Recently, I wrote a personal letter to Frank Schaeffer regarding an article he wrote in The Huffington Post. In his essay, Mr Schaeffer declared his support "as a pro-life Christian" for Sen Barack Obama. As discomforting as this is personally, I feel I owe a debt of gratitude for Frank as shall be explained presently. Because of my association with his fine imprint (Regina Orthodox Press), it has come to my attention from some quarters that my views may reflect his. For this reason, I am releasing the letter I wrote in an abridged form, as an "open letter." I pray that this can lead to a civil discourse and am open to the possibility that I might be mistaken. After all, it would be disastrous for Christians to leave the Democratic Party if there is a possibility that they can effect any change from its present "abortion-at-all-costs" platform.
November 1, 2008
I write this with a heavy heart as you have shown a great kindness to me several years ago when you chose to publish my book. You took a chance on me, an unpublished author and for that, I'll be forever grateful.
When I first read Stella Jatras' open letter to you, I was (to put it mildly) concerned. I had not read your original letter nor anything else on the Huffington Post as I do not traffic on far-Left websites. I will not go and reiterate what Mrs Jatras wrote as she sourced her letter and anybody can see for themselves who has made the more cogent case.
One of the reasons that made me a devoted fan was because I admired your eloquence, wit, and keen, incisive, mind. Also the bravery you exhibited on the difficult road to Orthodoxy, having been such a luminary in the evangelical and pro-life movement. In reading your book Dancing Alone (as well as the late, lamented Christian Activist) I could see that you were a man of immense integrity. You took the road less traveled, not because it was easy, but because it was right. In short, you went where the arguments and Church history logically led you. As Martin Luther famously put it in another context: "Hier ich standt, ich kann nicht anders" (Here I stand, I can do no other).
Well, Frank, here I stand: There is no logical or valid argument that a principled Christian committed to the pro-life movement can make in supporting Sen Barack Obama in his quest for the presidency. Unless you have some particular insight that he is amenable to changing his mind — and this would include appointing judges to the federal judiciary who are not slavish adherents to the present ghastly abortion regime — then the only conclusion I can draw is that you are no longer committed to the cause of the sanctity of life. I know this sounds harsh, but this is where the facts lead me.
I need something more than "when I listen to Obama speak (and his "remarkable" wife Michelle) what I hear is a world view that actually nurtures life." At best, this is all style without any substance; vacuous slogans - nothing more. (What's so remarkable about Michelle, anyway? Has she tried to cure cancer or raised money for the same? Has she cared for orphaned Third World children like Cindy McCain? Please get back to me on that.)
I have seen or heard nothing that would make me believe Sen. Obama or the Democrat Party views abortion as anything less than an absolute right. I used to be a Democrat. I still have many Democrats as friends, and I can tell you that as much as I love my friends, I've come to the lamentable conclusion that abortion "rights" to many of them are not to be challenged. By contrast, the NRA is far less absolutist about the Second Amendment.
As for Obama, there is no instance in which he has ever voted in any legislative body for any restriction to abortion on demand. This includes even the most modest restrictions on the grisly procedure known as partial birth abortion. I would suggest that instead of gazing longingly upon the Great Man and being mesmerized by that soothing baritone voice, you look up the record for yourself.
I take some men at their word. For others I let their actions speak for themselves. Rare is the man who possesses the integrity and strength of character to be both a man of his word and a man whose actions mirror his words. In my previous estimation of you, it never occurred to me that you could be anything but a man who talks the talk and most definitely walked the walk. So how can you support for the most pro-abortion candidate in United States history while maintaining your commitment to the pro-life cause? Something does not add up.
It is one thing to leave a political party because you feel it is full of poltroons and mountebanks. It is quite another to paint all within that party (and the pro-life movement for that matter) with the broad brush of bigotry and intolerance.
At the risk of belaboring the point, there is nothing in the life and career of Barack Obama to lead us to any conclusion other than he is pro-abortion in every instance and at all times. If I'm wrong I'll shout my mea culpas from the rooftops. If I am correct, I expect we'll be hearing recriminations from you instead, when you realize that as a "pro-lifer," you've been had. We'll still be here, fighting the good fight.
George C Michalopulos
George C Michalopulos, is a layman in the Orthodox Church in America. He was born in Tulsa, OK where he resides and works. George is active in Church affairs, having served as parish council president at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and as Senior Warden at Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church. Together with Deacon Ezra Ham, he wrote 'The American Orthodox Church: A History of Its Beginnings' (Regina Orthodox Press: 2003). He is married to Margaret and has two sons, Constantine and Michael.