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My wife and I have felt for many years that abortion is NOT the decision to be made by government or law; it is a deeply personal decision, in which spiritual support, parental and family support, and Christian love all play a significant role.

Unfortunately, this issue has been politicized and thus has become a flashpoint for those on "either side" of the debate. And some commentators, either conservative or liberal, have chosen to inflame the rhetoric in order to justify their position as well as enhance their political standing.

In the last few years of increasingly hostile debate about "conservative vs. liberal" issues, America has struggled to regain our sense of civil debate and compromise, one of the cornerstones our our republic. I believe we are seeing the unravelling of this divisive approach in the changing attitude reflected by Sen. Obama in the most recent debate, when he offered that "we can disagree without being disagreeable and try to reach a position based on mutual and shared ideas". For too long, toxic rhetoric has poisoned our national psyche, and the results are plain to see; the "if you're not for us, you're against us" fingerpointing during the run up to invading Iraq; the Swift Boat attacks during the 2004 campaign; the senseless and vitriolic attacks by Right against Left over abortion ; and the inflammatory speaches by Pres. Bush and Sec. Rice which had us on the road to attacking Iran. Has all of this anger and hatred moved us one step closer to addressing the problem of abortion, or any other of the serious issues we face? No.

It is clear to many that abortion is a bad thing; it is also becoming clear that the reasons for abortion are much more complicated than as portrayed by certain right-wing factions, and that abortion is not a civil right as guaranteed by the Constitution, according to the Left, but a legal act as affirmed in Roe v. Wade.

We need to engage in civil debate as rational, moral beings, and try to come to some shared position on this issue. For too long, it has been exploited by the ultra-right wing faction of the GOP, which lead folks to vote for a president who recklessly and untruthfully lead us to war. Voters have been treated with contempt by those who knew that some would vote for a candidate solely because of his/her position on this issue, regardless of their ideology on other issues. As one post above asked: "Does being pro-life involve ONLY infant life?" People of faith are tasked by God with respecting His creation, and that means ALL creation, not just the unborn. We are heartened to see that many folks are beginning to see and undertsnad that we are stewards here, of ALL life; one responsibility of stewardship is to guard against too mush passion in one case, and too little in another. We pray that this will one day be so in America.