Monday, July 06, 2009

The Colorado Right to Life Blog!: Personhood Update: Colorado & Montana

According to The Colorado Right to Life Blog there is a new Personhood movement (SoW) afoot that seeks to extend the right to life, liberty and happiness to the tiny people who are temporarily biologically dependent on a host.

I suspect this means the pro-lifers will be loudly pounding drums in upcoming elections.

This single issue movement appears to be a bit hostile to anyone claiming to be Conservative who is not 100% on board with the most aggressive stand on the wedge issue.

The timing of this movement is unfortunate. The American system has been burdened with back-to-back progressive administrations. As mainstream Conservatives are trying to fight back against unprecedented expansion of the state, the loudest group within the Conservative movement is gearing up for a very loud campaign on a wedge issue that will drive away allies seeking the limited government outlined in the Constitution.

Please don't get this post wrong. My sympathies lie with the pro-lifers.

It simply strikes me that they are fighting on the wrong battlefront.

The battle for hearts and minds is far more important than one's posturing on the political stage.

The story of Jesus Christ is that the Son of God did not take the first boat to Rome to establish a perfect and just law. Jesus went out into the community where he engaged people in moral debate and education. Above all, Jesus provided people with alternatives.

As I watch the abortion issue, I notice that Christians win hearts and minds when they follow Christ and go out in the community to provide education and alternatives to abortion. They lose hearts and minds when they engage in political activities aimed at solving the issue through the law.

The real battle isn't at the ballot box. The real battle is happening in churches, schools and the street.

This strange notion that the law is the highest manifestation of the human spirit is something that belongs to the left.

The idea that we will change people by changing the law (or changing an administration) is the progressive position.

In my opinion, the heart of the conservative position is that our acts as free individuals are far more important than the dictates of state. A conservative defends the rule of law as one needs law for a civil society; However, a conservative does not see the law as the end all of existence. Conservatives are often willing to live with bad law as they see the turmoil involved in changing the law as worse than the law itself. After all, the law is not the primary game. The development of the individual is the primary game.

I suspect that many pro-lifers see the goal of overturning Roe-v-Wade as a primary aim of conservatism.

This is actually a paradoxical position.

In the broad sense, the term "conservative" refers to those who don't want a law changed.

In the sphere of abortion law, the ProChoicers hold the conservative ground, and the ProLifers (who want to effect change by passing new laws) are the progressives.

Respect for life should be a constant. But the political configurations mutate on a regular basis and political ideologies are almost always wrought with contradictions.

The contradictions are not unique to Conservatives.

Modern liberals are odd creatures: By advocating single payer health care, they effectively hold that the state should be the primary agent in health care. As the payer is the determining agent in the rationing of care; the modern liberal effectively relinquishes control over the rationing of health care to the state.

The ideal of the modern liberal is that it is for the state to decide who lives or dies.

The beating heart of the progressive position on health care is: As our physical bodies are entities that exist within a political state; then the state should be the primary agent in the care of our physical bodies. As the single payer is charged with rationing of care, then the single payer is charged with determining who lives and dies.

Oddly, while the modern liberal cling with religious fervor to this progressive position, they claim that a woman is the primary agent in deciding what happens to her body. The Pro-Choice movement holds that a woman should have the ability to kill any living being dependent on her for sustenance.

Modern liberals hold that women are the deciders when it comes to the fate of children in the womb, but are not the deciders in the care of her own body. That is the job of the single payer … the state.

Of course, political bedfellows change on a regular basis.

Were Christians to ever win the hearts and minds of the majority on the abortion issue, progressives would drop support for the pro-choice movement and become all self-righteous in overturning Roe-v-Wade.

This happened with Civil Rights. The Jim Crow laws and the concept of separate-but-equal were the products of the Left. When the issue no longer polled well, the left turned on its own and changed from passing intrusive laws that forced segregation to passing intrusive laws to force integration.

In the process of the Civil Rights movement, the left engaged in a massive disinformation campaign to frame the Party of Lincoln as the source of racism.

Racism was a wedge issue nurtured by the left to expand the scope of government.

Wedge issues will always work to the disadvantage of those who support freedom.

The way the game works is that the loud single issue voters in the Pro-Life movement will do everything they can to associate their cause with Conservatism (driving many away from the movement).

If the pro-lifers were ever to win the hearts and minds of the people; the progressives would then run a change campaign that vilified Conservatives as baby-killers and used the common cause of saving babies as a justification for ever more restrictive laws and centralization of the government.

The ways things stand is that Conservatives will be the first to stand against the legalization of abortion, and will be the last to stand against the change campaign to outlaw it. They will be vilified by the intellectual community regardless of their stand.

