Some have been asking me who I was voting for or why I favor Obama, so here it is. This is adopted from email and Facebook exchanges, and could be much longer. But if anyone wants to know more specifics on matters of policy, just let me know.
I understand the debate social issues has in the evangelical community and I view that community as split between two groups; one whose focus is on abortion and gay rights, and one who is focused on helping the poor, caring for the environment, etc. Mark Noll talks about this breakdown in his book “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” and says that fundamentalists are taking over because evangelicals have stopped thinking intelligently as Christians about issues (not just political). This was always the joke at Wheaton: what is the scandal of the evangelical mind? The fact that their isn’t one (ie the mind).
So what does the above have to do with Obama vs. McCain? Well I don’t doubt that McCain is in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, but both of their policies on gay rights are very similar (e.g. the Biden-Palin debate). Basically these two social issues comes down to the role nominating judges plays in your decision making process. I understand that rationale and I do think McCain and Obama are both kind of wild cards when it comes down to it (McCain for example because of how much he favors states rights sometimes at the expense of federal ones). However I view their differences in policy enough to sway me towards Obama, even if the judge issue might sway me slightly towards McCain. I like Obama’s plans for health care (not universal like Hillary and even most conservative republicans would admit that McCain’s plan is terrible), environment (which is fairly similar to McCain, but completely different from Palin), economy (I do prefer his tax plan and think it will be beneficial to the economy and it is not a matter of increasing the burden of the rich, i.e. spreading the wealth, but rolling back the tax breaks that Bush gave specifically to the rich), and foreign affairs where Obama has been proven right several times recently (generals in Afghanistan saying we need more troops and must have the ability to enter Pakistan, an exit strategy in Iraq that the government there also favors, diplomatic approach to Iran and N. Korea which the Bush admin has been focusing on recently).
Obama views the role of religious institutions and non-profits as vitally important in helping people, maybe even more so than that of government. He is even the first Democrat in awhile to support setting up a government department to aid in getting these programs money. This is evident in his work in south Chicago and Trinity the church he attends (see fascinating blog posts on TUC by John Hobbins). The point is he really is comitted to helping people and has some good ideas to do so.
So essentially I look at both of their policies and view Obama as the candidate more likely to help the most people. I see his policies as overall more “compassionate” than those of McCain and think that the world in 4 or 8 years will be better off for my baby and family than if McCain was elected.