How does one decide what position to take on an issue? Short of getting a direct communique from God, the best way is to gather all the facts and then make an educated decision. In most cases, we cannot get all the facts, so what then? The past few weeks here in Texas have illustrated quite affectively one method for finding out what you need to know. Observe the conduct of those who support each side.
Obviously, even “good” people can make bad decisions. Sometimes they can be persuaded to employ less than honorable means to achieve a goal that is considered worth the compromise. Sometimes they can be fooled into thinking that a bad thing is really good. It is a fact of life that we are all flawed and will make poor choices from time to time. This truth does not significantly damage the general principle. We can often learn the truth by watching the actions of those who claim to have it.
If you don’t live in Texas, you may have first become aware of efforts in the Texas legislature to pass new laws related to abortion in late June. On June 24, which was to be the last day of the legislative session, Democrats tried to derail passage of the bill by means of a Filibuster. That was within their rights. What happened that they were successful is a different matter. Observers in the gallery began yelling and disrupting the proceedings so that it was nearly impossible to conduct business. The result was that the final vote did not conclude until after midnight, making it invalid under Texas law. Governor Rick Perry, unwilling to allow the mob to rule, called a special session primarily to address this bill. Thus we pick up the tab for this ill-mannered bunch bent on preserving an assumed right to murder the unborn for any reason.
Of course, it didn’t stop there. As the special session commenced, we were treated to scenes like this one, where pro-lifers sang Amazing Grace while abortion supporters screamed “hale Satan!” Need I say more? Wittingly or not, they have clearly identified the source from which their ideals come.
The final showdown occurred last night, and the good guys won! Still doubt who they were? Again, just look at the conduct of each side’s supporters. Advocates for life have gathered peacefully all week, and last night they filled the gallery, wearing blue to show their support. I’m not sure why they chose blue, but that’s beside the point. Reports of what happened are still coming in as I write this, but what I do know is that tampons, jars of urine and feces, and more were intercepted by security officers as abortion supporters entered the building. When things began to get out of hand again, protesters were removed from the gallery, though not without incident. One woman chained herself to a railing. Once the bill passed, it was considered necessary to protect the supporters of life from potential violence.
This all serves as an extreme illustration of the point. Those on the side of life conducted themselves in a peaceful and respectful manner. Those in support of death behaved exactly as anyone might expect if the issue were framed as infanticide rather than abortion. To clarify that statement, if we waited until after the child was born to kill it and the debate were being held over the means and conditions under which such killing was warranted, one would expect those in favor of killing the infant under any circumstance to behave as these people have. The only difference between this imaginary situation and what actually happened is that we are killing the children before they are born.
In general, one may apply the same test to other issues that arise. What is the character of those supporting each side? It is better to decide based on facts, but I have rarely if ever found character assessment to be misleading as a helpful aid.