'Who are you tell me what to believe?'
By By Tray Smith
I think it's a bad thing in government when we start to play judges of morality……..My concern in government was crime. ……..But morality-I have mine, you have yours. I can talk to you about it, but I'm not going to enforce it……As for abortion, I think it's wrong. However, people ultimately have to make that choice. If a woman chooses that, that's her choice, not mine. That's her morality, not mine."
If liberals applied the same logic to all issues, stealing food stamps from overweight welfare leeches stalling the checkouts in Wal-Mart would be justified under the premise, "that's my money, not yours." Unfortunately, they don't.
The above quote by a pro-choice Republican presidential candidate embodies one of the most dangerous schools of thought on the rise in America today, the defense of which usually comes in some form of the question: "who are you to tell me what is right?" The fault of this ideology is its inconsistency. How can someone be concerned with crime but not morality. Crime is simply what our society has determined as immoral, unacceptable behavior. If the government cannot judge those behaviors, then we cannot enjoy a society of law and order.
Indeed, the government cannot decide on and then enforce a strict moral code for the entire population, and such a policy is not desired. Individuals, in their families and churches, should be allowed to practice their own beliefs. Allowing them to do so is essential to having a free society. However, the government must judge morals and enforce them to an extent. Doing so is essential to having an orderly society
The defining point on whether the government should enforce a moral value is whether or not doing so is essential to preserve the freedom of the population at large. For instance, homosexuality, drug use and prostitution are thought to be immoral by some, yet those activities can be carried out responsibly without hindering anyone else's freedoms. Therefore, the government should not concern itself with those subjects. On the other hand, murder may be defended by some confused individuals who believe the virtues of killing is their moral, not yours. But in order to preserve the rights of the general population, murder must be illegal, and dangerous killers must be prosecuted.
The gray area of what is within the government's realm of authority surrounds the most divisive political topic of this era: abortion. The major questions of this debate is whether or not having an abortion infringes on the rights of the unborn child and whether or not banning abortion infringes on the rights of pregnant women. The bridge between the irreconcilable positions of the political right and left in this country is created because the left views this issue solely from the perspective of women's rights, while the right takes a broad view of both questions
For years, proponents of "choice" have tried to use the post modern argument outlined in the comment at the beginning of this article to paint pro-life individuals as being supportive of an imperial federal government deeply involved in the "choice" of pregnant women. To them, the abortion debate is proof that intolerant, pro-life individuals are trying to enforce their morals on everyone else.
In 2004, John Kerry gained substantial media attention for stating his personal belief that life begins at conception. Kerry, however, was not willing to force his view on anyone else. The media never explained how that belief, when joined with his support for abortion, does not constitute support for murder. Kerry operated under the assumption that ones belief about when life begins is a moral question, not a scientific issue. However, ultrasonic technology, which is allowing us to see the movements of unborn babies more clearly than ever before, indicates otherwise.
Yet, hypothetically assuming that the question of when life begins is a moral issue, would Kerry not be willing to force his view on others if his moral belief was that life did not begin until a baby exited his or her mothers womb? Or would Kerry be fine with murders tramping through OBGYN units killing newborn individuals by the hundreds because that was "their moral, not his?"
Those who support abortion because of a sincere belief that life does not begin until a babies actual birth are at least consistent in their beliefs. Yet, those who know that abortion is wrong and defend their position by claiming the moral high ground on postmodern terms are perverting this debate and trying to distract America from the true question of whether or not abortion invalidates the freedom of the unborn
When both the rights of the child and the rights of the mother are considered, the logical conclusion is that the child's rights are more important in this debate because it is the child's life at stake. And a government that can ban carbonated drinks from school lunchrooms to protect students form obesity can logically extend its powers to protect unborn children from abortion.
That is the bottom line.
Tray Smith is a sophomore at ECHS and former intern in the Riley administration. He can be reached for comment at email@example.com.