post by Bill Gardner
First, listen to the crowd cheering to let the man who did not buy medical insurance die.
As Aaron Carroll commented,
What disturbs me is the glee and excitement shown by people in the crowd, apparently delighting in the idea that society would let an American die.
Next, listen to the crowd cheering for Governor Perry, in the discussion of capital punishment in Texas.
So, what do we make of these cheers? Consider Cardinal Bernardin's address on the
need for a consistent ethic, for the spectrum cuts across such issues as genetics, abortion, capital punishment, modern warfare, and the care of the terminally ill. Admittedly, these are all distinct problems, enormously complex, and deserve individual treatment. Each requires its own moral analysis. No single answer or solution applies to all. But they are linked! Given this broad range of challenging issues, we desperately need a societal attitude or climate that will sustain a consistent defense and promotion of life. When human life is considered "cheap" or easily expendable in one area, eventually nothing is held as sacred and all lives are in jeopardy. Ultimately, it is society's attitude about life—whether of respect or non-respect—that determines its policies and practices.
I am not criticizing Rep. Paul or Gov. Perry, who gave principled answers to hard questions, albeit answers I disagree with. My question concerns the crowd's exultation in these hypothetical and real deaths.
As Cardinal Bernardin acknowledged, it is extremely difficult to work out a consistent ethic of life. But a commitment to life has to start with an "attitude about life—whether of respect or non-respect." I am not hearing respect for life in the cheers of these crowds.
By the way, the last claim I would make is that the Democrats have a consistent ethic of life. See below.
Related post: Do contemporary Republicans believe in Public Health?