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Legislating Articles of Faith?
In Debates #2 and #3, John Kerry (boy am I embarassed that I share both a first name and a middle initial with this person) argued that he had to support tax money to be spent for abortion because he could not take what is to him "an Article of Faith" and legislate it upon those who do not agree with his faith. This statement has been widely excoriated by my conservative friends and pundits. The trouble I have is that it was not excoriated for the right reasons.
I have to agree with Mr. Kerry, in part. As a Christian, I am prohibited from imposing my belief set or any part thereof upon those who do not believe as I do. I further believe that, should we simply legislate Christian values, people will end up being spiritually damaged. Why? They will mistake obedience of the law for knowledge of God. In the end that mistake has horrific eternal consequences. Moreover, our Father in Heaven does not desire forced obedience; he loves a cheerful giver. There are many further arguments about free will and the like, and these will be addressed in Conservativityís Abortion position paper.
Mr Kerry, however, has gravely erred on two points, and I sort of wish that my friends would have more fully seized upon them. First of all, Federal funding of abortion is not an issue of faith but rather of the government compelling unwilling taxpayers to pay for things they hold to be sinful. While it is apparent that Christians are not to force non-believers to follow a Christian lifestyle, this goes the other way, compelling Christians to support that which is sinful. Itís akin to Caesarís order that all people will burn a pinch of incense to him, in essence a confession of imperial divinity, and a blasphemy to Christians.
Second, Federal funding of abortions is not, as Mr. Kerry intimated in his next sentence, necessary to guarantee a Constitutional right. Assume for argumentís sake that abortion is indeed a constitutional right, which I dispute. That does not entitle a person to get it free. You have the Constitutional right to speak and publish your opinion. Does that require the United States to pay to publish your book so that you can exercise that right to the exact degree you desire? Mr. Kerryís philosophy is classic paternalistic extreme liberalism: the notion that you need the Government to assist you in every part of your life to survive; the notion that people are unable to fend for themselves.
Mr. Kerry is, in the last days of this campaign, trying to glom onto "faith" as an issue, in order to try to drive a wedge into one of our Presidentís most loyal constituencies. Itís cynical, misdirected, misguided and inaccurate. Itís amazing how one can seize one good nugget of truth and warp it to support an extremist position.