Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caylee Anthony

The news just hit that Casey Anthony was found not guilty of the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. I admit that I really didn't keep up with the trial. I didn't see or hear any evidence in the case, so I am in no position to cast judgment on the jurors because of their verdict. But the comments on this article (over fourteen thousand of them now, and the story is just a few hours old) show a deep level of outrage over the perception that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter so that she could continue her comfortable, partying lifestyle, and that the system is allowing her to get away with this.

But I have to ask, where is the outrage for all the other dead children? Women by the thousands have hired professional killers to rip their babies apart, all so these women can continue in their comfortable, partying lifestyles. The murder of a human being is the murder of a human being, regardless of that human being's stage of development. Our government's primary task is to protect and ensure the inalienable right to life of each and every person. If we aren't outraged by the thousands of murders going on around us every day and by our government's disregard of such murders, why should we be so outraged by this one?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Life, Liberty, and Property

I am now a card-carrying Libertarian. Over the past few months, as I have given real and open thought to issues regarding the proper role of government, I have grown increasingly frustrated with the positions of the Republican Party, not the least of which is its "pro-life" stance. It is only natural that I seek alternatives. But why would someone who is as against legalized abortion as I am turn to the Libertarian Party?

The one and only reason for government to exist is to protect the right to life, liberty, and property of each individual. (To see what I mean by property, read the highly, highly recommended The Law by Frederic Bastiat.) This principle of government limited to the protection of basic individual rights can be found in our country's founding document, the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." The only political philosophy that tries to uphold this ideal without saying that government should take care of all our basic needs (or even worse, our every need) is libertarianism.

Of course, the Libertarian Party is not perfect. The party website (www.lp.org) proclaims that it is the Party of Principle. And yet, section 1.4 of the 2010 party platform says:

1.4 Abortion

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

What kind of principle is that? Government should be kept out of the matter? The protection of the right to life of all persons is the number one function of government. One cannot hold property if one does not have liberty, and one cannot have liberty without life. The protection of the right to life is the highest priority of any government. And government must do this for all persons. We cannot allow government to exclude any class of human beings from this protection. The government of our forefathers did this to black slaves; the government of Nazi Germany did this to the Jews and other groups. If the Libertarian Party had existed in the United States in 1840, would it have stated that slavery is a sensitive issue and that government should stay out of it? I'm fairly sure that most Libertarian Party members today would say no, and yet slavery was just as divisive an issue then as abortion is now.

Speaking very generally, people come to the Libertarian Party after thinking logically about issues involving what makes a good and proper government (it sure isn't because they want to be on the winning side of elections). So thinking logically, every human being has an origin. Every person has a birthdate, but each person existed before his or her birth, living and growing within the womb. The only logical point of origin for an individual human being is the moment when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg. Before that moment, a sperm cell is just a sperm cell. An egg is just an egg. But when the two join, an individual human being is created with all the requisite chromosomes and DNA. Therefore, if each individual human being has the inalienable right to life (inalienable meaning inherent or from God), then he or she obtains that right at this moment of origin. It is government's primary responsibility to protect that right from that moment forward in the same way it protects that right for all of us (by creating laws against murder, etc.).

Government must extend that responsibility to all human beings, regardless of the circumstances of a person's origin. Conventional pro-lifers and/or Republicans who claim to be against abortion except in cases of rape or incest (i.e. our current governor Rick Perry) display a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue and give the pro-abortion lobby more ammunition against the "pro-life" movement than it otherwise would have. When someone says that he is against abortion except in cases of rape, incest, maternal health, etc., one really says that he doesn't want people who engage in sexual activity outside of marriage to escape the "punishment" of having a baby, etc. Those who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest didn't choose to engage in sex outside of marriage; therefore, they can go ahead and get rid of their baby. It is this attitude that led to Obama, the most pro-abortion president this country has ever had, saying that he didn't want his daughter punished with a baby. This faulty "pro-life" thinking serves to keep dehumanizing the unborn child, which is the ultimate goal of the pro-abortion lobby and the abortion industry.

Now, government has no place in the de facto regulation of the sexual behavior of consenting adults. People should have the liberty to engage in personal relationships and to choose their own sexual practices without government intervention. If people are not free to make bad choices, then people are not really free. This liberty also means that people must take responsibility for their actions, especially if those actions result in the creation of another human being (and by responsibility, I mean that they don't murder their baby). But the child who is conceived as a result of a rape is still a human being with the same inalienable right to life as any other person.

To be truly pro-life is to respect the personhood of every human being, from the point of fertilization to natural death. Two factors sparked my journey to libertarianism: 1) our current government has greatly overstepped its bounds by not only not protecting the right to liberty and property but by trampling on it itself via excessive taxation and redistribution; and 2) my dissatisfaction with the Republican Party's non-personhood approach to the abortion issue. It is my hope that more Libertarians will see the logic behind personhood and work toward a government that protects the right to life, liberty, and property for all human beings and limits itself to that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pro-Life Bills?

Rick Perry has designated the passage of a sonogram bill as a "legislative emergency." As a result, the Republian-controlled Texas Legislature will rush through legislation that will require abortionists to show ultrasound images to pregnant women who seek abortions. Seemingly everyone is hailing this as a "pro-life" achievement. The reasoning is that more women will decide not to murder their children once they see the ultrasound.

My wife and I have two children, and we had ultrasounds done during each pregnancy. Honestly, to me, the images on the screen looked more like those of an old black and white television after all the stations had gone off the air than those of a baby. I fail to see how looking at these snowy sonograms would convince any woman of the humanity of her preborn child, especially after she has already bought into the lies spewed by the "pro-choice" propaganda machine.

The big problem with this legislation is that it further codifies abortion into law. We don't need more laws on abortion, we need fewer. In fact, we need to wipe out all abortion laws and simply define a person as a human being at every stage of development. The Texas Penal Code already defines a person in this way; it is the regulations on abortion, many of them passed as "pro-life bills," that keep abortion legal. Any bill that ends with some form of "and then you can kill the baby" should never be considered a pro-life bill.

The proper function of government is to protect the life, liberty, and property of each individual human being. This protection should apply to EVERY human being, without regard to stage of development or any other factor (race, gender, etc.). To exclude any class of human beings from this protection is a failure of this principle of proper government.

When will Texas have a legislator who is principled enough to vote against any bill with specifies a legal condition under which one human being may kill another innocent human being? Do we allow parents to murder their teenage children after forcing them to look at baby pictures of those teenagers? Of course not. A person is a person at any stage of development, from embryo to infant to toddler to adolescent, etc. And yet, the powers that be consider this sonogram bill to be a pro-life bill. It is sad that legislators today care more about their one hundred percent pro-life voting record from right-to-life organizations or their endorsements from Texas Alliance for Life than they do about true principles. And what good are those ratings and endorsements when they come from organizations which are defined by 38 years of failure?

If I were a state legislator, I would vote against these current bills and propose one of my own. My bill would eliminate EVERY abortion law and regulation in Texas and would simply define a person as a human being at every stage of development. Abortion would then be treated as any other form of murder. If one would reject the myth that Roe v. Wade gave women a "constitutional right" to get an abortion and really read the majority opinion of the case, especially Footnote 54, one would see that personhood legislation would not violate any mandate of that decision.

It is time for all Texans, but especially our elected officials, to re-evaluate their own principles and to take a stand on those principles. Life is the most basic of rights, and it applies to all human beings. Government has no place in selecting which human beings deserve to have that right protected and which don't...