CITING various situations in his defence of Barack Obama’s election (Opinion, CL 5/4/09) Fr Ron Perrett includes “as yet another example of extraordinary achievement, the unexpected first-ever election of an African-American President”.
If an unexpected first-ever elected American President from some other ethnic background were to support the Jewish Holocaust, deny equal voting rights for men and women or, even worse, promote pedophilia, would Fr Perrett see the election as an “extraordinary achievement”?
“First evers” don’t automatically guarantee the integrity of a leader.
What is missing in this discussion is the overall, intrinsic defence of human beings in all situations of life (and not just say it or include it as an afterthought or with a reminder).
At the same time, not every scenario involving humans in danger can be treated as black or white.
A real example has been the Iraq War where, even though many injustices were perpetrated, the direct and deliberate killing of our fellow humans was not the intention and plan of US and some other leaders.
Abortion is a stark exception. It is direct, deliberate, intentional attack on the innocent, most helpless members of the human race.
Nothing justifies it.
A balanced understanding of these contrasts should underlie any assessment of the integrity of a national leader who would only live by double standards if the proper perspective of human worth were to be compromised or rejected.
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