Among These Are Life: Uncle Joe Edits His Own Moral Reasoning

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In his taped presidential campaign announcement, former Vice President Joe Biden began on a sublime note citing the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” he intoned, “that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights.” 

Then he stops the historic recitation. Perhaps as a Catholic of an older generation whose political career has drifted away from any discernible pro-life expectations, Biden felt ashamed to say the next phrase:  “that among these are Life.” 

How could he talk about the Declaration’s right to life, when his own policy views on abortion have slowly-but-steadily tracked away from an unalienable right to life? 

In a relaxed 2015 interview with America magazine editor Fr. Matt Malone, S.J., then-Vice President Biden explained his views on abortion. “I’m prepared to accept as a matter of faith,” Biden said, “the issue of abortion … I’m prepared to accept the moment of conception of human life and being.”

Yet that’s as far as he would go. “But I’m not prepared,” he emphasized, “to say that to other God-fearing and non-God-fearing people who have a different view.”

In his candidacy announcement, Biden ducks the life issue, switching to the 2017 extremist racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. He vigorously condemns the “moral equivalence” he unearthed in President Donald Trump’s statement on the confrontation, which included references to “fine people on both sides.”

Biden cannot bring himself to the same condemnation of “moral equivalence” when it comes to the question of violence against unborn babies. When the issue is protecting the unborn, Biden told America, “what I’m not prepared to do is impose a rigid view, precise view — rigid sounds pejorative — precise view that is born out of my faith on other people who are equally God-fearing, equally as committed to life, equally as committed to the sanctity of life.”

When it comes to the right to life, Biden glibly asserts that all views share moral equivalence. Biden’s complete lack of self-examination on “moral equivalence” is astounding — or rather would be astounding were he not a Democrat politician seeking the presidential nomination among a large field of pro-abortion extremists.

The former vice president proceeds to condemn President Trump for posing a “threat to our nation,” while proclaiming the 2020 election a “battle for the soul of this nation.” If Trump is not defeated “he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”

Exactly what Biden is referring to, he does not identify. We do know that Trump has tried to “fundamentally alter the character of this nation” in one way more effectively and consistently than any other. With his rhetoric from the “bully pulpit,” his exceptional judicial nominations, and his muscular administrative policy actions, Trump has tried valiantly to restore the nation’s pro-life principles and reinvigorate the nation’s respect for religious liberty. The fact that he has often done so to the surprise of friend and foe alike, only enhances his legacy.

Biden goes on to warn that “the core values of this nation … our very democracy … is at stake.” One can only imagine that Biden regards America as a pathetically soft and weak nation, if its core values and democracy are at stake as the result of one president, a chief executive whose party lost control of the federal House of Representatives in the democratic election of 2018. 

Was democracy at stake then? And did democracy win or lose? Certainly, to pro-lifers and conservatives, America’s core values were not strengthened by turning the House gavel over to Nancy Pelosi. And yet, the one man who threatens “our very democracy” could do nothing to prevent it. 

Then Biden, being the old-fashioned political demagogue — or perhaps more accurately, blowhard — completely reverses himself. No longer is our very democracy seemingly at stake. Instead, Biden reassures us:  “America is an idea, an idea that’s stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant.”

On the one hand, Donald Trump singlehandedly threatens all our values and our democracy. On the other hand, we are bigger, stronger, and more powerful than the most tyrannical dictator. 

Talk about a paradox!

Closing his announcement, Biden says, “That’s what’s at stake in this election.”

We’re left guessing whether everything is at stake because of Donald Trump. Or is nothing at stake because we are so big, so strong, so powerful?

We do know one thing that is surely at stake:  that among these rights are life …

The right to life is at stake. That’s the real “battle for the soul of this nation.” Donald Trump will advance the right to life. Joe Biden will insist on a “moral equivalence” between the right to life and its opposition, all the while pursuing pro-abortion policies. 

Whom should we entrust with protecting the core values of our democracy? Surely, the person who will uphold our founding Declaration:  “We hold these truths… that among these are Life.”


Joseph Tortelli is a freelancer writer. Read other articles by Mr. Tortelli here.