanistic reasoning against our arguments in the second round, that it is, in fact, our opponents who are allowing their own humanistic prejudices to taint their understanding of God's Law. Third, we will briefly address our opponent's attempt to allege that a vote for John McCain falls under the definition we ourselves provided. And finally we will briefly cover our opponents questions and other issues raised which are only of tangential relation to the argument at hand.

    In the third round, our opponents have dropped any mention of their previous argument that the section of Romans relating to “doubtful things” only applied to the direct circumstance of the eating of meat. In light of this we must assume our opponents have seen the weakness of their position in this regard. Now we will push forward to a fuller understanding of the nature and scope of our liberty in Christ.

    We begin with understanding why this issue is so absolutely important within the Body of Christ. We have become so accustomed to accommodating immorality (anything which stands in violation of God's Will as revealed in the Holy Scriptures) in various degrees that we've lost the full impact of what it means to actually make the judgment that an action is immoral. God has set down certain commands for His Church such that, if a member of that Church is engaged in unrepentant immoral behavior, then we are commanded to provide counsel against the behavior and if the member still refuses to repent then we are to cast out and cut off that member from our local assembly of believers. Related to this we feel compelled to ask:

    NWQ7: Do you contend that those who intend to vote for McCain/Palin, should be cast out of their local church assemblies if they refuse to “repent” of their decision to cast such a vote?

    It was because of the weight of the matter of calling something immoral that Paul, on multiple occasions, had to remind those churches to which he ministered to refrain from going beyond God's law in making judgment regarding the morality of various matters. In general we see that two incorrect approaches were being taken within the churches, whom Paul separated out as strong believers and weak ones. The strong believers were tempted to push their newfound freedom in Christ to its outermost limits - to go as far they could in a given area without actually committing a sin. The weak, fearful of committing any offense, surrounded themselves with additional, self-imposed restrictions.

    This is where the problems began. The strong believer was tempted to look down on their brother as being legalistic and chide them for self-imposed rules, while the weak believer was tempted in turn to take his self-imposed rules and force them on his brother who he viewed as too undisciplined.

    In the passage we've been discussing thus far (Romans 14:1-12 - click on the link to read the entire passage), Paul directs his statement to the strong believer, commanding him to “Accept the one who is weak in the faith”. Proslambanō (accept) is a compound verb, the prefix pros being a preposition that intensifies the basic verb, making it a command. In other words, Paul was not simply suggesting, but commanding, that strong believers accept weak believers. The voice in which it is used also also gives the sense that this is not be a grudging acceptance, but a personal and willing one. None of this speaks of doctrinal or moral compromise which Paul strongly rebukes (Gal 1:8). He was not speaking, for example, of rules such as those imposed by the Judiazers, who made circumcision a requirement for entrance into the Body of Christ. What Paul was recognizing here was that some Christians needed to place extra restrictions on themselves, and those who were stronger in the faith should allow them to do so without passing judgments.

    In relation to this portion of the passage, we would never seek to pass judgment on individuals who felt they could not vote for McCain/Palin, but we would also recognize that this is a self-imposed rule, and not one found even in principle in the Scriptures. However, still consistently following Paul's teaching in this regard, we must object when they seek to turn a self-imposed restriction into a rule that is binding on the Body of Christ as a whole. Our opponents have spoken a great deal about Nazis and Nuremberg, but they continue to fail to provide any actual Biblical basis for their position. Thus, we must regard it as a self-imposed restriction and respond to it as such.

    On Sin and God's Law
    We now must move forward into a discussion of the very nature of God's law, as we feel that our opponents are erring in several points.
    In saying that one type of immorality requires “equal condemnation” as any other kind of immorality, our opponents are suggesting that all sins are equal. All sins are not equal, and some are far worse than others, and therefore some require a great deal more condemnation than others. Some doctrinal differences can exist between Christians in fellowship with each other, for example, and other issues must necessarily divide so that we should consider certain people to be “anathema” or “accursed.”
    No sin is ontologically worse than any other sin, and to contend that it is, is to step far outside of what God has revealed in His Word - to set up our purely humanistic judgments. It is our hope that our opponents do this out of ignorance of what God has revealed in this regard, and as such we feel compelled to spend some time exploring it.

