Nuns & Seat for Unborn at SOTU Was Disrespectful?

little sistersCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Abortion supporters are voicing their disapproval of the presence of the Little Sisters of the Poor at the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, and the empty seat left by Rep. Steve King to represent the unborn, claiming these gestures were signs of “disrespect.” is reporting on a tweet sent by Planned Parenthood during the president’s speech in which they cited both Speaker Paul Ryan and Iowa Representative Steve King for showing disrespect toward the Administration’s stance against life.

At 9:12 p.m. on the night of the speech, PPact tweeted: “Never missing an opportunity, @SteveKingIA & @SpeakerRyan used tonight’s #SOTU address to send an anti-abortion message. The disrespect.”

One can only wonder what kind of twisted thinking went into the crafting of this strange message.

What could possibly be wrong with Speaker Ryan inviting the Little Sisters of the Poor to the president’s speech about the state of the union? After all, they are in the midst of what will certainly be landmark case to be decided at the U.S. Supreme Court that could relieve them and other religious entities of a burdensome mandate requiring them to provide insurance coverage for services to employees that violate their religious beliefs. The decision, one way or the other, will affect thousands of citizens and impact how the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion will be adjudicated from here on.

Perhaps the author of this tweet needs to get her eyes checked because her vision is not only too limited to her own point-of-view, but is dangerously myopic when it comes to the basic rights of her fellow citizens.

The tweet also criticizes Rep. King for leaving an empty seat at the address to represent the unborn. Why not? Didn’t the president leave an empty seat to represent the victims of gun violence – even though many Americans disagree with his views on the subject? Surely an empty seat representing the unborn is the least that can be done to represent the 57 million people who have been slaughtered by abortion since 1973. The gesture also represents the views of more than half the country when it comes to abortion. This divide, like it or not, represents the state of the union as it exists today.

Let’s get real. What is truly disrespectful here is to attack the legitimate and constitutionally protected viewpoint of all Americans, regardless of whether that viewpoint is agreeable.

The author obviously needs a civics lesson because she seems to have forgotten that her ability to send such a misguided tweet in the first place is because of the very same constitution that protects the rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor and Rep. Steve King to do what they did at the state of the union address.

If we take those rights away from them, she’ll have to give up hers as well.

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