Saturday, May 30, 2009

President Obama Does Not Understand Human Rights

Robert George has a argued forcefully that President Obama shares no "common ground" with true pro-life advocates. For any claim to be pro-life to have any meaning at all it must include opposition to abortion and opposition to those who support abortion. This means that no Christian can support someone like President Obama who is a pro-abortion absolutist.

"The President speaks of human rights, and I do not question his sincerity. But he does not understand the concept of human rights, as Professor Kmiec and I do, to refer to rights—above all the right to life—that all human beings possess simply by virtue of our humanity. For the President, being human is not enough to qualify someone as the bearer of a right to life. Professor Kmiec and I, by contrast, believe that every member of the human family, simply by virtue of his or her humanity, is truly created equal. We reject the idea that is at the foundation of President Obama’s position on abortion and human embryo-destructive research, namely, that those of us who are equal in worth and dignity are equal by virtue of some attribute other than our common humanity—some attribute that unborn children have not yet acquired, justifying others in treating them, despite their humanity, as non-persons, as objects or property, even as disposable material for use in biomedical research.

President Obama knows that an unborn baby is human. He knows that the blood shed by the abortionist’s knife is human blood, that the bones broken are human bones. He does not deny that the baby whom nurse Jill Stanek discovered gasping for breath in a soiled linen bin after a failed attempt to end her life by abortion, was a human baby. Even in opposing the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was designed to assure that such babies were rescued if possible or at least given comfort care while they died, Barack Obama did not deny the humanity of the child. What he denied, and continues to deny, is the fundamental equality of that child—equality with those of us who are safely born and accepted into the human community.

During his campaign for the Presidency, then-Senator Obama was asked by Rick Warren: When does a baby acquire human rights? In reply, the future president did not say, “well it depends on when a baby (or a “fetus”) comes to life, or becomes a human being.” He knows that an unborn baby is alive and human, and he did not pretend not to know. His response to Pastor Warren did seem to express doubt of as to when rights begin, saying that the question was “above his pay grade.” But Obama’s record as an activist, legislator, and now as President makes clear his view that an unborn baby, or even a baby outside the womb like the one discovered in that soiled linen bin by Jill Stanek, possesses no rights that others are bound to respect or that the law should in any way honor. Throughout his political career, Obama has consistently and fervently rejected every form of legislation that would provide unborn babies or children who survive abortions with meaningful protection against being killed. Indeed, he has opposed even efforts short of prohibiting abortion that would discourage the practice, limit its availability, or directly favor childbirth over abortion..."

If anyone who takes their belief that the unborn are created in God's image and has intrinsic value with any seriousness, then they cannot support President Obama or his Administration. Obama's view on abortion necessarily leads to a view of human rights that are purely arbitrary and grounded in the subjective character of human desire not the transcendent character of God who cares deeply about the fatherless.

"If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless." Jeremiah 7:5-8

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

If the unborn do not epitomize the categories of helpless, oppressed, fatherless, and orphan then I cannot possibly comprehend who could.