“I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”
- Barack Obama
Last time I checked, the nebulous principle to which Obama refers, the one he is striving to identify abortion in violation of? How about the right to life? I know, I know, it's a tricky moral issue best left to the careful contemplation of the individual, but you see, when individual autonomy is threatened by, oh I don't know, untimely death, those of us who live must raise our voices.
Yes, even when our "opinions" violate the "rights" of others; even when our "religious convictions" muddy our politics. Because you see, some issues, no matter how unsavory, cannot simply be relegated to the realm of personal belief. By denying the dignity of the weakest members of society, how can we expect to achieve any moral greatness?
How do we generate compassion for strangers dying in deserts a half a world away in a populace that is accustomed to destroying life in its own midst at the slightest hint of inconvenience? We hear a lot of rhetoric about the war in Iraq, about how the truly pro life voter must consider the ramifications of being a dreaded single issue voter and please, for the love of God you simpletons, won't you consider the ramifications of a vote for a candidate who would continue the bloodshed in the Middle East?
Good point. But what about that old adage that charity begins at home, a reality that history has proven time and again? We beg Americans to have mercy, to think of those who suffer at a dreadful cost for our convenience, but we turn away from those in our midst who would inconvenience us by their existence. Abortion is the ultimate entitlement issue, you see, in a world where "individual rights" reign supreme. Yes, by all means, buy that hybrid car and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Please, attend that fundraiser in support of war orphans.
And consider not turning a blind eye to the terrorism and the social injustice that is being committed every day in our own land. Consider the fact that one in four of our own brethren will not survive until birth. Consider the eugenic arrogance of assigning value to the life of another human person, based on arbitrary circumstances and events beyond that person's control. Sounds familiar, huh?
Our present capacity for genuine compassion for the human person is retarded by the pervasive spirit of utilitarianism that colors every aspect of modern life. So reluctant are we to tread on the toes of someone else's personal opinion, so reluctant to make a value judgement, we've lost all ability to assign real value or to make sound judgements.
So by all means, keep your beliefs to yourself. Sip your latte, read your morning paper, and sigh heavily over the sterilized reports of violence and destruction filtered to us from across the globe. But by all means, keep your religious convictions out of politics. Stand by in silence while those who are deemed "inconvenient" are exterminated for the greater good. This has worked out nicely for us, as a species, in the past...