VP Debate: Who's Religious Interpretation is Omniscient

Last night during the debate the second to the last question put to the candidates asked how their Catholic religion informed their views on abortion. Two things struck me as I listened. First, both men say that Catholicism informs their views. Both said that the church doctrine says life begins at conception. Biden said that he would not let church doctrine override a woman’s ability to choose and Ryan said that he would not let church doctrine interfere with exceptions of rape, incest and health of the mother. Looks like total agreement so far. So the only things I can see that may differentiate the two are their thoughts about late-term abortions and who pays for it. If I understand it correctly, the GOP position is that late-term abortions should be discouraged or prevented and that taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill. Is this the crazy, snake-hair, arm-waving, clothes rending, maniacal, Tea bagging, woman-hating, misogynistic, Big Bird slaying, wacko policy that is to be resisted at all costs?

One wonders in our current climate that if the same religious doctrine informs both of them and they conclude different things about whether we should do in the womb what would never be done outside the womb as well as different notions about who should pay for this activity, does that mean one or the other is a liar? Also, Biden said:
But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the — the congressman. I — I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that — women they can’t control their body.
This thinking obviously ends somewhere. I doubt that Biden would make the same comment in support of Peter Singer’s idea that a newborn should not be considered a person until 30 days after delivery and therefore ‘aborting’ or killing disabled babies within 30 days of birth would be a moral good. Would Biden in that case refuse to impose his views, religious or otherwise, on peoples of other faiths? I should think not.

BTW, it is a curiosity that a) the left is not so interested in “choice” when it comes to reforming the education of children via vouchers, reforming healthcare, reforming health insurance, reforming MediCare, reforming Social Security, voting for unions with secret ballots, etc., and b) as Prager notes,
The human fetus has no worth except for what the mother says it has. If she thinks it is worthwhile, it's infinitely precious. If she doesn't, it is infinitely worthless. It is a very odd moral scheme. It applies nowhere else in life, where one individual determines the complete worth of something else. We don't even allow that for dogs. We don't say dog owners determine the worth of dogs. But human fetus owners determine the worth of a fetus. It is a fascinating development in the degradation of our value system.
So, of course Biden and the left would impose their views if post birth canal abortions were proposed. (Although, as Ryan noted, "The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized and wouldn’t second guess their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations." This might cause one to seek clarification from Biden and the left on the post birth canal abortion issue.) By confronting the Singer dilemma we see that both Democrats and Republicans are willing to impose their notion of morality on others via legislation. (This is the old “We’ve established what kind of girl you are, now we are just haggling over price” gambit.) In the case of abortion, we are just publicly discussing when that imposition will happen and where legislative lines will be drawn. For Dems to pretend that they aren’t drawing lines, imposing their moral will and legislating morality is self-delusional. All participants in politics want to impose on others as much of their morality as possible, and no group is more insistent on that than the left. Which brings us to the second observation.

Biden noted that his Catholic faith “has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who — who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.” We know by his statements and policy preferences that this means the state should take from some and give to others in the name of compassion. Why is it that he does not feel the same restraint for this imposition of religious charity on “devout Christians and Muslims and Jews” - as well as the groups he left out, including atheists - as he does for abortion? Where is the wall of separation that is lauded by those on the left? Why is it acceptable to impose this aspect of his religion on others while imposing restrictions on actively extinguishing the life of a human is not acceptable? (If you think that assessment is overwrought, he said that he accepts the notion that “life begins at conception” - I did not put those words in his mouth. If he really believes that life begins at conception, then at the very least he thinks that abortion is the ending of nascent human life.) Is Mr. Biden really arguing that the state should be the charity arm of the Catholic church?

So Biden and the left are pro-choice on extinguishing nascent human life (and, incidentally, for teacher's unions to invest heavily in Bain and other risky Wall Street schemes) but not pro-choice on how you can educate your children, health insurance, medical care, end of life decisions, Social Security, etc. He is consistent on one thing though: who it is that will pay for all of this.

This is an election that involves larger themes: the size and nature of government; limited powers v statism; individualism v collectivism; liberty v egalitarianism; the locus of charity; E pluibus unum v multiculturalism. Those concepts and choices are fairly clear. Unfortunately, most of the conversation is focused on personal character assassination and the tit-for-tat of dueling experts.

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