The euphemism of ‘choice’ and why it’s something else

Kevin DeYoung writes a great post today, “Lincoln’s Legacy and the Unborn,” in which he discusses how America’s most popular (arguably) president was not a fan of ‘popular sovereignty,’ which would have allowed each state as it entered the union the choice of whether it would be a slave state or a free state. DeYoung writes:

The connections with the pro-slavery argument and the pro-abortion argument should be obvious. Both argue for choice. Both, at least in their more civilized forms, pretend moral neutrality. And both rely for their inner logic on strikingly similar propositions: blacks are not human persons with unalienable rights; and neither are the unborn. To quote from Lincon’s 1864 speech in Baltimore with only a slight tweak, subsituting ‘choice’ for ‘liberty’: “We all declare for choice; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word choice may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor. While with others the same word may mean for some men [and women] to do as they please with others, and with other men’s labors. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name–choice. And it follws that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names–choice and tyranny.”

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One thought on “The euphemism of ‘choice’ and why it’s something else

  1. Seems to pretty obviously boil down to one word, if it can be so simple, IMHO: Selfishness. The pro-death, er, choice crowd wants to do [with their bodies] what they want to (i.e., create their own morality). “I wanna, mommy, and I’m gonna!”

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