Byron writes to dissent somewhat from my portrayal of Jim Wallis in God's Politics. His letter can be read on our feedback page.
I also received from Caleb this question:
I have two very good friends here at college; one a pro-life Republican, and the other a pro-life Democrat. Both obviously stand in stark opposition to Senator Obama's stance on abortion. For the Republican, Sen. Obama's extreme pro-choice stance is but one of many reasons why he will be (albeit reluctantly) pulling the lever for Sen. McCain in November.
For the Democrat, while he strongly disagrees with Senator Obama's stance on abortion, he feels that he "cannot be a single-issue voter...and [neither] should other Christians." The question I have, therefore, is this. While there are serious doubts amongst conservatives that McCain is truly "conservative" enough, would his generally pro-life stance be enough of an issue to tip the balance in his favor? By extension, is it proper to be a "single issue" voter, or is that dangerous naivety, especially with an issue such as abortion?
I know I don't really have an answer to that; I hope you might?
Well, I don't know if I have a good answer, but here's basically how I replied to Caleb:
I don't see anything wrong with being a single issue voter as long as the issue is of paramount importance. There are a lot of people who will vote for Obama solely because he opposes the war. There are others who will vote for him solely because they know he'll keep abortion legal. These are single issues, and for those voters they trump everything else.
The question is whether a person thinks that protecting the unborn is of such great importance that it overrides all else. If they do, then there's nothing wrong with voting on the basis of the candidates' position on that issue.
People who complain about single issue voters are generally those who don't like the issue, or the position taken on the issue, that the single issue voters assign such significance to. In other words, they have no trouble with voting for a candidate on the basis of his stance on just one issue as long as the candidate is one they themselves would support and the issue is one they themselves feel strongly about.
You won't hear too much complaining from Obama supporters, for example, about the single issue voting of those who will vote for Obama simply because he's African American or because he's against the war in Iraq. It's only when someone says that they can't vote for Obama because he's willing to tolerate infanticide that his supporters intone about the shortcomings of being a single issue voter.RLC