Musings from a liberally conserative, extroverted introvert, optimistic pessimist, idealistic realist

“I could never vote for Obama because he’s for abortion,” my daughter blurted out as we sat observing the vice presidential debate late last night.

 

“People who vote on a single issue are…” pausing cautiously not to complete my thought knowing from where her comments were born.

 

“Idiots?” she interjected filling in the blank. (I could have been thinking “uninformed” or “uneducated” or “unenlightened.” )

 

“You said it…not me.” And I let it ride for a while.

 

Later, she was sitting on the bed, so I sat down beside her. “So, you think Obama won’t make a good president?” prompting her to begin a discussion about her comment.

 

“I don’t think any of them will make a very good president.” (Score a point for the 11-year-old for seeing through the rhetoric and cutting to the chase!)

 

“You said earlier…”

 

“Obama is for abortion.”

 

“What about the economy? Education? Iraq? Foreign policy? Taxes? There are lots of things to consider when you vote…not just one issue,” I summarized. “You see, some people simply vote on one issue;  and you shouldn’t let just one issue decide your vote.”

 

“Obama is for choice,” I continued. “He isn’t necessarily for abortion, but for the rights of people to choose whether they have an abortion. There is a difference.” Her mind was spinning processing what I had to say.

 

“Often, people will take a stand on an issue they themselves have never experienced and believe incapable of doing…like abortion. Some people, and help me understand this one, kill the doctors that perform the procedure. So, what were they against?”

 

“Killing a baby.”

 

“And yet, what did they do?”

 

“Killed a person.”

 

“What’s the difference?”

 

“None.”

 

“You’re right, and that has happened, but most people wouldn’t do so. Yet, these same people who wouldn’t kill a baby or kill a person might gossip and kill someone’s character and reputation.” I paused a moment and added, “Do you know that the Bible lists slander alongside murder?

 

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19

 

“People can destroy life through gossip and slander and that is not being pro-life,” I opined.

 

“Sometimes people will stand outside an abortion clinic and call the girls that are leaving ‘baby-killer’ or ‘murderer’ or ‘sinner’ or ‘whore.’ If you were standing there, what would you do?”

 

“I wouldn’t have to agree with what she did,” my daughter stated, “but I wouldn’t have to say those things either.”

 

“I’m sure that she is already devastated,” I added, “and you’re right, we don’t have the right to hurt her any further with our words. We don’t have to condone, but we don’t have to condemn either.”

 

I went on to explain the verse about the pointing out a speck in another’s eye while having a plank or log in our own. (Matthew 7:3) She sat intently as we discussed matters of life. “We don’t have a lot of time to point out other’s mistakes. We’ve got a lot of sawing to do on that log of our own.”

 

I want my children to grow to understand that they don’t have to condone other’s choices, but they don’t have to condemn them either. It is my heart’s desire for them to grow to do what Jesus commanded, “to love your neighbor as yourself,” even if their neighbor chose to have an abortion.


Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 03, 2008

Love your Narrative!  And good luck to your daughter in 8 years when she gets to vote for Hillary or the other guy.

on Oct 03, 2008

Your children are blessed to have a daddy who loves them so much. I'm confident the seeds you plant now will take root someday.

on Oct 03, 2008

Did she also come away from the conversation with the knowledge that it's ok by you that she think for herself.  I couldn't help notice that you shot down her opinions with your own.  I hope you conversation didn't make her think that its not ok for her to be against abortion simply because in might differ from your view.

That being said, I'm glad to hear you are encouraging your daughter's critical thinking skills.. and it sounds like communication in your family is pretty open.  Good on ya on both!  All in all, a good bit of daddying there.

 

 

 

on Oct 03, 2008

Holy crap you're awesome.

~Zoo

on Oct 03, 2008

crap you're awesome.

I'm glad to hear you are encouraging your daughter's critical thinking skills..

Love your Narrative!

I concur.

on Oct 03, 2008

I second both Zoo and Roy. I also agree with ParaTed's comment on how you kinda shot down her opinion. While I saw and understood you were trying to make sure her opinion was not based on a single issue, it kinda seemed to me that rather than making sure she saw a wider perspective of the issue, you basically pointed to one side of the issue and didn't really give her a chance to decide based on 2 points of view. Still, you did better job than I would have and have inspired me to take my 10 year old son's comments about Obama a bit more seriously.

on Oct 03, 2008

“People can destroy life through gossip and slander and that is not being pro-life,” I opined.

