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Cherry-picking Smaller Government?

Scott Bannon Posted by Scott Bannon

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You can’t claim to be for small government if you support legislation which increases the size or scope of government, period.

I had a nice conversation today with one of my more conservative friends, centered around the Health Care Reform Bill that’s being tossed about the Senate over the weekend.

And while he and I rarely see eye-to-eye on many issues, he’s slightly further right than I can get to on most things, I was surprised to see that we agreed on one point in the conversation–that amendments like House approved Stupak-Pitts which seek to restrict access to currently legal medical procedures based on selective positions of morality–do not belong.

It’s not that my friend is pro-abortion, to be honest, I’m not pro-abortion either. I’m not even sure there is a such thing??? But I am for minimal government involvement in people’s personal and private lives, and fully against the legislation of selective moralities.

LONDON - MAY 20: A lady bears her stomach with...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I’m all for those who wish to promote a culture of life that honestly persuades a pregnant woman to sincerely evaluate every alternative available to her prior to even considering an abortion. I believe in “well informed” decisions and that’s the only way to make one. But I oppose legislation that is based on the moral opinions of some, which is why I oppose legislation that would ban or outlaw abortion entirely; and I certainly oppose shady little amendments being tossed into major legislation which would also act to place the government between an individual and their doctor on medical decisions.

I never thought my friend would be on the same page as me about this though, and was shocked to find he is.

Like me, he agrees that changing people’s habits and choices by changing their thought processes and perspectives is the right path for the pro-life movement. That legislating the act of abortion ultimately does nothing to address the actual issue. It’s like treating a broken bone with a couple shots of rum, sure you may feel a little better in the short term, but when the rum wears off you’ve still got a broken bone.

If you want to change the way people think, you’ve got to do it in candid debate and discussion, not by legislation or shady tag-on amendments. Otherwise, we Americans are a persnickety bunch, and will revolt when we feel forced into a corner unfairly.

It appears that Senators Nelson and Hatch intend to introduce additional abortion restrictions to the Health Care Reform Bill as early as Monday or Tuesday, and from multiple sources it looks like the sane and rational members of the Senate may be several votes short of stopping them.

That will be a sad thing for all Americans I think, but especially so for conservatives, because it will mean their champions in Washington D.C. are wolves in sheep’s clothing, and willing to increase government’s size and role to invade and interfere in our private lives in an unprecedented manner.

It may not seem so bad right now, when the increase in government is to thwart an activity that most conservatives oppose anyway, but how will those same conservatives feel if some legislators used the same tactics to outlaw private and home schooling–under the guise of “fair and equal education for all”–down the road? Will conservatives feel then that shady tag-along legislating based on selective opinions is okay? That’s the problem with ringing a bell, once done you can’t un-ring it.

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Technorati Tags: Abortion, Health care, Pro-life, United States Senate

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