12 October 2012

Legislating morality

This popped up in my Twitter feed this morning:

I disagree. Assuming the tweet is about the Vice Presidential debate last night, specifically the question concerning the candidates' religious views and abortion, let's talk about it.

Both candidates are Catholics. Both believe that life begins at conception. Congressman Ryan believes abortion should only be an option in cases where the life of the mother is endangered, or in rape or incest. Vice President Biden disagrees: "I accept my church's postion on abortion... life begins at conception, that's the church's judgement, I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, Muslims, Jews... I just refuse to impose that on others."

So what the Vice President is saying is that he believes abortion is murder - he believes life begins at conception, so the killing of that defenseless life is murder. But if someone else believes it's not murder, they're free to do it.

Let's extend that line of reasoning a bit. Say someone else believes that life does not begin until age five. So it would be OK to "abort" - kill - that person until they're five?

What we're talking about is whether or not universal truth exists. The Vice President seems to believe it does not exist; what's true for him isn't necessarily true for everyone else. That position is untenable. To say that universal truth does not exist is a statement of universal truth. It's like trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

Now, the tweet above is talking about legislating morality, and Vice President Biden is talking about legislating morality based on religion. Legislating religion is not OK. It's not legal, and it's not what God wants.

But Congressman Ryan believes life begins at conception not only because of his church, but also because of "science and reason." And if science and reason determine that life does begin at conception, this becomes not a religious question, but a moral one.

And legislating morality is essential to our nation. That's why we have laws against murder, theft, and perjury. Not only can we have these laws, but we must.


  1. Well put Nathan. Love to hear someone of your generation not simply spewing MTV mentality.
    Dave Potts

  2. There are two positions to every issue: That which allows something, and that which disallows it. Therefore, morality WILL be "legislated." The only question is whether its your position or the other guy's.

    The "you can't legislate morality" argument is disingenuous. What they really mean, whether they realize it or not, is "you can't legislate YOUR morality -- you can only legislate MINE."

  3. Whether people want to admit it or recognize it at all. Much of the Ten Commandments have been legislated into law. So the idea that you cannot legislate morality is bogus. Good post.

  4. I totally agree! Very unique angle of the situation. Thank you for this.