The Faith and Freedom Coalition held last week in Des Moines, Iowa, should not have happened. This certainly was not unconstitutional, but it was ill advised. It was in essence a “religious test” – albeit voluntary – for the Republican presidential candidates. If mandated, it would be strictly prohibited by the First Amendment and elsewhere in the Constitution.
The first three up were Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman chose to not participate. You have to give them points for that. I went to bed after the first three of that pack. The three remaining included Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum, all of less interest to me and also little likely to make the final cut.
Of particular interest to me and this column was that the collected crew referenced the Bible frequently, with Bachmann leading the pack here. They were all obviously opposed to abortion and several including Perry and Bachmann, referenced the idea of preserving “life from conception through to a natural death”.
However, conception generally refers to the entire process of one egg developing in the ovary, then being released and being fertilized after which it may or may not implant into the endometrium or wall of the uterus. Without that implantation, there can be no fetus or baby. At which point in this complex biological process are the candidates talking about?
In addition, many opposed to abortion are also opposed to the postcoital pills or the “morning after pill”. Many of these prevent fertilization and thus can’t be called abortion. Others prevent implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall.
Perhaps even more distressing and complex is their view of that there should be no interference of life until a “natural death”. I have breaking news folks – there is no such thing as a “natural death”.
The nitwits talking this way are obviously thinking of early death or suicide, as per the Dr. Kevorkian patient-approved deaths/suicides of some years ago. But a “natural death” would mean any medical interference to prevent death at any time through life, in any way.
Obviously, with the medicine of today, pregnant women receive prenatal care, and medical and living advice for their nine month pregnancy. There is also extensive pediatric care for their babies.
Taken to the candidates extreme, that would mean that I would be dead. When born, I had a gastrointestinal problem that did not require surgery, but did require some unclogging and flushing to allow me to eat. Lacking medicine of the time and a good doctor, I would have died a “natural death” within a few weeks or months of life.
If you want vaccines, pediatric care, along with doctor, emergency room and hospital care all through life, that is not “natural” in the sense of Godly care of some religious precepts. Surveys have also shown that as much as 25 percent of total lifetime medical expenses are spent during the last year of life. That’s not natural either to keep someone alive artificially and excessively and for no long term good.
The basic concern with this Faith and Freedom Coalition is that there is no religious test – mandated or de facto for any candidate for office in this country. The job of president is a secular position. A person’s religion or complete lack of same is or should be no barrier to any elected office.
Somehow the religious right agrees with that except that they want to force everyone to agree with or adhere to their theology or punish those who have different religious viewpoints. It is a good time to be a skeptic and see though such nonsense.