Dear single issue voters: What about war, greed, racism and poverty?

As my title euphemistically suggests, I would like to address those who will cast their vote in November based on the candidate’s position on abortion. I respectfully and urgently disagree with your decision.

I do not wish to minimize the importance of the abortion debate, but rather contend that it should not be ascendant among those faced by the American body civic.

Most of the time when I talk to people about the politics of abortion, the arguments I hear on the pro-life side are the same: the murder of innocents is wrong, the victims are defenseless and have no voice of their own and the right to life outweighs the right to the pursuit of happiness.

I cannot disagree, but the arguments are not unique to abortion. Questions of war and peace, economics, race and the stewardship of our shared natural resources are complex, but that is no excuse for not confronting them–we give up that right as we turn off Eagle road.

There are over 138,000 American soldiers in Iraq at this moment, with a median age of 19. The direct cost of supporting these brave young men and women is $2.74 million a day, but there is also reconstruction, humanitarian aid, our economy’s loss of the labor of Guardsmen and Reservists, increasing recruitment and retention problems for our volunteer military and lifetime medical bills for maimed soldiers.

The costs could run into the trillions, yet we pay it all gladly. On the other hand, there are no American soldiers in the Darfur region of the Sudan, and the cost to our nation and the world of ignoring this genocide is incalculable.

It’s a question of national priorities, and this course of foreign policy is pursued at terrible human price–200,000 lives and counting (imagine if every man, woman and child in West Philadelphia was killed because of their race or religion). How would you react to that as a voter?

In courtrooms across our country, human beings are sued by corporations claiming their “freedom of speech is abridged,” or that they are not being accorded “equal protection under the law.” Or they protest “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the government.

These are rights affirmed by a document that begins “We the people,” based on another which states that “all men are created equal.” Neither document contains the word “corporation.”

Children of God are thus defrauded of their families’ quality of life, treasure, civic virtue, public property and even lives by the actions or non-actions of legal fictions of man’s creation.

If you think Roe v. Wade was decided by judicial activism, check out Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886).

Corporations are essential engines driving our prosperity, and the problem is both structural and recent. They have only been able to claim constitutional protection since about 1900. They have no souls and allowing them to participate in public life as if they do corrupts our democracy.

The Senate was intended by the framers to be the chamber where minority rights are protected. Yet today, Barack Obama (D,IL) is the only black senator.

Minority voters are routinely gerrymandered into disenfranchisement, a practice which also makes elections less competitive and so discourages voter turn-out. Incumbency rates in Congress top 95 percent; are they really doing that good a job? Do we “sit at the table of brotherhood?”

What about Camden, where more than half of all births are out of wedlock, or the troubles of the school district of Philadelphia? Why are so many more black than white men in prison? What do you say to someone whose family were slaves, then sharecroppers and now poor, urban, and hopeless? “Move to the suburbs?”

Are these non-issues?

And so I implore you to take off your blinders and render judgment on evil wherever you find it. Read the red letters and hear what Jesus said about the meek, the poor and the peacemakers.

Being a single issue voter is like being a single verse Christian. You must not let your faith or your politics be decided on any one issue. It’s your obligation to yourself, to this great republic and to God.

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