Monday, November 01, 2004

John Kerry's faith guides him, except when it doesn't

I saw "John Kerry's faith guides him, except when it doesn't" as a link off of some blog I hit with the Next Blog button that Blogger puts at the top of my blog. I'm going to quote a few bits here and then try to refute them.
So, let me get this straight. Fighting for the environment, equality and education—in the name of God—is righteously doing the Lord's work, but abortion must be kept legal because otherwise we'd be legislating religion?

I suppose liberals would say, "Yes, because banning abortion would be coercive."

Public schools get built by taking away money from the people who earned it. The environment gets cleaned up by imposing regulations, seizing land, and taxing people.
Believe it or not, taxes are not coerced. We choose our taxes for ourselves in as much as we vote for the people who write tax law. (As an asside, what I enjoyed most about this argument is that it erects a straw man and then fails to tear it down.) Likewise, we control (indirectly) those who would ban abortion.
It seems to me that you shouldn't pick and choose at all. You shouldn't infringe on, say, the property rights of citizens out of religious convictions about a clean environment and then conveniently fall back on the argument that it would be outrageous to invoke religion when it comes to abortion. Either your faith informs your views or it doesn't.
I fail to see the contradiction. Faith guides without controlling. Kerry is saying that faith is a good start without being the last Word.
But what does offend me is the selective invocation of God. George Bush is basically consistent. He says God guides him in everything he does. John Kerry says that, too, but it's hard to see how he's not lying.
George Bush is consistent, you say? Someone else said it better than I could. Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.

I frankly don't like faith being brought into an argument as reasoning. People have values, and I think that's good. Some values are derived from faith, and that's good too. I don't blame the politicians for making their decisions based on their values, and I don't blame them for basing their values on their faith. What bothers me is when they attribute their decisions to God. It's one thing to say, "my values are God's values" just as one might say, "my values are Kerry's values." It's something else to say, "my decisions are God's decisions."
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