The contrast between the abortion views of all four national nominees is so stark that it cannot help but become an issue. Not only because it is a hot-button for millions, but also because of what it says about the candidates’ willingness to level with the American people.
On Meet the Press this past Sunday, Senator Joe Biden said he believes life begins at conception, and this belief is shaped by his Catholic faith. But he also said he supports abortion rights because he will not impose his beliefs on others.
That is utterly absurd. Elected leaders are elected to impose their views on us on all manner of issues.
For those, like me, who grew up in the Midwest clinging to their bible and gun, I offer some simple logic. If an elected leader believes it is wrong to steal, then he votes to make theft illegal. If he has a religious faith that teaches it is wrong to steal, then that faith influences his belief. That religious belief does not in the slightest de-legitimize his vote. If he shares his beliefs with the voters, then he should vote accordingly.
I am sure Mr. Biden believes it is wrong to steal. And that it is wrong to murder, to assault someone, or to abuse a child. The Catholic Church teaches that all those things are wrong. Yet would Mr. Biden vote to keep those things illegal? I am sure he would. He would not refrain from voting by saying he ought not to impose his beliefs on others.
We all have beliefs regarding right and wrong that do not involve criminal sanctions. If you believe it is wrong to commit adultery or to lie, then you are willing to express that belief. Mr. Biden did not refuse to condemn John Edwards’ cheating on his wife, Elizabeth, when that adulterous affair became a media story last month. You did not hear him say that he ought not to impose his views on others.
Mr. Biden’s statements are in accord with those of his presidential candidate. At Saddleback Church last month, Senator Barack Obama affirmed his support for abortion rights. But when asked when a child should receive the protection of the law he responded that deciding when life begins is above his pay grade. How is it possible to take a stand to condone abortion when you refuse to take a stand on whether the living creature inside the mother’s womb is a human being? How can any person vote to allow such a thing to happen without forming a belief as to whether a human life is lost?
Refusing to answer such questions is like voting “present” instead of yes or no in the Illinois legislature. Voting present simply affirms that you are there in the chamber, but refuse to make a decision. Not exactly a profile in courage.