Hopefully, our elected officials will step back from the rhetoric that has dominated both sides of the debate. They can do so by keeping in mind three fundamental—but frequently overlooked—truths about our society. First, if pressed by pro-life advocacy groups for a conscience clause, legislators should remember that supporting freedom of conscience does not mean that individuals must be legally empowered to act on the dictates of conscience without any possible negative consequence. An individual’s conscience should not be snuffed out by state edict, but neither should it be elevated as an absolute trump over the similarly conscience-driven convictions of employers and customers.True Christian martyrs have never demanded that the law of the State give them free pass when they stood up for their faith. Christian discipleship entailed saying to oneself, "This is what I believe, and let the chips fall where they may, even to the death if necessary." None of this whining about violation of our conscience rights. When Christians lobby the state to respect human rights, it's on behalf of others who are oppressed and of the State which also needs redemption. But when conservatives expect the state to protect their faith and morality from all the slings and arrows of the world, they fall into the same victimization mentality canonized by the Left and begotten by all our rights-obsessed identity politics. The Cross was never meant be greased and made comfy by the law.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Martyrs of the other drug war
Rob Vischer, law prof at the Univ. of St. Thomas, at AEI Online, makes a fine point in the war over pharmacists' conscience rights: