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Stick to original definition of pro-life: Namely, it's against abortion
In response to Marcie Neumans opinion Aug. 10, Bible-thumping and flag-waving doesnt make somebody pro-life. Id like to take issue with several of her claims.
First of all, she has a very broad and loose definition of pro-life. She defines pro-life as respecting the dignity of human life at all ages, all stages, all ethnic origins, and all sexual orientations. My guess is she favors a womans right to choose, so deciding to abort a fetus at three weeks, three months or six months for that matter (as long as it remain a womans fundamental right) contradicts her own definition. Apparently, the fetus at this particular stage of life doesnt count in her eyes as human life deserving respect and dignity, despite evidence to the contrary.
Likewise, I dont know her true feeling on the Terry Schiavo tragedy, but if she didnt take the side of preserving Schiavos life while she was in an incapacitated stage of life, she is a hypocrite just like the Republican Party, because again she contradicts her own definition. Similarly, a male whose sexual orientation is to engage in sexual behavior with elementaryage boys should also be afforded the same dignity and respect. Or does that not count, either, in her eyes because this type of behavior is called pedophilia or child molestation and happens to be against the law?
Secondly, her claim that voting against education assistance is not pro-life doesnt hold water. Im not exactly sure what she means by educational assistance, but my guess is she means supporting the status quo of public education despite the costs involved and the academic results. If I claim to be for educational alternatives such as charter schools, parental vouchers for private school children as well as homeschooled children, I am pro-choice when it comes to educating our kids. If she happens to disagree with my stance, does that make her anti-choice on this issue? I doubt that she would categorize herself as such.
Also, to claim being against an increase in the minimum wage is not pro-life is fallacious thinking. If she thinks that increasing the minimum wage will solve all American workers inability to support their families, then shes sadly mistaken or doesnt fully understand human behavior. Some families, regardless of their income level, will always have a hard time making ends meet because of the choices they make in their spending patterns and savings habits. Just ask those people who have had firsthand experience in seeing themselves or loved ones spend excessive amounts on tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Ask those households who filed for bankruptcy due to overwhelming credit card debt what would have been enough money to support their families. What in her mind defines a livable wage? If she is so concerned about raising the minimum wage, lets raise it to $30 an hour. According to my calculations, $30 per hour times 40 hours per week times 50 weeks per year equals an annual income of $60,000. Does she think this is enough of a livable wage for American workers to support their families?
Thirdly, she states the Republican Party has reversed the progress in safeguarding our environment for future generations. It would help her argument if she gave specific examples as to how this is true instead of making broad blanket statements. I can claim that not cutting down trees in old-growth forest areas in the name of preserving the spotted owl is more environmentally regressive because it causes artificially generated forest fires which would not have occurred had natural harvesting been allowed. I can also make the claim that not supporting the Kyoto Treaty is more environmentally responsible than supporting it because it exempts developing third world countries from the same standards of emission levels than those imposed on the U.S. I dont claim to be an environmental expert, and whether or not my assertions are factually accurate, at least I back up my statements with specific examples.
Another claim she makes is that the Republican Party is oppressing the rights of people other than heterosexuals. What examples does she provide? Does she think one is not pro-life if he is against homosexual marriage? If this is what she means, she should just say so. To be consistent in her reasoning, she also would have to be in favor of bigamy, polygamy, and bestiality. To be against such arrangements would mean she too is oppressing the rights of all non-heterosexuals and is not pro-life.
Lastly, she asserts the Republicans spout hateful rhetoric while thumping their Bibles ... By making the assumption that all Republicans are Christians and live their lives according to the Bible is an indication of her shortsightedness. The political views and persuasions of Americans are so diverse across the country that to conclude everybody belonging to one political party has the same religious affiliation is just plain ridiculous. Are there not registered Democrats who are also Christian and adhere to biblical Judeo/Christian values? Do Democrats ever spout hateful rhetoric while thumping their Bibles, or is it a privilege only reserved for Republicans?
Similarly, if one is a member of the Republican Party but staunchly believes in the legality of abortion, does this make him pro-life or pro-choice? According to Neumans logic, he cant be pro-life because he votes Republican. If I then claim to be pro-choice, I therefore must vote Republican. This kind of logic is confusing at best.
I contend that we stick to the original definition of pro-life, which means against abortion when talking about killing the unborn; for I, too, can redefine pro-life to mean what I want it to mean in order to support my political views. Thus, if I define it as protecting the sanctity of life at all ages, all stages, regardless of ethnicity and insuring the innocent and vulnerable are included as well, I can make the case that being against euthanasia and being in favor of liberating innocent civilians in Iraq from an oppressive tyrannical dictator also supports my definition of pro-life because both groups fall under the category of innocent and vulnerable. However, to define pro-life any other way is to be intellectually dishonest.