    As a humanistic understanding of sin is so rampant in our age, we must first establish precisely what sin is. Sin is any offense committed against God. Not against our fellow man. Not against ourselves. This is why when David is confronted by Nathan about the murder of Uriah, he cries out “I have sinned against the LORD." All sin therefore is rebellion against God. This sin may come in many different forms, but for us to make the judgment that one sin is greater than another is to essentially deny what sin is. We also see this in that God commands the same punishment for all sins: restitution. In certain instances, the only way a person can make restitution is by forfeiting his own life, but this remains a form of restitution.

    All that said, we again return to the original point to which our opponents were responding. Our opponents say that if we vote for someone who will allow even some abortions to continue that we become morally culpable for those abortions (an assertion they make without scriptural support). To remain consistent they must apply this to every other moral issue, since all sin is equally rebellion against God. Their own evasion on this point just demonstrates that they are creating a standard to which even they themselves cannot hold consistently.

    On McCain, Morality, and Murder

    From here we must move for a brief moment to addressing our opponents statement that voting for John McCain would violate the rule we have derived from Scripture: that it would be immoral to cast a vote for someone who God would not have us view as a legitimate authority - against whom God would command us to rebel. This particular section of their rebuttal spends much of its time wandering off into unrelated tangents (such as comments made by John McCain's wife) making it difficult to follow. We will do our best, though, to address every relevant part of the argument presented.

    Despite what our opponents said, neither murder nor conspiracy to commit murder have been defined within the terms of this debate. Murder, Biblically defined, is the taking of life without sanction from God. Conspiracy to commit murder would be actively, willfully, and knowingly participating in the planning or commission of such an act. Whether we and our opponents agree on this definition we really can't say, as they have never actually offered up a clear definition at all.

    In the first part of this portion of their rebuttal, our opponents say that the civil government's laws have no bearing on what would be considered murder, and we agree with this - civil law has nothing to do with our definition of murder.

    They then spend some time talking about Karl Sommer and discussions of the Nuremberg trials. To which we can only say that if Sommer were indeed actively, willingly, and knowingly participating in the murders that took place in concentration camps then he would indeed be guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

    Next in regards to sec. 507 & 508 of SR 3010 from 2005, our opponents ask:
    Does this make McCain a murderer?
    Well, the answer to that is rather simple: No. The Senate in general, and individual Senators in particular, have a very limited amount of control over the individual items within an appropriations bill. This bill passed the Senate by margin of 94-3, and was voted for even by the strongest abortion opponents in the Senate, including Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina who is regularly ranked as the most conservative member of the Senate.
    So why would even the most adamantly pro-life Senators, even those holding to a position of being Pro-Life without exceptions, vote for a bill that contains funding for even a small number of abortions?
    First, when a Senator or Representative votes for an appropriations bill, much as when a citizen votes for a candidate, he not expressing his support for every provision within the bill. More importantly though, the answer is that funding abortions is not actually what the bill does. Title V of that appropriation gives money to the Department of Health and Human Services and then gives guidelines and restrictions regarding how they are allowed to spend it. It doesn't dictate that they spend a single penny on abortions, though it does give them the technical authority, under extremely narrow circumstances, to do so. Our opponents also failed to quote the entirety of Sec 508, and quite specifically 508.2(d)1, which withholds funding from any state or federal agency that discriminates on the basis of the actual healthcare provider refusing to perform abortions. (This particular clause, also utilized in later appropriations bills is the precise one that Bush administration has been using to attempt to prevent health care providers from discriminating against employees whose moral beliefs prevent from being willing to administer even certain forms of contraception.) So, when taken in total, the chances of the this bill funding any abortions at all could be assumed by a reasonable person to be essentially nil.

