I'm sorry this is long, but I'm presumptuous enough to believe it is very important. I will "fiddle" with it until about 1 p.m. Friday. I will respond to all comments, other than those by "Anonymous."
In the comments to this piece, I talk some about Dr. Laurence White and his essay called "God and Ceasar." I quote the piece extensively, and my conclusion is that White is (1) basically calling for a violent revolution by Christians against American civil society; (2) encouraging "pro-life-killers" like Paul Hill and Eric Rudolph; (30writing a document that sounds uncomfortably like an American Mein Kampf in targeting certain groups and institutions -- including homosexuals and the public school system -- of destroying the moral core of society. I disagree with him on all points. This is a pluralistic representative democracy. It is not a theocratic state. One of my biggest problems with Dr. White (among many) is that there seems no evidence that he's ever talked to one of those young women "in trouble and in need of a friend." In fact, he's not their friend, but rather their accuser. One of my best friends is a woman with the initials P.L., who counseled many pregant women, most of them young, some extremely young (13-14), and some of them ended up having abortions, often being pressured to do so by femily or "friends." P. L. loved them unconditionally as is her way, and that approach is what makes her a living saint. I also think of my African-American neighbor Mary, whom I saw tonight on my way to the h.s. football game. She was -- appropriately -- wearing a gold cross. She's in her 60s and take care of children -- current, Ali, age 4, and "Mo Mo" (Monique) who's 14 months. I expect shen she's 80 she'll be taking care of Ali's and Mo Mo's kids. P. L. and Mary are so of the inhabitants of the "evil" America Dr. White supposedly sees. Sad.
In the comments section of my most recent piece on my proposed Human Life Amendment, you'll notice a statement by Larry Perrault, a Southern Baptist and an important figure in the Houston religious community. He's also a dedicated supporter of Mike Huckabee, and much of my own attraction to Mike's campaign comes from the support he gathers from Larry and various others, including important bloggers like Kerry in Minnesota, James H. in Louisiana, and several others.
Here's Larry's comment:
"Seemingly, all that does matter is their continued ability to express their enduring moral superiority to people like me" [Steve's statement]
I selected out this sentence because it seems to best distill what you think is going on. And, it also tells me that I'm wasting my time. You have made an a priori and incorrect judgment of intentions, and evaluate everything from within that perception. So, you don't believe me when I say that it isn't about me, which truly enough would be a squalid motivation, when I make a moral point about something. It's about right and wrong. The same is true of Laurence White. It's a good thing that I'm not after judgments of my moral superiority, because they aren't exactly pouring in.What I think you should note is that both Dr. White's [Laurence White, an important figure in the Houston Lutheran community and in Texas politics] speeches and most of my writing, including the last post at my blog, do not indict American culture in general, but rather the avowedly pro-life social conservatives who are too timid to hold up a clear and discernible standard. As I said, it isn't about THEM, it's about US.But, you appear to believe that I am a lying morally posturing Narcissus. In that case, it is pointless to converse because everything said is not to be trusted and is up for measurement in the context of what you KNOW is really a self-serving motivation.All I can repeat is that I have drastically disagreed with you on strategy as well as on your perceptions. But, I have not, therefore, reached to call your character or intelligence into question. I think that is a first step toward a possible constructive cooperation in the face of not just this, but any disagreement. But it is one that it appears as though you are not about to take.You should consider that I may not be lying to you, or give up the conversation."
Here's my initial reaction:
I'll respond to Larry later today (Friday) in the comments section, but first I'd like to switch gears somewhat and reprint a short statement from Gov. Sarah Palin in her three-part interview series with the Anchorage Daily News. By the way, Sarah is happily married and has four children, a boy 18 and three younger girls. She has stated her firm commitment to the sanctity of life (from conception until natural death), but doesn't discuss the matter (in public at least) at any length.
Sarah was responding to a question about the need some political figures (especially those in Alaska) feel to cut ethical corners. She said:
"Right. Well, that's why I think we need more real and normal and hardworking and blue-collar Alaskans to want to run for office and serve in these positions that are making decisions. Again, I will personalize this. I am not from that other world. My dad as a school teacher wasn't a mover and shaker developer making big bucks in the state of Alaska off of property development. My husband [a commercial fisherman and oil field worker] isn't that way. I am not raising my kids to be that way.... If you want to be in public service, it is being willing to serve Alaskans for the right reasons. It is having to have a servant's heart when you come into these positions. It's not to get rich."
That's one of the great statements in the history of American politics. It was made by a Governor in Alaska whose existence is not yet known to a majority of the American people.
"A servant's heart" is one of selflessness, the rarest commodity in politics. A servant's heart in this case also is one that recognizes a large majority of Americans want to reduce significantly the number of abortions in our country. Everything in Sarah's career and life indicates she would do anything in her power to serve the people's needs. Yes, I tend to idealize this fine woman, but her capacity to serve seems unlimited.Sarah Heath Palin is a "politician" with ethical standards that are rare in any nation. People like Larry Perrault and Dr. Laurence White should be lining up behind and supporting her as a major leader of our country.
I hope to live long enough to attend her inauguration as President of the United States -- presumably as early as 2012 (when she presumably would run against President Hillary Rodham Clinton) and no later than 2016, when her opposition could be someone like Barack Obama.
Will Sarah Heath Palin be able to end abortion in this nation? No, of course not. Even if abortion were made illegal -- something that's not going to happen -- it would not "end." Right now, 800,000-plus abortions occur in this country and, even before Roe v. Wade, as many as 300,000 occurred, most of them illegal.
I believe strongly that Mrs. Palin would be receptive to ideas such as mine that would sharply reduce the number of abortions in America. How could she do this when so many other people have failed so miserably?
She knows that abortion in this country will not be reduced by angry rhetoric -- the approach favored by people like Dr. White and Sen. Larry Craig. Instead, the direction has to be one of love for real people, especially young women and poor women who see no alternative to terminating their pregnancies. The resolution, partial though it may be, will depend on elected officials who have true empathy for the people they serve.
The answer to abortion will not come from people (like Dr. White) comparing our country to Nazi Germany. Instead, it will come from individuals like Sarah Heath Palin who recognize that the vast majority of Americans are good people who want to do the right thing.
We desperately need leaders who have "a servant's heart."
It amazes me that candidates like Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani aren't beating a path to Sarah's door in far-off Wasilla, Alaska (a suburb of Anchorage). They should be seeking her guidance and support. They could also get some tips on how to defeat entrenched members of both parties, which she has done.
The candidate who seeks her out first -- and best -- could just be the next President of the U.S. Before you can lead the American people, you first have to love them, warts and all.
Elected officials with the potential for real greatness -- figures in the tradition of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan -- come along so rarely. Sarah is one of them.
Stephen R. Maloney
P.S. My direct response to Larry's comments will occur in the Comments section later today (Friday).