Friday, November 20, 2009

An Open Letter to Democrats for Life

A friend of mine sent this letter to Democrats for Life. He wrote and sent it while his blood was up, but I think he's asking a pretty important question: are pro-life Democratic groups good or bad? Do they moderate the Democratic party, or defuse the pro-life movement? This is an increasingly urgent question due to the proposed healthcare bill. On the one hand, pro-life Democrats like Stupak are helping to prevent the government from getting into the abortion business, and probably saving lives in the process (if they're successful). On the other hand, these pro-life Democrats provide coverage for radically pro-abortion Democrats to claim to be "big tent," even while nominally pro-life Democrats like Harry Reid seek to remove the Stupak-Pitts language and get us directly into covering abortions. The presence of pro-life Dems seems to both help the very pro-choice Democratic Party and seems to moderate their often-radical agenda. Perhaps an important question is this: if pro-life Democrats weren't in Congress, would those seats be filled with pro-life Republicans or pro-choice Democrats? Anyways, here's his take:

Dear Democrats for Life,

On behalf of all those who see abortion as a great evil that should not in any way be condoned or promoted by a civil society, I applaud your group's efforts in providing advocates of a woman's right to abort her children with the political cover they need to seem broad-minded and conciliatory to citizens who would otherwise worry that support for a political party that has actively sought to promote abortion for the last forty years might compromise some of their most closely-held principles. Suffice to say that all your hard work is coming to fruition; members of the party that you support seem to be bringing enough political pressure and incentives to convince whatever pro-life Democrats there are in the Senate to acquiesce to statutory language in the "compromise" health care bill floated by Sen. Reid ensuring that every taxpaying citizen will do their part to ensure that expanded medical insurance coverage will subsidize abortions. Moreover, your support of a resolutely pro-abortion president has ensured that a presidential veto of federal subsidies for abortion will not be forthcoming. Tremendous work, really--poor children and families will now have much better access to life-saving health care, if they make the cut....

So, really, what I want to know is: what next? Now that you have played such an important role in ensuring that the federal government will adopt a policy that abortion is not only a private choice between a woman and her doctor but a financial obligation for every taxpayer, for what other morally repugnant causes will you provide much-needed window dressing? I'm at a loss for ideas myself as to what the future could hold, but perhaps the movers and shakers in the Democratic party will chart the next course. In the meantime, don't change: make sure that your political inertia ensure that you remain wedded to a party whose most closely-held and fiercely-advocated platforms are inconsistent with your purported values, or (alternatively) make sure that your values measure lightly in whatever balancing test you employ in determining your favored political candidates--either approach works just as well!

Once again, thanks so much! I'll think of you every time I fill out my 1040 and wonder whether I could just save time by sending my loved ones a gift certificate to Planned Parenthood!

Gratefully,

A federal taxpayer who will no longer have clean hands

1 comment:

  1. No offense to your friend, but I think that this letter is unhelpful in several respects.

    First, it is not charitable. The pro-life democrats are doing what they honestly believe is the right thing to do. Pro-choice democrats are probably doing the same thing, though they are in grave error. Attacking those who support the same cause that you do, simply because they feel differently on other issues, is to drive away those who would be your friends.

    Second, it seems to attempt to divide our political system into those who favor abortion and those who do not. This is a serious mischaracterization, and it is important that it is killed immediately. What those in the pro-life movement should be after is converting people of both parties, not moving them from one to the other. After all, once a majority (or even all) of both parties are opposed to abortion on demand, then there will be little opposition to pro-life measures. We want to encourage more people who identify with other aspects of the democratic party to become pro-life, but it is folly, and not wholly desirable, to have them change their stance on other issues and identify as republicans.

    Finally, it seems almost to assume that the democratic party is the only one pushing for ideals that are contrary to Christian living. Lest we forget, both parties have committed (and are capable of committing again) terrible crimes against one virtue or another. That is why they are mere political parties and not the Church.

    As to the question of whether the pro-life democrat seats would be filled with pro-life republicans or pro-choice democrats, it almost certainly depends upon the political climate at the time. I feel it is far more likely that there would be a pro-choice individual in office if the pro-life democrat were prevented. I feel this way largely because people that I've spoken with considered their own leaning first and the issue of abortion second, if at all. Most take abortion as only one of many issues and not necessarily one with a lot of weight. This is all the more reason why we should be doing all that we can to encourage the election of pro-life democrats and ousting the ones that are ardently and unshakably pro-choice.

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