What is a centrist Democrat anyway?

Or a centrist Republican for that matter. Representative Giffords, who is now fighting for her life and has our prayers, is receiving accolades from both colleagues and political opponents. There is not even a shade of criticism for her political style or method. Good for her. She took her stands and seems to have invited reasonable discussion.

But I am intrigued by one thing. Described as a centrist Democrat she at the same time received a 100 % rating by NARAL, the National Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League. This is centrism? How can this be described as centrist?

Abortion is the issue that won’t go away. As long as the US has anything like the church attendance it has and continues to embrace religious longings rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, abortion cannot be a centrist position. The unwarranted taking of a baby’s life in the womb is by definition extreme.

I teach ethics in college where students debate the moral issues of the day. While in this case the evidence is anecdotal, the fierce argument over abortion is alive and well. Our national conscience has not made peace with abortion. It cannot. Our moral intuitions, quite apart from what we are able to justify intellectually or legally, do not lead us toward abortion but away from it. The common grace of God among us will not let our nation situate itself comfortably with millions of unborn children dying in the womb.

At this point I am not talking about legal or not legal. I am simply focusing on the moral instinct we all share in common. And based on that moral instinct I could never call a politician who is rated 100% by NARAL a centrist.

One thought on “What is a centrist Democrat anyway?

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