The Dilemma of Single-Issue Voting: Abortion

Albert Mohler | President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary | Monday, September 29, 2008

The Dilemma of Single-Issue Voting: Abortion


September 29, 2008

The question posed at "On Faith," the project of Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post, had to do with whether the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion should be reversed.  The responses from columnists were very revealing, if tragic.  My own column was brief, but to the point:

The lamentable legacy of Roe v. Wade continues to poison America's culture and corrupt our moral consciousness. The 1973 decision represents a judicial usurpation of the political process and the declaration of a new constitutional "right" to destroy fetal life set the precedent for further assaults on human life and human dignity.

Roe should be reversed because it took the power to establish law out of the hands of the people and their elected representatives. Reversing Roe would not end the abortion debate, but it would send it back to the 50 states, where the people can have their say.

Furthermore, Roe is based upon a sliding scale of human dignity, with its arbitrary and unsustainable division of fetal life into "trimesters" of increasing legal significance. The decision is just what it was known to be at the time -- a badly constructed argument that had much more to do with Justice Blackmun's own personal agenda than with either law or medicine.

Roe is a compact with the Culture of Death. So long as it stands, America is the land of abortion on demand. Every pregnancy is a tentative pregnancy. Every fetus is in danger. Every American is complicit in this tragedy.

You should take a look at several of the columns, for the worldview spectrum is really amazing.  I took special note of this argument from Willis E. Elliott:

Finally, I am deeply concerned about single-issue, anti-abortion voters. I consider them immoral. Given the multitude of complex problems the United States is facing, this presidential election may prove to be the most consequential since the Great Depression. Why would anyone let the abortion issue determine one's vote? Bad religion, that's why. The worship of "human life." Fetolatry, the idolatry of sacralizing the conceptus/embryo/fetus. Religion can be such good news. I hate to conclude with this instance of religion as bad news. But I must.

My guess is that he really doesn't mean that he considers all single-issue voting to be immoral.  Slavery?  Civil rights?  I think his later comments about "fetolatry" reveal that he pretty much means that voting on this single issue is "immoral."  I will let his words speak for themselves.


In addition to being one of Salem’s nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts, R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and recognized as one of America’s leading theologians and cultural commentators. Contact Dr. Mohler at mail@albertmohler.com.

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