response to Obama's Notre Dame speech
Why be the first to comment on these things when there is nothing new to say? He thinks abortion is a choice, I think it's a killing. So is the label "killer" unfair or just a grammatical transition from verb to noun? All my reasons can be found here. However, what's my opinion worth? Not much. How about the opinion of a father of a severely disabled child? He has some questions for President Obama.
When do we get to talk about how the behavior of men on virtually every measurable level has gotten worse since abortion was made legal across the United States? Men are more likely to leave women today, more likely to be abusive, less likely to care for the children they father, and less likely to consider the consequences of their sexual behavior. Up to 75% of marriages that have a disabled child end in divorce, and most of the time it is the man who walks away from his family. When do we get to talk about men being encouraged to act like men rather than petulant, irresponsible, selfish little boys?
When do we get to talk about the cultural expectation that a mother is expected to abort her baby with an identified disability in the womb? Doctors, nurses, social workers assume a diagnosis of downs syndrome or spina bifida means a woman should terminate the pregnancy. What do you call a 90% abortion rate, Mr. President? If it were babies of any ethnicity, you would rightly call it genocide. What do you believe about families in this situation, Mr. President?
Finally, Mr. President, you said yourself that "the strong too often dominate the weak." Please explain to me, Mr. President, who is more weak and thus more worthy of your protection as the leader of the free world than a baby in his or her mother's womb?
But, of course, I'm just part of that opposition not really worthy of your attention or of 'Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.' How did you put it?
"You'll hear talking heads scream on cable, and you'll read blogs that claim definitive knowledge, and you will watch politicians pretend they know what they're talking about."
In a subsequent post he sharpens the point of all this, that all humans are valuable because they are created by God.
I am even more concerned that he creates a false dilemma in his speeches rather than addressing the core problem. His policy decisions are anything but nuanced or seeking a middle ground, but he seems to want us to believe he has found common ground.
For example, from his speech on Sunday:
"And yet, one of the vexing things for those of us interested in promoting greater understanding and cooperation among people is the discovery that even bringing together persons of good will, bringing together men and women of principle and purpose -- even accomplishing that can be difficult. . .
. . . Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son's or daughter's hardships can be relieved."
We should not be drawn into such a spurious argument as not wanting to relieve the suffering of a child with a disease like diabetes. Of course we want that - the difference is that it should not come at the expense of another person's life. (And, by the way, we are against embryonic stem cell research - nobody is against stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of a human being. Another example of not dealing with the issue fairly on the President's part). This does not make it "an admirable conviction." It makes it a core principle of protecting the weakest among us from those who are more powerful and would do them harm.
Or, more graphically, my son's autism, blindness and mental retardation will not allow him to be an economically productive member of society. Does that mean we should harvest his kidneys, liver, heart and lungs for other, more worthy children?
If that thought turns your stomach, you must answer the core question of why - is it simply because his mother allowed him to be born, thus securing his rights to his own organs? Or is it something more fundamental.
The greatest guide and comfort comes from knowing that God is sovereign over all his creation...