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January 23, 2009 / beidson

Third Way Argues “No Way” On Torture, “New Way” On Abortion

Third Way, a D.C. based progressive think tank, is applauding both President Obama’s action totorture hault operations at Guantanamo Bay and his efforts to find a middle ground solution to the ever-raging abortion debate.

Third Way president Jonathan Cowan stated:

“Today, President Obama took a monumental step toward setting America back on track and restoring our place in the world. By renouncing the use of torture and reaffirming our nation’s commitment to human rights, the President has realigned national policy with American values and refocused our attention on the real threats we face. In rejecting the Bush administration’s torture policies, President Obama has responded quickly and properly to the growing chorus of military leaders, interrogation experts, human rights advocates, and people of faith who have long been calling for a return to a tough, smart, and practical approach that reflects our values and keeps our nation safe.”

You will notice the blaring inconsistencies of their affirmations in the following statement, made by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn. -3) on this 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

“In his first statement on abortion, President Obama signaled his strong commitment to the common ground approach of protecting the right to choose, while reducing the need for abortion. By embracing and advocating for this common ground approach, Barack Obama has taken another step toward fulfilling his promise to change the tone in Washington. I look forward to working with the President on the shared goal of preventing unintended pregnancies, and supporting pregnant women, new families and adoption,” said DeLauro.

If their intention was to send a clear message on “our nation’s commitment to human rights,” Third Way has failed miserably; these two statements are bi-polar. Rather than move toward a middle ground, they have torn asunder the very ground upon which they were hoping to stake their commitment: human rights.  Of course, they are referring to the rights of mothers over their bodies.  But the argument, when paralleled with torture, falls flat, for if it is wrong for one person to forcefully impose his will upon another through violent means, as with torture, then it must also be wrong for a mother to forcefully and violently force her will upon her child.  To be consistent, Third Way would need to argue against abortion and torture on the grounds of human dignity and value, or for abortion and torture, on the grounds that the victim has no rights that equal the mother’s or the torturer’s.

If we continue to kill our children, at the rate of over 1 million per year (in America alone), it will not be long until arguments against torture begin to collapse under the weight of the tyrannical will of the powerful and elite.  Though we may seem “progressive” for being so smart as to differentiate between torturing–not murdering, mind you–terrorists (those who hate us) and killing–not merely torturing–defenseless babies (who have done us no harm), it will not be long before we become the victims of our own devices.  Inevitably, someone or some people will come along who believe that their rights are superior to ours, and they will do with us as they please (such as terrorists, who, by the way, seem to have more rights than our own children).

Perhaps Third Way should consider the words of him who calls himself The Way: “You shall not murder” (Deuteronomy 5:17).


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