I believe in the protection of innocent life from conception to dignified, natural death. As a conservative and a student of the Founding, I find this position the only one that holds up to intellectual scrutiny. Because life is acknowledged as an inalienable right—granted by God, not man—then one must do all one can to keep the covenant embodied in Mosaic Law, my Catholic faith, the history of the nation and the enduring strength of its people. The protection of life then must be embraced as fundamental to ensuring that America remains a moral and right nation. To protect life, however, one must also be able to understand the concept of liberty and why this notion is critical to protecting life.
Liberty is often defined as synonymous with freedom. I find equating liberty and freedom wholly inadequate in capturing the essence of liberty. Freedom is about action or inaction—something that man might limit in other men. A tyrannical government can—and does—deny citizens freedom every day. In New York, one is limited in the sizes of soft drinks one might purchase. In Congress, the Democrats rammed through health care legislation that limits the types of insurance policies one might have and the doctors one might see. The healthcare legislation (Obamacare) is also infringing on our religious liberty. This cannot stand.
Liberty is an inalienable right, like life, that is endowed by our Creator. Liberty is a natural right derived from Natural Law. To fully understand liberty, one must acknowledge that men have free will and are able to discern right from wrong and good from evil. Liberty, thus, becomes a necessary condition for the exercise of conscience and the preservation of the soul. Man can take away freedom, but based on this understanding free will and conscience, no one can deny an individual liberty.
If the Declaration of Independence gives us the “why” of America and the Constitution gives us the “how,” then one must refer to the Preamble of the Supreme Law of the Land to understand that Liberty is clearly what must be “secured for ourselves and posterity.” Liberty—the exercise of free will, conscience and the preservation of the soul—then seems the logical complement to any argument concerning life. Preserving life is right, good and necessary. Preserving life is an exercise of free will and conscience. Preserving life, then, is necessary to truly secure liberty.
As Peter denied Christ before the dawn, far too many deny the inextricable link between life and liberty. Pro-life stances should not be shuttled to the back of the intellectual landscape. Defending life and liberty is the duty of every conservative, because to do otherwise, is to deny the heritage of this nation and moral foundation upon which the American experiment is built. To cower in the corner to abate the confrontational tactics of the Liberal Left is to abandon the covenant that one is expected to defend. If conservatives do not stand their ground, then the battle is lost and “men” will then define all things and God will be taken from our culture.
To defend life and liberty, one must muster courage from the depths of one’s being. One must remember those early Christians who sacrificed all to advance a new kind of faith—The Good News—for all humankind. One must remember those early Patriots who pledged their lives, wealth and honor to establish a haven for faith. If one holds to that faith and embraces the example of those early disciples and patriots, then one will find the courage to act in the defense of life and liberty. Further, one will find the tolerance to allow all faiths to flourish in this land called America.