The perusers of this blog may enjoy this read. Without further comment from me at the moment… This column appeared in the Washington Post on Friday September 29, 2006. “Bush’s Conception Conflict” By Michael Kinsley.
October 5, 2006Nonviolence, Polemics, Politics
JDaniel, I’m curious to hear your commentary on this article. I think it’s the first one I’ve ever read trying to tackle the pro-life moniker. It was one of the most common critiques of the right I heard when I lived in DC, especially with how unpopular the Iraq war was there from the beginning (among the average Washingtonian, mind you, not on the Hill). Ah, how I miss the WaPo…
I have wondered about this for some time now. How is it that opponents of abortion can support (even if only by their silence) in vitro fertilization (not to mention war and capital punishment)? An astute and well-read friend of mine pointed out that Ron Sider has addressed this in one of his books, Completely Pro-Life (ISBN: 0877844968), in which he calls for consistency in the pro-life agenda promoted by Christians. Though I have not read his book, I agree that something is amiss when on one hand some Christians vociferously oppose abortion and yet do nothing or even blatantly support other practices which cost or could cost as many or more human lives (however human life is defined).
I agree with Kinsley’s indictment of President Bush’s inconsistency and think it is a reasonable argument. However, it seems to me that his point is, at least in part, to call for national funding for human embryonic stem cell research. He sites a philosopher in support of his argument that the moral difference between two deliberate actions leading to death of innocents is a matter of intentions. (Another astute and well-read friend suggested that Kinsley was referring to Immanuel Kant.) This argument is used to justify the war against terrorists (or communists, fascists, barbarians or any scapegoat you can find). I’m not sure that this argument is persuasive enough for me at this point.
So, I think consistency is important and I think life is important. These are complex issues– abortion, fertility, stem cell research, war, capital punishment. Although we might prefer simple cut-and-dried answers, they are not always readily at hand. But face them we must– as a society, as the church and as young anabaptist radicals.
As a side note, I like Eric’s comment on the terms pro-life and pro-choice.
“This is not religion versus science. There are people of faith and people of goodwill on both sides of the argument”
Professor Gerard Magill