Friday, July 21, 2006

Culture of Life?

I'm a bit confused about the White House's position on the sanctity of life. Perhaps someone in the reading audience can help.

There are just two intellectually coherent positions on human life. You can be like the Catholic Church and say that it's all holy and to be protected. This means, as the Catholic Church teaches, that abortions, stem cell research, war, and executions are all equally offensive to the sacredness of human life.

You can also be like the progressives who say that life begins sometime after conception, so there are certain protections which need not be extended to fetuses and stem cells. A progressive isn't being inconsistant when he embraces stem cell research or abortion, while also opposing war and capital punishment because he believes that life, though sacred, does not begin within the first few days, weeks, or months of a preganancy.

What you can not do, however, is make pious sounding noises about the sanctity of life and then shrug your shoulders while civilians die in Israel, Iraq and Lebanon. You can't embrace capital punishment, while bending over backwards to protect embryos. If life matters, life matters.

[Where do I stand? None of your business, really, but I suppose I'd put myself in the progressive camp. I do think life begins in the very early stages of a pregnancy, but I recognize this is a statement of theology, not scientific fact, and I am shy about imposing my theology on other people. I oppose captial punishment, except when a case can be made that the death of an individual would benefit society. I oppose using it as a deterrent (because it isn't) or as a punishment (because, too often the wrong person is convicted.)]

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