I have always loved reading Nat Hentoff's views on abortion and euthanasia. There are times that I do not agree with him on other topics, but he speaks loudly and clearly that these topics are NOT the domain of the 'religious right'.
He is a civil libertarian.
Nat Hentoff is not religious.
He was a very vocal support for Terri Schindler Schiavo and her family. He still is.
I have never thought of his age, and most often thought that he was not much older than me. I am wrong, I discovered today! I found an article titled 50 Years of Pissing People Off by Allen Barra. I thought... "FIFTY YEARS??" Wow... I kept thinking he was near my age, and tried to guess at his by using mine... fifty years ago I was 9. Nope, he may have been 19...? So I googled and learned that Nat Hentoff was born June 10, 1925! Two months after my Dad, nearly a year after my Mom, four and five years before my father in law and mother in law...and again, I thought... "WOW!!" The man is still writing, still 'pissing people off', and still pro-life.
From all I can gather, still NOT a member of the 'religious right'. That observation comes from the source himself.
Long ago, I found that the only place I could find a constant running source of his latest columns was at Jewish World Review. Today, an email came from Nancy Valko, RN with an article that he wrote, and I went looking for it online. I could not, however, find it under the subject title that came on the email, other than in a printer version --
Article published Apr 28, 2008 Abortion senator to abortion president
April 28, 2008
By Nat Hentoff - My initial inclination to support Sen. Barack Obama's road to the White House
came from his work as a Chicago community organizer and his record in the Illinois legislature.
He actually worked to rescue school dropouts from a lifetime dead end as well as provide job training
for the unemployed. Later, in the Illinois state Senate, he was able to get a law passed
requiring police to electronically record interrogations and confessions in homicide cases.
But my view of him changed as I learned his record on abortion.
I am a nonreligious pro-lifer, my only religion being the Constitution. And I am not a single-issue voter,
having often supported candidates who are pro-choice because I knew their civil liberties
and civil-rights records. For one example, I was a great admirer of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
(New York, where I live, has had no senators of his quality and principles since.) Although Mr. Moynihan was pro-abortion, he strongly opposed partial-birth abortion, which he described as "only minutes away from infanticide," since the fetus (whom I regard as a human being) was already clearly among us.
I oppose extremists on all sides of issues, having, for instance, argued for hours with and against
some so-called pro-lifers who considered part of their mission to commit violence,
even homicide, where abortions were performed.
I admire much of Mr. Obama's record, including what he wrote in "The Audacity of Hope"
about the Founders' "rejection of all forms of absolute authority, whether the king, the theocrat,
the general, the oligarch, the dictator, the majority...
George Washington declined the crown because of this impulse."
But on abortion, Mr. Obama is an extremist.
He has opposed the Supreme Court decision that finally upheld the
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act against that form of infanticide.
Most startlingly, for a professed humanist, Mr. Obama in the Illinois Senate also voted against
the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. I have reported on several of those cases, when,
before the abortion was completed, an alive infant was suddenly in the room.
It was disposed of as a horrified nurse who was not necessarily pro-life followed the doctors' orders
to put the baby in a pail or otherwise get rid of the child.
I looked a little further, starting at the Village Voice
, and then Jewish World Review
. I found the article at JWR under a different title
Infanticide candidate for president That Title is even stronger than the other!
I also found this one at JWR, and strongly encourage reading the rest of the article, to its conclusion
, as well as the one following it, 04/03/08
: Terri Schiavo's lifesaving legacy
: Barack Obama vs. Terri Schiavo
In none of the endless presidential candidates' debates has there been a meaningful discussion
of the rights of disabled Americans. However, in the Feb. 26 debate in Cleveland,
Barack Obama casually and ignorantly revealed his misunderstanding of the basic issue
in the highly visible and still-resonating official death sentence of a disabled woman, Terri Schiavo.
I have repeatedly called her death the result of "the longest public execution in American history."
When moderator Tim Russert asked Hillary Clinton and Obama if "there are any words or votes that you'd like to take back ... in your careers in public service," Obama answered that in his first year in the Senate,
he joined an agreement "that allowed Congress to interject itself (in the Schiavo case) into the decision-making
process of the families."
Obama added: 'I think that was a mistake, and I think the American people understood that was a mistake.
And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better."
When he was a professor of constitutional law, Obama probably instructed his students to research
and know all the facts of a case. The reason Congress asked the federal courts to review the Schiavo case was that the 41-year-old woman about to be dehydrated and starved to death was breathing normally on her own, was not terminal, and there was medical evidence that she was responsive,
not in a persistent vegetative state.