Knowing Nothing or Knowing Nothing But

A member wrote me today saying in part, “I found myself despairing over Obama and his future presidency and what this means for the abortion industry…. [F]or you, does Obama change anything?”


Like those before him, President Obama has taken definite steps in the area of life. Bill Clinton made it easier to kill babies after Regan and Bush # 1 made it more difficult.  President Bush # 2 again made it harder.  President Obama has made it easier.  I am tempted to deal with this by becoming a modern day Know Nothing party, but I doubt this will work out any better for me than it did for that 19th century group.  The real solution is not in knowing nothing but in knowing nothing but.


At one time, the election of such an extreme pro-choice president would have changed everything in my mind.  In 1980 and 1984 I thought unless the pro-life Regan was elected the US would come to an end.  I thought similar apocalyptic thoughts about a 1996 senatorial election in Louisiana.  When the pro-life candidate was defeated by the rabidly pro-choice candidate in Catholic(!) Louisiana, I despaired greatly.  Then The Apocalypse saved me.



Revelation 4 shows the four living beings around the throne of God covered with eyes that see all things in heaven and on earth.  Neither in the eternal day of heaven nor in this present darkness do these cease to say, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  If they didn’t even hiccup when pro-death people come to power (let alone despair), I didn’t have to either.


Since the time of the Louisiana election, the Republicans, the party with a pro-life platform, did for a time control both houses of congress.  The pro-life party had a chance to change things significantly but in their quest to protect life they weren’t willing to die on that hill.



In my opinion, the pro-life issue is used by Republicans to garner votes from conservative Christians.  Witness Sarah Palin, in speaking before conservative Christian groups she pulls out all the stops on abortion.  When she debated Biden, however, she said what Bill Clinton has always said:  I want fewer abortions and in my personal view it’s wrong.


What we pro-lifers have always said is simply wrong.  We have said given the chance to vote on the right to abortion Americans would vote to repeal it. We would not.  Conservative South Dakota failed to pass an abortion ban in the last election.  As all ignoble pagan cultures are, we are a culture of death.  Whether a Democrat or Republican is in White House, the dead are busy burying their dead.  We don’t pin our hopes on the dead, but on the One risen from the dead who lives and reigns to all eternity….even here, even now.


Scripturally speaking, President Obama has a right to our money, our honor, and our prayers.  He has no right to our faith or our hope either inflating them or deflating them.  The same would be true if it were President McCain instead.


I admit when those who love death are waxing strong the temptation to despair (and other great shame and vice) is extreme.  And it doesn’t work trying to know nothing, i.e. don’t listen, watch, or read the news. In this age of news, news everywhere you just can’t know nothing, but you can with St. Paul, know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.  That’s who the four living creatures have their eyes on because they ceaselessly say their holy, holy, holy to the Lord “who was and who is and who is to come.”  And at these words the whole Church, both in heaven and earth, cast themselves and their crowns down before Him.  So let us fall, for in so falling we stand firm unto the end.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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