21 January 2009

President Obama's Inauguration

I’ve been trying to think about what I wanted to write about the inauguration of President Obama. I thought of how ironic it was that he stumbled over the words of the oath of office with Chief Justice Roberts as he was swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America (I voted against him since I thought he wouldn’t live up to this very oath). I was thinking about how parts of his inauguration speech sounded as if he was at the March for Life (which is tomorrow; I’m going; here's President Obama's invitation). The way he talked about leaving behind stale political arguments and standing up for the most vulnerable (“every man, woman, and child”; how about the un-born, about to be born, and even the just born?) seemed misplaced (abortion is older than the recognition of human dignity; it’s a conservative position to be pro-abortion as a choice (PAAAC)).
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Instead, I remembered the people I personally knew who faced the decision to have an abortion or not.

One person I knew got pregnant from her boyfriend and her parents did not want to be shamed by a baby out of marriage. People from the group in which this scared woman was part offered their home for her and her baby now conceived (after calling their parents). We talked about how she could get through the pregnancy. She aborted the baby and was still with the boyfriend the last time I checked.

One person I talked to at my former employer was a father of a girl. He said that if his daughter got raped, he would encourage her to get an abortion. He identified himself as a non-churchgoing Christian. I said plainly, “But you would be murdering your grandson or daughter.” He said, “It wouldn’t be my grandson or daughter!” I offered the SLED test to him and asked if he still thought it was at least a human person. He said no. I offered the fact that an abortion would be yet another violent act upon his daughter. I actually forget what he said about that.

I have asked myself, “What would I do if my daughter was raped and got pregnant?” I still think that I would continue to love both my daughter and her child – my grandson or daughter – and do whatever I could to support them.

May President Obama change his stale political arguments.

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