14 October 2004

5. Gay marriage, Abortion, Stem-cell Research

Bush is against gay marriage; Kerry is too but adopted a friendlier tone. As on economic issues, we have a paradoxical opposition here: Kerry is for state rights while Bush is for strong central government intervention (How do Libertarians force themselves to like this guy?)

Kerry explicitly said that he would support abortion rights and stem-cell research. His reasons sounded corny and didn’t make sense—all this stuff about respecting people’s choices in spite of his disagreement with them. (If he was trying to appeal to Christians here, he probably failed). No one in the U.S. on the left or right seems willing to state the obvious: we all become human beings. There’s certainly no switch somewhere that instantly turns on when we’re conceived or when we leave our mothers’ womb. My take on this is that the stance of Americans on both sides of the issue is simply due to people’s discomfort with the idea that human beings are embedded in nature and the general ecology of the universe. It’s a scary thought with frightening implications, yet one that confronts us every waking moment. (Okay, okay. I’ll get off my soapbox now...)

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