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National Legal Summit
Created Equal: Reflections on the Unalienable Right to Life

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Why Can't Liberals Be Consistent in Their Compassion?

By Thomas A. Glessner, J.D.
August 27, 2007

Let me begin these remarks by emphatically stating that I am an avid dog lover. Shiloh, our family pet beagle, has been a big part of our lives for over a decade now. My four kids have grown up with him. He has been a companion to both my wife and me showing the best attributes of "man's best friend." He cuddles with us at night. He friskily plays with us and even performs a few tricks to our amusement. And Shiloh truly shows deep empathy with his big brown eyes whenever his master is in the dumps and feeling blue.

Being the dog lover that I am you can imagine my outrage over the recent actions of NFL superstar Michael Vick. The details of the dog-fighting ring that Vick was operating are truly shocking and bizarre. Vick's training of these animals to be vicious fighters and his heartless executions of these animals when they didn't produce the desired results in the fighting ring has to disturb the consciences of all who have a sense of decency.

Michael Vick is going to pay a heavy price for his indecent and inhumane actions. Not only will he spend some time in prison, but also he may very well forfeit his promising NFL football career. He is also losing millions of dollars of income in product endorsements, as corporations now no longer want him to promote their products.

I shed no tears for Mr. Vick. His disgraceful actions deserve the coming punishment that he is going to receive.

Joining me in my condemnation of Vick are liberals of every stripe. The predictable animal rights groups, such as PETA, are leading the loud public protest, and liberal politicians and liberal commentators in the media such as FOX News commentator Alan Colmes also join them in such denunciations. All of these protestors are expressing sincere voices of compassion as they speak out against the inhumane treatment of helpless creatures that cannot defend themselves.

I join these voices of protest, but I have to ask my liberal friends one question. Why are you so inconsistent in protesting the killing of the innocent?

Yes, Michael Vick's actions in this matter were unspeakably cruel and all Americans of every political persuasion should be appalled and should speak out against such dealings. However, if such cruelty to dogs deserves condemnation from all in society what about the practice of abortion on demand?

Since January 1973, the date of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, more than 46 million unborn children have been destroyed by abortion. Today nearly 4,000 abortions occur everyday. Can you imagine the voices of protest that would be heard in liberal circles if it were revealed that 4,000 dogs were being tortured and killed every day through the practice of dog fighting? Think about the loud voices of protest that would be coming from the anti-war crowd if America lost 4,000 soldiers in Iraq every day. Yet, where are the liberal voices protesting the gruesome killing of the unborn in America today?

Since the media was not reluctant to describe the details of Mr. Vick's executions of innocent animals why do they refuse to describe the gruesome details of abortion and the excruciating agony inflicted upon unborn children by this act. The act of abortion, even in the early stages of pregnancy, tears apart and dismembers the body of the unborn victim. Where are the liberal voices of protest?

The gruesome act of partial birth abortion has been publicized over the years to the shock of most of the American public. In a partial birth abortion the baby is pulled out of the birth canal just four inches short of a complete delivery. Surgical scissors are then jabbed into the baby's neck and a vacuum is inserted into the incision thereby sucking out the child's brains and collapsing the baby's skull.

Thankfully this year the Supreme Court upheld the Congressional ban on partial birth abortion as constitutional. Yet, it was liberals who protested such a ban and hysterically claimed that the Court decision was the beginning of the end for women's rights.

I ask my liberal friends one more question. Should we not have at least the same amount of compassion for unborn children who are subject to the gruesome act of partial birth abortion that we have for the dogs executed by Michael Vick?

Over the years support for abortion-on-demand has become a foundational litmus test in liberal circles to judge whether or not a politician is worthy of liberal support. If any politician dared stray from the liberal party line support for abortion then he/she would be in political jeopardy from their support base. The late Robert Casey, former governor of Pennsylvania, is a case in point.

While governor Casey was a classic domestic liberal Democrat who supported the welfare state and tradition liberal programs. But Governor Casey committed one act of political heresy to the liberal agenda for which he was never forgiven. He was adamantly and unashamedly prolife. He never wavered in his opposition to abortion and spoke out against it at the national level. Because of his prolife convictions he was denied the opportunity by the leaders in his own party to address the Democrat national convention in 1992.

A fundamental tenet of liberalism today is compassion. Yet, where is the liberal compassion for the tiny lives that are being gruesomely destroyed every day? Where is the liberal compassion for the mothers who aborted but were uninformed about the impact the decision would have upon them and accordingly, are suffering emotionally and spiritually?

Despite the acceptance of abortion on demand I still believe that American society has a conscience. When the details of Michael Vick's treatment of dogs were revealed Americans were shocked and alarmed. I believe that, likewise, if the public becomes educated on the gruesome details about abortion a similar reaction will take place and politicians will be forced to deal with the issue in a manner that will protect innocent human life from destruction.

In the meantime I just have to scratch my head and ask: Why can't liberals be consistent in their compassion?

Copyright © 2007 by Thomas A. Glessner. All rights reserved.

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