Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sarah Palin: Love and Politics

God's Second Commandment is for us to love our neighbors. In that admonition, God didn't leave us a lot of loopholes.

Recently, I wrote the following to a friend (also named "Steve") who's an ardent conservative with a focus on social issues, especially abortion and gay marriage. For Sarah Palin to win the election in 2012, she must reach out -- in a spirit of love and respect -- to people who don't share all of her views.

Steve, at least Jeb Bush's remarks (about the GOP's need to get beyond Reagan) fired up people who truly care about the Republican Party and our beloved country. The basic Republican values should be, to cite Sarah Palin, "liberty, tolerance, and opportunity." I'm sure she would also add protecting our nation's security. We offer those things, and the liberal Democrats do not (although they occasionally claim they do).

One thing we must do -- and Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Pat Toomey must do the same, as I think he will -- is to emphasize that good people are going to disagree on one or more issues. But anyone who supports the principles Gov. Palin outlined is welcome as an ally.

I hope we can turn the "wedge issues" into something more than that. Mainly as a cost-cutting effort, Obama and his allies are creating a culture that "saves money" by increasing the number of abortions . . . and also shortens the lives of the elderly infirm. Obama recently said as much in an interview with the NY Times. [Note: On my other blog, I'll be writing for next week about Obama's disastrous health care proposals.]

I believe these realities will get the attention of people who may dissent with us to a degree on certain social issues. Most people, even those claiming to be pro-choice, are not enthusiastic about increasing abortions, particularly in the second- and third-trimesters. And very few Americans really want to snuff out grandma's and grandpa's lives prematurely . . . in order to save a few bucks.

We need to focus much of our energy on issues where we have a real chance of influencing the political process. We also need to salute our role models, even those who are not "perfect" in their life history. "For all have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God."

Personally, I'd say two of those people are Bristol Palin, now relying on her life experience to support teen-age abstinence, and Carrie Prejean, who will probably lose her Miss California crown, but could gain something much more important: her immortal soul and her relationship with God. In the case of Bristol Palin, yes, she made a mistake (and haven't we all?). But unlike so many girls who get pregnant she didn't compound it with a much worse mistake.

I hope we all try to move our world in a direction where people don't hunker down in ideological camps but instead are able to discuss important issues fairly and honestly. Loving our neighbors is not synonymous with always agreeing with them.

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