On Tuesday, I watched with the rest of the nation as Barack Obama was sworn in as our nation's 44th president. The significance of the occasion was certainly not lost on me, and my heart soared as we watched our first African-American president place his hand on the Bible to take the oath of office amid great fanfare.
As I have noted in this column, I have pledged to pray for President Obama over the course of the next four years. I know this undertaking has been criticized by some in the conservative community, but our nation is at a crossroads politically, economically and spiritually, and I believe the evangelical community must do its part to help our nation return to health. We simply must be praying in earnest that God will enable our president and our leaders – no matter their party affiliation – to solve the problems that ail our nation.
This doesn't mean that I will be giving President Obama a pass on everything he does. In fact, I am sure that I'm going to disagree with many of his policies. Further, I don't pretend to believe that Obama desires to hear from me as he takes on the enormous task of leading our nation. However, as the son of one of our nation's foremost culture warriors and the pastor of one of our nation's largest churches, I would like to utilize this forum to raise two primary concerns that I hope might reach our president's ear.
First, within a short time after he had been sworn into office, the entire Whitehouse.gov website experienced dramatic change. Gone was information on the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday or any other pro-life information. In its place was verbiage supporting abortion rights, including this passage:
"President Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his administration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case."
Why do Christians continue to dwell on abortion? Consider this: Since 1971, more than 49 million babies have been aborted in our nation. According to National Right to Life, about 1.2 million abortions were performed in our nation in 2006. While this figure is down from previous years, the abortion holocaust remains our national shame. Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., noted this week, "… there is no greater injustice than that suffered by the 4,000 babies, 1,400 of them black, who die on any given day at the hands of abortionists."
Abortion has become an issue of convenience in America, and I will not be silent about the casual destruction of innocent life. I am sincerely praying that our president, who is a wonderful family man, will work with the pro-life community to help young women consider the far greater alternatives to abortion. Conservative Christians must work with lawmakers like Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who this week re-introduced, with more than 60 cosponsors, the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act," which would deny any federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America – our nation's leading abortion provider.
Second, the Whitehouse.gov website lays out President Obama's civil rights plan, which includes the call for adoption rights for same-sex couples, a repeal of the U.S. Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and opposition to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. I am fully aware that our culture has changed in the last few years, but I am praying that our Democrat leaders will pause in their quest to coerce such broad change in our military (which is no place for social experimentation) and in deterring the will of the people, who have overwhelmingly voted to adopt marriage protection amendments nationwide.
I believe our government should be doing all it can to halt the destruction of the traditional family and working to help fathers and mothers stay together and raise their families together. Recent data show us that children not raised in homes with natural parents tend to: engage in sexual activity at earlier rates, have emotional problems, be expelled from school, and have drug or alcohol problems. We must again foster the traditional family as the basis of our society.
I hope that readers will join me in praying for the safety of and heavenly guidance for our new president, as we also pray that his heart will be open to our pro-life, pro-traditional family concerns.
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