[Gingrich suggested that implantation, not conception, should mark the line for when life begins.]
The independent existence of the United States began with just such an account of ideas: the self-evident truths and unalienable rights America’s founders held to be the basis of just government.
Of all the candidates on the GOP stage, a professor of American history such as Newt Gingrich is the one we’d least expect to speak without regard for this fact. That’s especially true when he is speaking about the issue (respect for the unalienable human right to life) that in our day most explicitly raises the question of the nation’s adherence to those Declaration principles. Mr. Gingrich is well aware of the fact that the American revolutionaries who promulgated the Declaration looked to the Creator as the origin and source of human life, and to “the laws of nature and of Nature’s God” as the source of each individual’s unalienable right to life. Yet in his answer to the question “When does life begin?” he makes no reference to God’s creation. He speaks as if the issue of the beginning of human life is simply a matter of human opinion; what Newt Gingrich, or Alan Keyes, or any other merely human being thinks about it.
Mr. Gingrich treats the issue of respect for life as if it is simply a matter of personal opinion. In such merely human contentions, the strongest opinion (which usually means the opinion of the strongest) is most likely to rule. If the contest comes to blows, this means military strength. Or it may mean wealth, or the force of greater numbers. If, however, the right and wrong of it depends on a will that transcends human power (which is what the Declaration of Independence declares), then a right judgment about when life begins cannot be made without reference to that will...
The moment when life is present is therefore God’s decision. It does not depend on our will and decision, but on His. As we cannot claim to be privy to all the workings of God’s mind, we cannot claim to know with certainty how or when His decision is made. In that respect life is like a manuscript prepared in secret, which we can read only after it is published in a form accessible to our understanding. As human beings come more and more to decode and understanding the language in which it is conveyed, we can better ascertain which is the first page; the first sentence; the first word of that publication.
There was no doubt a time when human comprehension of life’s beginning went no further than the moment of the child’s emergence into the world at birth. But today’s scientific techniques allow us to read signs once invisible to our mind’s eye. We can make out the male and female information that combine into one expression of humanity at the very moment of physical conception.
In light of this greater understanding, and contrary to Mr. Gingrich’s assertion to Jake Tapper, the Declaration’s account of the source of human life leaves no “extraordinary range of very difficult questions.” At the moment of physical conception God’s manuscript is already done, His program for each human being complete. Faced with a fact of undeniable human nature, justice demands that we respect the right as God has determined it. We have no more leeway to disregard this right in others, because of our opinion of their physical condition, than others have on that same account to disregard it in us. This is the first fruit of what it means to say we are all “created equal.”
Given his academic background, I find it hard to believe that Mr. Gingrich has never considered this reasoning.
Alan Keyes, Loyal to Liberty 36 Comments
[1/7/2012 11:01:06 AM]
Fundie Index: 41
If the Founders had had any idea that religious zealots like you would be twisting the words "created equal" to include non-sentient clumps of cells and to impose fundie theocracy upon millions of people, they would never have used them. Their "basis for just government" was a government that was free of religion.
1/7/2012 11:08:21 AM
So if life begins at conception, why not issue the birth certificate right after the man withdraws?
It's a truly screwed up world in which Gingrich isn't conservative enough. Gingrich, the man who stated that he wants to arrest judges who makes decisions he doesn't agree with.
1/7/2012 11:46:42 AM
"The moment when life is present is therefore God’s decision."
Well when God let's us all know what his decision is, I'm sure legislators will take it under consideration.
And no, the pronouncements of "God's will" on the matter by Mr or Mrs Bible-Thumper don't count.
1/7/2012 11:57:03 AM
This means almost nothing.
1/7/2012 12:23:28 PM
Yeah, abortion was pretty much not an issue back then. Remedies that supposedly induced abortion were sold over the counter. Laws against abortion were only put in place because doctors didn't want people doing a medical thing at home because they disliked the idea of not getting paid for the procedure. Over time, the issue took on the masks of supposed morality and concern for life.
Anyway who cares what the founding fathers would've thought about abortion? We're not supposed to worship them.
1/7/2012 1:02:44 PM
Rat of Steel(OP)
"Mr. Gingrich treats the issue of respect for life as if it is simply a matter of personal opinion. In such merely human contentions, the strongest opinion (which usually means the opinion of the strongest) is most likely to rule. If the contest comes to blows, this means military strength. Or it may mean wealth, or the force of greater numbers."
