Monday 18 May 2009

My initial reaction to Obama’s Notre Dame speech

I will be posting a more extensive reflection on President Obama’s Notre Dame speech of yesterday, but I want to share with you some of my initial reactions to some of its content. Please see my comments in parentheses marked “JS”.

“We must decide how to save God's creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it.” (JS: Are unborn children not God's creation? The political climate you’ve intentionally created threatens to add to the 1.2 million abortions performed in America every year, and those funded by your administration overseas.) “We must seek peace at a time…when weapons in the hands of a few can destroy the many.” (JS: Yes, simple instruments in the hands of a few abortionists can destroy many unborn children.)

“[W]e must find a way to live together as one human family.” (JS: International human rights conventions include unborn children as members of the human family. Mr Obama, all your talk about inclusivity, diversity, common ground etc is rank hypocrisy as long as you exclude unborn children from protection.)

“Part of the problem, of course, lies in the imperfections of man … all the cruelties large and small that those of us in the Christian tradition understand to be rooted in original sin … The strong too often dominate the weak … And so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see around the globe violence…that would seem sadly familiar to those in ancient times.” (JS: The Christian tradition has always regarded abortion as cruel, a domination by the strong of the weak, a violence belonging to ancient times. Mr Obama, stop trying to appropriate the Christian tradition for your own anti-life political ends.)

“Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son's or daughter's hardships can be relieved.” (JS: That is a patronising cariacature of the pro-life position. Pro-lifers are not opposed to stem cell research, but to embryonic stem cell research, because it kills human beings and it doesn’t work. In contrast, adult stem cell research is already being used to treat juvenile diabetes. Stop selling false hope to vulnerable families, Mr Obama.)

“So let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies” (JS: But your policies, Mr Obama, will lead both to more abortions and more unintended pregnancies) "and making adoption more available" (JS: The number of children that might possibly be saved through better adoption services is small compared to the numbers of abortions that will result from your policies) "and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term" (JS: But you think abortion can be better than carrying a child to term, or as you put it, being “punished with a baby”. ) “Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause” (JS: So why have you repealed President Bush’s conscience protections and why are you threatening to abolish conscientious objection through the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)?) "and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women." (JS: Abortion and embryo research are neither ethical nor sound science nor good for women.)

"Each side [in the abortion debate] will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.” (JS: Too late, Mr Obama - you've already done it, not least in this very speech!)

“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” (JS: Why is your heart closed to the unborn, the most vulnerable? Why can’t you open your mind to a world in which there is no abortion? Why do you support those who use words like “products of conception”, “blob of cells” etc to depersonalise human beings?)

“You [Notre Dame graduates] will be called…to give future generations the same chance that you had to receive an extraordinary education.” [JS: Millions will be denied a chance to be educated because your policies, Mr Obama, because they will have been aborted.]

“It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.” (JS: But we can know with certainty that God wants us to uphold the sanctity of human life and ignore the man-made ideologies which promote abortion.)

“[M]ost of all [persuade] through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds.” (JS: In what way is the killing of innocent human beings through abortion compatible with these things?)

“For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together … It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. The call to love. To serve. To do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth.” (JS: Mr Obama, were you not once an unborn child in your mother’s womb? Would you prefer to have been aborted?)

“[C]ivil rights for all of God's children.” (JS: How about civil rights for the unborn?)

“Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family and the same fulfillment of a life well-lived.” (JS: Forgetting the unborn again, Mr Obama?)