Posted by: joels | September 10, 2008

Donald Miller’s Comments on Abortion

Donald Miller, of Blue Like Jazz fame, was interviewed about abortion prior to his prayer at the Democratic National Convention. I found his comments intriguing, though I don’t fully agree, as my comments below will make clear.

First, I agree that the Republican Party and evangelicals in general have been too focused on the legal aspect of abortion.  I think Miller–and the evangelical left–gives a healthy reminder that we are to be consistently pro-life, which means that we are to actively work to reduce the sociological antecedents of abortion.

Second, I disagree with Miller on one crucial point.  I do not believe it is the government’s responsibility–and I want to be careful how I say this–to eradicate our sociological ills.

As I watched Bill O’Reilly interview Barack Obama, I was reminded of this stark difference.  Obama pressed O’Reilly on the fact that the wealthier have a responsibility to help their fellow men, including giving up their money to help those with none.  I agree, and I’m glad that Obama has that emphasis.  But I strongly disagree that therefore the government should enact mandatory income redistribution.  Christians should practice voluntary income redistribution.  Not by way of taxes.  But by way of love.  And I believe that conservatives would do well to push for more social justice…not by government control, but by individual and organizational compassion.

Third, I disagree that it is wise to try to work from within the Democratic party.  Sure, I agree, the supposed pro-life stand of the Republican Party has done little in the past 8 years (one of the reasons I’m not a Republican or tied to any political party).  But here’s my bone of contention: the stated platform of the Democratic party is that abortion is a morally legitimate action.  Where then is the basis for reducing abortions?  I would argue that unless one starts with a pro-life basis, he has no power from which to argue for the reduction of the causes of abortions.

I support neither the Republican nor Democratic party.  I am, frankly, disgusted with the whole political scene.  And it does worry me, I must admit, that evangelical Christians are lined up on these political sides.  I once heard something about men not being able to serve two masters.



  1. Hey Joel,

    It’s good to see that you still have time for this while you’re over there.

    Miller’s point about trying to reduce abortions instead of winning a moral victory was interesting, but I don’t think that’s what conservatives want. So, I would agree with your third point.

    However, the ban on partial birth abortion under Bush is one of his few great accomplishments. Frankly, we won’t see that under McCain, no matter that Palin is on board. Third party man – it’s the way to go.

    How do you define/categorize sociological ills?

    Anyways, I’ll see you soon(er).


  2. Hey bro,

    That may not be what conservatives want, but I consider that about as much of a travesty as “liberals” wanting abortion to be legal. So essentially, I want to go “both…and” rather than one or the other.

    I agree re: McCain. Hence why I am not voting. If RP had been in there, I might have voted, but I’m not comfortable enough with anyone else.

    Sociological ills–my terminology probably isn’t exact, but what I’m getting at are systemic societal problems. E.g., the endless cycle of poverty, lack of education, etc. Problems that are widespread in society and that are part of a vicious cycle that won’t end without intentional community and societal effort.

    The point being that studies have linked the numbers of abortions with levels of poverty, education, etc. Not that middle to upper class people don’t have abortions, but that poverty and lack of education often contribute to the motives behind abortions. So we must deal with those societal problems.

    Blessings, bro.

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