The James Wilson Foundation on Natural Rights and the American Founding

“Pro-Lifers Settle for Dhimmitude” -Prof. Hadley Arkes in The Catholic Thing

Writing in The Catholic Thing on the occasion of an exchange during the 2016 Vice Presidential Debate between Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine, Prof. Hadley Arkes critiques the popular political opinion that being pro-life is a matter of “belief” or “faith,” rather than a precept accessible to all humans, in his piece, “Pro-Lifers Settle for Dhimmitude.”

“That marked the understanding, too widely diffused, that the protection of the unborn depends on ‘beliefs’ held by the religious, beliefs that need not be credited as true by those who don’t share those beliefs.

“For the official position now of the Democrats is that the right to abortion is not confined to pregnancy. It entails nothing less than the right to kill a child born alive, who survives the abortion. That is the position that Hillary should be made to defend.

“And yet even more so Tim Kaine. He professes to be an earnest Catholic, that he had reservations about ‘partial-birth’ abortion. And so: will he vote now in the Senate to bring to the floor for a vote that bill that passed the House a year ago? Will he break now from the pro-choice orthodoxy of his party, his president, and his presidential candidate?”

Read the whole piece here.

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Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790