After yet another instance of Mr. James Finnegan using the local paper as a venue for a religious diatribe, I feel the need to respectfully address the many inconsistencies and thinly veiled hypocrisy in his most recent statement. Mr. Finnegan has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of the fetus, yet he seems to have no difficulty reconciling this position with his blatant disregard of the right to reproductive choice afforded to women by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and subsequent court decisions.
Make no mistake, Mr. Finnegan has a constitutional right to his religious beliefs, and those beliefs deserve respect -- but they are just that, beliefs. Not undeniable truths, not the ultimate deciding factor in our judicial system, and not, thankfully, the law of this country. However deeply held or personally meaningful they are, Mr. Finnegan's religious beliefs remain a personal value system, and they do not trump the rest of the country's right to freedom from religion, just as Mr. Finnegan and other believers enjoy freedom of religion.
I often hear from those who share Mr. Finnegan's views on abortion that this country was founded on religious principles, and that may be. Yet it is incredibly significant that the Founding Fathers -- while influenced by those beliefs -- never chose to solidify them into a "national religion." Perhaps this is because, just as we do today, they recognized the tyranny and oppression that follows when the religious views of a few are allowed to dictate the laws of an entire nation.
Should Mr. Finnegan's belief that abortion is murder be given legal significance, I imagine he would also be in support of charging the miscarrying mother with involuntary manslaughter, and so on down the slippery slope toward theocracy.