TAPP: How Conservatives Can Overcome Division to Win

By Derrick Tapp, UCF Executive Committeeimage

Conservatives in Mississippi don’t agree on everything and we likely never will. We come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and different geographies. We have unique moral perspectives and family influences. Each of us is at a different point in our journey.

I have been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years and have often felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. I have promoted the Libertarian Party even when ridiculed for my stance in favor of smaller government, transparency and individual liberties. The Democrat I was in my teens because of family influences, and the Republican I was in my early twenties for moral reasons, would argue like there was no tomorrow with the Libertarian I have become in my forties.

The Libertarian I was in my thirties would even have a few disagreements with me today.

I believe dissent and debate to be the greatest of educators–and conservatives love to argue with each other. But those disagreements have provided our big government opponents an insultingly easy way to divide us for decades. Conservatives are principled, intellectual and strong willed as we should be. Yet we have to recognize that our big-government loving opponents have been laughing all the way to the bank at how easily divided we have been by using those attributes against us.

That is about to change.

Conservatives in Mississippi are uniting. We are shelving our differences and forgiving our past transgressions against each other to recruit conservative candidates to defeat the big government officials who have been responsible for keeping Mississippi last. We will defeat them without diluting our strongly held principles because the strongest friendships are built on mutual respect, not submission.

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. People now see that things have gotten worse, especially in regards to ever increasing government control over every facet of our lives.

Conservatives in Mississippi have always known that the dream world promised by proponents of big government is actually a nightmare existence of crippling debt and eroding liberties. It’s time for conservatives to unite with the goal of making Mississippi the most hospitable state in the nation to those who truly want economic prosperity for everyone in our state. We do this by uniting to defeat the proponents of big government, to defeat those who hate transparency, to defeat those who want to keep Mississippi subservient to the whims and the power structure of Washington D.C.

Mississippians have been duped into electing candidates who maintain that we must take money away from our neighbors in other states in order to survive. Voters fall for this fear tactic because these candidates have convinced Mississippians that we don’t have the talents or assets in our state necessary to prosper. Mississippi partisans have been channeling those fears into recruiting the most skilled takers to run for elected office for decades. During this time Mississippi has consistently ranked last economically.

Mississippians are beginning to realize that maybe recruiting the best takers we could find to oversee our state finances has not been the wisest approach to promote economic prosperity in our state, after all.

Some of the most talented people in the world come from Mississippi. We have assets to rival any other state. It’s past time we show the rest of the world what Mississippi can do with true conservative leaders in office.

Our state used to be known as ‘The Hospitality State’. Now we are just known as ‘The Poorest State’. We should reclaim the name of ‘The Hospitality State’ again.

It’s not hospitable to take from others against their will. We should focus on electing candidates who will work to create the most hospitable environment in the nation for large, medium and small companies.

It’s not hospitable for state officials to prop up their favorite ‘government business experiments’ to the detriment of new and existing Mississippi companies, families and taxpayers. We should elect candidates to office with the integrity and the economic expertise to ensure a level playing field so Mississippi’s new and existing companies can compete fairly. It is impossible for any company to compete if the government creates an unfair business environment. If a company needs millions of our tax dollars to be successful then that company does not have a good business plan, and if a company has a good business plan then that company does not need millions of our tax dollars to be successful.

It’s not hospitable to allow envy of the success of others to drive policy. Most proponents of big government want us to think that if an individual or a company makes a profit then we should be jealous. However, profit is not a bad word. No one will go into business and create new jobs and opportunities in our state if they know the game is rigged against their ability to be successful.

I am happy to be a member of the United Conservatives Fund, because I believe with UCF we will reclaim the honor of once again being known as ‘The Hospitality State’. I believe with a unified approach to good policy we will attract the best and the brightest. I believe we will renew a commitment to freedom and to opportunity.

Only when we approach our state’s problems together as challenges to be overcome, rather than demands for politicians to fix, will we begin to see positive results. We are a strong people. The United Conservatives Fund exists to unify that strength and focus it on what we can do together.

