George Weigel, in his syndicated column (as printed in Catholic San Francisco, March 26), says that the presidential election of 2004 will be a nation-defining fork in the road, a decision with enormous historical consequences. How so? The two great questions before the Republic are, what is freedom, and how shall we defend it?
According to Weigel, freedom is not a means to satisfy personal needs; rather it is the freedom to do the right thing for the right reasons in the right way, as a matter of habit (which is another name for virtue).
If freedom is about satisfying personal needs, says Weigel, then abortion will remain unrestricted, the biotech industry [will be] virtually unregulated, and marriage will mean, eventually, any configuration of consenting adults [i.e., homosexual marriage]. But if virtue prevails, abortion will be restricted, the biotech industry will be regulated, and there will be no homosexual marriage. Of course, we strongly agree with Weigel that virtue should prevail.
The problem with Weigels case is that freedom is not another name for virtue. You will not find any dictionary that defines freedom as virtue. Our American Heritage Dictionary defines freedom, variously, as the condition of being free of restraints, the capacity to exercise choice, free will, and the right to unrestricted use, whereas virtue is defined as moral excellence and righteousness, goodness.
We have had occasion to complain about the politically correct liberals who redefine or euphemize words to suit their purposes: Homosexuals are gay, those having moral objections to homosexual acts are homophobes, pornography is adult entertainment, abortion is choice, etc.
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