05 April, 2006

Vague-a-ries: A Run Through My Grey Areas

Well, my mailbag is less than full, but it would appear the consensus is that the numbers game wins. Along with this several contentions such as R Santorum is "the biggest empty head" in DC and I should "hold my nose" and go with Casey. Holding my nose is no mean feat, I could argue that my weight gain over the last fifteen years has been merely to counterbalance this top heavy feature.

One correspondent accused me of being a single issue voter. Stem cells and reproductive rights not being precisely one issue, its unlikely you will find a set of people not in one of two camps on both issues (although I can't see why those who believe in life starts at sperm meets egg don't revile IV in the first place, as it inevitably destroys potential voters). The thing for me is that it is the kind of litmus test (no wonder we're doing poorly in science ed., we're teaching people to be afraid of these), that indicates a large amount of how someone interprets either specifically church v. state, or more generally individual liberty v. personal ethics. I'd like to think that part of the raison d'etre (are we allowed to use French?) for the U.S. was to establish a place where we can't impose our beliefs on each other. Of course, this is my firmly held belief, which I'd like imposed on y'all. Oh well. I think we can agree violence and mayhem are a bad thing, beyond that I guess I don't have that much of a rigid plan (if I blather on I tend to sound less anarchist, more libertarian).

I do think that we must govern our own lives with our own ethics and beliefs. I respect people who guide their choices about their own lives this way, but I shrink from those who would impose their ethics on the choices of others. At best, well meaning, at worst, an arrogance the presumes a lack of any ethical system in others if it doesn't match their own.

Perhaps in the instance of Mr. Casey I should be grateful that he seems agreeable to me on many other issues, but I shouldn't completely ignore the parts that stick in my craw. Some of the places he draws the line, such as allowing for some form of public funding for "contraceptive services", are respectable, but perhaps entirely political, others, like taking the stance for Pharmacists who want to selectively ply their trade as healthcare workers, give me pause. What's the difference in letting people make "faith based" decisions in providing essential services, to letting racists with their firmly held beliefs make similar decisions? Or what about other professions, suppose an electricity company with fundamentalist stockholders decides not to give juice to abortion clinics?

I'm worried that the more we play this numbers game, the more we cede our own beliefs to others. We can't complain about the slippery slope, if we keep greasing it ourselves.



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