Derrick Tapp represents the Libertarian Party on the United Conservatives Fund Executive Committee. He has been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years. He has served as District One Representative for the Mississippi Libertarian Party and most recently Vice Chairman. He works in family retail, distribution, manufacturing and real estate.

This article originally published at UnitedConservativesFund.com

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Comments

  1. Hey Derrick: Respectfully, you cannot be a supporter of The Anointed One, the UCF, or any of his other machinations, and also be a true conservative and certainly not a Libertarian. The McGOPers, like other Christianist socialists, see the role of the State as the Lord Protector and Big Brother over the personal lives of the people in order to require that everyone conform to their world view and way of living. Instead of promising economic salvation via a government hand out, they promise personal salvation by requiring that life be conducted pursuant to a strict social conformity, consistent to their narrow world view. A classical conservative on the other hand, like the Founding Fathers and much like a Libertarian, recognizes the inherent right (pursuant to Natural Law) to live one’s life’s as he/she chooses so long as he/she does not attempt to take from another person his/her life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or in those limited circumstances when the actions of the individual harm not just himself, but society at large, whether directly or indirectly. You sound like you may be a true believer. Therefore, be warned. There will be no place on The Anointed One’s UCF for anyone to voice or express any dissent or thoughts that deviate from his platform.
    David Frazier
    Saltwaterpappy.tumblr.com

  2. Hi David, Thank you for the comment. Yes, I am a true believer and your advice is well taken by me. I made the point early on that the Libertarian message would not be diluted before I accepted this role. I have made that point clear in meetings since then while at the same time communicating our need to focus on the common ground we share. There are arguments with social conservatives that we will never resolve and our shared opponents have been using our differences masterfully to defeat us again and again but there is also common ground we as conservatives can build on together. Decentralization, Federalism, High Moral Tone. The common ground is what we will build on as a united group of conservatives. There are five representatives on the Executive Committee representing five Conservative groups. Social Conservatives and Libertarians only represent the outer edges of this united group and we have ALL made it a priority to work with ALL our fellow conservative members on the executive committee to see that principled conservatives are elected. I make no secret that I intend on supporting candidates in the mold of Johnson, Lee, Amash and Paul to elected office! It won’t be easy but we definitely have a seat at the table and I have a strong Libertarian voice. Please contact me anytime if you hear otherwise. I appreciate and respect your views. Derrick

    • Hey Derrick: Just remember that the Christianists and other members of the Christian Collectivist Community within the UCF will never compromise what they perceive to be their holy struggle to require that their narrow social world view is successfully imposed on as many people as possible. Make no mistake about it, Chris McDaniel and his fellow McGOPers are of this mindset. Therefore, don’t be too surprised if after a short time you realize that UCF really stands for United Christianist Fund; and that those who refuse to conform are not welcome to its board. I predict that it will not be very long before it becomes apparent to you that the UCF is merely the latest generation of The John Birch Society.
      David Frazier

  3. I’m not a member of any of these groups, and I’m not a conservative either, but I really would like for David Frazier to give us one or two examples of the “Christianist” agenda that he thinks that UCF will attempt to impose on us all.

    I don’t mean, for example, laws punishing murder. I think we can all agree that those are not “Christianist” laws at all.

    Or even laws limiting taxes based upon moral objections to theft, for example. Surely those are not strictly “Christianist” laws. Aren’t we all supposed to object to theft?

    An example of a “Christianist” law that I could think of would be, for example, a law that required stores to be closed on the Sabbath or on Sunday for religious observance purposes. But as far as I know, the UCF hasn’t promoted any laws like that so far – but we will keep a sharp eye out for when / if they do!

    Also, a law promoting the Bible as the official state book might be viewed as a “Christianist” law – but I saw where there were piles of Democrats who signed on to that, so I don’t think we can blame the UCF or the “McGOPers” for that one either!

    Anyway – a few examples of “Christianist” policies that the UCF will seek to shove down all our throats would be appreciated!

