But certainly, the nomination of Sarah Palin for VP made me think about it. Again.
Just to be clear; here's the Clif's Notes version of the 2008 GOP Platform:
"We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.Pretty stock company GOP stuff, and yet...
We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.
We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.
We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement.
We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives."
Deciding to have a child...or not; to end a pregnancy by aborting the baby might just be the most personal and intimate decision a man and woman, or a woman herself, can make. A sit-up-nights, wrenchingly emotional decision that will determine the course of those two or three lives. One could imagine that a Party whose bedrock philosophy is supposed to be that "you and I" know better than some faceless "government" what to do with everything from our money to our land would feel the same way about our bodies and our lives. So surely, at most, the furthest such a Party that felt strongly about "innocent human life" would intrude into our lives would be the second of the points above - no public funding for abortions. That removes the "government" from the issue altogether.
So no public support...and no public condemnation, either. Mojo and I get to be the ones to decide whether to bear - and, possibly, spend the rest of our lives caring for - that profoundly compromised Down's Syndrome kid.
But the GOP doesn't stop there. What's all this the other stuff, say, the Constitutional amendment about "human life"? Huh? What about human life? That it's complicated? That sometimes it's lemons, sometimes lemonade? Or...could it be that the GOP desires the federal government, the government they claim elsewhere is best off as far out of my business as possible, to define the biological moment of citizenship? At, say, "conception"? the first cell division? Zygote implantation?
This is where I think the GOP stops being just a political party and becomes the American version of a European Christian Democratic party, the political wing of conservative religion. There's no real NEED for this biotheology. The simplest answer, the best shave of Occam's Razor, was the first: no tax dollars for abortion but no public interference until viability. After all, the GOP version of government isn't going to offer to help us raise this child, right? No preschool funding, no S-CHIP, no "socialized medicine"?
So when you can lift a baby out of Mojo's belly that can breathe on its own (with, of course, the usual 18 years of feeding, diapering, bedtime stories, soccer practice (see, Charles, we DID discuss soccer!) prom dresses, teen pregnancies (right, Sarah Palin?), car keys and groundings) then its a citizen. Until then, its as much a "person" as my foot. Important? Sure! Part of me, part of Mojo, part of our lives? No question! The business of the federal, state or local government if I want my doctor to amputate it because, say, it's cancerous or gangrenous?
This would really be a silly issue if it wasn't for the emotion that is inextricably bound to every human birth, human death and human life. A moment in time when the decent action of anyone NOT connected by ties of blood or love to the three beings involved would be a deeply respectful silence and patience, a patient wait to discover if the couple will return to their lives as two...or three.
This is where by loudly jumping about waving at us and shoving its busybody concerns for "the sanctity of innocent human life" into our lives - on the tendentious grounds that "life begins at conception" - the GOP chooses to place the religious beliefs of others before our own.
And that's theocracy. In the U.S., that's both pointless and mistaken.
Tonight - the Other Big God Plank: Homos!