Saturday, August 07, 2004

Pro-life Democrats vs. big, bad Republicans

I can sympathize with the dilemma of a pro-life Democrat like Jim Wallis; at least, in my better moments, I try to.

And then I read what Wallis actually says, and I'm back to my worse moments again. He writes:
Many Democrats fail to comprehend how fundamental the conviction on "the sacredness of human life" is for millions of Christians, especially Catholics and evangelicals, including those who are strongly committed on other issues of justice and peace and those who wouldn’t criminalize abortion even as they oppose it.

The reason Democrats don't appreciate how deeply affected pro-life Democrats are by the sacredness of life is that the life issues don't make it to the top of the pro-life Democrats' own lists.

Take Wallis's own cry from the heart: "those who are strongly committed on other issues of justice and peace and those who wouldn’t criminalize abortion even as they oppose it." Quick now, wipe away those tears of sympathy for the plight of the pro-life Dems and look at this again. They wouldn't criminalize abortion even as they oppose it. What form does that opposition take? Making laws against it? Well, no. That would be criminalizing it. Voting for anti-abortion politicians? Well, no. By Wallis's own observation (and mine as well), if a politician votes pro-life he becomes a pariah in his own party. Marching in mass demonstrations? The Democrats for Life delegation is small. Working in crisis pregnancy centers? Most of those volunteers are ladies of no particular political orientation, but I would bet that the majority, if they vote, vote Republican.

No, opposing abortion means complaining about both Democrats and Republicans and advocating more Democrat power because "Democrats are the only ones who could initiate a common project to make abortion truly 'rare' in America." How they would go about this common project when they are by Wallis's own witness hostile to any protection of unborn life is not clear.

What it all comes down to--I could have guessed if I had thought about it--is that "Republicans stress some life issues, Democrats others, while both violate the seamless garment of life on several vital matters." Yes, the beloved seamless garment--the idea that abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, regime change in Iraq, the Kyoto protocols, the minimum wage, and the 1.75% Podunk County income tax increase are all on the same level of "respect for life." In other words, toss the unborn into a sack with convicted murders, Saddam Hussein and Arafat, the job outlook for inner-city teen-agers and whether an entrepreneur can open a shop in Podunk county, shake the whole mixture and pour it out on a counter and see what comes out on top. Now vote. Democrat.

See how easy it is? And you get to maintain your sense of moral superiority while voting with the people who determine your cool quotient.

But read the whole article. It'll be a year's worth of really high-level mushy sentimentality (not suitable for low-carb diets).

SOURCE: Godspy

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