    • Hey John: I’m glad you asked. Two leading issues promoted by the Christian Collectivist Community, or what I sometimes call Christianists, are the efforts to deny: 1) members of the LGBT community equal protection under the law and due process of law by denying them the benefits of a state sanctioned marriage license; and 2) women the right to safe, effective, and convenient abortion healthcare services due to the imposition of unnecessary TRAP laws. Of course, the existing laws in MS, as well as in other states are finally being declared unconstitutional for the same reasons as I cited above and as I have been crying out into the wilderness for several years now. But I know that Governor Bryant and the other Christianists in MS will continue to work overtime to maintain the State’s position of Lord Protector over the personal lives of the people, by doing everything they can to pass laws that impose their narrow world views on everyone else. The Founding Fathers called this “Tyranny of the majority”. The courts throughout the fruited plains are calling it unconstitutional. To be sure, American jurisprudence is shaped to a large extent by our Judeo-Christian culture–and for the most part, that is a good thing. The problem arises when one person’s narrow (sectarian or otherwise) beliefs are allowed to interfere with the exercise of
      another person’s natural rights as preserved in our secular Constitution. Because we live in a quasi-socialist country, having access to a marriage license is much more than just a symbolic gesture. It’s the link to many different social benefits for dependents and survivors of the marital relationship. This fact was touched upon by the Supreme Court in the Windsor case in 2013. Therefore, when I refer to Christianists, just like their Muslim counterparts, I am referring to individuals who maintain a very narrow and rigid interpretation/belief of the Bible to the extent that they are willing to ignore the laws of science in order to keep their faith and their narrow world view alive, and in doing so, they consider it part of their struggle or jihad to force everyone else to conform likewise, either voluntarily, or by the force of the State.
      David Frazier

      • The state can determine what is marriage just like it can determine what is a child. Gays are not entitled to marriage no more than an adult is entitled to the protections of being a child.

        As far as abortion goes, the unborn is distinct DNA, the marker of life. Abortionists are anti-science.

  4. Respectfully, DML2016 betrays a total lack of jurisprudencial knowledge, and apparently did not understand anything that I wrote to John at 3:04 p.m. Honestly, it’s comments and observations like DML’s that make it difficult for conservative principles to be taken seriously by the general public.

  5. Some people seem to be so concerned about the individual right of gays and their rights as couples as per the constitution and for the rights of abortion seekers for quality medical care. Because this will make us a better society and more widely accepted. What I don’t understand is why the same people, who seem to have their good intentions toward their fellow men and women in these genres, don’t seem to have any compassion or concern for the unborn child of the abortion seekers. They seem to forget them in conversation while quoting religious association, constitutional rights, state protectionist, and blah, blah, blah. Forget the religious aspect of it for a moment whether Christian or not. What about the human compassion for a child whether born or not. It is still a child and always will be regardless of whether some scientist or doctor who is only interested in lining his pockets says it is. Common sense and science tells you when something is alive or not. How about a little compassion for these and all children who are being abused. I know, go ahead and explain it to me how it’s not really a child until it is so many weeks old because some scientist doctor said so and refuses to identify life itself. You know, I’m not a fireman but guess what, I can still recognize a fire when I see it. Come on all you compassionate people who want to tell us what we need to do to bring us all together for the greater good, how about including this section of society who is also an unheard voice calling out in the wilderness for compassion to continue their life.

    • Hey Michael: You raise a very valid point. And therein lies the rub. However, even though the law attempts to be formulated in a manner over time that is consistent with what Chris McDaniel calls “good moral order”, ultimately it must not be arbitrary or capricious. It must apply fairly and equally to all “persons”. That will sometimes lead to outcomes that we as individuals may not like or fully appreciate, but which over time, under the direction of the Constitution, will serve the greater good by being faithful to the Constitution and the rule of law.
      David Frazier

  6. David Frazier, I do not understand why you think that stopping abortion is somehow “Christianist” – but laws against murder are somehow ok.

    Was it those pushy “Christianists” who fought to outlaw slavery? Most of them worked explicitly from a Christian perspective.

    How do you decide which laws based upon morals are “Christianist” and which ones are just and right? Aren’t all laws based upon some moral consideration?

