Before the latest political crisis to get America's blood pressure up – the government shutdown, and its slow bleed into the debt ceiling issue – Syria dominated the headlines. But there's a more important crisis, decades old, looming over both of them.
Time after time, President Obama declared that he "absolutely will veto" any spending bill that delays Obamacare. When in a recent House hearing House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) asked, wryly, if that meant Obama had drawn a "red line" on the legislation, the committee burst out laughing.
There's reason to laugh: Obama proved what a "red line" really means to him in Syria. A civil war that's killed hundreds of thousands of people over a period of years stoked our president's ire only when it was politically convenient. And in trying to replicate that ire in the American people, Obama resorted to a tried-and-true tactic: he pulled heartstrings. He invoked the welfare of children.
"Over 1,400 people were gassed," Obama said. "Over 400 of them were children." And without action in Syria "I think people, rightly, are going to be pretty skeptical about the system [i.e., the U.N.] and whether it can work to protect those children that we saw in those videos."
The president's "red line" was revealed as a joke – a source of outright laughter in the House of Representatives. But at least he put up a show of defending innocent children in Syria. Here in the United States, our own children in the womb don't get even the charade of a "red line."
Pro-choice advocates will object that it's offensive to compare abortion to sarin gas attacks. Perhaps they don’t accept basic embryology, which tells us unequivocally that these children, just like those in Syria, are human beings. Perhaps they haven't read our Declaration of Independence, which grants an equal right to life to every person, or our Constitution, whose Fourteenth Amendment reads, "... 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."
The protection of children is a theme with President Obama. He appealed to it often during the Trayvon Martin case, when he condemned violence against African-American children – except when they're in the womb. We saw it after Sandy Hook, when Obama shed tears for the children violently taken from us by a madman with a rifle, and again at the Washington Navy Yard, where our president listed tragedies of gun violence from Fort Hood to Aurora.
"And yet," Obama said at the Navy Yard, "here in the United States, after the round-of-clock [sic] coverage on cable news, after the heartbreaking interviews with families, after all the speeches and all the punditry and all the commentary, nothing happens. Alongside the anguish of these American families, alongside the accumulated outrage so many of us feel, sometimes I fear there's a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal."
Obama perorates about the unrestrained evil of a machine that fires bullets, or an international thug with chemical weapons, but when will he do the same over clamps, suction machines, and syringes filled with heart-stopping poison? When will our president cite the "heartbreaking interviews with families" suffering from our abortion-on-demand culture?
Everyone agrees that the senseless killing of innocent children is an abominable crime, whether they are gunned down here at home or gassed in Syria. To call attention to eerily similar abominable crimes does nothing to diminish these – in fact, it reinforces our respect for the dignity of every human being, and our desire to protect every one of them equally.
But remember: abortion – this rampant destruction of our children here in the United States – is legal. It is permitted, lauded, and sometimes even prayed for by officials in our government. And it is happening on a scale that dwarfs the atrocities our president so frequently takes it upon himself to condemn.
President Obama's red line may be a joke, but there's a deadly serious red line that transcends him. It's the arbitrary line of birth. On one side, Obama would rain destruction on Syria to protect the child. On the other, he oversees the contemptible and compassionless denial of the child's fundamental right to life.
Politicians promote double-standards so often that we're practically used to it. We sigh and say, "What can you do?" But we need to give this particular double-standard the outrage it deserves. The callous hypocrisy of too many power-brokers in Washington – including, notoriously, our president – has deprived our country of whole generations.
President Obama, there is a real red line out there, and no one is laughing at it. If our children are so important to you, prove it. Save them.
Featured Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa/AP
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