Tag Archive for morality

Signs of Hope for the Pro-Life Cause

I was very much encouraged by a recent post on Trevin Wax’s blog entitled Top 10 Reasons I am Optimistically Pro-Life. If you are for life, you might get a boost from reading this post. No matter what society says about abortion, it is murder and God does care; and what God cares about, I should care about too.

Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and the needy.

(Prov. 31:8-9)

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing.

(Deut. 10:5)

HT: Justin Taylor

You Can’t Legislate Morality?

Legislation and morality are indivisible

I have lived long enough to remember several election cycles and the debates that have occurred with them. One of the great slogans that I have heard thrown out there in these debates is; You can’t legislate morality. For many years I partially believed this lie. It is true that no law can force all people to do the right thing nor can it make people “good”. That line of thinking, however, misses the point entirely.

Law and morality are indivisible. By its very nature, a law is crafted in morality of some sort. Someone who claims to craft morally neutral laws is not being intellectually honest. Micah Watson, William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Affairs at the James Madison Program at Princeton University and Director of the Center for Politics & Religion at Union University has written an essay on the subject entitled, “Why We Can’t Help But Legislate Morality,” in that essay Watson states:

To legislate, then, is to legislate morality. One can no more avoid legislating morality than one can speak without syntax. One cannot sever morality from the law. Even partisans of the most spartan libertarian conception of the state would themselves employ state power to enforce their vision of the common good. Given this understanding, the term “morals legislation” is, strictly speaking, redundant. The real question is not whether the political community will legislate morality; the question is which vision of morality will be enforced and by what sort of government.

So the debate should not be whether a law is legislating morality but rather whose or what kind of morality is it legislating. This should give us much to consider as we filter through the legislative goings on of this next session of congress.

HT: Justin Taylor

The Healthcare Bill Isnt That Bad…Right?

“The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

– Albert Camus

I’m sure that there are many well-meaning people out there who are asking, “Whats so bad about the government helping poor people have health insurance”? In truth, there is nothing wrong with wanting to help poor people providing the money used to do it is voluntarily given and those receiving it are truly deserving and that it is given in an efficient and responsible manner (which i might add the federal government is incapable of doing). Leaving those concerns aside, the healthcare bill that our President just signed into law uses your tax dollars to fund abortions.

But what about Stupak and the Hyde amendment? Well, you know what they say, Stupak is as Stupak does, or in other words the Stupak show was nothing but that-a show. The wording of this law and the farcical executive order that followed it have done nothing to enforce any genuine prohibition on spending tax dollars for elective abortions. Matthew Anderson at First Things has brilliantly demonstrated this point in a post entitled A Final FAQ on Healthcare and Abortion:

But isn’t this bill covered by the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions?

If it was, what is all the wrangling about? You could be assured that Stupak wouldn’t have held out for months for redundant language in the bill. But as John McCormack (an invaluable source) points out:

But the Hyde amendment does not say that “none of the funds channeled through HHS” may pay for elective abortions; it says “none of the funds appropriated by this act” may pay for elective abortions. A Hyde-like amendment needs to be included in each different act authorizing public health programs, or the programs will end up paying for abortions, just as Indian Health Services did long after the Hyde amendment was on the books.

In other words, no. The bill isn’t subject to the Hyde amendment.

So Stupak solved this with the Executive Order, right?

If you want to think that, you go ahead. But you’ll be lonely. No one, Left or Right, agrees with you. Including Bart Stupak.

But if you’re still not convinced, there are three problems with it:

1) It’s not clear that the language actually adds anything to the bill itself. Ezra Klein (a lefty commentator) thinks that it essentially promises to enforce the bill…as it’s written. Which is a pretty plausible reading of it.

2) While executive orders may have the force of law, they cannot alter the laws on the books.

3) Again, given Beal v. Doe, the federal government is 0bligated to provide abortions as a part of comprehensive health services in the absence of laws prohibiting it. Given that the Executive Order is not in fact the law, a court challenge will have to nullify the Executive Order in favor of the bill as its written. And if you don’t expect that court challenge to come quickly after the appropriations are received, you’re dreaming.

So is this law bad? Well, if you believe that the blood of the unborn is a fair payment for insurance coverage then you should be tickled pink. For the rest of you like me who see the horror of this law, we have a big fight ahead of us and this is no time for the sunshine patriot. Yes, Mr. Paine said it best when he penned the immortal words, These are the times that try mens souls.”

HT: Justin Taylor

Life And The Healthcare Bill

Does the current health care bill provide for taxpayer funded abortions? The answer to that question changes depending on who you ask. According to the president the bill maintains the status quo and is neutral on the issue. Further scrutiny of the language in the bill, however, reveals that the President isn’t being completely honest.

Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life, points out that the health care bill represents, “the single greatest expansion of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.” How can she be right and the President wrong especially if there are no specific provisions in the bill that allow for taxpayer monies to be spent on abortions? Simply put, this bill allows for employees to choose insurance policies that cover abortion procedures. These policies will be paid for by a system of coerced government subsidies funded by taxpayer dollars. It is indirect but the net effect is that under this bill the pool of taxes we will all pay will subsidize insurance policies that include abortion coverage.

There is a law on the books that prevents the government from directly funding abortion procedures with taxpayer dollars. It was passed in 1976 and is called the Hyde Amendment. The house version of the health care bill included an amendment named after Rep. Bart Stupak, a democrat from Michigan, who wanted the health care bill to be under the same restraints covered in the Hyde Amendment. His amendment, known as the Stupak Amendment, would prevent taxpayer funding of abortions directly or indirectly, but the bill currently being debated is not the house bill that includes the Stupak Amendment, but the senate bill that does not.

There has been an effort, spearheaded by Rep. Stupak, to add to the current bill the amendment he was able to add to the house bill. Rep. Stupak has met with all sorts of opposition from the President and his allies in the house and senate. Rep. Stupak went on record explaining why the top democrats do not want his amendment to be added to the current bill:

“What are Democratic leaders saying? “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”

So it comes down not to a question of life but of money. The implications of the logical conclusions of this debate are chilling. What is the monetary value of a life? How can the state protect itself from the financial consequences of allowing unwanted children to be born?

We can debate the merits of a government run health care system ad infinitum. I am perfectly pleased to have that debate. I am, however, very disturbed to see a day where we essentially do a cost to benefits analysis on whether or not to allow someone to live. This may sound like a stretch but I urge you to take this legislation to its logical conclusion. I believe an honest examination will convince you as it has me that we are sailing into dangerous waters where the state, not God, assigns us our rights.

HT: Al Mohler