    • Hey John: For conservatives (and the Founders) laws exist in order to uphold and protect conditions which are considered necessary to maintain “good moral order” in society, and to limit/prohibit/punish conduct that works against maintaining that same “good moral order” in society. As a matter of Natural Law, the murder of another viable autonomous “person” is an obvious example of where the law is used to punish anti-social behaviour which threatens the continued “good moral order” in society. To be sure, in a secular democratic republic such as ours, the laws are derived from the people and to a large extent, the prevailing culture. Since we live in a strong Judeo-Christian culture, it is therefore only natural that many of our laws originate from there as well. For the most part, that is a good thing. The trouble arises when laws are passed that are designed to promote sectarian beliefs, deny equal protection under the law, and/or deny due process of the law, and fail to serve a compelling state interest in the process. Our nation’s history shows that since the 17th century, slavery (and it’s spawn, segregation) has been America’s “evil mistress”. Prior to the 19th century the “peculiar institution” was not only allowed, but it was also acceptable as an established part of the prevailing cultures throughout the world. Many of our Founding Fathers were proud slave holders. On the other hand, it was the tension of slavery that almost caused some of the members of the Constitutional Convention to walk out and abandon their project. To be sure, the abolition movement had among its members many members of the Christian Collectivist Community as it existed at the time–John Brown being one of the most prominent. However, the problem of slavery transcended sectarian beliefs, just as invidious discrimination and disparate treatment without a compelling state interest does today. It is inconsistent with Natural Law. The fact that our founding Declaration of Independence declares that “all men are created equal” coupled with the Constitutional protection that all men (persons) are entitled to live in an environment where they have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” clashed with the reality of slavery. This reality continued to eat away at the “good moral order” of America. This cancer was finally removed in part via a bloody civil war. In an effort to protect the civil rights of African Americans who were being subjected to disparate and invidious treatment by southern whites, the 13th, 14th, & 15th Amendments to the Constitution were adopted. In particular, the 14th Amendment provides in pertinent part that “no person” shall be denied equal protection under the law and due process of the law by any state. Accordingly, the Bill of Rights became applicable against state actors and state sponsored acts just like they had applied to protect the people against abuses by the federal government. The states were no longer allowed to establish religion on the people, deny any “person” the right to vote or own property, etc., or do anything in violation of the Bill of Rights. So, to answer your question, “How do you decide which laws based upon morals are “Christianist” and which ones are just and right?”, lawmakers should always consider the following factors when considering whether to support the passage of a bill to become law: 1) does the bill seek to promote “good moral order” within society; 2) does the bill seek to promote “virtue” in the individual–industriousness, honesty, charity, etc.; 3) does the bill promote equal protection under the law for all “persons”, or does the bill seek to limit those privileges and protections by discriminating against a certain group; 4) does the bill seek to promote due process of law, or does it limit a “person’s” access to all of the privileges and benefits which are available as a matter of law; 5) does the the bill have the effect of promoting sectarian or religious beliefs/agenda; 6) does the bill seek to promote the general welfare of the citizenry without creating a cause and effect of personal financial dependency upon government; and 7) does the bill seek to promote liberty among all “persons”. These are the main ingredients for the formulation and perpetuation of good republican government in a secular democratic republic such as ours.
      David Frazier

      • But of course you must realize that all your criteria for what makes a good law in a “secular” society actually could and do justify outlawing abortion?

        It’s good moral order not to allow human beings to be killed. Unborn children are human beings.

        Your pre-emptive attempt to build in a distinction by using the term “person” won’t get you what you want, since it’s just as ambiguous – or just as unambiguous – as “human being.”

        Indeed, one of the distinctions made by some in the slavery movement was that black slaves were somehow a “sub class” of human beings, and just shouldn’t be characterized as full “persons” – same goes for justifications for anti-semitism, etc.

        IN fact, I defy you to name a single instance in human history where a limitation of the scope of the term “person” to a mere sub-set of members of the human species has not later on been repudiated with shame and repugnance.

