Abortion: no litmus test but the sine qua non...

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Today's Washington Post has an article detailing the process surrounding the nomination and eventual withdrawal of Harriet Miers as President Bush's nomination to the Supreme Court. Here's their summary of the conservative opposition to the nomination:

With Bush at a low ebb in the polls and conservatives itching for a champion on the court, years of frustration boiled over public view. "The White House didn't understand the independence of the conservative movement," Kristol said. Usually, he said, "the White House rolls out the big guns and everyone pretty much falls in line." But a call from Rove left him unpersuaded this time. "What this shows is that for conservatives, the Supreme Court is so central" they were unwilling to stay silent.

Kristol is quite right. There are very many of us who will not measure the faithfulness of our elected officials to the Constitution they have sworn to uphold by their provision of additional drug benefits for the elderly, their advocacy of more money for the government schools, or their support for Israel. Rather, we are watching carefully to see whether or not they are doing everything possible to turn back the slaughter of the most defenceless of our citizens--the unborn children being murdered at the rate of 1.3 million per year.

We are not Republicans but biblical Christians who know that God is just and will judge those who shed innocent blood...

And so opposition to that bloodshed is where we'll begin and end our relationship with any conservative movement in these United States.

It's not that we're anti-intellectual and can focus on only one issue at a time. It's not that we're women-haters and think women are at their best when they're barefoot and pregnant. It's not that foreign policy matters are beyond our level of sophistication. It's not that we want Christianity to become our state religion.

Rather, with Lincoln we believe:

The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

Thus abortion must be a litmus test. Actually, far beyond a litmus test--abortion is the sine qua non of our patriotic conscience. When a whole class of defenceless citizens are denied their Constitutional rights, we no longer have constitutional government, whether those citizens are black or unborn.

It's time for everyone to recognize that this is the battle royal. There's no question that the liberals recognize their grand project rises or falls with retaining the status quo on this issue. When will conservatives be as forthright, and as bold?

Now we will be watching and waiting to see if President Bush honors the Constitution which is the authority he's sworn to submit to in his elective office. President Bush, we demand of you courage in nominating a candidate who has no reservations and no lack of ability in standing for justice, for mercy, for equal protection under the law. Yes, we know it may be difficult to get such a nominee confirmed, but for God's sake try. With Lincoln, we need a fighting general, sir.