Replying to a reader who is very disappointed in the way I’ve treated Sarah Palin
I have read with dismay the criticism that you have heaped upon the head of Sarah Palin and in general the McCain campaign. I agree with you that John McCain does not represent the conservative values that you treasure so dearly (and I write those words with NO sarcasm, for I have found myself in agreement with a number of things you have written). However, in this election the choice is between an abortionist Marxist, Barack Obama, and John McCain. Clearly McCain is the lesser of two evils. [LA replies: If we follow your premise that we should always vote for the lesser of two evils, then leftism wins. Because if one party is leftist and the other is slightly less leftist, we must vote for the slightly less leftist party. If one party is hard-line Communist and the other is slightly less hard-line Communist, we must vote for the latter. Your reasoning lacks any principle by which leftism—which is the political form of evil—can be opposed.]
Now for a few words about Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol. When doctors advised Sarah to abort her baby with Down’s Syndrome, she did the Christian thing and carried the baby to term. If that had been Michelle Obama’s baby, then Barack Obama would have ordered his murder. As for Bristol, yes, she committed fornication, for that is what sex before marriage is. And she thereby got pregnant. Oh what a surprise: people sin and there are consequences! [LA replies: You say you’ve followed VFR’s discussions of this issue, but apparently you have not followed them at all, since I have repeatedly said that my point is not to make a big deal about the private situation of one 17 year old girl who got pregnant, but to say (1) that a politician whose daughter is in that situation should not be running for vice president, because it puts such a pregnancy in the public eye and associates it with our national political leaders, thus leading to acceptance and approval of illegitimacy generally, and (2) that the actual response by the conservatives to Bristol’s illegitimacy being paraded before our faces has been to approve and celebrate it, thus conclusively proving my point.] Now she and her boyfriend are taking responsibility for their sin: they are bringing the baby to term and getting married. [LA replies: First, how do you know they’re getting married? Second, even if they eventually get married, was it right to have this unmarried pregnant 17 year old girl at the Republican convention holding hands with her boyfriend on national and global television, thus normalizing an out-of-wedlock sexual relationshp and pregnancy at the highest level of our national life?] Again, if Bristol had been Barack Obama’s daughter, infanticide would have been ordered. [LA replies: The subject here is not Obama, but the conservatives and Republicans.]
Nothing, absolutely nothing is more important than the individual right to life, something which the Anglican Church began to depart from when it allowed the use of contraceptives after the 1922 Lambeth Conference, and now look where they are with gay marriage, women priests, etc.—by the way, aren’t you Anglican or a part of its step-daughter, Episcopalian? [LA replies: The Anglican Church is very far gone in leftism, and the Episcopal Church USA, as I have been saying since 2003, has ceased being a Christian body, and in any event both churches are irrelevant to this discussion. In this discussion I have been grounding myself on beliefs that social conservatives and Christian conservatives, regardless of denomination, supposedly have in common, and which most of them, or at least their leaders, are now betraying and casting away before our eyes.]
John McCain and Sarah Palin support a baby’s right to life. They understand the principle that if you do not want to have a baby, then do not have sex. God made us rational beings, not wild animals and as such He expects us to use our brains. In the manner typical to Democrats, Barack Obama and so-called Catholic Joe Biden believe that it is acceptable to abdicate responsibility and evade accountability after having sex. This Nation, our Republic, will NEVER prosper so long as we murder babies. 1.5 million unborn are killed every year—more than 2 per minute. McCain and Palin may not be the ideal choice; but Obama and Biden are clearly anti-christ in their sentiment.
Abortion is THE issue, THE litmus test for any politician. If a baby’s life is so inconvenient as to necessitate infanticide, then the man or woman who feels that way must not and cannot be voted for. Life is first. Sarah Palin is experienced enough to know that; but Nancy Pelosi (another so-called Catholic who is ignoring being corrected by her own Bishop) with all the decades of her experience fails to comprehend that. [LA replies: While I agree with you that abortion is wrong and that the free availability and widespread practice of abortion is a horrible evil, it is also the case that people who say, as you do, that “Abortion is THE issue,” tend to end up believing in effect that abortion is the ONLY issue, and thus end up accepting and commending every kind of social and moral disorder so long as rejection of abortion is added to the mix. Which is exactly what is happening right now, as I have shown.]
I am very disappointed in the way you have treated Sarah Palin. It is most unbecoming of you.
Paul W. replies:
Thanks for the consideration, Lawrence.
We may disagree (and we do), but thanks for the equal time .
In Caritate Christi,
Fiat Voluntas Dei
Terry Morris writes:
Your reader wrote:
“Oh what a surprise: people sin and there are consequences!”
Why should we be subjected to this? It sounds just like Dr. Dobson (but more condescending) when he said, “Being Christian doesn’t mean you’re perfect nor does it mean your children are perfect.” Obviously your reader isn’t paying attention to the discussion because no one that I know of has said or implied anything of the sort.
So the Palins make mistakes, and the Palin children make mistakes. Fine, no one is saying otherwise, so why bring it up?
They keep bringing it up because these conservatives, now that they have abandoned their own principles and want to protect Palin and the GOP from being judged according to those principles, are reasoning exactly like liberals in using arguments which if followed consistently that would make any moral standards, any moral judgment, impossible.
Here is how liberalism does this.
In the real world, the world as recognized by common sense and by traditionalism, it is understood that human beings are imperfect, and it is also understood that there are standards external to ourselves, and that in everything we do in life we succeed (more or less) or fail (more or less) according to those standards.
