Speaking at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles forum at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington on June 12, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky., shown) said he believes there will be a time when everyone is judged on whether they took a stand in defense of human life.
“One thing worth fighting for is life,” said Paul. “I don’t think a civilization can long endure that does not have respect for all human life, born and not yet born.”
“We have a great many problems in this country to solve. But I believe there will come a time when we are all judged on whether or not we took a stand in defense of all life from the moment of conception until our last natural breath.”
During his speech, Paul made a distinction between using federal powers arbitrarily and using them to protect the rights of citizens:
Though I believe in limited powers for the federal government, I believe, as our founders did, that primary among these powers and duties is the protection of life — that government cannot protect liberty if it does not first protect life.
We must embrace the values of life, liberty and prosperity that will lead this country back to greatness. And we should do so proudly as Christians.
Though the forum was organizing primarily to focus on immigration issues, Paul used his speech to touch on family matters and to explain the Christian principles that guide his political life:
I’m a Christian, a husband and a father. I’m faithful to my wife and my family. I try to be good at all those things, though, of course, we all fall short of perfection in our lives. I try to adhere to the tenets of God’s word in the New Testament. I take seriously my oath to defend the Constitution. And I try to fight for truth and my values regardless of the political outcome, regardless of how popular or unpopular they may be.
Senator Paul introduced S. 583 (“A bill to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person,” known as the “Life at Conception Act”) last March, saying that the “right to life is guaranteed to all Americans.”
Paul stated of the bill that it "legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known — that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward.”
A press release on the legislation issued by Sen. Paul’s office quoted Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to illustrate that S. 583 builds on that amendment, rather than altering the Constitution:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
However, many constitutionalists, even the most stridently pro-life among them, would argue that the 14th Amendment — passed to protect the citizenship rights of the former slaves — opened a Pandora’s Box that eventually led to an expansion of federal power and the severe compromise of states’ rights. It established a precedent, they would argue, that led to abuses of federal judicial authority permitting such travesties of justice as the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.
Others would argue that since it is impossible to put the genie back in the bottle, legislation such as Senator Paul’s is needed to reverse the damage already done. It is an argument that divides many pro-lifers and that will not easily be resolved.
Many strict constitutionalists preferred the approach taken by Senator Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul, who introduced the We the People Act that would have removed the jurisdiction of federal courts to rule on moral issues such as abortion, permitting states to establish laws reflecting the moral principles of their citizens.
Regardless of how constitutionalists may feel about Sen. Paul’s proposed legislative solution to the abortion holocaust, few will dispute his closing words at the June 12 forum:
Man’s humanity toward man is how we will be judged. For the teacher. For the student. For the immigrant. For the unborn. For the next generation.
We, as Christians, should never lose sight of what’s important. We, as Americans, should never lose sight of the things we share in common, and do our best to love thy neighbor, every chance we get.
Thank you and God bless.
Photo of Rand Paul speaking at National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference June 12: AP Images