        One day, limiting “person” to mean “viable” or “post birth” or “6 months past conception” will be seen to have been just as arbitrary, foolish, and invidious.

        The same type analysis can be made re: all your other criteria, so that they cannot bear the distinctions you wish them to bear.

        I know it’s almost impossible to construct a “secular moral law” without any appeal to deity, because I went through a time trying to do so myself. One can pile on a huge number of definitions and “distinctions” to try to rule in or rule out this or that law as “secular” or “sectarian” – but in the end, they appear to most people merely ad-hoc structures built upon sand.

        I gave an example of a truly sectarian law – sabbath laws. Add to that laws that declare a state religion, or mandate prayers, or designate official holy books, or favor a denomination.

        But laws against murder and slavery and theft – it’s impossible to construct a purely secular basis for them that isn’t merely arbitrary.

      • Hey John and Bill: The Constitution only protects the rights of a “person”. No where in America has a fetus ever been declared, nor will it ever be upheld as a “person”. Personhood can only apply to a living, breathing, biologically autonomous, self-sustained person, not a pre-life that is totally dependent upon its biological host. A woman, on the other hand, is all of these. Where you fellers and other Christianists stray is in your sincerely held beliefs is your contention that a fetus is a life. But how can that be? For there to be a human life qualified to be a “person”, it must be biologically independent and autonomous. A fetus remains tethered to its host until the moment of giving birth. And I’m not an atheist–too dogmatic. I’m just anti-theistic. After all, anything is possible.
        David Frazier

  7. williamhsmith1109@gmail.com says:

    David: (1) When you reference the Declaration, and the rights it enumerates you consistetnly leave out the source of those rights. They are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. Nature (natural law) and nature’s God establish certain realities. (2) What if a time arrived in the US when a consensus developed that some autnomous persons may be kllled. The consensus having changed, does the “rightness” of murder then follow? May we kill Jews? Gays? Why not? (3) And what the heck is an autonmous iindividual anyway? Is a three year old autnomous? A 10 year old? And then on the other end, is an person in nursing home? (I fear the answer you will give to the last one, it becine clear that such a person in not capable of “self-law.”) By being inconsistent with your first principle of atheism you can for noiw secure some rights. But not consistently. And not indefinitely.

    • A fetus is a human life.That’s just simple biology. A fetus is a human being. It’s a member of the species homo sapiens.

      You believe that it’s a human being that’s not worthy of being called a person. But your criteria are completely arbitrary, as were the distinctions made by racists, anti-semites, and other groups in the past who used arbitrary criteria to narrow the definition of personhood for their own political agendas.

      The notion that all members of the human species are persons is not a “Christianist” idea at all.

      Point out to me a case in history where decline

      • Right on brother!

      • Hey John: Your logic is consistent with that of the priestly class. A fetus cannot be a life because it is not living. In most states the heirs of a person who is killed in a wrongful manner may file a “wrongful death” lawsuit against the tortfeasor. Unless I am mistaken, nowhere in the U.S. can a “parent” file a wrongful death lawsuit against anyone who causes the fetus to be destroyed. Rather, the right of action always remains that of the pregnant woman.

  8. “A fetus is not living.”

    That is the most ignorant statement I have read in years.

    Even on the internet.

    Have you never studied rudimentary biology?

    • No, my logic is consistent with that of a scientist who actually knows how to detect whether an object is alive or not.

      You seem to think that a fetus is like a virus, but I assure you, that science proved hundreds of years ago that a fetus is a live human being.

      • Hey John: Please keep talking. You’re just confirming one of my points I have been making over the last 6 months. McGOPer “logic” represents the lint that clings to the fringe that surrounds the base of the Republican Party.
        David

  9. I didn’t support Chris McDaniel.

    I’m not a conservative.

    And all people trained in the sciences, like I was, know that the fetus is alive.

    If your entire anti-“Christianist” jihad finally comes down to your ignorance of the basic facts of biology, then I certainly can’t help you out.

