Alito on Abortion

I realize I may be making statements that are too obvious for those who are committed the Christian world and life view. But again, most America evangelicals do not boast on their commitment to a distinctly Biblical view of life. It still befuddles me to find anyone who is open-minded about issues that require no open-mindedness. As many know, I am referring specifically to the new Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito. I confess that there is much more noble in this nominee than the previous one. Of course, that does not mean much. Granted, the political arena is much like the gladiatorial games, one false move and you’re gone. Perhaps Alito is playing it safe so he can make it through the game (hearings) and then take off his mask, however we are still waiting for a voice in the wilderness crying:
“I am not open to anything that betrays my conscience and ultimate moral standard!” Is this too much to ask?

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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2 Responses to Alito on Abortion

  1. Jeremy Brown says:

    Ah, but to claim that you believe there is an ultimate moral standard labels you a religious extremist and violates the religions litmus test the Democrats have set up!

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=%5CPolitics%5Carchive%5C200507%5CPOL20050726b.html

    I think both Roberts and Alito have left sufficient room in their carefully worded responses to allow them to vote against abortion. I saw another column (I don’t recall where at the moment) analyzing Roberts’ responses, which pointed out that he outlined the basic criteria needed to overturn a previous decision. He would not commit to a postion on Roe v. Wade – only saying he thought it was a strong precedent. Which of course it is! It’s been on the books for a couple decades and has formed the basis for numerous other rulings.

    Alito very specifically said he did not believe in “super precedents” or precedents that were so important that they should never be overturned. On abortion he did say he would keep “an open mind.” A liberal uses such a phrase to indicate that he will base his thinking on any secular source. A conservative uses the phrase to a) fool liberals and b) indicate a firm intellectual and well-thought argument and foundation for his thinking.

    Both of these men are devout catholics, and I have a great deal of confidence in their willingness to oppose legalized murder. That said, I think there is a deeper issue. The supreme court cannot simply come out and say, “We hereby reverse our previous ruling.” As I understand it, the only way they will make such a ruling is if someone else brings a case before them. Specifically, for Roe v. Wade to be reversed, some state (or the federal government) would need to pass a law banning abortion. That law would be challenged and a case would be brought before the court to either uphold or overturn the law (the former of which would invalidate Roe v. Wade).

    With that in mind, note first that Alito has already voted to uphold state laws placing some restrictions on abortion. However, how likely is it that any state will attempt to pass a law banning abortion outright? Republicans weren’t quite so eager to ban partial birth abortion once they had a president in office that hadn’t promised to veto it. The Republican party has two big groups. The religious arm of the party (which is probably at least close to a majority at the local level in many states and perhaps even in the house at the federal level) would happily ban abortion if they could get enough additional support to do so. The other arm of the party is essentially libertarian, particularly on social issues such as abortion. They’ll vote with the libs when it comes to social issues, but as long as we’re more worried about how many people have an R next to their name and how many will promise to cut our taxes, and as long as we’re content with vague promises of upholding the party platform, we’ll never have any better.

    I believe (and hope to some extent) that within the next few decades we’ll see a split in both major parties. The extremist libs will become fed up with what they see as Democrats cowtowing to Republicans and they’ll run off to join the Green party. The Republican conservative base, particularly if there is no longer a huge Democratic boogey man, will give up hope in the Republican party and will go their own way (perhaps to be joined by the Constitution Party among others). The remnants of the two major parties will join to form a centrist party, which will likely hold a strong majority for a good while. Others (http://electionprojection.com/ see his January 2 post) suspect similar scenarios will ultimately play out.

    I guess really all we can be certain of is that God is sovereign!

  2. U.T. Brito says:

    I appreciate your comments Jeremy. They are very helpful as we think through this process. As you have mentioned there is a certain subtlety in politics that if done well can get you into many places. It reminds me of when the Churh of England invited some of Calvin’s students to become priests. Calvin’s response was that they should accept the invitation but then attempt to transform the worship and polity of the church by their influence. It sounds great, but as we know the church of England never changed and the Brits and their religiosity hate Presbyterians more now than three hundred years ago (just see how many presbyterians are in England). In the same manner I hate to make such historical parallels, but subtleties tend to reveal more about a candidate than we prefer to think. I have no doubts that Alito is a conservative and may attempt to overturn Roe, but again much of this can be interpreted in many ways. For instance, Robert Bork to me was straight forward and as they say got “borked.” I have much hope, but I also have much historical common sense to realize that this hope was also present in previous nominees and they all turned out against us. Even the majority Supreme Court of 73 was largely Republican and we know how that turned out. However, like you I also do foresee a major division taking palce within my lifetime. By God’s grace there will be a time when liberals are the freaks before a committee, not the conservatives.–>

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