Perry signs pro-life pledge

posted at 12:05 pm on August 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Rick Perry took a step to shore up his pro-life credentials and draw a clear contrast between himself and his toughest opponent in the Republican presidential primary.  Perry has signed the pro-life pledge from the Susan B. Anthony List, promising to nominate originalist judges to the federal bench, appoint pro-life Cabinet members, and pursue pro-life policies as President.  Mitt Romney has thus far refused to sign:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who entered the GOP presidential race less than two weeks ago, is the latest Republican presidential candidate to sign a pro-life pledge put forward by the Susan B. Anthony List on abortion and judges.

The pledge has the candidates promising to support only judicial nominees who won’t interpret the Constitution in a way that supports Roe v. Wade, select pro-life Cabinet members on positions affecting abortion policy, supporting legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortions and Planned Parenthood, and to support a fetal pain bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“I not only pledge to protect unborn life, but have a record of doing so in Texas,” Perry said in signing the pledge. “I have signed legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion, and have long advocated adoption as an alternative to abortion in order to protect unborn children.”

Most of the Republican hopefuls signed the pledge earlier in the campaign.  However, Romney balked, as has Herman Cain (who has flatly refused to sign pledges at all), Gary Johnson, and Jon Huntsman.  Romney objects to the third clause, which defunds all entities that perform or fund abortions, claiming that the policy would harm hospitals and would have “unintended consequences.”  The current legislation proposed in Congress on which this clause is based does not defund hospitals, however.  Romney has emphasized his pro-life positions in this campaign, most notably in his own pro-life pledge at National Review.

Perry has a good pro-life record in Texas, but needed to address the issue for two other reasons.  His EO imposing a Gardasil vaccination mandate put him at odds with Catholic and evangelical conservatives, although his apology in Iowa last week (for the mandate part of the issue, anyway) has been mostly well received by the same voters and activists.  Perry also supported Rudy Giuliani in the 2007-8 presidential primary, whose pro-choice position caused many to question Perry’s commitment to pro-life policy.  Getting this out of the way early allows him to defuse that issue and put himself to Romney’s right on abortion, if perhaps only slightly.

If the race shapes up to be a two-man contest between Perry and Romney, Perry will want to flank Romney on the Right and paint him as a northeastern Rockefeller Republican.  Signing the pledge helps him make that argument and repairs some ties among social conservatives without necessarily alienating independents, who mostly presume that the GOP will nominate a pro-life candidate in each election.

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Sorry, signing these stupid pledges is just plain dumb and meaningless.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

It’s a no-brainer for a man who firmly believes in life.

carbon_footprint on August 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Pro-life? You mean anti-abortion. If you are pro-life, you, like the Vatican, would be also against the death penalty and wars in general. They can call themselves pro-life. Anti-abortion is just that.

Pro-life is like saying pro-choice. Who, after all, could would call themselves “anti-life” or “anti-choice”?

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

You know, going in to 2012 the argument seems to take shape as this:

1. Democrat: You must retain the right to kill your children in the womb without consequence, without question. Even if the child would live at the age of 5 months; you retain the right to kill.

2. Republican: The right to terminate a pregnancy is a personal choice, but it should be contemplated carefully through technology known as ultrasound. Under a Republican administration, the “right to kill” a viable child in utero will be banned.

I think that most Americans will take choice #2 vs. the extermination of minorities at the hands of Kermit Gosnell

Key West Reader on August 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I would not sign any pledges.

Perry should be running to the middle. He already has the pro-life vote over Romney.

faraway on August 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM

You know who’s pro-life? Jon Huntsman.

*ducks*

Abby Adams on August 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

The RomneyCare strategy is sinking fast.

Romney was counting on the fact that Obama would be hard to beat, and – in that environment, the GOP would be all awash to nominate a “centrist”.

But the economic downturn has made beating Obama a foregone conclusion.

This proves Romney’s complete lack of understanding of capitalist economies. He should have known that a Socialist in office would do nothing but destroy the economy – and be easily beatable without a “moderate” candidate. Had Romney known this – he could have simply pulled out his “true conservative” mask from his flip-flop cabinet. Not like he hasn’t tried to play that role before.