    • Hey John: Respectfully, for you to say that a fetus that is wholly dependent upon its host for life, is itself alive is oxymoronic. Only at such time as it is separate, autonomous, and self-sustaining can a creature be considered alive. Therefore, I suspect your “scientific training” has been limited to the social sciences. And why does everyone think that I’m anti-Christian? Jesus said and did many wonderful things during his life that have transformed
      much of the world. It’s when people attempt to impose their narrow sectarian beliefs on everyone else, whether it be through force of arms or through the power of the State that I protest. However, as T.S. Elliott use to say, “The problem with Christianity is Christians!” The irony is that most nonMcGOPer Christians I know tend to agree with most of my points once they put down their Bibles and think for themselves. And there John is the rub. So many people due to fear our ignorance, just do not want to think for themselves. And for them, The Anointed One is just their guy. He will tell them exactly what, when, where, and how to feel. He’s like the Big Government that he criticizes.

  10. Keep talking, your abysmal ignorance of all things biological is staggering.

    Even parasites are alive. If you have a tapeworm, it’s alive, even though it depends on you for survival.

    Conjoined twins are alive, and separate human beings. Both of them get to vote in our elections once they turn 18.

    None of us are “self-sustaining.” None of us are “autonomous” either. Do you not know about the biological principles of symbiosis, ecosystems, and the mutual interdependence of all biological life?

    Do you believe that a new-born infant is “autonomous and self-sustaining?” If not, can we kill them until they’re 18 years old, have a job, are out of the house, and are “self-sustaining?”

    How about a profoundly disabled person who depends upon loved ones to feed and clothe and bath them. Are they not “considered alive” by you?

    It’s simply amazing that you would put those thoughts down, they are so misinformed.

    As for my “scientific training:” I’ll show you my dissertation and Ph.D. in the hard sciences from the University of Chicago, along with the scholarly papers my name appears upon in the scientific literature, if you’ll show me yours.

    • Hey John: I am but a humble country lawyer who gets by each day picking through all of life’s s* * t with the rest of the chickens. I can’t debate with someone whose arguments are based upon emotions and theistic arguments alone. Suffice it to say that the law in the U.S. has been, and shall forever be so long as America remains a secular democratic republic, that: 1) the laws protect “persons” from arbitrary policies, practices, customs, rules,
      and regulations; 2) that nowhere in the U.S. is a fetus accorded legal classification as a “person”; 3) that for over 40 years the protections provided to a “person” include the absolute, and fundamental right of a woman to choose to undergo, and have safe, effective, and accessible abortion healthcare services at least within the first trimester of her pregnancy; and 4) that no amount of sectarian or community opposition may impede a woman’s right or alter any of the foregoing. It’s just that simple. The sooner you and other Christianists accept this reality, the sooner you can then
      become more engaged in the mainstream of the GOP political process, instead of hanging out with Santorum and Huckabee as part of the lint that clings to the fringe that surrounds the base of the Republican Party.
      David Frazier

      • I haven’t made one single theistic argument in the entire discussion so far.

        Perhaps part of your issue is that you cannot distinguish between science and theology.

        You are also factually wrong about the law only protecting “persons.” Most states have laws making fetal homicide a crime, even though they don’t acknowledge (as you correctly state) the personhood of the unborn child. How can a person be charged with killing an organism that, you just repeatedly claimed, isn’t even alive?

        Fact is this: fetuses are human beings. They are living organisms belonging to the homo sapiens species.

        I understand that you wish to preserve the “right” to kill certain human beings. Your method is to claim that the human beings you wish to kill are not technically “persons.”

        If you would just come out and admit that this is your argument, then everybody can make a bit of progress in rationally discussing the matter.

        But so long as you hide behind the scientifically false claim that the fetus “isn’t alive,” there can be no rational discussion.

        There is plenty of historical precedent for your position – that we can kill certain human beings because they are not persons.

        Finally, I have no interest in being any part of the GOP. I haven’t voted for a Republican candidate for office in years. I don’t support Huckabee or Santorum or any of the candidates you keep trying to push off on me.

