I suppose it's only fitting that my "return" post has a lot to do with current national politics...
I see that the Saddleback appearance was quite unkind to the presumptive Democratic candidate, Barrack Obama. I actually agree with the sentiments of some of his supporters who have observed that, in the environment of an Evangelical Christian church, Obama wouldn't have garnered much applause for defending his belief in a woman's right to choose, but at least he could have given a reasoned, solid opinion on the topic.
I tend to think, though, that his evasive answer on that question (and others as well), is symptomatic of a larger problem that, unfortunately, isn't limited to Obama.
The question was worded such that the request wasn't for scientific or theologic facts, but rather for a personal opinion. I dare say that even an "I don't know" answer would have been better for Obama, but he, and countless other politicians are apparently lacking the nerve to present any opinion whatsoever.
I personally think abortion is a bad thing. I also believe that life begins at conception. Do I think I'm right? Well, I suppose I could choose to believe something I think is false, but that's somewhat counterintuitive. Am I open to that opinion changing? Sure. Do I think that I have enough knowledge to intelligently argue the point scientifically or theologically with an expert in either field? Probably not.
But I can still tell you what I believe. I can also, particularly when I'm in the company of several people who I know have differing opinions, express that I don't have an authoritative answer, and although I hold deep-seated convictions about the matter, I still respect your viewpoint. I can paint myself as an opinionated, but not necessarily dogmatic adherent to any principle in which I believe.
I will not, however, be afraid to give my opinion.
I sincerely wish we had more politicians with the same attitude.