The unspoken debate 3

By Tom Quiner

Carved into the wall in the nation's Capitol are the words: "In God We Trust."

Here’s what you couldn’t see at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by President Obama: carved in the wall above his head as he spoke were these proud words:

“In God We Trust.”

The President dishonored these words when he said:

“We are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea — the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.”

That is not the singular idea upon which this nation was built. The singular idea was stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence. It proclaimed that each person has fundamental rights that flow from God which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Fundamental, God-given rights were the stated cornerstone of America.

The president delivered his speech in the nation’s capital. As spoke, he could see across the room a carving of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. Elsewhere in the Capitol, religious themes were expressed in magnificent artwork. The Embarkation of the Pilgrims immortialized their day of prayer and fasting.

Discovery of the Mississippi by Desoto shows a praying monk as a crucifix is placed on the ground. The Baptism of Pocahontas pays tribute to this central Christian sacrament.

May I ask you a question? Why is okay to invoke God in the nation’s capitol, but not in our schools? Why have the courts said the Ten Commandments aren’t fit our kids, but they’re okay for our Congressman?

The removal of God from the public square was never intended by the Founding Fathers. How do I know? Because they’re the ones who put God there. They built this nation on Judeo-Christian principles.

Without God, anything is possible, like 40 million abortions, like same-sex marriage.

Some conservatives say that there are other more pressing issues for us to worry about like crushing national debt. That’s a big issue, I agree. But if you strip away a nation’s value system, you don’t know who you are anymore. And then we cease to be America.

America’s value system was built around God. It says so right on the wall overlooking the President as he gave his state of the union address.

In God we trust.

Should we err on the side of humanity? 2

By Tom Quiner

The March for Life, January 24, 2011

“Pro lifers and pro choicers can agree on this: no one wants to see an innocent human being killed. The issue is, when does human life actually begin? When does someone actually become a human being?”

This was my premise in a chat over coffee with my friend, Bob, a staunch pro lifer. My thought was to find common ground, a starting point, between the two warring factions upon which we could build.

He looked at me with incredulity.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” was his response … or words to that effect.

Bob wasn’t willing to accept my premise.

Bob discounted the notion that abortion rights proponents were even remotely concerned that abortion might actually be killing an innocent human being. In other words, his sense was that these folks weren’t even interested in discussing the question on when someone actually becomes a human being.

How can you blame Bob?

Partial birth abortions take place in America. Viable babies in the womb are killed.

Democrats in Iowa’s legislature are fighting a “fetal pain” bill which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of conception. Some scientific research suggests that the fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. One Democrat lawmaker scoffed at the science involved and turned it around to Republicans, demanding they prove the fetus can feel pain.

In fact, just about every single regulation that Republicans propose on abortion is rebuffed by Democrats. President Obama, while a state legislator in Illinois, even refused to vote for a “child born alive” piece of legislation that would allow medical personnel to try to save the life of a baby that survived an abortion.

In light of all of this, you can understand Bob’s reaction to my premise. The bottom line is this: abortion rights proponents seem disinterested in erring on the side of humanity. If a baby in the womb feels pain at 20 weeks, shouldn’t that count for something?

To my pro abortion friends and readers, I challenge you to consider this: there are only four possibilities when it comes to considering the implications of abortion:

1. The fetus is a person, and we know it.

Here’s a variation of this idea: let’s say you’re hunting in the woods. You see something moving through the trees. You move to get a better look at it and discover it’s a man. You take aim, fire, and kill the man.

You would be charged with first degree murder because your victim was a person and you knew it.

Prior to Roe v. Wade, this was the operating moral principle in the vast majority of state legislatures who had anti-abortion laws in place.

2. The fetus is a person, but we don’t know it.

Let’s say you’re hunting in the woods and you see something moving through the trees and you think it’s a deer but you’re not sure. You take aim, fire, and kill it, only to discover that it was a man. You may be charged with manslaughter, because you killed a human being. Your actions were irresponsible. This is what Roe v. Wade now permits.

3. The fetus isn’t a person, but we don’t know it.

Let’s say you’re hunting in the woods, you see something moving through the trees, and you think it’s a man. You take aim and fire. It turns out that you killed a deer, not a man. This might be considered criminal negligence. Your intent was to kill a human being.

4. The fetus isn’t a person, and you know it isn’t a person.

In this example, all doubt, all skepticism about what you see moving through the trees is removed. What you shoot and kill is a deer and you know it is a deer. This is the only moral and responsible scenario of the four presented.

What Roe v. Wade did is turn the argument for humanity upside down. Skepticism on “what is a fetus” should count against abortion, not for it.

My friend, Bob, and I both believe that humanity begins at conception. We believe that humanity isn’t a function of consciousness, mental acuity, size, or place (whether residing in the womb or my living room).

America had laws in place to err on the side of humanity because of the lack of consensus on when human life actually began.

Roe v. Wade uses this lack of consensus as the basis for allowing abortion.

And yet, when it comes to something as precious as our humanity, shouldn’t we err on the side of humanity?

Is preventative healthcare cost-effective? Reply

By Tom Quiner

According to Rutgers economist, Louise Russell, “prevention usually adds to medical spending.”

She’s studied it. She wrote about it in the Journal of Health Affairs in 2009. She says that :

Four out of five preventive options “add more to medical costs than they save.”

The President doesn’t care about the cost, as he told us last year:

“insurance companies [under Obamacare] will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies, because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.”

I applaud prevention, but someone has to pay for it. Who? The poor?  Of course not. The middle class? Obama said no in a presidential debate, that he opposes anything…

“that is primarily funded through taxing middle-class families.”

But why shouldn’t folks pay for at least a portion of their own prevention? Isn’t that kind of important to keep medical costs from spiraling even more out of control? If you’ve got a stake in paying the tab, won’t you be a little more accountable?

One of the many flaws of Obamacare is the mandate on insurance companies that they provide  45 preventative care services at zero cost to patients. Sounds good on paper. But eventually you’re going to have to pay. You’ll feel the pinch when healthcare gets rationed and waits for care get longer.

The 19th century French economist put it this way:

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

It won’t work, and people are going to get hurt.