      • Hey John: Now you’re cooking! I commend you for your thoughtful reply. But tell me, can a fetus survive outside the womb during the first trimester/13 weeks of gestation? If not, then how can the fetus be considered or treated as a “person” or even a “human being” for purposes of equal protection under the law? That’s my point. To my knowledge, no statutory laws or courts in America consider a 13-20 week fetus to be a “person”. If I am misinformed, then I would very much appreciate you pointing out the error in my knowledge. But if I am correct, then my point remains that a fetus is not a person, a human being, etc. It is a potential person, and a potential human being. A pregnant woman on the other hand, is a living, breathing, conscious, autonomous person/human being who is subject to constitutional protection. A nonviable fetus simply cannot be classified for personhood or human being status, to be accorded any protections under the Constitution.
        David Frazier

  11. The issue of whether to classify a fetus as a person is a moral and political issue, not a scientific issue. The classification is not biological, but rather legal and moral.

    There are plenty of examples in human history when various classes of human beings were not considered “persons” for the purposes of the law.

    Blacks, Jews, slaves, homosexuals, deformed persons, etc. Human history records times and places when members of these groups were not deemed to be “persons” and thus could be treated as property or disposed of.

    But let’s be very clear about what this is all for: at various time, in various places, society has wished to dispose of certain classes of human beings, and has justified doing so by labeling them as “sub-human” or “non-persons.”

    The question is, by what criteria are these decisions made?

    It would certainly be POSSIBLE to hold that a fetus is a “person” and therefore subject to constitutional protection. There is no LOGICAL or even LEGAL bar to holding that.

    Right now, our society classifies unborn human beings as non-persons. It’s very clear why we do this – so that we may kill them with impunity.

  12. williamhsmith1109@gmail.com says:

    David, since bring up 13 weeks gestation, would you be readuy to declare the baby human after 13 weeks and to grant him/her equal protection? While I think that there is no way to make a distinction between a person and non-person no matter the point in the gestation period, I certainly would make common cause with anyone who wanted to protect all post 13 week babies.

    • Hey John and Bill: You raise some valid points about human status. Many cultures (would) have their priests or shamen take all newborns to examine for any obvious birth defects. If any were/are found, the baby would be/is usually left exposed to the elements somewhere outside the protection of the community, to be left to survive or die according to the will of god/the gods. It is my very limited understanding of Catholicism that newborns do
      not even have souls until such time as they are christened and baptized into the church. Because of this, babies that were stillborn, are not even buried in consecrated ground. If I am correct in my understanding, then how can the church classify a fetus as a human being, not to mention as a person? It is interesting to note that at least in MS, the legislature agrees with you guys
      and defines a fetus as a human being as part of the State’s very restrictive, and unconstitutional abortion laws. Also, there are laws which make it a come to assault a pregnant woman which causes her to miscarriage. Of course, these laws are not designed as crimes against the fetus, but rather as
      crimes against the pregnant woman. As I have said before, as abhorrent as abortion may be in principle to some folks, it all comes down to protecting the liberty rights of women who are persons under the Constitution. To
      Christianists and other theists, I respectfully ask, “Why should the existence
      of a potential life (that by most religious beliefs has no soul) that has no rights under the law, be an impediment to a woman who may wish to terminate her pregnancy?”
      David Frazier

      • You’re bootstrapping here. The fact that the law now doesn’t protect the personhood of the fetus doesn’t justify abortion. Instead, it is the REASON that abortion is now legal.

        Put it this way: since a black slave isn’t protected as a full person by our laws [in the early 1800s], why should there be any impediment to buying and selling them?

        The fact is, the personhood of human beings interferes with all sorts of things some people would like to do. That’s not an argument for restricting the scope of personhood

        Rather, it’s the basis for restricting what some people would like to do.

        What controls is not what people want to do to other human beings. What controls is the personhood of every human being.

      • It seems that your recitation of what theists have done in the past cuts against your Christianist concerns – in those cases you site, religion is used to cast out various human beings from full personhood, to justify violence and prejudice that just happens to benefit the adult practitioners of the faith.

