I was delighted to see a whole page in Time this week given to Rick Santorum's Inconvenient Truths --written by, of all people, Joe Klein (author of Primary Colors, a bio-novel about a couple like the Clintons.) Joe commended Santorum for his "sometimes eloquent," and "vigorous" defense on his controversial personal views. Rather than fumbling around to say "what I really meant was....", Santorum defends himself quite well when given the opportunity to speak.
I don't think Santorum opposes birth control in insurance or government programs --but he doesn't believe in it himself, as a devout Catholic --and he doesn't think Catholic institutions or their insurance should be forced by the state to provide it. He believes also in the right of conscience for individuals. (For sure, abortion is part of Obama's "women's health care" on the slippery slope. Obama twice voted for partial-birth/3rd trimester abortions which are always medically unnecesssary.)
Klein tells about Santorum having a baby born that survived only a couple of hours and how difficult the whole process was for his wife who nearly lost her life. Then he had the baby with the Trisomy 18 genetic defect that will end her life early.
About this child, Klein said he was "haunted by the smiling photos I've seen of Isabella with her father and mother, brothers and sisters. She has been granted three years of unconditional love and the ability to smile and bring joy. Her tenuous survival has given her family a deeper sense of how precious even the frailest of lives are.
Klein says yes, he supposes we should get to make our own choices about handicapped kids through pre-birth testing which Santorum religiously believes causes many abortions of Downs' Syndrome and other imperfect infants, and then Klein writes, "but I also worry that we've become too averse to personal inconvenience as a society --that we're less rigorous parents than we should be, that we've farmed out our responsibilities, especially for the disabled, to the state --and I'm grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter's smile."
We need to realize a politician can hold beliefs which he doesn't desire to impose on everyone else. This is not an inconsistancy --it's a realization that not all our beliefs need to be public policy. But there are some religious beliefs we hold about culture which have very pragmatic implications for the future. Which should be encoded into law. We have more abortion because it's legal. We shall have more homosexuality, because we are trying to make it equal to heterosexuality as a lifestyle. We are not going to like the culture we get.
Watch for my review of another new Time magazine article I liked by the editor of National Review. On marriage before babies --by Rich Lowry.
I personally am not politically or religiously opposed to birth control, vasectomies and tubal ligations for those who have made several babies already, or who have health problems --though I wonder if there is any correlation to infertility these days with The Pill. But I understand a religion that thinks we should use natural family planning and otherwise let God give us all the babies he can. I understand their view that our sexuality is for procreation as well as one-flesh intimacy between man and wife. I understand their concerns for the Sovereignty of God.
These are areas about which we Christians agree to disagree. Abortion is taking innocent life for no good enough reasons. Abortion legality should ONLY be for life of mother, or maybe as a choice for the poster-child for abortion, the 12 year old rape victim. I know I would not have wanted my 12 year old daughters to have to experience pregnancy and birth from rape. I favor the rape kit at the hospital that does cleanse the womb of the foreign invasion. But those are my only 2 exceptions for "choice" --and they are really very rare.
I do think that manipulating one's fertility is a matter for the right of conscience --one way or another. We are co-laborers with God in all endeavors --maybe even family planning. But I don't think any insurance company or employer or the taxpayers should be required to cover contraception or abortion against their consciences. Most people will have some insurance choice, and can choose to have contraception coverage or not. Companies which provide pregnancy coverage are probably happy to pay for contraception. Catholic institutions are exceptions, and we hear that Catholics manage to use birth control anyway.
Obama's administration once more creates a controversy by defining "women's health" as having no babies. This controversy is designed to make all women feel abused by religion, abused if their insurance company pays for pregnancy but not contraception, and particularly abused by the GOP candidates who defend the Catholic Church. Media predicts the women's vote for Obama.
Not this woman!
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible