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Dannemeyer and Abortion

November 25, 1990

Re "Dannemeyer Speaks Against Abortion" (Nov. 10): I attended the Students for Life Coalition meeting where Rep. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) spoke, and I must say that I was appalled.

As stated in the article, Dannemeyer said that "there must be a return to a basic Judeo-Christian ethic system that this country was founded on." He used the example that the advocation of private property was based in the Bible on the Eighth Commandment "Thou shalt not steal." This says nothing about Christians and their own possessions and is a far cry from supporting his argument.

On the contrary, Jesus owned nothing and told his disciples to sell their material goods and follow him. Matthew 19:16-20 talks about a rich young man who has obeyed all the Ten Commandments, yet he felt he still lacked something. In Matthew 19:21 Jesus answers: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Dannemeyer's argument also ignores the fact that 10 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were deists and denied the interference of God in the world, private life and, most importantly, in the political arena. This was a well-received philosophy in the gentry class of the late 1700s, and we all know that it was this same gentry class that framed our Constitution. Could this be the Judeo-Christian ethic that Mr. Dannemeyer was referring to? I didn't think so.

To get to the point of abortion, Mr. Dannemeyer used the phrase "pro-abortion" rather than "pro-choice." This is clearly a rhetorical tool used to lead the uninformed to the idea that all pro-choicers are advocates of and encourage abortion. This simply is not the case. If he can use the term pro-abortion, could I use the term anti-choice?

I'm not asking anyone to be perfect, but I expect my representative to, at the very least, not contradict himself. I would also hope that anyone who uses the Bible as a premise to an argument would not, for the sake of those who still hold it sacred, distort the verses or simply read only what you want to read and disregard the rest.

MATTHEW W. PATE, La Habra

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