Monday, September 22, 2008

WallBuilders voter issue guide

You know that congregation I've been posting about (here and here)? Well, we led worship there again last night. This time it was really good. The assistant pastor was teaching through Genesis 13 (Abram and Lot part ways) and he talked about how the Church is divided when it shouldn't be. He brought up Matthew 5:38-48 and Philippians 2:3, suggesting we submit to one another and think of others first instead of stepping up demanding what is ours. He even brought up 1 Corinthians 6:6-8 positing, "Why not rather be wronged?"

Basically it was the opposite of the last three sermons I witnessed there. And God bless them for it. They really are good people there, caring and loving. I just disagree with the way they feel the Church should intersect the world.

But this isn't even what I am getting to, because who am I to revel in the right they did when I could point to a brochure they had sitting in the lobby on their voter registration table? There was the anti-gay propaganda which said, "What the Bible has to say about gay marriage" and proceeded to quote one passage in 1 Corinthians which is more properly translated to pedophilia, and the Genesis passage about Sodom and Gomorrah, but nothing about marriage at all. And then the anti-abortion literature about an upcoming proposition that would require abortion clinics to notify the parents of a minor 48 hours prior to surgery, which I think is great actually. Next then there is a list of party platforms listing gay rights, gun rights and abortion issues only. But I want to get to the last one, the new one I didn't see before.

WallBuilders is a far-right group founded by David Barton, a pseudo-historian (of which I watched many history lesson videos as a child). He espouses an alternative history more suited to fiction writing than reality. He is a active member in the Republican Party of Texas. I feel he has more interest in American heroes and American values than in real Biblical teaching. It is this group who published this brochure. The first thing I noticed is that John McCain's column is in bold while Barack Obama is not. (The color version is red and blue, but any desktop publisher knows when printed black and white the red prints as black and blue as light gray.)

So I picked it up and went through the issues. They're the normal fair, "traditional marriage" appears twice on the list. Homosexual issues (besides marriage) appear thrice (one labeled under "Business Freedom" somehow). Abortion issues twice (apparently gays are twice as bad as the holocaust of abortion). Energy is on there - of course that just means, "Supports expanded drilling for oil."

I thought I would go through it issue by issue because I know it was wrong just by glancing at it. And if there is on thing I hate more than the perversion of political led Christianity, is is Christians lying about issues to get you to vote their party's way. I will write the issue and put the brochure's answer in bold under the candidate's name and then write out the truth.

