Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who Said This?

Today's Best of the Web Today provides this quotation from a speech by a prominent American politician. Can you guess who?
"The same amendment of the Constitution that forbids the establishment of a State Church affirms my legal right to argue that my religious belief would serve well as an article of our universal public morality. I may use the prescribed processes of government--the legislative and executive and judicial processes--to convince my fellow citizens--Jews and Protestants and Buddhists and non-believers--that what I propose is as beneficial for them as I believe it is for me; that it is not just parochial or narrowly sectarian but fulfills a human desire for order, peace, justice, kindness, love, any of the values most of us agree are desirable even apart from their specific religious base or context....

I can, if I wish, argue that the State should not fund the use of contraceptive devices not because the Pope demands it but because I think that the whole community--for the good of the whole community--should not sever sex from an openness to the creation of life.

And surely, I can, if so inclined, demand some kind of law against abortion not because my Bishops say it is wrong but because I think that the whole community, regardless of its religious beliefs, should agree on the importance of protecting life--including life in the womb, which is at the very least potentially human and should not be extinguished casually.

No law prevents us from advocating any of these things: I am free to do so.

So are the Bishops. And so is Reverend Falwell."
The percipicatious speaker was former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat. Don't get too excited, though, he said it in 1984, so it doesn't count. The statue of limitations has run out.

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