Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Who Said This?

Posted by Dan Draney on August 10, 2005

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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