The IssueJohn McCainBarack Obama
Traditional Marriage in Federal Law
Supports Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Yes John McCain voted for the (poorly named) Defense of Marriage Act (a.k.a. DOMA) in 1996. He supports "legal agreements" between gay couples, especially with regards to insurance, but says marriage is different.
No Barack Obama said he opposed DOMA in 1996 and in his 2004 Senate bid claimed would vote to repeal DOMA. He does not support same-sex marriage, but does support civil unions.
Supports Human Cloning
No McCain voted again the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer technology for purposes of human cloning. He claims he is against human cloning.
Yes Obama says he is against human cloning. He did vote no on "Human Cloning Act" in the Illinois state senate. He says this is because he supports therepeudic stem cell research.
Opposes Judicial Activism
Supports Originalist Supreme Court Justices
Yes The brochure cites the votes for Alito and Roberts for this. This is sort of a misnomer topic because the right wants activist judges to promote their issues - overturning Roe v. Wade for one. Judges don't "legislate from the bench" because they can only preside over cases brought to their bench.
No The brochure cites the votes against Alito and Roberts on this. This issue was levied against Obama because it's an arbitrary way to make him look bad. Who says "originalist" judges aren't activists? Justice Scalia has been shown to be more activist than any other justice, yet he's considered an originalist.
Homosexual Education
Supports Curriculum that Promotes Homosexuality
No Voted for an amendment that would "prohibit Federal funds for instructional materials, instruction, counseling, or other services on school grounds, from being used for the promotion of homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative" Yes The brochure cites a Democratic debate where he didn't object to a fairy tale being read in school where the prince marries another prince. This is the extent of it. Now, again, this issue is phrased terribly. It says Obama supports curriculum that promotes homosexuality. In reality, he isn't opposed to it. In contrast, McCain is for preventing curriculum from being brought to schools that might support same-sex relations as normative.
Supports Expanded Drilling for Oil
Yes McCain is in the "drill here, drill now" party. He flip-flopped in May from his previous position. He is opposed to drilling in ANWR, something Palin supports.
No Obama has said he would support legislation that would expand offshore drilling. He is opposed to drilling in ANWR. The response given by WallBuilders is a lie. Besides offshore drilling, Obama supports using the millions of acres approved for drilling presently which the oil companies are not using. They can "expand" drilling in these areas any time they want.
Human Life
Supports Protecting the Lives of Children Who Are Born Alive and Survive a Botched Abortion
Yes McCain supported legislation that would protect infants who are born alive.
No Obama opposed legislation that would require doctors to intervene in the life of a child should it live through an extremely-rare abortion procedure. Obama says he opposed that legislation over language used in the bill, but said he would support the legislation had it been worded differently. (Specifically he wanted the language to refer to a "fetus" not a "child.")
Business Freedom
Opposes Laws Forcing Business to Favor Homosexuality
Yes Voted against non-discrimination bill. Again, this issue is misdefined as this bill doesn't "force" businessed to "favor" anything. It prevents employment discrimination - hiring and firing only - on the basis of sexual orientation.
No Obama does not support legislation that would "force" businessed to "favor homosexuality." He supports legislation that would prohibit discrimination. Businesses don't have to favor homosexuality (the phrasing indicates a favored possition over heterosexuality). Another unfair issue.
Opposes Gay Pride
Refused to Support Gay Pride Celebrations
Yes This issue is a farce. John McCain never appeared at a gay pride event, so apparently he's opposed to gay pride. He appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' show and wished her well with her same-sex marriage.
No Barack Obama also never appeared at a gay pride event. His campaign issued a statement in July commenting on Pride Month, and this is the entire basis for this brochure.
Iraq War
Supports Immediate Removal of Troops from Iraq
No John McCain supports a measured withdrawl as Iraq steps up their ability to manage their own country.
Yes Obama supports a "Responsible, phased withdrawl" over the course of 18 months, depending on conditions. This is in line with Iraq's goals. The Bush administration has started removing troops. This is not "immediate."
Youth & Abortion
Supports Transporting Minor Girls across State Lines for a Secret Abortion without Parental Knowledge
No McCain was "absent" for legislation to increase funding for enforcement of existing laws. Regardless, it is illegal to transport a minor across state lines for any reason without parental approval.
Yes Obama voted against this legislation. Barack Obama said they had already voted to give $50-million for child protection laws.
Gun Rights
Opposes an Assault Weapons Ban
Yes McCain has consistently voted against laws that would prohibit specific types of assault rifles. Has a C+ rating from the NRA.
No He has called for a permanent ban on assault rifles.
Partial Birth Abortions
Opposes Partial Birth Abortions
Yes McCain voted to ban partial birth abortions. The Supreme Court upheld this law.
No Barack Obama supports the procedure only in "life of mother" cases.
Traditional Marriage in States
Supports State Marriage Amendments in CA and FL
Yes This isn't a Presidential issue because it is obviously up to the states. McCain voted against the Federal amendment saying it was up to the states to decide. McCain's campaign said he supported the amendments in both states.
No Obama's campaign said he opposed the amendments in both states.
Parental Rights in Education
Supports Parental Choice of Schools in Education
Yes McCain supports tax vouchers for charter schools.
No This is a flat out lie. Barack Obama has long-supported charter schools. His website specifically states this, "Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the Federal Charter School Program to support the creation of more successful charter schools."

As you can see, there are plenty of issues of importance without the lies. You're only hurting the cause when you lie like this.

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