Our country cannot allow phantom fears of the United Nations to hinder common sense and obvious good.
Sadly, some U.S. senators last month surrendered to paranoia and the losers will be people with disabilities around the globe. We need to call these senators back to the pro-life positions they proudly profess.
Here's what happened: The Senate needed 66 votes to ratify a U.N. treaty that binds countries to make sure that disabled citizens receive the same rights and freedoms as able-bodied citizens. It seemed like a shoe-in for a nation founded on the very principle of equal opportunity. President George W. Bush originated the treaty and President Obama renewed it.
But media entertainers had whipped up viewers, claiming the treaty would allow foreign powers to dictate how American parents raise their children who are disabled. Ratings-driven hysteria smote the facts once again. Lawmakers gave in to panicked, surly phone calls. The treaty received only 61 votes.
Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas is one who flip-flopped. In May, he had stood up for human dignity and equal opportunity. By December, Moran was talking about foreign officials influencing U.S. policy, which is not possible according to the scuttled treaty. The treaty, already ratified by 126 countries, simply calls on nations to live up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
We in the mainstream are left in agony at the missed opportunity. Our Founding Fathers were dishonored and gospel values trampled.
We can only cherish our Archdiocese of Portland Office for People with Disabilities, which has shown the way of human dignity for decades. Thousands of families have received personal care from the office, but also have benefitted from advocacy in the halls of government. Often, government and bodies like the U.N. do a lot of good. Many of us have seen the U.N. food sacks that staved off poverty. Some even recall the stability the organization gave the planet after World War II.
Of course, we need to be careful of the U.N., particularly when it comes to the life and dignity of the unborn. But we must be able to distinguish real threats from mere frenzy.