Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Final Solution: Strange Bedfellows

How can you be a right-to-life person and defend the death penalty at the same time? Of course, this is precisely the position maintained by many conservative voters in states like Texas whose large death row population is supported by the same people who oppose Roe v. Wade. At times similarly held positions between people of opposing ideologies can create strange bedfellows like the unwieldy alliance between feminists and religious fundamentalists who oppose the First Amendment when it comes to pornography. What this points to is the irrational factor in human affairs. Sure it makes sense that if you value life you wouldn’t be in favor of execution, but the individual who opposes abortion might easily think of him or herself as a pioneer mentality whose thirst for vengeance might go hand in hand with his or her desire to protect the helpless fetus. Who knows when gunslingers and bounty hunters in the Old West thought life began. It can safely be said that conservatives don’t like taxes that pay for entitlements like Obamacare or even Social Security. Conservatives also don’t like the kind of over regulation that can thwart individual initiative. But the self-same conservatives who champion the rights of the individual over intrusive government might may also find themselves opposed to individual rights when it comes to gay marriage. For instance the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple ("Supreme Court rules for Colorado baker in same-sex wedding cake case,"CNN, 6/4/18). On other issues, there may be some crossing over. A libertarian might argue that the government can’t compel an individual to buy health insurance while at the same time finding him or herself opposed to free trade. On these issues the ideological lines become blurry, though a person who believes that any form of violent pornography should be available on the internet may believe that religious symbols in public spaces are the kind of free expression that impinges on religious liberty.

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