Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Regarding Obama's "Pay Grade."

The other day at the Saddleback affair, when asked at what point a baby would be deserving of human rights, Obama responded, “Well, I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."

From a theological perspective, the question remains a no-brainer:
Thou shalt not kill.
Pretty black and white, if you ask me. Especially given the innocence of the developing life in what should be the safety of a mother's womb. So unless Barack Obama's pay grade is below that which one would consider literate, it is my opinion that he is unfamiliar with his job description.

Obama's theological ignorance aside, his reliance on the cloak of science from which to hide from his inequities hardly provides any meaningful cover.

Science is a discipline of facts, not of values. It is within the purview of exploring our ethics and values to determine how to interpret scientific data in the context of human interactions and the values of society. The question of what stage to assign a developing life form the title of "human being" and when to bestow all rights and privileges therein is necessarily a question of values, not of science.

Recognizing a child as a "human being" with the right to live from the moment of conception is most assuredly a values decision, just as assigning only live-born children rights concomitant with humanity is also a values decision.

But let's take a closer look at the "values" involved in each of those mindsets, shall we?

In the former circumstance, assigning the title of "human being" to a child beginning at the moment of conception is a values decision, born of the belief that every human being, regardless of stage of development, or of ability to independently or otherwise function, is a manifestation of human life, must be held sacred, and is necessarily worthy of protection under the law.

In the latter circumstance, assigning the title of "human being" exclusively to children who are born alive (and I'm giving Obama wayyy too much credit for even this) necessarily stems from a value that the title "human being" and privileges thereof should be bestowed based solely on functionality; not on the mere existence of the child.

To assign humanity based solely on functionality rather than on merely "being" is a decision based on values, not on any "facts," nor on any "science."

When you assign humanity exclusively to born-alive infants, you have made the value judgment and choice to limit humanity and/or the value of a person based exclusively on functionality. At the risk of evoking Godwin, wasn't that mindset pretty much the underpinnings of the eugenics movement? (Not ironically, Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, was a big fan of eugenics)

Obama at once tried to justify his moral malfeasance by claiming both religious and scientific ignorance; it is quite apparent that he failed in his attempted justification on both counts.

If this is indeed the extent of his "pay grade," it may behoove the Obamessiah to set his sights on a somewhat more lowly ambition than POTUS.