        It’s almost as if abortion now has become a sacrament in the new religion – and requiring that little babies be stripped of their personhood to keep the new religious ceremonial practices legal.

  13. Hey John: But to be stripped of something, you first must be in possession of it. Explain to me at any time and anywhere in our nation’s history that a fetus has held the status of a “person”. Some states like MS have attempted to classify a fetus as a “human being” in a misbegotten effort to ban or limit a woman’s fundamental right to have an abortion, and to criminalize a physical assault upon a pregnant woman who sustains an injury to the fetus, or who
    suffers a miscarriage. But in those instances as I understand it, the crime is considered to be an assault on the woman, not upon the fetus. Returning to
    my question in Catholic theology, if I am correct in my understanding that the Church does not consider these newborn beings to have a soul until such
    time as they are christened and baptized into the church, how is it that these
    same creatures can have any prebirth rights, particularly at such a stage of
    prenatal development before the fetus is even viable? You see now why I choose to follow the rational path of secular humanism, rather than the
    theistic mubo-jumbo sectarian twerpings of “what is or is not” in keeping with
    The Christian Collectivist Community. All of this speculation about when, and how a being obtains a soul, or when it is subject to losing one’s soul may be grist for the priestly class, but it only spreads confusion, doubt, and unnecessary fear into the hearts and minds of the madding crowd. By the way, you may be interested in knowing that I quit paying my dues to the American Bar Association 25 years ago because of the way it came out in support of the unrestricted right of a woman to have an abortion. At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I wonder if Senator McDaniel has put himself out there professionally as well?
    David Frazier

  14. I think it funny that you want to appeal to the Catholic doctrine as proof that unborn children aren’t persons. Why doesn’t that make your position “Christianist” since you have managed to find a religion that agrees with you?

    To me this is all very simple: all organisms that are members of the human species are persons.

    So I don’t have to refer to theology or try to hone some definitions to carve out exceptions of who is or is not a person. We all are.

    You seem to think that, just because your side has managed to keep unborn babies excluded from legal personhood so far, that means they are not in fact persons.

    But it actually works the other way around: they are persons whether you or your laws agree or not. They are persons because they are human beings, members of the same species as you and I are.

    In other words: personhood is an objective biological fact. It need not have anything to do with theology or politics.

    Trying to carve out this or that group of human beings as “persons” is a theological or political or moral operation.

    Admitting that all human beings are persons is the most neutral, objective, scientific thing one can do.

  15. williamhsmith1109@gmail.com says:

    I am not a Roman Catholic nor do I believe in the distinctive doctrines of Roman Catholicism. However, the Roman Catholic Church believes all human beings from conception have human souls. They morever hold out hope of the salvation of all babies who die before, at, or just after birth without baptism. The issue is not the existence of the soul but it’s salvation, the doctrine being that baptism washes away the the guilt of original sin. I do not know if exceptions are made now or not, but historically unbaptized stillborn children were not buried in consecrated ground, the issue not being not having a soul (which the child does) but not being baptized. BTW, it is strange to cite the RCC as no group is more clearly opposed to all abortion except those that are medically required, such as ectopic pregnancies in which case the loss of the baby is not the purpose but the consequence of operating to save the life of the mother. Perhaps a RC can correct or add to.

    • Thanks for the clarification and correction. Your explanation of the point on original sin and baptism vs. receiving a soul per baptism makes much more sense. I just cited to Catholics as another example of theistic fundamentalism which makes no sense to me. The fact that infants or anyone else who are not baptized are denied burial in consecrated ground, indicates to me that such a creature is not considered to be the same, salvationically speaking, as a person/human being that has been baptized. After all, not even Catholics baptize a fetus.

  16. Actually, Catholics do baptize fetuses whenever it is possible for the water to actually touch the body, which is a condition of their baptism. If the fetus is miscarried, it is to be baptized. If the mother dies and the fetus is not yet born, it is to be extracted and baptized.

    My father, as an army physician, was instructed to baptize even a bloody mass of tissue that was deemed to be the conceptus of a mother who miscarried.

    So I fear that the Catholic position on baptism doesn’t really support your position.

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