President Obama is a class act. I just watched his Commencement speech given to the Class of 2009 at Notre Dame. He handled the divisive issues of abortion and stem cell research with dignity and grace. He did not run away from the issue as so many other's might have done. I am sure most of you saw the speech and, if not, will be able to find it on You Tube, CNN or other news media. As I write this I do not know where it will be covered on the Internet, but I am very sure it will not be hard to find.
Emotions run high on both subjects and it is hard to remain calm when passions are so inflamed. It doesn't matter which side you are on, you must admit that it is probably one of the most divisive issues of our time. Given the margin for error the Polls indicate the country is split right down the middle between pro-choice and pro-life. To tackle this subject at a Catholic University would take more courage than I have. I will oversimplify the essence of Obama's point, but my understanding of what he said was that we must find common ground and build from there. We must find the things we agree on and build a consensus.
I am pro-choice because I do not think that a religious belief has any place in formulating laws. Not even a strong advocate for the pro-choice camp think abortion is a good thing. Planned Parenthood lives up to it's name by counseling on how to avoid pregnancy in the first place. If there were no unwanted pregnancies there would be no abortions. That,to me, is one thing everyone should agree on. And adoption should be made easier if an unwanted pregnancy should occur. I think that's another common ground to build on.
To me stem cell research should be a no-brainer. If you truly think life is sacred you should place the life of a diabetic child who is already born against a clump of stem cells that will be destroyed anyhow. If the research from using those cells can save lives, make well the people who suffer from dibilitating diseases, or further our understanding of disease I cannot fathom the resistance to using them.
Everyone has the freedom to live their religious beliefs; I just don't want them to force their beliefs on those of us who disagree beacuse I do not believe the church is infallible. History is rife with strongly held religious beliefs that have been proven wrong. The Earth is not flat.
The Founding Fathers in their wisdom tried to make sure that there would be a separation of Church and State. I am strongly in favor of making sure that clause is adhered to.
I hope that cool heads will prevail and that we can close the divide that separates us. We can disagree without being disagreeable.