I want to discuss what happened a few weeks ago at the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency.
The Saddleback Forum, hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, provided voters their first opportunity to hear Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain candidly answer the same questions.
After the debate, a lot of television pundits declared McCain the winner, saying that his decisive and straightforward style won him the night.
I support McCain and his straightforward speaking style certainly appeals to me, but I still think the pundits were missing something in their analysis of this forum. One question defined the debate for me – one question that distinguishes the true difference between the character of Obama and McCain. Warren asked this question: “At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?”
Obama said: “…answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.” McCain said: “At the moment of conception.”
Here’s my problem: I know Obama supports abortion – I just want him to be honest about his beliefs. In Illinois, he voted against a ban on the brutal partial-birth abortion procedure. Furthermore, he is endorsed by the National Abortion Rights Action League because of his continued support for legal, on-demand abortion.
Let’s be honest, Obama does not believe that a person has human rights until that person is out of the womb. This past week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to back up Obama’s cop-out by saying: “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.”
Our generation, you and me, we are the most powerful pro-life voices this nation has ever seen. One quarter of our potential classmates and friends are not here because they never had a chance. We are a generation of survivors. We are the generation that is fighting for human rights not just in across the ocean, but here at home. Please join me. I am asking all of our leaders to be honest with us and with themselves. When does life begin? What do you really believe?
This week I want to leave you with a few very profound words from Cardinal Egan, a Catholic leader in New York: “We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being ‘chooses’ to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.”
Well said, sir, well said.
Parts of this entry were published in The Maneater on Aug. 29, 2008