But in the world according to liberalism, there are no standards external to our selves, our imperfect selves. Therefore our imperfect selves become the highest standard. So if people sin, make mistakes, no matter how serious the mistake, we’re not supposed to hold them to account, because people are imperfect. Meaning, there is no standard outside that imperfect person by which his conduct can be found wanting.
People act this way all the time now. The same attitudes infect everyone.
A few weeks ago I sat at the counter of an upscale, Greek-owned coffee shop in my neighborhood and ordered a hamburger and coffee. A little later I saw my burger on the service counter at the kitchen window ready to be served, but my waiter was on the phone, his back to me, deep in conversation. So I signaled to another waiter and he brought my burger. After my own waiter got off the phone, he continued to ignore me. He didn’t come by and refill my coffee, so I got someone else to refill the coffee. Then a little later, my waiter came and stood doing something right behind the counter where I was sitting. I waited for him to say something, but he still didn’t say anything to me or offer me a refill.
As he began to move away, still not having offered me a refill, I finally spoke to him and said that he had provided me with no service at all. He said in a whiny, plaintive voice (very atypical of Greek waiters, who are usually tough guys): “I’m only human.”
Meaning: “I’m human. Humans are imperfect. Therefore you should not criticize me for flagrantly failing to do my job.”
When Paul W. said, “Oh what a surprise: people sin and there are consequences!”, he was using the same reasoning as that waiter.
If we follow your premise that we should always vote for the lesser of two evils, then leftism wins. Because if one party is leftist and the other is slightly less leftist, we must vote for the slightly less leftist party. If one party is hard-line Communist and the other is slightly less hard-line Communist, we must vote for the latter. Your reasoning lacks any principle by which leftism—which is the political form of evil—can be opposed
This is so absolutely true. Too many “conservatives” are willingly marching to the gulag mumbling something about “I didn’t know.” They embrace the things they supposedly oppose because the opposition is “more evil.” It is so very hard to listen to democratic speeches from the 60’s and realize that they are espousing a more conservative position then almost anything being proposed by GW, J McCain or the Republican party of today. Have we truly become so brain dead as to accept anything labeled “conservative”? Form over substance? Many so called conservatives now routinely accept homosexuals, abortion, big government, multiculturalism, historical revisionism, the invasion, socialistic policies and on and on.
John B. writes:
Maybe it’s a side issue; but I question your correspondent’s statement that “[t]his Nation, our Republic, will never”—er, NEVER—“prosper so long as we murder babies.” Unless I’m mistaken, even the Texas statute that Roe v. Wade invalidated permitted abortion “upon medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.” (See Section I of the decision.) I am not thoroughly familiar with the historical review that makes up Section VI of Roe v. Wade, but I can say that that section is interesting reading. It begins as follows:
“It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage. Those laws, generally proscribing abortion or its attempt at any time during pregnancy except when necessary to preserve the pregnant woman’s life, are not of ancient or even of common law origin. Instead, they derive from statutory changes effected, for the most part, in the latter half of the 19th century.”
That section’s subsection 5, which reviews the history of American abortion law in particular, concludes with this:
“It is thus apparent that, at common law, at the time of the adoption of our Constitution, and throughout the major portion of the 19th century, abortion was viewed with less disfavor than under most American statutes currently in effect. Phrasing it another way, a woman enjoyed a substantially broader right to terminate a pregnancy than she does in most States today. At least with respect to the early stage of pregnancy, and very possibly without such a limitation, the opportunity to make this choice was present in this country well into the 19th century. Even later, the law continued for some time to treat less punitively an abortion procured in early pregnancy.”
Unless it be argued that America has never prospered, there does not appear to be a connection between prosperousness and at least some right to abort a pregnancy.
Well, here is a case where relativity may properly apply. If Paul W. meant to say that legally allowing the killing of a single fetus dooms a nation, then his statement cannot be true. Therefore he cannot mean that. What he really means is that legally allowing and practicing the large scale killing of fetuses morally and materially dooms a nation. Which means that the moral judgment brought on a nation as a whole because of abortion is not absolute, but is relative to the amount of abortion. Let’s say that the abortion rate in the U.S. were one tenth what it is at present. The pro-life movement would regard that as a great victory, even though some abortions were still continuing.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 08, 2008 02:27 PM | Send
This reasoning does not mitigate the wrongness of an individual act of abortion. But it is saying that from the point of view of the moral health of society as a whole, a million abortions a year is much more wrong than 100,000 abortions a year.
In the early 19th century, when virtually all American women were married and had a large number of children, we can assume that abortion was rare. And—while I don’t know the history—it is a reasonable guess that the restrictive laws against abortion began to be passed in the later 19th century because abortion began to become more common and the states felt it had to be stopped. If the monstrous Roe v. Wade decision—in whichi the Supreme Court with no constitutonal basis invented out of thin air a law for the entire nation overthrowing the existing anti-abortion statutes—had not been passed, if the Court had left the matter where it belonged, at the state level, there probably would have continued some liberalization of abortion laws at the state level, but abortion would not have reached the scale it has reached as a result of Roe v. Wade. Further, if the scale of abortion reached a point that sufficiently troubled the moral conscience of the people of any state, they would have had the power to change the law and restrict abortion. It is the complete removal of abortion from normal processes of self-government that has made this issue so toxic and has resulted in its being cast in such apocalyptic terms—by both sides. As I’ve said before, when Roe was passed there should have been an uprising in this country seeking the impeachment of the Justices who voted for it. The Boston Tea Party, which led directly to the American Revolution, occurred for causes infinitely less threatening to law and liberty than Roe v. Wade.