So now Mittens is out on a limb, a left leaning limb – and no way to climb down.

Go Perry!

HondaV65 on August 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Mitt Romney: “I have always defended the sanctity of life,…except when I didn’t.”

portlandon on August 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Sorry, signing these stupid pledges is just plain dumb and meaningless.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

You and I actually agree on something, Knuck. Who’d have thought? ;-)

gryphon202 on August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I read the moderates in love with Huntsman need to review that he signed some of the most stringent antiabortion legislation as Governor. I don’t know but if it came down to it I’d
like to see. Think he’d turn on a dime? I sure do!

Marcus on August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

If you are reading this…

… you can thank someone that was “Pro-Life”!

Seven Percent Solution on August 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Who goes into the voting booth trying to remember who signed a pledge and who didn’t?

sherry on August 24, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Who goes into the voting booth trying to remember who signed a pledge and who didn’t?

sherry on August 24, 2011 at 12:22 PM

It’s not about the Pledge. Its about people going on the record supporting life, and those that don’t.

portlandon on August 24, 2011 at 12:25 PM

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.

keep the change

The same can be said for the Pro Choice crowd. They are Pro Abortion – but not for choice when it comes to education for “the children”.

honsy on August 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

The same reason the “pro-choice” people don’t call themselves “eugenicists” or more accurately “people united to kill black & hispanic babies, with added bonus points if they’re poor”.

batterup on August 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I like the approach of hiring/appointing the best person for
the job without genuflecting to any special interest.

Amjean on August 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Perry should be running to the middle.

They do that in the general election. The primaries are just about fooling the party faithful into voting for them.

Anyway, Obama is smiling. Sure makes his campaign’s job easier, as the Perry-Palin-right wing are determined to do. America doesn’t want the govt to be in charge of pregnancy.

Some say Obama is easy pickings because of the economy, so go right wing as possible. Big mistake, as you will see.

Moesart on August 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM

gryphon202 on August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I hope you will accept my apology for last week. I was totally and completely out of line.

/and out of my mind.

Key West Reader on August 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I bet he won’t sign a pledge enforcing immigration laws

wheelgun on August 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Behold the founder of Planned Parenthood

/Disgusting

Key West Reader on August 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.

Because, they are extremists and they have to dress it up.

Moesart on August 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I don’t put much stock in these pledges. They are like campaign promises. If I don’t believe a candidate is pro-life a pledge won’t convince me. If I do believe it, then signing a pledge just looks like you’re trying too hard. Let the record speak for itself, assuming you have a record.

SKYFOX on August 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Perry should be running to the middle. He already has the pro-life vote over Romney.

faraway on August 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM

stupid values.

cjtony97 on August 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I wouldn’t sign these asinine pledges either. They do no good and are about getting the sponsoring group noticed.

Show me a candidate that has a watch and can tell time. He is the one that will recognize that it takes longer to partially deliver a infant, stop, then kill the infant, wait for it to die, finish delivering the now corpse, and hand the body to an assistant before treating the condition that necessitated the late term abortion. Any one with a gram of common sense can see that it takes less time to deliver a baby and hand it to a nurse than performing an abortion. If your using the health of the mother as an excuse, then time is of the essence, and any procedure that wastes time is malpractice. Its time to put a stop to this barbaric practice.

meci on August 24, 2011 at 12:31 PM

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.
Because, they are extremists and they have to dress it up.

Moesart on August 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM

So the pro-kill lobby should be called what? Planned Parenthood?

Key West Reader on August 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

If we cannot commit publically to supporting the right to life, than all other promises are mere mush!

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

The only pledge that truly matters is the Pledge of Allegiance.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

How about signing my pledge:

“As President, I vow to rescind TEN executive orders per day until I leave office.”

fossten on August 24, 2011 at 12:37 PM

The only pledge that truly matters is the Pledge of Allegiance.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

What about Lemon Pledge? It really removes that stubborn dust and leaves a nice, lemony odor.

carbon_footprint on August 24, 2011 at 12:39 PM

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.