Catches on quickly, doesn't he?
(/Snake Plissken impression)
1/7/2012 1:21:34 PM
Alan, you can't claim to be privy to any of the workings of God's mind.
1/7/2012 1:36:06 PM
Stretching even further back, should I be investigated if I have my period?, just in case.
1/7/2012 1:55:43 PM
"The moment when life is present is therefore God’s decision."
Then he ignores "God's decision" and makes one himself:
"At the moment of physical conception God’s manuscript is already done"
Apparently, Alan Keyes "treats the issue of respect for life as if it is simply a matter of personal opinion" too. He just has a different personal opinion and hides it under a bunch of verbose BS.
1/7/2012 3:05:54 PM
What in the name of holy fuck does the declaration of independence have to do with the medical fact of conception, or give you the right to interfere in other people's bodies and sex lives? The fucking thing is not a holy text written by demi-gods.
1/7/2012 3:10:00 PM
The bible says that life begins 8 days after birth
1/7/2012 3:55:53 PM
I find it hard to believe that Mr. Gingrich has never considered this reasoning.
I could never consider it reasoning, either.
1/7/2012 4:26:10 PM
1/7/2012 4:26:15 PM
"At the moment of physical conception God’s manuscript is already done, His program for each human being complete."
Ah, yes. God's Magic Penis® that inserts a soul in there.
I say this as a human whose Aunt was premie. She was brought home after the Doctor and the hospital declared her doomed. My Grandparents incubated her in a cigar box filled with sterile cotton and placed in a coal oven with an open door. She lived to be 78. In spite of this, and with the total lack of, "today’s scientific techniques allow(ing) us to read signs once invisible to our mind’s eye", I say, regarding the quote above:
"Are you sure that asshole's through?" - Vicky Lawrence
1/7/2012 4:37:43 PM
the newt's a history teacher o.0??? last time i ever doubt my teachers' credentials and skill!
also, garbage, garbage, gar-bahj, and garbage
1/7/2012 4:56:31 PM
Alan Keyes could have been a contender once ...
Now he has achieved "Lyndon LaRouche" status, surrounded by sychopantic yes-men as he slowly devolves into madness.
1/7/2012 5:52:55 PM
I am hard pressed to think of anyone who knows less about American History than the Newtster.
1/7/2012 5:56:22 PM
He needs to get his biology straight also. Conception = implantation. The people who decided these terms realized that you didn't have a pregnancy unless the zygote implanted. Which doesn't happen 30% to 70% of the time. The fundies want to redefine life back to fertilization. (Which I think is his stance)
1/7/2012 6:06:01 PM
You're not allowed "scientific techniques". They are of the DEBBIL!
1/7/2012 9:27:48 PM
So, what he is saying is that it isn't in our purview to decide when life begins, because that is God's domain? Okay, I can go with that. That means no more legislation on foetal rights... right?
Oh, wait, Alan Keyes is a big old hypocrite. Never mind.
1/7/2012 11:21:06 PM
Raised by Horses
"I find it hard to believe that Mr. Gingrich has never considered this reasoning."
I find it hard to believe that there are still people on this planet who take Newt Gingrich seriously.
1/8/2012 3:14:17 AM
Bullshit is bullshit is bullshit.
1/8/2012 3:49:19 AM
@ Dawn --
Oh, it's worse than that. Because the Bible does distinguish between pre-human fetuses and human children -- and according to the Bible, anything before the third trimester doesn't count as a human life. So literally every "life begins at conception" Christian fundie and every "life begins at implantation" Christian fundie is taking a position in opposition to the BS holy book they claim to be following.
1/8/2012 4:00:30 AM
don't confuse the issue: the bible is inerrant.
Except when it's not.
It's quite easy when you have a mind like a corkscrew, and the morality of a shyster
1/8/2012 4:27:54 AM
It's amazing how many experts Republicans have, in history, foreign affairs, science, law and the constitution. Amazingly wrong.
Remember the finacial meltdown of 2008-9? Republicans and right-wing media continually pushed that no one saw that coming. Bullshit, a shitload of economists warned of it in staggering detail, we just didn't hear from them, we heard only from mouthpieces for the markets.
The worst thing is, those economists and "expert" politicians that were wrong then are the same sorry shit we hear from to this day, Gingrich (proven liar) included.
1/8/2012 6:36:28 AM