Conservatives will be the first to stand against the idea that gay marriage be recognized as the legal and moral equivalence to heterosexual marriage. They will be the last to stand with the homosexual population when a progressive inevitable turn on them and run a change campaign that vilifies and seeks to destroy the homosexual community.

I really don't have a conclusion for the post. Perhaps the conclusion is simply that politics is always a mess, as such the best approach to life is to look to ourselves for the improvement of society and not to the government.


Renee said...

This is about the fourth time I've seen you "sum up" how "modern liberals" view things, and get it completely wrong. You should stop assuming you really understand what it means to be a liberal. Case in point, liberals believe that allowing the government to intrude on reproductive rights gets us one step closer to China's child number restrictions, and even maybe having to "get a license" to have a child. It's about privacy, for liberals, not who is more important, the mother or the child.

I don't mean to be rude, but there is nothing more irritating for me than seeing some fool put words in the mouths of people the obviously know little about.

Do your research next time.

y-intercept said...


The post was not a summation of modern liberalism. Clearly, you did not read the post.

It was an attempt to show a conflict between modern progressivism and modern liberalism. (They are radically different things).

If you make the state the primary agent in health care, then you make the state the agent that rations care and ultimately decides who lives or dies. If you make the state the primary agent in health care, then the state must have massive centralized databases from which to make decisions. That is in the works.

BTW: the term "modern" is actually quite old. It is used to refer to philosophies coming after the enlightenment ... Kant, Hegel, etc..

Pretty much all of the "isms" are modern philosophies including capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, nazism and so forth.

Moaism is a modern philosophy. In many ways it is quintessential modern philosophy. Both the Great Leap forward and The Cultural Revolution were change campaigns.

China's child restrictions are very much in keeping with modern thinking. From Malthus onward, modern thinkers have obsessed over ways to handle the population bomb.

Right now American politics has modern liberals and progressives united in the Democratic Party. Classical Liberals and Conservatives are in the Republican Party.

What happens with each election is that parties will use the liberal rhetoric when they are out of power, but push them aside when they get in power.

Scott Hinrichs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Hinrichs said...

It seems to me that some conservatives hew to some libertarian ideals, but they are far from libertarian. Most conservatives seem quite willing to use the power of the state to achieve their political desires.

Another problem is that most people's actual political thought fails to fit well in the boxes we have defined as Right and Left. Moreover, even within the Right and Left camps are various groups that have quite dissimilar views from their compatriots.

Throughout the history of this nation Christians haven't necessarily been conservative. In fact, many have been quite progressive and have favored using state power to achieve moral ends. This was the case with many abolitionists, for example. It is only more recently as some on the Left have assumed a more blatant anti-religionist stance that some Christians have aligned themselves with the Right. That doesn't mean they accept all of the goals of other groups on the Right.

I guess you are right when you say that politics is a mess.

Economist Don Boudreaux wrote on his Cafe Hayek blog:

Here's a letter that I sent yesterday to the Detroit Free Press:

28 June 2009

Editor, Detroit Free Press

Dear Editor:

Mitch Albom is correct that "We're wacko in how we view Jacko" (June 28). But not all of us are wacko. I, for one, am no more touched by Mr. Jackson's death than I am by the death of any of the thousands of other Americans who died last week, all of whom - like Mr. Jackson - are strangers to me and to the vast majority of people now so self-indulgently and flamboyantly grieving for a man they never met.

Americans' proclivity to mass hysteria causes me to want government to have as little power as possible. I neither can nor wish to stop other persons from doing with their lives as they wish. But I also damn sure despise the fact that, through their votes, so many persons prone to such childish sentiments and displays have a say in how I lead my life.

Donald J. Boudreaux

y-intercept said...

Reach, thanks for the reply.

The flow of conscious post I wrote said critical things about both the right and left.

The thing I find telling is that Renee's immediate reaction was to respond to the post by insulting me back.

Scott Hinrichs' reaction was to find insight in the post despite it saying something he didn't like.

The tangential reply makes a very valuable comment about the progressivism and Christianity.

I would like to extend Reach's comment by noting that much of what we see labeled "secular humanism," "progressivism" and even "socialism" came out of attempts to refine the ideals of Christianity into a system based entirely on reason.

Of course, there is no such as a system based entirely on reason; So there is another tangential debate about whether or not it is possible to follow the course of refining the ideals of Christianity and dumping the religion.

Pulling the foundation out from under a building usually causes the building to fall over.

Scott Hinrichs said...

Good point about pushing religious ideals sans religion. But does not this movement then simply become -- regardless of what it is called -- yet another religion? As far as I can tell, it seems to have its own rites and pathway to heaven (as it were).

y-intercept said...


As you probably already know, history shows that the process not only ends up creating a new religion, it tends to create a particular nasty brand of cult religion based on the glorious leader.

The cult often ends up with a very low regard for life.