Friday, August 13, 2010

Liberal "Rights"

I usually try to keep this blog limited to issues dealing with abortion and personhood, but most people who support prolife issues are also in opposition to same sex marriage. Some of the arguments made against the ruling in Federal District Court striking down Proposition 8, California's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, might conflict with those made on behalf of the right to life of unborn children. Because of this, I am posting this, although I do so with some hesitation.

I agree that the ruling in this case is terrible. However, many of the arguments that I have heard in opposition to this ruling are not very well thought out. It is a fact that a majority of California voters approved this amendment, and it is also a fact that one solitary judge has overruled this majority. But these facts cannot be turned into the sole argument used against the ruling, that it was wrong for one judge to overrule a majority of voters like this. In fact, I would discard this argument altogether.

In a Virginia Commonwealth University Life Sciences survey from May 2010 (, only 15% of respondents answered that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. 44% stated that abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances, such as in cases of rape or incest. 37% said that abortions should be legal and available in any circumstance. According to the Declaration of Independence, the right to life of all human beings comes from our Creator and is inalienable. It is not granted by the government and cannot be taken by the government. And, as the Declaration of Independence describes, government has been instituted among men to ensure that right. The fact that only 15% answered the survey in support of this ideal in no way means that the government should continue to allow abortions. Our country is not a pure democracy. If it were, fifty-one percent of the people could vote to enslave the other forty-nine percent. This is why opinion polls on abortion matter little to me. Legalized abortion is wrong. It is the denial of one of the most basic of rights, the right to life, to an entire class of human beings, and I will continue to fight for the protection of this right, no matter what polls say.

I realize that proponents of gay marriage are making a similar argument to the one I just made, that a majority of people cannot and should not vote to deny the rights of the minority. The flaw in their argument centers around their idea of "rights," a word that has been thrown around a lot lately. Everyone wants “equal rights” or “civil rights” or a “right to marry whomever.” But what constitutes a right in this country?

I return to that founding document of our nation, the Declaration of Independence. It says that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. These rights include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are pretty self explanatory. Now that I have come into being, I have the right to continue being, the right to remain alive. That requires no obligation from anyone else. I have the right to liberty. I can go where I want, think what I want, say what I want. That also requires no obligation on the part of anyone else. And I have the right to pursue happiness. I don’t have a right to be happy, only to pursue being happy. Once again, this places no obligation on anyone else.

Our country’s other great document, the Constitution, contains the Bill of Rights. I’ve always viewed these as restrictions on government in support of those basic rights described in the Declaration. The government can’t limit what I write or what I say; it can’t prevent me from holding whatever religious beliefs I happen to hold; it can’t prevent me from bearing arms; it can’t search my home without warrant or probable cause to believe I have committed some crime, etc.

Liberals in government today are trying to inflict a whole bevy of “rights” on the people. They say everyone has a “right to healthcare,” a “right to own a home,” a “right to marry whomever they chose,” etc., etc. These are not rights. I do not have a “right to healthcare.” Is there someone obligated by the government to give me healthcare? What about that person’s right to liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc.? People do not have a right to own a home. The recent failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be indicators that some people should not be given mortgages. And yet, the government tried to obligate banks and mortgage companies into giving these bad loans. I saw a picture on Drudge Report yesterday of a young woman sitting dejectedly on a curb holding a sign which read, “A job is a right.”

I want to say to her, “No, a job is not a right. No one is obligated to give you a job. If you want a job, go out and make yourself marketable.”

And now liberals want to make marriage a right. No one has a “right” to get married. We do all have a right to pursue happiness, and this would include the choice of a life partner (if, of course, that life partner is willing). I found a woman who wanted to spend the rest of her life with me. The feeling was mutual. The two of us hold the same religious beliefs. We formed a union based on those beliefs (i.e., we were married by a Southern Baptist preacher). We did get a marriage license, and we did go register it with the county clerk, according to the law at that time, more because it is expected of us by those around us than because of anything else. Legally, we didn’t have to register with the State, and only because of current law does the State recognize the marriage. The marriage agreement was between my wife and me in accordance with our beliefs. Our marriage is recognized by the State and by other public entities, like our employers, our church, our doctors, etc. They are under no obligation to recognize the marriage other than their own policies and practices.

Throughout the history of this country, marriage has generally been defined as the union of one man and one woman. For this reason, marriages between men and women are recognized by all kinds of entities, both public and private. What proponents of same sex marriage want is to obligate those same entities to recognize “marriages” between persons of the same sex. The issue isn’t about allowing homosexuals to “marry.” They can already do that. This is about forcing local governments, private companies, and public institutions to recognize these marriages when, in reality, these entities were never forced to recognize heterosexual marriage.

