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Friday, December 14, 2012

Answering Liberals "Gotcha" Questions

As much as the establishment GOP would like for the “social” (I prefer “moral”) issues to go away, liberals simply won’t allow it. Contrary to popular belief, lately it has been liberals on offense when it comes to making the moral issues into campaign issues. How ironic is it that, when jobs and the economy are overwhelmingly the leading issue in a political campaign, liberals insist on debating the moral issues. Contrary to GOP establishment beliefs, this is not a bad thing.

Conservative Christians are on the side of the truth when it comes to abortion, same-sex marriage, evolution, and so on. We simply need candidates who truly believe our positions and can intelligently articulate them. When debating the moral issues, too many GOP candidates are simply pandering. Other conservatives have their hearts in the right place, but they are unable to communicate effectively their positions when put on the spot by liberals—whether their opponent or the media.

If your heart and your mind are not in this debate, serious mistakes can (and will) be made (ask Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock). I can’t change anyone’s heart, but I can provide some mental ammunition when it comes to debating the moral issues.

Thus, as a public service to conservative Christians everywhere, but especially to those running for public office, this column is a primer for how to answer those “gotcha” questions that any candidate opposing a liberal will inevitably have to answer.

First of all, on the question of rape and abortion, as Mike Adams of Townhall.com points out, one should use significant caution when discussing such matters. Next, I would advise an approach taken by Jesus Christ Himself. Often, when doubters were attempting to trap Jesus with their “gotcha” questions, to reveal their ignorance and hypocrisy, Christ responded with a question of His own.

There are several such questions with which to respond when asked why one does not support abortion in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape.  For example, almost certainly the person urging a rape exception does not really believe in the exception.  As Adams also points out, “[i]n order for there to be an exception to a rule banning abortions, there has to be a rule banning abortions. That much is obvious. It is also obvious that pro-choicers do not merely want abortion to be available in cases of rape. They want it available in all cases.”

Thus, one should ask them: If I agree to the rape exception, would you then agree to ban abortion in all other cases? Also point out that there are literally thousands of people alive today who were born as a result of a rape. (A good idea would be to name a specific example.) Ask if it would be acceptable to kill that person because of the circumstances of his or her conception.

Another good question, as I pointed out months ago, would be: Instead of killing the innocent child in the womb, why not execute the rapist? A follow up would be: Do liberals (or others) who support abortion in cases of rape also support the execution of rapists? Perhaps the best question would be, why compound one evil deed with another? Rape is a horrific evil, but so is the taking of an innocent life.

On the issue of marriage, conservatives are often asked if they support same-sex marriage (or more sinisterly, a loaded question such as “Do you support marriage equality?”). The conservative response should be “No,” immediately followed by, “How would you discriminate and define marriage?”

Most liberals want to define marriage as a union between any two consenting adults. Of course, this ignores polygamy, polyandry, and other variations of multiples marrying. The point is (as I pointed out months ago), any definition of marriage is “discriminatory;” it just comes down to whose definition you want to use.

It should also be pointed out that, once same-sex marriage has legal recognition and protection, businesses, schools, churches, and so on could then face legal consequences if they “discriminate” against same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage supporters should have to answer whether they would support such legal actions.

Then there is the dreaded, “How old do you think the earth is?” question. Once such a question is asked, any conservative worth his weight should seriously consider ending the interview/debate right then and there.

This question is nothing more than a blatant attempt by liberals and their apologists to paint conservatives as “religious nuts” or “anti-science bumblers.” As Paul Krugman of the New York Times put it after Marco Rubio was asked about the age of the earth, “Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party.”

Of course, what liberals are really trying to get at is whether their conservative target accepts Darwinian evolution (D.E.) as “the gospel” when it comes to how life began. Without billions of years, D.E. is as dead as a dinosaur fossil. This is why liberals are so committed to millions and billions of years. Thus, the conservative retort should aim to redirect back to D.E.

Use questions such as: do you really believe that humans, monkeys, elephants, antelopes, lions, lizards, apples, apricots, roses, and rhododendrons all have a common ancestor?  Do you believe that all life on earth came into being without a Creator? What does D.E. contribute to operational science today? (In other words, what is D.E., other than an attempt to explain our existence without a Creator?) If D.E. is so fundamental to science (as most evolutionists will claim), then why is it possible to reject completely D.E. and millions/billions of years and still operate perfectly well in any scientific field (including medicine)? And similarly, as Rubio put it, what does D.E. have to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States?

It would also be worth pointing out (as I did last year) that two of the greatest scientists who ever lived, Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler, both calculated the earth to be only a few thousand years old. Kepler calculated a creation date of 3992, and Newton firmly defended a creation date of about 4000 B.C.

The most important thing to remember when faced with difficult questions is that there is such a thing as absolute truth, and there is an Author of this truth. We will only get the right answers to the difficult questions when we allow ourselves to be guided by His wisdom. As Newton put it, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2012, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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