I have been heartened to see such a lively discussion among people of faith regarding the presidential election. Many are rightly concerned about how best to ensure the protection of life, rebuild the family and renew the culture in America.
I was disappointed, however, to read Mark Stricherz write in the Register last week that “McCain Sits Down for Life.” I found his column to be an unfair characterization of a man I have come to know and admire for many years.
I am convinced that John McCain is our best hope to advance the cause of human dignity on a broad spectrum of life issues. He is a true American hero, a consistent social and fiscal conservative, and most ready to be commander-in-chief.
Perhaps most important, however, John McCain is the best pro-life candidate to win in 2008.
Sen. McCain has a long, consistent 24-year pro-life voting record. Long before he decided to run for president, John McCain opposed abortion, fought to restrict it and supported overturning Roe v. Wade. He is no Johnny-come-lately to the cause.
John McCain is not pro-life out of convenience, but based on principle.
John supports a ban on all forms of human cloning and will fight to sign it into law. He has been on the cutting-edge of the fight to deal with explicit material on the Internet and protecting our children from a coarsening of the culture. He understands that America needs a culture willing to sacrifice to advance in our long-term struggle with Islamic extremists.
In 1993, John and his wife Cindy adopted a little girl from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh. John and I share a commitment to promoting adoption in this country, and each of us knows from experience what a blessing an adopted child can be.
John has been endorsed by a number of pro-life stalwarts, including former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, famed Notre Dame law professor Gerald Bradley, and by former spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops, Cathy Ruse. All have come to know John McCain as a man of principle, consistently committed to building a culture that values life.
I have long said that the future of the cause of life is tied to our ability to ground our conviction about the sanctity of life in the truth of our shared human dignity. The best way I have found to express this is to say that we strive to be “pro-life and whole-life.”
Of all the candidates running for president, I am convinced that John McCain is the best candidate to advance this message.
From abortion to immigration to the dignified treatment of military detainees, John McCain remains committed to the truth of human dignity. He knows from experience what it means for a society to trample on the truth of the value of the human person. He is committed to defending the dignity and value of every person, regardless of their status.
John McCain is today and has always been opposed to abortion. But to be pro-life is much more than to be anti-abortion. John understands, like few others, that we must ground our pro-life conviction in the cause of human dignity and human rights.
For him, every life, here and around the world, whatever its status, is beautiful and precious, a child of a loving God.
In elections, there are no perfect candidates. In this election, however, there is a man of whom we can be proud. John McCain understands that long before he can win your vote, he must win your trust. Sen. McCain has earned the trust of the American people, and I am doing all I can to see that he also earns their vote.
As John often says, there is no greater honor than to serve a cause greater than your own self-interest. For his entire life, John McCain has served causes greater than himself. It remains my great honor, and, as I see it, my duty to support John McCain as the best pro-life candidate for president in 2008.
Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan.,
is a leading pro-life voice in the U.S. Senate.