Because, they are extremists and they have to dress it up.

Moesart on August 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Maybe it is because “We are opposed to the killing of chidren” is too long.

Signed,
An ‘extremist’.

Vashta.Nerada on August 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Sorry, signing these stupid pledges is just plain dumb and meaningless.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

You and I actually agree on something, Knuck. Who’d have thought? ;-)

gryphon202 on August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

That makes 3 of us. Perry didn’t need to bolster his anti-abortion creds, he was a pro-life Democrat when Romney was a pro-abortion Republican. What this does is pretty much eliminates Giuliani his ticket/administration and what worries me more is it “tags” anyone he would nominate for judge or justice as automatically against Roe.

cartooner on August 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

appoint pro-life Cabinet members

Um, who cares if the Sec of Defense is pro-life? Or the interior? It matters? Really?

lorien1973 on August 24, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Idiotic stuff. Idiotic pledges like this are why the Republican Party will never be the dominant party.

These social issues are pure political poison. The progressives get it. They pursue their more controversial agenda under the table.

rickyricardo on August 24, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Gimmick.

a capella on August 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Once again, the Republicans are doing everything in their power to re-elect Obama.

rickyricardo on August 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I sympathize with the idea of trying to get politicians to commit to something – it’s like trying to nail jello to the wall.

Still, I’m not a fan of pledges being thrust at politicians, or of politicians signing them (or raising their hands in agreement during a debate either). I realize this one is a big issue (and the most important to some) but there are at least a few others, aren’t there?

Drained Brain on August 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Sorry, signing these stupid pledges is just plain dumb and meaningless.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

If that were true, then no Conservative Candidate should have a problem signing it.

So any Candidate signing it is dumb and meaningless?

Using that broad brush again?

bluefox on August 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Still, I’m not a fan of pledges being thrust at politicians, or of politicians signing them (or raising their hands in agreement during a debate either). I realize this one is a big issue (and the most important to some) but there are at least a few others, aren’t there?

Drained Brain on August 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I’m not a fan either. Generally, it just provides an opportunity for friendly fire incidents.

Vashta.Nerada on August 24, 2011 at 12:47 PM

What about Lemon Pledge? It really removes that stubborn dust and leaves a nice, lemony odor.

carbon_footprint on August 24, 2011 at 12:39 PM

And, it’s a dessert topping!

fossten on August 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

What this does is pretty much eliminates Giuliani his ticket/administration and what worries me more is it “tags” anyone he would nominate for judge or justice as automatically against Roe.

cartooner on August 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Yep. It was a bad move. Sort of like saying all military options are off the table when negotiating with a hostile foreign power.

a capella on August 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

So now Mittens is out on a limb, a left leaning limb – and no way to climb down.

Go Perry!

HondaV65 on August 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Checkmate Jeb Bush/Rove et al. LOL Taking it to Romney:-)

Love it!

bluefox on August 24, 2011 at 12:50 PM

DWS endorses Planned Parenthood on behalf of Obama

Headliner!

Key West Reader on August 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Perry should be running to the middle. He already has the pro-life vote over Romney.

faraway on August 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM
stupid values.

cjtony97 on August 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Romney is the “middle”, LOL

bluefox on August 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Sorry, signing these stupid pledges is just plain dumb and meaningless.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

hear hear!!

cmsinaz on August 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

bluefox on August 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Maybe you should read the entire pledge before making meaningless attacks.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Sorry, signing these stupid pledges is just plain dumb and meaningless.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM

One of the job requirements for running for POTUS is to sign the appropriate stupid pledges.

Really Right on August 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Republicans would do well to say the next election is about the economy.

That’s potentially all the candidates need to or should discuss. Any other subject and idiots who try to change the subject (especially to abortion), with the possible exception of excessive size of government (because that kills the economy), lose votes. It’s so simple and obvious that I’m surprised this subject even comes up here at Hot Air.