This is the best line of the whole article. I wish more people, especially the ones who claim to be christian whould take heed to this comment

on Oct 03, 2008

I couldn't help notice that you shot down her opinions with your own.

I also agree with ParaTed's comment on how you kinda shot down her opinion.

While I recognize that what we say only represents 7% of what is heard (with the other 93% coming from our nonverbals), I'm not sure how I "shot down her opinion."

My point was this...rather than making a judgment based on something you've heard...consider all points of a situation and make an informed decision. I never took a position with her in our discussion. If you read my words, you will recognize that I never took a pro-life or pro-choice position. I simply wanted to teach her about informed decision making. I never said that I was pro-choice or pro-life. I stated that Obama was pro-choice, and I explained what that meant. I took the conversation one step further to include judgmentalism.

She maintains her position that abortion is wrong, and she demonstrated this when she said, "I wouldn't have to agree with what she did...but I wouldn't have to say those things either." In no way did I ever attempt to sway her beliefs or values, but I want to teach her that "we don't have to condone, but we don't have to condemn either."

Nonetheless, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about differing points of view and to understand issues that face us all in today's world.

on Oct 03, 2008

I think if there were more parents like you, our political system wouldn't be so awful.

Kudos, sir.

on Oct 03, 2008

I think if there were more parents like you,

I'm just trying to do the best job I can do as a parent by teaching my children from my own life experiences...(http://despair.com/mis24x30prin.html). Nonetheless, they are going to have to make their own choices in life...some will be good and others will be painful...I can only try to prepare them by helping them become well-rounded individuals who hold firm to their values when faced with a decision or choice...and when...not if...they make mistakes...hopefully I will have provided them with a foundation on which they can fall back upon...and continue to built upon...1) by learning from their mistakes; 2) by understanding that their mistakes are not fatal errors, but opportunities for growth; and 3) by understanding that others with whom they share the world will make their own mistakes and will need mercy and grace just as they themselves will need.

on Oct 04, 2008

While I agree with you and what you did there, ParaTed and Charles do have a point. She could easily view what you did there as "shooting her down." Whether or not you think you did has no effect on what she thinks you did.

on Oct 04, 2008

While I agree with you and what you did there, ParaTed and Charles do have a point. She could easily view what you did there as "shooting her down." Whether or not you think you did has no effect on what she thinks you did.

I don't really see this at all.  He just taught her to expand on her opinion by thinking about all the other factors in a situation.  That's critical thinking and critical thinking is good.

Besides, who doesn't get their opinions shot down?  Even if that's what she may have though, SH80 explained things in a nice way....much better than someone blowing up in her face and telling her she's wrong.

Still, I don't think it's a matter of shooting down an opinion, than just teaching someone to think about all the evidence about something so they can make an informed decision.

But hey, that's just me.

 

By the way, an 11 year old worried about the election and concerned about abortion?  I'm pleasantly surprised.   Maybe there's hope for the younger generation yet!

~Zoo

on Oct 04, 2008

But hey, that's just me.

Thanks, Zoo! My daughter agrees.

on Oct 04, 2008

Zoo

By the way, an 11 year old worried about the election and concerned about abortion?  I'm pleasantly surprised.   Maybe there's hope for the younger generation yet!

Absolutly! And that is the best point made by SH80s article, and example of parenting.

on Oct 04, 2008

can't even tell you how comforting and cool it is to encounter a believer whose faith is sufficiently secure he doesn't find it necessary to use it as a weapon, a blindfold or both.

Yet, these same people who wouldn’t kill a baby or kill a person might gossip and kill someone’s character and reputation.” I paused a moment and added, “Do you know that the Bible lists slander alongside murder?

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19

“People can destroy life through gossip and slander and that is not being pro-life,” I opined

i can't decide who's more fortunate: you, for having such an intelligent child or your daughter for having such a wise parent. 

that portion i've quoted above deserves far, far greater visibility and distribution than it'll ever receive--even if were added to both sides of our one dollar bills. 

nothin short of aces!

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