Ken Connor

There are, as our forefathers recognized, certain universal and self-evident truths. Human beings - for example - have been endowed by their Creator with an unalienable right to life. It is, therefore, wrong to murder an innocent human being, regardless of whether they are in the womb or in a nursing home. The act of murder is wrong regardless of who makes the decision to carry it out (mother, doctor, family) or how it is denominated (abortion, mercy killing, euthanasia). The character of an act is not changed by the rhetoric that accompanies it or the person who performs it. Such an act cannot be both right and wrong -- right for you and wrong for me. It is either right or wrong -- period.

There are certain principles that define the world view of Christian conservatives, principles that we are unwilling to budge on.

Here's just one example: We believe that this earth and everything in it bears the signature of a divine Creator, who so loved the world that he sent His only Son to die on a cross for the sins of humankind. Human beings are created in his image and because of the sacrifice made to redeem them, every individual is of infinite worth, value, and dignity. Therefore, all persons - rich or poor, black or white, whole or handicapped, born or unborn - have a God given right to life. That right should be protected by law and respected by society, no matter how "unwanted" or "inconvenient" it may be to others. Government should protect innocent life from the moment of conception until natural death. No public program that uses tax dollars to fund abortion or promote euthanasia should ever be foisted on the American taxpayer.

There are other principles that guide our thinking on marriage, freedom, and the role of government in a free and open society. These principles warrant discussion and debate and critical analysis. But rest assured, we will not yield on these principles no matter how much we are vilified, cajoled, or threatened - and regardless of whether leaders in the House and Senate pitch a hissy fit and the pundits rant and rave until they turn blue. And if we lose in the short term, we will continue to advance these principles in the long term. There are, after all, some hills worth dying on.

In short, there are certain issues in life that are non-negotiable, no matter how seductively the siren song of "compromise" may beckon. We understand that the way of Washington, particularly in the game of politics, is to "go along to get along." However, at some point a line must be drawn, lest you find yourself slicing and dicing away at your core beliefs until you are left with nothing to believe in. As the songwriter says, "you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Truer words were never spoken.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.