LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--Evangelical leaders say presumptive Republican nominee John McCain made significant strides toward attracting the votes of social conservatives Aug. 16 during a presidential forum in which he and Democrat Barack Obama differed sharply on abortion, "gay rights" and the judiciary.
The two men appeared on stage separately for one hour each at Saddleback Church in California and were asked nearly identical questions by the congregation's pastor, Rick Warren. The event was dubbed "the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency."
"...people have a very clear choice. ... I think [McCain] assuaged [social conservatives'] doubts about his commitment to the pro-life cause and his understanding of it.
-- Richard Land
Although some pro-family leaders had expressed concern the forum wouldn't cover hot-button social issues, those fears were proved wrong minutes into the event when Warren, noting that there have been about 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, asked Obama, "At what point does a baby get human rights?"
"I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective," Obama responded, "answering that question with specificity is above my pay-grade."
Obama added that he believes "there is a moral and ethical element" to the abortion issue but stressed that he is pro-choice.
"I believe in Roe v. Wade, and I come to that conclusion not because I'm pro-abortion, but because, ultimately, I don't think women make these decisions casually," he said.
Asked the same question about when a baby gets human rights, McCain said "at the moment of conception."
"I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress [and] in the Senate," he said.... Read More