Friday, March 18, 2005

One of the barbs that's often thrown at the pro-life movement that drives me bonkers is that we're not true conservatives because we want the governement to interfer on life issues. Andrew Sullivan has a fairly typical example:

So it is now the federal government's role to micro-manage baseball and to prevent a single Florida woman who is trapped in a living hell from dying with dignity. We're getting to the point when conservatism has become a political philosophy that believes that government - at the most distant level - has the right to intervene in almost anything to achieve the right solution. Today's conservatism is becoming yesterday's liberalism.

Speaking, for myself, I'm much more concerned with being an authentic witness for life than I am to secular conservatism. To the degree that I align myself with the conservative movement, it is only because the conservative movement stands with me in protecting life. If favoring the governent preventing starving people to death, and preventing 3000 killings of the unborn each year makes me a big government liberal, I can live with that.

Second, in the Schiavo case, who is enforcing the removal of the feeding tube? Oh, that's right the government. Who forced Terri Schiavo's parents to leave her dying daughter's bedside? Yeah, the government. Without all these lawsuits Schiavo could be cared for by her parents. But no, a judge says she must die, so her feeding tube is removed.

This "small governemnt" drives me up the wall. What it pretty much translates to is that social conservatives have to bend over and take it will their opponents use every government tool at their disposal to meet their goals. Judges redefining marraige? Can't pass an amendment upholding the traditional definition of marriage; that would be a government reach. Millions being killed by abortion? Can't pass a partial birth abortion ban; that's not part of Congress's powers.

Tell you what, you can have "small, limited government." True conservatism is about preserving institutions that have served us well. If government has to get bigger to defend the unborn, to keep inconvenient people from being starved to death, and the keep marriage meaning the same thing it's always meant, then maybe government has to get bigger.

As Peggy Noonan points out, Republicans, conservative, the people we voted into office because they support our moral values, are in charge. If they can't use that power to save a woman's life, but instead choose to use it to revamp Social Security, ship more "detainees" to other countries where they can be tortured, or launch preemptive wars, then maybe we don't need to send them back again.

If being a conservative means I have to sit idly by while others reshape the culture and literally kill people, then I don't want to be a conservative.
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