Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Not All Liberals Are Pro-Choice and Anti-Roberts

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Not All Liberals Are Pro-Choice and Anti-Roberts

Article excerpt

I always feel sorry for telemarketers and pollsters who happen to catch me at home. I'm polite, but they usually get a lot more than they bargained for.

Unfortunately, many phone campaigns are designed to push a particular agenda and force those called to express their deeply held convictions in terms that support that agenda.

Too often in polls as well as solicitations, questions are framed in a way that any answer other than the one the caller is looking for appears improbable, foolish, or un-American.

One great for-instance is the Concerned Women for America solicitation call I received recently.

The opening question was: "Are you pro-life?"

"Yes," I replied, because I believe that abortion involves taking a life and should be avoided with few exceptions.

Having offered the hook, the woman on the phone attempted to reel me in with fear. She suggested that this is a critical time in America. That forces are aligning against life as never before.

And she said that if concerned citizens like me don't join her organization in the fight to ensure the confirmation of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts Jr., then all will be lost and we will slip further down the slope to moral decay, indecency, and - gasp! - liberalism in general.

Essentially, the pro-life group wanted $100.

I proceeded to tell the unfortunate caller why her organization was going about it all wrong.

"I'm a moderate Christian," I said. "I'm so much in favor of life that it concerns me when fearmongering is used to distort the debate and make a solid jurist look like an extremist. Intelligent, thinking people don't want extremists anywhere near a Supreme Court bench.

"Why are you limiting the scope of the selection process to such an irrelevant litmus test as Roe v. Wade?" I asked.

"Such red herrings tend to distract reasonable people from the factors that really count. I believe Roberts should be confirmed in relation to his commitment to the Constitution, his intellect, his jurisprudence, his history of making clearly reasoned decisions, and his moral character.

"Roe v. Wade is not a workable issue anymore," I said gently. …

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