The economy sucks and it’s all Obama’s fault. Win the election.

MTF on August 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Maybe you should read the entire pledge before making meaningless attacks.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

What the pledge says doesn’t matter to me, Knuck. In the final analysis, it’s non-binding. Just another campaign promise for Perry (and whoever else signs it) to keep or break. I think the real reason Perry got on board with it at all is so he can say, “Hey look, voters! I’m different than that New England cad Romney!”

gryphon202 on August 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Romney objects to the third clause, which defunds all entities that perform or fund abortions, claiming that the policy would harm hospitals and would have “unintended consequences.”

They wouldn’t be defunded if they stopped the abortions, yo.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:11 PM

bluefox on August 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Maybe you should read the entire pledge before making meaningless attacks.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

You mean like this one of your meaningless attacks?

It was an ambush, just like the one last week only this half-azz video serves better to smear Perry with by the Palin fan club.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 1:40 AM

bluefox on August 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Republicans would do well to say the next election is about the economy. MTF on August 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

In this economy (or any) why is the federal govt funding hospitals?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM

The same can be said for the Pro Choice crowd. They are Pro Abortion – but not for choice when it comes to education for “the children”.

honsy on August 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM

So you agree with my point, then. The anti-abortionists are being disingenuous. I thought they were morally superior and were proud to be against abortion. Yet, they don’t use that term to describe themselves. Could it be that saying “pro-life” sounds better than anti-abortion?

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. They are in favor of a woman being able to make that choice of her free will. Planned Parenthood has never advocated a law be passed forcing all pregnancies to be aborted. The idea of family planning is to PLAN having a kid. Emphasis on “plan”. Pro-abortion would actually mean that all pregnancies should be forced terminated. That would be pro-abortion – creating a law outlawing pregnancy, just as the anti-abortion people want to make a law banning abortions. Nobody is advocating that on the pro-choice side, but the anti-choice side would very much like to see the same force of law on their side.

This is why social conservatives can never be libertarians. Libertarians respect the freedoms of other citizens and do not advocate that their own personal morals be superimposed on their countrymen. Social conservatives, on the other hand, feel it is their moral duty to do so, and that God backs them up. Go Sarah Palin!

So saying Pro-choice is actually quite accurate. Saying pro-life, on the other hand, obfuscates the salient point which is that it is not life, per se, that they care about, but the life of a fetus only. And a fetus is not a citizen of the republic.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I got it. It’s the economy. All that business of “rights to life” and freedom aren’t as important as fighting about those thirty pieces of silver.

(2000 years after Judas and mankind still makes to most self- destructive of choices.)

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

…it is not life, per se, that they care about, but the life of a fetus only. And a fetus is not a citizen of the republic. keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

So we can murder foreigners with impunity?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

So we can murder foreigners with impunity?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

If the “foreigner” in question, happens to be gestating inside you, then yes.

See what happens when you try to be clever?

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM

This is why social conservatives can never be libertarians.

Oh crap!!!

Libertarians respect the freedoms of other citizens and do not advocate that their own personal morals be superimposed on their countrymen.

Except for all teh gay y’all are pushing.

Social conservatives, on the other hand, feel it is their moral duty to do so, and that God backs them up. Go Sarah Palin!

Yeah go Sarah. Libertarians are supposedly in sync with the founders, like, way more than anyone else right?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -Congress of the United States of America.

So tell me, regarding the Creator mentioned in the founding document Libertarians so revere, does he create fetuses?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

If the “foreigner” in question, happens to be gestating inside you, then yes. See what happens when you try to be clever? keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM

You’re too clever by half genius. Is gestating a crime, or do Libertarians reserve the right to kill whoever they want when it suits them?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion

‘Oh get off of that childish deceit and admit the only choice that is or ever has been at issue is the horrible choice to do the unspeakable, slaughter in the cruelest of manners your own flesh and blood innocent helpless child! That’s why the feel-good euphamism was created-that you can do the worst of evils guilt free.

