President Bush Hits Pro-Life Themes in Commencement Address

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Hits Pro-Life Themes in Commencement Address

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 17, 2004

Washington, DC ( — President Bush touched on pro-life themes in his commencement address at Wisconsin’s Concordia University. He urged graduates to help build a "culture of life" and warned them of the dangers of destroying human life to advance scientific research.

"A compassionate society shows a special concern for those at the beginning of life, those at the end of life and those who struggle in life with disabilities," Bush said, referring to both abortion and euthanasia.

The president told the senior class that they can make a difference in the life of an elderly or disabled person who may look to assisted suicide as a solution to the physical pain or depression they face.

"Most of you, at some point, will be called to care for a dying relative, or a frail and aging parent, or someone close to you with a terrible sickness," Bush explained.

"Often, in their pain and loneliness, they will feel they are nothing but a burden, and worthless to the world. And you will need to show them that’s not true. Our worth as human beings does not depend on our health, or productivity, or independence, or any other shifting value the world might apply. Our worth comes from bearing the image of our Maker," the president said.

Bush stood fast in the wake of an intense lobbying effort to get the president to overturn his own restrictions of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, including recent comments by former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

"This commitment to the value of every life also challenges our society," Bush explained. "New methods of research hold promise in treating disease. These innovations show the resourcefulness of humanity, and they must be guided by all the wisdom of humanity."

"Our standards must be high and clear and fixed," Bush said. "Life is not just a tool, or a commodity, or a means to other ends. Nothing good or just can be built on the destruction or suffering of others."

"By your voice, and by your example, all of you can help to build a culture of life in America," Bush told the Concordia students. He said it should be part of a lifetime commitment to the most vulnerable people of society and "the most easily forgotten."

"Our Declaration of Independence calls life an endowment of the Creator, and on earth, an unalienable right. Applying this belief has always been a test of our democracy," the president concluded.