June 8, 2007
R. D. Kushner
Let it be said, in no uncertain terms that words make all the difference. A lie told with a smile, and delivered with small easily digested words, can travel farther than the truth laid out in prose.
The notion that one can support “collateral damage” in the form of human deaths, for the cause of fighting terrorism is incompatible [or simply impossible] if one also holds the position that it is not acceptable to use stem cells to try to save human life. This is hypocrisy. This is the position of George W. Bush. George W. Bush is a hypocrite.
Perhaps that is unclear. Perhaps the pancake analogy would be better. George W. Bush is a flip-flopper. Plain and simple. George W. Bush is not resolute any more than Paris Hilton is fat and anonymous. The notion that President Bush is standing firm on the position that “all human life is sacred” is nothing more than a lie.
The notion that every life is sacred is a good position to have. It is the position that a sensitive and caring person might have. It is the position that a person of faith might have. The notion that human life is sacred and that sometimes things are worth fighting for, even in light of the fact that some “collateral” damage [in the form of the destruction human lives] may occur is a position that make sense sometimes. It may make sense to accept the loss of some human life in order to save a proportionately larger number of human lives in the future.
In order to support this position, without being a lying flip-flopper, one must apply this logic over a broad spectrum of decisions. If a person chooses to use this “acceptable loss” logic in one situation but then not in another, their integrity should be questioned; their commitment to reason and decency should be investigated. The president of the United States of America should not be able to arbitrarily decide that embryos are more important than military personnel or Iraqi civilians. When he does, his decency and integrity should be questioned.
If “every life is sacred” then the Iraq War is unjust and immoral. If “every life is sacred,” except when the loss of some life satisfies a greater good by saving many others, then vetoing a bill to increase federal funding of stem cell research is unjust and immoral. George W. Bush wants to have it both ways. He wants it to be okay to have hundreds of thousands of military personnel and Iraqi civilians killed in Iraq for the “greater good” while claiming that embryos cannot be used for the same “greater good.”
The greatest good of all is the respect, nurturing, and love of human life. The flip-flopper in chief says he respects all human life. But his actions belie his words. For him, human life is expendable when he says it is, and not when he says its not. George W. Bush is playing God, and he’s doing a terrible job.