It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work here, and it wont work when we meet our Creator – Nature’s God. You can tell Him face to face about your right of choice and important things such as emmantions from penumbras, see how far you get.

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Except for all teh gay y’all are pushing.

Libertarians are pushing gays? lol.

So tell me, regarding the Creator mentioned in the founding document Libertarians so revere, does he create fetuses?

No, creators don’t create fetuses. People having unprotected sex create fetuses.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

appoint pro-life Cabinet members

Wow! That includes the Attorney General. So, he is saying his friend Rudy (who he endorsed for President in 2008) is unfit to be America’s top cop!

tommylotto on August 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

2012 – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

You’re too clever by half genius. Is gestating a crime, or do Libertarians reserve the right to kill whoever they want when it suits them?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:21 PM

You brought up foreigners. So my answer is the same. If a foreigner comes into this country, and gestates inside my body, you better well believe I will kill the bastard. Same with tourists, visiting dignitaries, and space aliens from the Nostromo.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

No, creators don’t create fetuses. People having unprotected sex create fetuses. keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Oh. So your politics is completely out of sync with the founding fathers. For a minute there I was thinking you would be invoking them shortly to support your pro-death views.

The lie that Libertarians care a whit about our founding documents is laughable. Maybe that’s why they win a consistent .9% of the vote in elections.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

You brought up foreigners. So my answer is the same. If a foreigner comes into this country, and gestates inside my body, you better well believe I will kill the bastard. Same with tourists, visiting dignitaries, and space aliens from the Nostromo. keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

So again, my questions: is gestating a crime, and do Libertarians reserve the right to kill whoever suits them?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Keep twisting the knots of your pretzel logic.

cjtony97 on August 24, 2011 at 1:30 PM

2012 – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

let’s hope that this does not get losted!..:)

Dire Straits on August 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

The lie that Libertarians care a whit about our founding documents is laughable. Maybe that’s why they win a consistent .9% of the vote in elections.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Most Americans have libertarian views, especially on social issues. They may vote GOP or DEM, but they have a don’t believe in social conservative views being used as the basis for criminal law. And THAT is the essence of the spirit of the founding fathers.

To wit, John Adams:

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

A foreigner can’t gestate in your body.

You might as well face it: this is the depth of Libertarian “logic” and fidelity to founding principles, which is why I left the party in 1989.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

So again, my questions: is gestating a crime, and do Libertarians reserve the right to kill whoever suits them?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Your logic doesn’t follow. A fetus is no more capable of committing a crime than a bacteria can commit a crime. But nobody protests against taking antibiotics to kill unwanted bacteria in the body. The point is that neither a fetus, nor any other microscopic organism is a citizen of the republic, so libertarians are not being hypocritical if they agree with pro-choice policies.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 1:22 PM

You seem to be making this whole abortion thing rather religious, and your certainty is certainly impressive.

Answer me this: When does God ensoul an individual? Is it at the moment of conception? If so, why so? Why not at the moment of birth or first breath? Why not at the age the child forms his or her first memories at about the age of 3 or 4? Why not the egg before conception? Or the sperm cells before conception? Why not random skin cells that through cloning also have the potential to form an individual form of life? Why not at any other arbitrary point along the spectrum from either extreme? How do we know when God intended a life to start to be protected by the Commandment that “thou shalt not kill”? Are you absolutely certain that you know the will of God in these areas and all others who might equally love their God and equally be trying to follow his path but happen to differ from you on these issues is a sinner worthy of damnation?

tommylotto on August 24, 2011 at 1:37 PM

A foreigner can’t gestate in your body.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

You were the one who thought he would be clever by invoking the concept as a “foreigner” as a corollary for a fetus. Not me. I just demonstrated how silly it was.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Most Americans have libertarian views, especially on social issues. They may vote GOP or DEM, but they have a don’t believe in social conservative views being used as the basis for criminal law. And THAT is the essence of the spirit of the founding fathers.

Oh, so the agree with Libertarians but don’t vote for them. How stupid could we be?!

