Yesterday, while speaking at Sichuan University in China, Vice President Joe Biden had a good opportunity to criticize China’s draconian one-child policy which includes forced abortions. Congressman Chris Smith is among the many who have rightly condemned China’s one-child policy, saying it “has imposed unspeakable violence, pain and humiliation on hundreds of millions of Chinese women.” Unfortunately, in his speech, Biden chose to be critical only of the fact that the forced abortion policy of the Chinese government is not economically sustainable.
Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
Vice President Biden is well-known for rhetorical stumbles, but this was an official speech in a foreign land by President Obama’s top adviser. His words are interpreted as official U.S. policy for good reason, and so the Chinese are hearing from America that America stands with them on treating people as numbers who can be crushed underfoot in the most horrific way if that is what is necessary to gain economic “sustainability”. Biden has criticized Russia’s “shrinking population” on the basis of economic stability, as well, rather than as a matter of human dignity.
When I read Biden’s remarks in China, I was immediately reminded of an article that I wrote recently about ex-Planned Parenthood director Norman Fleischman’s endorsement of the Obama Administration’s birth control mandate. Fleishman praised the move as being one that is complementary to China’s one-child policy because it will “strangle” birth rates which he referred to as “coils of pitiless exponential growth”. Biden’s refusal to criticize China’s one-child policy on any point except economic sustainability is really just the latest indicator that the Obama Administration is more on par with the Chinese government than with America’s pro-life community when it comes to the rights of the individual person.
I was also reminded of the President’s failure to use the word “Creator” in remarks about “inalienable rights” expressed in the Declaration of Independence, a failure that could be interpreted to mean that he does not believe our rights are pre-existing from the moment we are conceived but are, rather, decided by government powers. The White House later called the incident a “mistake” but it was not the first time as Obama also excluded the word “Creator” from his 2009, “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” proclamation.
We see also in President Obama’s appointments of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, a refusal to acknowledge that our rights are paramount to whatever laws a government may choose to propose. In other words, the government decides what our rights are because there is no such thing as inherent human dignity compelling a government at all times and in every place to respect them.
It was no rhetorical stumble on Biden’s part to fail to stand for the dignity of the human person in China. In the eyes of this administration, China’s government has no moral obligation to respect and defend the rights of the person above all. Their only obligation, apparently, is to remain economically strong.
May God help China…and may God help the United States of America.