I spoke with a local official some time ago.
He was rigid on the fiscal issues. "You have to be careful with other people's money."
He supported welfare to work, because if we keep giving to people, then they will never do anything for themselves.
When it came to marriage and abortion, however, he shared that he had changed his views.
He now supports abortion because he had friends who had "made mistakes", and to have a child, in their opinion, would have drastically changed their lives.
Regarding gay marriage, he now has no opposition to it, having met gay people, and therefore judged that there was nothing to worry about.
For me, basing our values on what we think or feel invites error and dysfunction. To decide that certain policies are acceptable because of our infrequent contact with friends and a perception of no harm is not wise, either.
Our values, what determines right and wrong, life and death, cannot be a matter of limited conjecture or emotional experience.
I was surprised that this politician had such a change of view on the matter, especially since such emotional, personal, and experiential arguments have motivated the demands for more gun control.
The last thing that our politicians should be doing, when it comes to creating and enacting policy, is making these decisions based on personal experience or limited sentiment.
Life is a value which extends beyond our limited view of matters. Marriage has far ranging implications, beyond the life and interests of one couple.
The attitudes, the policies behind protecting life and defining marriage rest on eternal verities, which cannot be dispensed with because of the unique trials which friends and acquaintances have endured.
One of the biggest criticisms I have with school boards rests on the arrogance of the representatives instituting policy when most of them have no understanding of education. Drawing from their limited, non-educational backgrounds, often they pursue ideas which are unworthy, unrealistic, or unacceptable.
And then there's the gun control issue.
How many anti-gun advocates have pressed for reducing access to firearms because of the death of loved ones? How many people related or acquainted with victims in mass shooting have demanded stricter gun laws following those horrific tragedies?
Too many to count.
Such immediate emotionalism has no place in deciding long-standing policies which will affect the well-being and lives of others.
The same holds true not just for gun issues, but on abortion and marriage.
Just because a young couple rejected any form of restraint does not justify killing the child which they created. It's not the kid's fault! Where's the personal responsibility in permitting two heedless people to abort a child because they are unwilling to care for the child or because they fear the consequences of allowing the child to come to term?
When the politician mentioned that the people he knew sought abortions because they believed that their lives would change completely, where they correct in what they believed? I know of many accounts in which a couple engages in pre-marital sex and they have a child, yet instead of fearing the worst, they get married, and they have a stable and loving home as a result.
The fearful speculations of some couples lead them to seek a permanent solution to a temporary problem. That kind of self-centered calculation is wrong.
As for marriage, the accepted premise has become: people are born gay, and that's the way they are.
Yet this idea is a uniquely modern idea, and an unsubstantiated one. The thousands of accounts of people who identified as homosexuals, only to leave and then live out heterosexual lives, belies the false premise. The consequences of gay marriage in states like Massachusetts and by extension California should raise greater concerns, such as the heroification of gay activists (like pedophile Harvey Milk).
Besides, the documented disease, dysfunction, and death associated with homosexual conduct cannot be ignored, either.
The basis for our values, whether with life or marriage, cannot be based on our feelings, or our limited understanding of certain situations.
Our politicians should know better and enact policy based on the same standards, too.