Bush’s Veto Pen and the Contradictions of the Sanctity of Life

President Bush’s veto today of legislation that would have lifted federal restrictions on scientific research was only the third veto of his six-plus year presidency, joining a previous rejection of a similar bill and his veto of the Iraq War Spending Bill that may have prompted a troop draw-down in Iraq.

As the New York Times reports, Mr. Bush stated: “Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical.” Mr. Bush shows no such compunction for saving human life when it comes to the subject of his other veto, the foreign policy disaster and humanitarian crisis which is the Iraq war. Instead, Mr. Bush keeps our troops in harm’s way and most likely inflames sectarian violence in Iraq, clinging with stubborn insistence to his endless and bloody war.

Many Americans appear to keep a healthy distance from the carnage and bloodshed in Iraq. While focusing on the abstract “us vs. them” or “good vs. evil” theme to the war, very few confront the actuality of it: men, women and children are dying every day. While the religious right mouths platitudes about the sanctity of life, they embrace the actions and “values” of a political party that has brought more misery and death to the world than Roe vs. Wade has in the last thirty years.

If “values voters” brought the same fervor for life to the Iraq war that they do to stem cell and abortion debates, the continuous war-mongering of the Republican party would have a much harder time winning elections, but principled religious voters would also show they had integrity. Of course, I doubt that anytime soon we will see Focus on the Family or Operation Rescue parading at rallies with pictures of dead Iraqi children or staking out the Pentagon like they do abortion offices. Instead, we will continue to hear about the view from the moral high ground from those who dwell in the depths hypocrisy.

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