Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Rachel's Tears

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’” Matthew 2:16-18 NKJV

US Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-AR, true to form, ignored the voice of Arkansas and the “tears of Rachel” by voting with her beloved party to kill an amendment to the Senate health care bill that would have further restricted any federal funds to be used to finance, or provide insurance coverage with federal funds for, abortions (Arkansas’ other senator, Mark Pryor, D-AR, voted to allow the amendment). Oddly, the amendment was sponsored by US Senator Ben Nelson, D-NEB, who has vowed now to filibuster the entire Democratic bill because the possibility still exists that in the Democrats’ efforts to overhaul health “care”, destruction of unborn children is strangely considered “care”.

It is still argued by the Democrats that the Hyde Amendment is still in force, which does restrict federal funding for abortion and seems to negate the need for additional legislation, but the whole health care debate seems to be going a little too far in providing for the poor more than they need and far more than many American Christians are willing to provide. And while we cannot argue as a “Christian nation”, we are no less a nation of Christians with a collective conscience.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, recently likened those who oppose his health care overhaul proposal – all 2000 pages of it! - namely Republicans and especially those opposed to the so-called public option, with the obstructionists from yesteryear who opposed “free states”. By such a lame proclamation, Mr. Reid has made it abundantly clear that he is all out of genuine, workable ideas or valid arguments and has now resorted to name-calling and baseless accusations. One cannot help but to wonder if Mr. Reid might like to have himself and his cohorts likened to the lynch mobs of yesteryear who destroyed innocent lives and were, if not legally sanctioned, certainly overlooked by the law enforcers of the Jim Crow era. Truth be told, such an accusation would hit a little too close to home in light of King Herod’s slaughter of the innocents as recorded in the Gospel according to St. Matthew.

Civil rights and abortion advocates are already up in arms because of the Stupak Amendment which was attached to the House version of health care “reform”, which severely restricts federal funds not only from direct payment to abortion providers but also prohibits subsidized payments for insurance coverage for abortion. Such pro-life moves are seen as threats to one’s “right” to destroy unborn children, going so far as to argue that even the poor have rights even if they cannot afford the procedure. And heaven help those who argue about which is “cheaper” or more humane: destroying the unborn child, or bringing an unwanted child into the world. Pity the nation that actually debates such unconscionable premises.

The tabling of this amendment (to “table”, which essentially kills the measure, is to require only a simple majority vote rather than the 60 votes required to pass or fail an amendment) will be called by those senators up for reelection a simple “procedural” vote rather than a straight vote for or against. It will be the Democrats’ argument, as seems to be usually the case, that we peasants are simply too ignorant or misinformed to understand the complexities of parliamentarian procedure and that their experience will be our only saving grace. Especially in rural farm country, Arkansas, having Sen. Lincoln as chair of the Agriculture Committee, might be too great a risk to lose, but this is pretty much the essence of what politics has become. The blessings of true liberty have become our curse. The reign of incumbency has created a nation our founders would not recognize.

Politics aside, we must stand for a national moral conscience. It is “a poverty”, says the late Mother Teresa, that any nation would kill its own young ostensibly for the good of another. Let the churches fight the true battle from the pulpit, but demand that the government stay absolutely neutral. This means that if women want to have abortions, they better have the means to pay for one. There is no “right” to expect me or other like-minded taxpayers to foot the bill. And no, I am not morally obligated to adopt the children you produce but do not want or cannot support.

Shame on you, Blanche Lincoln. Shame on you, US Senate. On the positive side, however, you all may have finally awakened an otherwise complacent electorate, and you are about to get bitten by the hands that have, quite literally, fed you for so long.

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