    Next in regards to the sort of Supreme Court justices John McCain would nominate:

    It is noteworthy that in this same article, McCain says that Antonin Scalia is a model for the kind of justice he would appoint to the Supreme Court. Scalia has stated in the Feb. 4, 2002 of the “Pew Forum” that he would rule against any law that would ban abortion nationwide.
    "[T]he only one of my religious views that has anything to do with my job as a judge is the seventh commandment - thou shalt not lie. ... I will strike down Roe v. Wade, but I will also strike down a law that is the opposite of Roe v. Wade. ... One [side] wants no state to be able to prohibit abortion and the other one wants every state to have to prohibit abortion, and they're both wrong..."
    Scalia does not believe in the unborn’s inherent and God-given right to life. He opposes banning abortion nationwide. He is the kind of judge McCain wants on the Supreme Court.
    Barring a constitutional amendment, abortion may not be banned on the federal level. So as a judge whose job is to interpret Constitution of the United States of America, Scalia's position is the correct one. Under our constitution, laws of that nature are to be passed and enforced at the state level. I would also imagine, if questioned directly, Scalia would contend that other criminal offenses such as a murder, theft and the like would also fall into precisely the same category. All that lies within the court's power to do is to reverse Roe v. Wade and return the decision to the individual states.

    We could go on further, but we think this is sufficient to demonstrate that, despite having written a great number of words on the subject, our opponents have yet to make an even remotely viable case for referring to McCain as being guilty of “murder” or “conspiracy to commit murder”.

    Answering Questions

    We will now take a moment to address each of their questions in turn, before providing a handful of our own.

    NWA-GGQ11: It would constitute a defense against the charge of murder, but not of conspiracy to commit murder.
    NWA-GGQ12: To avoid getting grossly off-topic, we will simply answer that “following the law of the land” is not a defense against violating God's Law.
    NWA-GGQ13: No. The answer to the second part of this question would require that we acknowledge that there is even the remotest parallel between actions taken by John McCain and those taken by the Nazis which is not something we see any reason to acknowledge this.
    NWA-GGQ14: We believe that John McCain supports the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which represents the only action regarding abortion which, under the US Constitution, can be taken regarding abortion at the federal level. He is historically inconsistent on the issue of abortions related to rape/incest, however as passing specific laws is in the realm of the state rather than of the federal government this portion of his position is irrelevant to the actual enactment of laws. In terms of stem-cell research, there is again some degree of inconsistency, he opposes the creation of embryos for the purpose of stem cell research, but has voted once to allow the use of embryos created for in-vitro fertilization which would otherwise simply destroyed.
    NWA-GGQ15: The only sense in which a President of the United States can work to outlaw abortion is through the nomination of constructionist Supreme Court justices. McCain has pledged to only nominate “strict constructionist” judges to the SCOTUS. Any judge who actually holds to this position would vote to over-turn Roe v. Wade. As John McCain has been consistent in expressing his desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned, we see no reason to believe that he wouldn't nominate judges which reflect that.

    Looking Forward

    We all know that it is wise to count the cost before building a tower (Luke 14:28-30). It is also wise to devise a strategy for defeat of the enemy army, having knowledge of the numbers, or else be wise in making terms of surrender (Luke 14:31-32). We do realize that these examples which Jesus provided are used to help us realize the great cost of discipleship. But take note here, a part of that cost is a willingness to surrender some ground to the enemy when a battle is not winnable - that it is sometimes wise to accept a limited victory or even a stalemate in a battle in order to later win the war.

    Let's count the enemy's troops & see if we can devise a strategy for winning this battle:

    NWQ8: Which candidates are on the ballot in a sufficient number of states to even have the mathematical possibility of being elected President?
    NWQ9: Which candidates have the support of even a scant 10% of the US population?
    NWQ10: What is the benefit of a vote cast for a candidate who cannot win?
    "When the lights go out all over the world, when history seems headed only into a dead end and total disaster, God brings forth light. He changes the direction of history and regenerates men and redirects events and institutions to fulfill His purposes."

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