To wit, John Adams: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

It isn’t, in the way that Muslim nations are bound to shariah, which is who this sentence was directed to.

“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

As a quasi-Puritan mild Arian he had a very minimalistic view of the Church. Nevertheless he described himself as “a church-going animal.” “Religion and the Founding of the American Republic: Religion and the Federal Government”. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-01-23.

“[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” -John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence (The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams (The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

“The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.” -John Adams (The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. VI, p. 9.)

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

as has Herman Cain (who has flatly refused to sign pledges at all)

Which is the right attitude to have.

Enough with the f***ing pledges, guys.

Vyce on August 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM

You were the one who thought he would be clever by invoking the concept as a “foreigner” as a corollary for a fetus. Not me. I just demonstrated how silly it was. keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

You said that someone not a citizen of the Republic – supposedly a fetus – has no right to life. Do you retract that statement, or does it apply to all humans equally?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Your logic doesn’t follow. A fetus is no more capable of committing a crime than a bacteria can commit a crime. But nobody protests against taking antibiotics to kill unwanted bacteria in the body. The point is that neither a fetus, nor any other microscopic organism is a citizen of the republic, so libertarians are not being hypocritical if they agree with pro-choice policies.
keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:35 PM

So a fetus is of the same value as a germ?

Germs don’t grow up to be citizens ever, am I right?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

That’s just it, John Adams was a Christian and believed that Christian values were essential to the republic. He did NOT believe that Christian dogma should be used as a basis for government. In the context of the debate over abortion, John Adams, as a classical liberal, what we call today a libertarian, would say that no law should be passed outlawing the practice, irregardless of what he personally felt about it – for there lies the slippery slope. \

Libertarians understand this and respect it. Social conservatives don’t understand it, or they don’t care – preferring to live in a country governed by laws they feel THEIR god would endorse.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Oh, so you speak for Adams.

I haven’t quoted the Bible or any theologians, you might have noted.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:50 PM

You said that someone not a citizen of the Republic – supposedly a fetus – has no right to life. Do you retract that statement, or does it apply to all humans equally?

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:43 PM

No, I never said that all non-citizens have no right to life. I said that the “rights of the fetus” is a bogus attempt by social cons to paint libertarians as hypocrites. Comparing something the size of a bacteria to a foreigner visiting from overseas is where silly dogma gets these debates.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Oh, so you speak for Adams.

I haven’t quoted the Bible or any theologians, you might have noted.

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 1:50 PM

John Adams speaks for himself.

Quoting theologians or the Bible would prove my point about the importance of respecting the views of John Adams.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

That’s just it, John Adams was a Christian and believed that Christian values were essential to the republic. He did NOT believe that Christian dogma should be used as a basis for government. In the context of the debate over abortion, John Adams, as a classical liberal, what we call today a libertarian, would say that no law should be passed outlawing the practice, irregardless of what he personally felt about it – for there lies the slippery slope. \

Libertarians understand this and respect it. Social conservatives don’t understand it, or they don’t care – preferring to live in a country governed by laws they feel THEIR god would endorse.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

FYI, it’s not just christians that are against abortions. I know atheists that are against abortions. Or do you believe that only christians believe in not murdering innocent babies?

DethMetalCookieMonst on August 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Changing the subject, especially to abortion, is the same as helping Obama win the 2012 election. It is that simple.

MTF on August 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

The only pledge that truly matters is the Pledge of Allegiance.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I wish you were here so I could buy you a drink, Knuck.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

This is why social conservatives can never be libertarians. Libertarians respect the freedoms of other citizens and do not advocate that their own personal morals be superimposed on their countrymen. Social conservatives, on the other hand, feel it is their moral duty to do so, and that God backs them up.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Are you saying there are no pro-life libertarians?

cartooner on August 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

The only pledge that truly matters is the Pledge of Allegiance.

Knucklehead on August 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I absolutely agree. Pledges like the Susan B. Anthony pledge are not binding and are so broad that they are almost impossible to actually fulfill. Stuff like this just makes a lot of people more cynical about politicians.

