Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Kerry confuses me: By now this is old news -- sort of -- but last weekend Sen. John Kerry came out with a statement that had me dumbstruck. Kerry and I disagree on a lot of things -- most things -- but on this we agree:
I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception.
What has disturbed me and many others has been trying to form a logically and morally consistent train of thought between that statement and Kerry's support of abortion-on-demand. Kerry is even opposed to the ban on partial birth abortion -- something even the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan likened to infanticide.
Perhaps, the only explanation is that suggested by Edward Morrissey:
These beliefs and definitions lead to one purpose: to define life so as to protect it. After all, only the lunatic fringe wouldn't try to defend innocent life, once established. Catholics wish to protect life from conception forward, and others seek to protect it from their definition of its inception. John Kerry, in his remarks to the Iowa newspaper, comes up with a completely different raison d'etre -- he seeks to define life so as to protect his political career. Kerry now admits he practices hypocrisy on a scale so monstrous, it boggles the mind.
If life begins at conception, why then does John Kerry not only agree to allow abortion, but campaigns on its behalf? Does he care so little for human life and the souls of the unborn that he cheerfully sells them out for political gain? John Kerry was one of only 14 Senators who voted to continue the practice of partial-birth abortions, which take a fetus past the point of viability into the birth canal and kills it by sucking out its brain. How does that match up with a belief in life at conception?
No. Unlike those who define life differently, and who therefore have a consistent philosophical argument to support abortion, Kerry's actions do not equate with these professed beliefs. Either Kerry has trotted out a new lie in order to shore up his Catholic support, or he has opened the window into his heartless, calculating political soul. Not only that, but even those who support abortion must be scratching their heads, wondering if Candidate Kerry will toss them under a bus with as much alacrity as he has his principles.
Let's, for a second, assume that Kerry does believe that life begins at conception. And, let's assume that he believes that to vote to protect that life, by some twisted logic, is violating the separation of church and state -- after all, his belief that life begins at conception is a religious one.
What does this sort of mindset mean for political life? If any belief one holds is based somehow on religion -- are you barred from acting on it? On a practical level, how does one go about separating religious belief from your political life? In Kerry's case, is he intellectually barred from voting against abortion because he believes it is wrong?
The obvious truth is that a politician cannot (and should not) completely separate religious belief from public life. It's a sign of just how the phrase "separation of church and state" has twisted our public life. It's also a sign of a credulous and lapdog press that doesn't call him on that stunning claim that somehow the "separation" applies to individual politicians.