Thursday, November 11, 2010

Post-election Report, Christianity, and Libertarians for Life

It has been way too long since my last entry in this blog. Life has been busy; October seemed to go by in a blur.

Since I am the Republican Party Precinct Chair for my voting precinct, I spent all day on Election Day at the polling place serving as Election Judge. I arrived at 5:45 AM to begin setting up voting booths and equipment (and I did this the morning after attending Game 5 of the World Series). The polls opened at 7:00 AM and closed at 7:00 PM. As Election Judge, I was required to stay at the polling place the entire day. Of course, we still had a line of about fifty people at 7:00 PM, so we didn't actually shut everything down until about 7:45. I delivered the ballots, equipment, and paperwork to the county election station at 9:30 PM. The whole day left me exhausted, and I didn't watch a single minute of TV election coverage that night.

But we all know what happened. Rick Perry was re-elected governor, and Republicans won a majority in the United States House of Representatives and greatly increased their majority in the Texas House. I have mixed feelings about all of this. On the one hand, the defeat of pro-abortion Democrats is always a good thing. On the other, Republicans haven't done much except give lip-service to real pro-life issues for many years. The resistance of the Republican Party establishment and of supposedly pro-life organizations like Texas Alliance for Life to the personhood issue is still substantial.

Some of the "pro-life" bills that newly-elected legislators have been filing are disappointing. The most common are bills which prohibit taxpayer funded abortion, a move toward nullifying parts of Obamacare. What these bills tell the abortionists is that it's OK to go on murdering babies just as long as they don't take public money for doing it. Why can't we elect legislators with the guts to really take a stand against unconstitutional federal action, especially action perpetrated by the US Supreme Court over the past several decades?

Since the election, the race for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives has taken center stage. Joe Straus, Speaker for the last session of the Legislature, was elected to that post by eleven liberal Republicans and all of the House Democrats. Supposedly, the deal that Straus and his cohorts made with the Democrats included a stipulation that no "pro-life" bills would make it to the floor of the House.

I was listening to the Wells Report on the radio the other day, and Representative Leo Berman was on talking about the race for Speaker. I can't quote him verbatim, but he said something to the effect that he only votes for pro-life people because being pro-life indicates that the person believes in God. That statement got me thinking. Why is the pro-life movement perceived as an exclusively Christian one?

I am a Christian, and I love the Personhood USA organization. Personhood USA's message is that all human beings are persons, regardless of the stage of biological development, and should be recognized as persons by law. About the only criticism I have of Personhood USA is that they present personhood so closely tied to Christianity. According to the website, their mission is "to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child." With a mission statement like that, those who are hostile to the Christian faith, for whatever reason, may not ever hear the philosophical and logical arguments in favor of personhood.

I've considered myself somewhat libertarian for a good many years now. In fact, I openly supported Kathie Glass, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor, over Rick Perry. The photo is of me and Ms. Glass.

I have never actually joined the Libertarian Party because of their horrible platform position on abortion. But it has been my view that government's only legitmate purpose was to protect each individual's right to life, liberty, and property. Beyond that, each individual should be free to live his or her life, provided that he or she does not infringe on others' rights to life, liberty, and property.

My libertarian leanings led me to the Libertarians for Life website. This organization makes purely philosophical and scientific arguments in favor of the recognition of preborn children as persons under the law.

To explain and defend our case, LFL argues that:

1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.

2. Abortion is homicide -- the killing of one person by another.

3. One's right to control one's own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.

4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother's body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.

5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally "de-person" any one of us, born or preborn.

6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.