Dec 052015

OK, I really planned to stay away from gossip column type snark in this blog, but this shirt makes it hard…can you say prison orange jumpsuit?  I’m just not sure what Rand Paul was thinking going out on the campaign trail like this in April…

Rand Paul in prison orange colored shirt

Rand Paul in prison orange

By the time the Halloween Growth and Opportunity Party (haha) in Des Moines rolled around, he looked a little less felonious.

Rand Paul in Des Moines

But we shouldn’t judge a man by his clothing.   What’s Rand Paul got to say about the issues?  Rand Paul is a fairly typical conservative Republican.  He describes himself as 100% pro-life and introduced S.583-the Life at Conception Act in March of 2013.   Of particular interest is the statement that “{ Rand Paul } would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe vs. Wade.  Such legislation would only require a majority vote, making it more likely to pass than a pro-life constitutional amendment.”

I suppose that’s true enough-but that doesn’t make it right.  It’s an encroachment on the legitimate power of the judicial branch to check the power of the legislature.  With the Roe vs. Wade decision, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) disallowed many state and federal restrictions against abortion, holding that the due process clause of the constitution protected a woman’s right to privacy, including a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, while acknowledging the interest of the state in protecting human life.

What does Rand Paul mean by “cases like Roe vs. Wade?”   The essence of the case goes beyond the issue of abortion.  The core of the issue is the extent to which citizens are constitutionally protected from the encroachment of government on their private lives.  Should SCOTUS then be barred from hearing any case that might result in a ruling limiting the power of the legislative branch?  I find that idea frightening.  Regardless of where you stand on Roe vs. Wade, it is important that the power of the legislature be subject to the checks and balances provided by both the executive and the judicial branches.   I find it ironic that Rand Paul and the Republican party, in the name of religious freedom and small government see fit to eliminate the protection provided by our systems of checks and balances and expand the power of the legislature to control the private lives of its citizens.   That, ladies and gentlemen, is not small government.

In the interests of full disclosure so you can understand what colors my interpretation of the world around me:

  1.  I consider myself a fundamentalist Christian.  No, I don’t mean I will come knock on your door and hit you on the head with a Bible if you don’t see the world like I do.  I mean I try to understand the fundamentals of what I believe and to act in accordance with my understanding.  I see the Bible as a parable, a literary expression of a spiritual truth that mere humans can’t understand.  The only way I can see to be “a good Christian” is to do my best to understand and live what Christ taught.  I believe he taught that we should love, help and accept each other.  Am I perfect at any of that?  Heck no.  But I try and I plan to keep trying.
  2. I am pro-life and pro-choice.  I believe that every abortion is a sad event.   However, I don’t feel that I have the right, let alone the wisdom, to make decisions for others or to judge them for the decisions they make.  Let’s try this.  Let’s truly respect all life.   Let’s provide support for mothers that may have a tough time bringing a baby into this world.  We can start by helping them, not judging them.  Provide emotional and financial support as needed.  Help them look into all their options and allow them to make the choice that is right for them.  Teach young people about birth control and encourage them to use it.  Fewer unwanted pregnancies, a loving attitude instead of judgment toward women that “should not have gotten pregnant,” and making both adoption and keeping a child easier options will help to drive the number of abortions down.  Let’s respect all life-even the lives of people that are already born.


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