The Bible is one of the oldest written documents in the history of the human species. I happen to believe that it is a gift from God and that it is His Word to us. Millions of other people believe the same thing. According to the Bible, acts of homosexuality are sins (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27). Thanks to the relentless public relations campaign of those who tout this same sex marriage agenda, those of us who hold this belief are increasingly viewed as intolerant or hateful. This judge’s ruling, that we all have to recognize “marriages” of people of the same sex, will almost criminalize a belief in the Bible.

For example, the State of Massachusetts is one of the few that now recognizes same sex marriage. They also have a plethora of “anti-discrimination” laws on the books. The Catholic Church had been running an adoption service in the State, and, to comply with these anti-discrimination laws, Massachusetts ordered them to place adoptive children in homes with parents of the same sex. This, of course, goes against the beliefs of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, but, since these “marriages” were now recognized by the State, they were forced to treat them the same as heterosexual couples. Rather than fight a long and costly court battle, the Church decided to cease adoptions in Massachusetts (

The main reason for this post is not simply to argue about how wrong same sex marriage is but to demonstrate the need for care in making those arguments. We cannot contradict what we have said on behalf of our unborn children.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Personal Story

I spend a lot of time on this blog criticizing our elected officials for inaction on right to life issues and for giving the Roe v. Wade court decision the effective force of a Constitutional amendment (which it does not have) as well as railing against the abortion providers who have become expert at deceiving so many scared and confused young women.

For the past three months, it has been my honor to serve in the nursery every Sunday morning at my church. I'm the director for a room caring for babies who are roughly 6 to 12 months old (although some of them have passed the 12-month mark in the past couple of weeks--they grow so fast!). The mom of one of these precious babies posted the story of her own abortion experience, and she has graciously given me permission to pass it on. I hope all who read it are blessed by it:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rape and Incest

I was listening to Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show on my way to work this morning. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel was the guest, and Bill asked her about her pro-life stance. She gave a pretty standard "pro-life" answer, stating that abortions should generally be prohibited but that exceptions should be allowed for cases of rape or incest. I also found a blog post on her campaign website, where she says, "And while I will not seek to prohibit abortions in the extremely rare cases of rape, incest, or where there is a real threat to the life of the mother, I will do everything in my power to encourage and promote alternatives to abortion in these tragic situations."

This kind of thinking (or lack of thinking) is what is wrong in the pro-life movement today. If someone takes the position that human life begins at conception, then that someone must regard each and every abortion as the murder of a human person. If any single preborn child is to be considered a living human being, then ALL preborn children must be considered living human beings, without regard to the circumstances of that child's conception. Allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest is tantamount to saying that children in the womb are not living persons and can be killed at will, that we merely want to outlaw abortions in general in order to punish women for their sexual practices and enforce our moral views but that women who get pregnant through no fault of their own, as in cases of rape or incest, should be able to end their pregancies if they want to. On a purely logical basis, that position is indefensible. If unborn children are human beings and if each abortion kills an unborn child, then each and every abortion must be regarded as the murder of a human being and should be treated accordingly by our legal system. Those on the pro-abortion side know that the whole "exceptions for rape and incest" position does grave harm to the pro-life position; this is why they keep bringing up the rape and incest issue in public discourse.

I have to return to Footnote 54 of the Roe v. Wade decision:

When Texas urges that a fetus is entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection as a person, it faces a dilemma. Neither in Texas nor in any other State are all abortions prohibited. Despite broad proscription, an exception always exists. The exception contained [410 U.S. 113, 158] in Art. 1196, for an abortion procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, is typical. But if the fetus is a person who is not to be deprived of life without due process of law, and if the mother's condition is the sole determinant, does not the Texas exception appear to be out of line with the Amendment's command?

There are other inconsistencies between Fourteenth Amendment status and the typical abortion statute. It has already been pointed out, n. 49, supra, that in Texas the woman is not a principal or an accomplice with respect to an abortion upon her. If the fetus is a person, why is the woman not a principal or an accomplice? Further, the penalty for criminal abortion specified by Art. 1195 is significantly less than the maximum penalty for murder prescribed by Art. 1257 of the Texas Penal Code. If the fetus is a person, may the penalties be different?

As much as I hate to agree with anything in such a horrible and disastrous court opinion, the court's logic in this section is sound. If we are pro-life because we believe that unborn children are living human beings with the God-given right to life, then we must demand that our government protect that right to life for ALL unborn children just as we demand that it protect the right to life of all persons already born. This is the goal of Texas Personhood and other advocates of personhood legislation.