Drew Westen on the Huffington Post blog (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/drew-westen/from-nuanced-to-principle_b_119810.html) suggests that Obama might have replied to Pastor Rick Warren on the abortion issue better than Obama's response. He says he might have said:
"We need to find the common ground on abortion, reflecting our shared moral beliefs, not the beliefs that divide us. We are all united in the belief that we should do everything we can to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, teen pregnancies, and abortions, starting with instilling in our children both the values and the knowledge to make good choices. And we all agree that abortion shouldn't be used as a form of birth control and shouldn't be an option late in pregnancy except when the mother's life or health is in danger. I could go on and talk about how misguided I think our currently policies are that deny access to birth control to women and teenagers in our inner cities, which does nothing but perpetuate the cycle of poverty, stop young people from getting an education and fulfilling their God-given potential, and make it more likely that they'll have children before they're ready to be good parents. But the main point I want to make is that in this country, we don't force one person to live by another person's faith. This should be a personal and moral issue, not a political one."
He has a response that has some merit in my mind, but is has some political double talk. Westen says that most Americans don't agree with McCain's position of total opposition to any abortion. He says that polls show only 30% of Americans believe all abortions should be illegal. The majority of evangelical Christians who made up Warren's audience believe a middle ground of when an abortion may take place should befound.
I do think that we need to abandon the idea that the sole test for a candidate to be elected to public office should be their stand on abortion and gay marriage when we have so many other issues that are of extreme importance to this country.