Wednesday, August 23, 2006


In the August 21 edition of the Canton Repository, letter writer John Reinier pointed out the obvious contradiction between George W. Bush’s "respect for life” rhetoric and his very real war in Iraq. The letter is worth a read in its entirety, but I’ll quote a few lines here.

There is no disagreement about war among men who sanctify human life. It’s the last thing on their minds, not the first thing. Unnecessary war never enters their minds. Being bent on waging war sealed the president’s response to the current Middle East crisis, even after it developed into a caldron for sacrificing children. The reality of children bearing the brunt of war didn’t warrant stopping it.

Mr. Rainier’s letter reminded me of a discussion I had in June when I covered the HB 228 hearing at the statehouse. HB 228 is Rep. Tom Brinkman's bill that if passed would ban all abortion in the state for any reason and make it illegal for anyone, including husbands and parents, to transport Ohio women across a state line to get an abortion. It is considered the most Draconian anti-abortion bill introduced in any state legislature. I cut the discussion from my original article for space purposes. It bears telling now.

The hearing room was packed and I got there just before the hearing started (ironically, because I was also covering the anti-war exhibit “Eyes Wide Open: the Human Cost of War," installed on the statehouse lawn--right), so I sat in the overflow in the atrium. Seated next to me was a congenial middle-aged man from Mansfield, a self-described Christian and supporter of the bill who told me he considered abortion murder. He was also gung-ho for Bush and the Iraq War. I asked him how that jibed with his "pro-life" beliefs since hundreds if not thousands of Iraqi babies and children have died and fetuses have been lost through miscarriage or stillbirth due to US "intervention." I also pointed out that some of the ultra-militant anti-abort crowd (such as Dr. Patrick Johnston) oppose the war for several reasons, including the loss of fetuses and "potential life." He didn't even pause to think about it.

"That's different," he told me.…“They're out to kill us all, so we have to kill them first. We can't let them be born."

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