Glad to see a couple of level-headed responses to this week’s great pro-life Democrat betrayal. First, Thomas Peters writes, and I agree:
I know we’re all stinging after Bart Stupak’s betrayal last Sunday (I am), but I think those who are now claiming, in the heat of the moment, that there is “no such thing as a pro-life Democrat” are making a mistake.
Though the most outspoken of all of them collapsed under pressure and took several others with him, there were still a few who stood their ground and we should not belittle their loyalty to the unborn by now declaring the “myth” of the pro-life Democrat.
There is still a remnant of principled pro-lifers in the Democratic Party. This week just saw the wheat separated from the chaff.
Maybe they’re fewer in number than we would like, but pro-life Democrats do exist – and we need them (see paragraph 2)! just as much as they desperately need our support and our prayers that they will do the right thing when pressured by the pro-death leadership of their party.
Peters also rightly notes that the Republicans’ house is not-so clean, either. They, too, though in a smaller number, have their fair share of not-so totally pro-life lawmakers, if at all, and anti-life pressure is not unique to the Democrat Party leadership. Here in Missouri, for example, our very pro-business Republican leadership is in bed with pro-cloning biotech industry in our state. Not only did they persuade our pro-life Republican Senators to dismiss a State ban on human cloning in favor of “party-loyalty” and protecting their pro-cloning Republican Governor, but they continue to appropriate State money to these cloning-friendly institutions while rejecting protective language or other alternatives to ensure that the money is not spent on unethical research (research that is now a constitutional right in our State thanks to “Amendment 2” in 2006).
“Pro-life Republican”, “pro-life Democrat”, we need them both and must continue to encourage both to make the protection of all innocent human life a priority.
I like this quote from Archbishop Chaput’s book Render Unto Caesar (p.4)
Party loyalty is a dead end. It’s a lethal form of laziness. Issues matter. Character matters. Acting on principle matters.
In an earlier comment following the Stupak cave-in I stated (in so many words) that there was no such thing as a pro-life congressional Democrat.
In the post by Thomas Peters to which you linked he lists eight House Democrats who opposed final passage of the health care “reform” bill. Fair enough.
It should be noted, however, that each and every one of them voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.
But as you wrote, life before party, absolutely. I would never claim that Republicans have cornered the market on morality. Far from it.
They’re also not all 100% pro-life, either (esp. on stem cell research) – but, then, neither are a lot of the Republicans who voted no…
But, I have to give credit where it’s due.