Terrye on August 24, 2011 at 3:09 PM

If I was Mitt I’d tell them to jam it. I’m trying to win a general election too…

adamsmith on August 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

I know atheists that are against abortions. …

DethMetalCookieMonst on August 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Me too. The atheist libertarian argument against abortion, as I understand it — and it seems to me to be a logically sound one, if you accept its starting premise — goes somewhat like this:

- This physical universe is all we have. No immortal soul, no life after death, no Heaven or Hell, no reincarnation.

- Empirical observation tells us that every human is unique (even monozygotic twins, who are genetically identical, are observed to be different people).

- Without the existence of an immortal soul independent from a physical body that could “ensoul” an embryo or fetus at some time during its gestation, it follows that a person’s sole existence is the physical body which forms from the zygote.

- The libertarian position is that society should be organized so as to ensure maximum freedom for its citizens.

- Because depriving someone of life is the ultimate in taking away their freedom, it is either always wrong (the complete pro-life position) or conditionally wrong (e.g., except in the case that a person has taken someone else’s life) to deprive a person of the only life they will ever have.

- Therefore, abortion is wrong because the mother’s loss of freedom (if she sees it that way) is temporary, amounting to possible social stigma, possible lost work, physical limitations of pregnancy, and the cost of the effort involved in giving the baby up for adoption, whereas the loss of freedom that the person inside her incurs by being aborted is permanent, total, and irremediable.

Now I’m not a logician, so any logicians on HA are welcome to clean this up into a proper syllogism. Likewise I’m not an atheist libertarian, so if you are one and I’ve misstated the argument, please feel free to amplify or correct as needed.

Mary in LA on August 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Ixnay the Oconsay itshay. OK?

MJBrutus on August 24, 2011 at 3:44 PM

These pledges are useless.

mythicknight on August 24, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Roman Catholics are against the death penalty and against abortion, in case anyone was wondering. This was the hardest part of the faith to embrace for me. I had such trouble thinking of allowing some filthy murderer to enjoy television and three squares in some cell while his victims died horribly.

When I finally let go and realized that this decision is not mine to make, but God’s, then I was able to kneel in submission to God and become a Catholic. There isn’t any middle ground. You’re either pro-life all the way, or you’re not a Catholic. So there’s no hypocrisy. Just Christ.

bonnie_ on August 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM

There isn’t any middle ground. You’re either pro-life all the way, or you’re not a Catholic. So there’s no hypocrisy. Just Christ.

bonnie_ on August 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM

That’s not Christ and that’s not ‘pro-life’. That’s a logical disconnect the size of the Grand Canyon.

If you can honestly tell me you see no difference between an unborn child and a duly convicted murderer when it comes to deserving death, I have no idea what to say.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Lookin’ like Perry for the base, and maybe some Reagan-type Democrat crossover in the general. I don’t care if he went to Texas A&M. As long at he didn’t go the University of Phoenix. Hale even that would be preferable to more of those Ivy League pinheads. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

curved space on August 24, 2011 at 6:47 PM

God bless him. My support for Perry grows by the day.

Perry also supported Rudy Giuliani in the 2007-8 presidential primary, whose pro-choice position caused many to question Perry’s commitment to pro-life policy.

Pat Roberston endorsed Guiliani in ’07-’08, too; anyone going to question Robertson’s pro-life cred?

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on August 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Pro-life? You mean anti-abortion. If you are pro-life, you, like the Vatican, would be also against the death penalty and wars in general. They can call themselves pro-life. Anti-abortion is just that.

Pro-life is like saying pro-choice. Who, after all, could would call themselves “anti-life” or “anti-choice”?

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Oh so you’re Catholic. I will remember that.

/

Please. I don’t care what the pope’s definition is. I can tell a big difference between a murderer , a despot, and an innocent baby.

CW on August 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

If the anti-abortion crowd is so proud to be that, why not call themselves anti-abortion instead of pro-life? Why dress it up.

keep the change on August 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I do.
I’m an anti-abortion Catholic.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 24, 2011 at 10:04 PM