Two columns in the Post. One from the newly reborn Kathleen Parker, who argues, not that fallaciously, that perhaps lifting the stem cell ban was otiose, as researchers had already found a way around the central moral problem (for some), i.e., the creation of embryonic stem cells from embryos. Or is it the destruction? I'm not sure, because she unfortunately characterizes the moral problem in these two distinct ways. This seems important because some people object to using (therefore destroying) stem cells, others object to creating embryos solely for the purposes of research, which seems, in some sense, much worse. Nonetheless, other cells, she alleges, work just as well, so lifting the ban on whatever it was that was happening doesn't amount to much. I have a feeling something in there is false or confused, but this doesn't strike me as a fallacious argument. So good for Parker, at least we stayed on topic.
Same topic, different writer. Michael Gerson makes the following very puzzling assertion:
It is probably not a coincidence that Obama has chosen a Roman Catholic — Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius — to implement many of these policies as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Obama has every right to a pro-choice Cabinet. But this appointment seems designed to provide religious cover. It also smacks of religious humiliation — like asking a rabbi to serve the pork roast or an atheist to bless the meal.
Sebelius, though strongly pro-choice, was capable of occasional compromise. But she consistently fought against the serious enforcement of Kansas's late-term abortion restrictions. Kansas became a magnet for late-term abortions.
Still, Sebelius insists that "my Catholic faith teaches me that all life is sacred." This puts her in the same category as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Biden — Catholics who assert the sanctity of life while defending legal abortion. It has also earned Sebelius a firm rebuke from her archbishop.
No, it's not like the Rabbi thing at all: Sebelius is strongly pro-choice, one might presume the rabbi in the joke or the atheist is not "pro pork" or "pro God." There is much else about this column that would warrant criticism, such as the claim that pro life people's rights are being trampled upon when they lose arguments:
There is a common thread running through President Obama's pro-choice agenda: the coercion of those who disagree with it.
Indeed, laws are coercive. Elections, someone said, have consequences. Pointing that out doesn't mean those consequences (i.e., laws which are "coercive"!) are wrong.