Liberals inconsistent with policy, religion


Beth Mendenhall’s recent article, “Party line views contradictory, illogical”, which makes the point that having a pro-life stance while also being against capital punishment is an illogical position, to put it bluntly, is wrong.

Catholicism teaches that both abortion and the death penalty are wrong, a viewpoint that Mendenhall would have to acknowledge as consistent. Currently, when you look at the Catholics serving in the U.S. Senate, only Jack Reed, Susan Collins and Sam Brownback are acknowledged as generally against both abortion and the death penalty, making them, if you’re a Catholic, the only reasonable people in the Senate. They are also all, oddly enough, conservatives. The liberal members of the Senate are almost universally pro-choice, opening questions as to how seriously they take their own religious beliefs.

Mendenhall’s final argument, that everything ultimately breaks down to how much control you want to give the state, makes no sense. She writes, “For the anti-abortionist, the state is perfectly licensed to regulate our decisions about life and death, whether it be anti-abortion law or prohibitions on murder. For the pro-capital punishment individual, the state ought to go even farther and actually decide who gets to live, and who has to die.”

I don’t really see any contradiction there. In both situations, conservatives think the state should play a role in deciding when life should be protected. This isn’t even inconsistent with the belief in limited government, since most conservatives would acknowledge government should make sure to protect life.

Differing political philosophies lead to differing political beliefs, and simply having a different basis for your beliefs than someone else does not make your view or their view inconsistent. The only people actually inconsistent on this issue are the Catholic Democrats in Congress, and given that’s a sizeable chunk of the Democratic caucus, perhaps Mendenhall should re-evaluate why she is mocking conservatives as the ones who are inconsistent.

– Joshua Madden, Sophomore in political science and history