Read more of 100 Days: Human dignity still above his pay grade.
At a press conference this week President Barack Obama spoke epigrammatically about what had surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled him during his first 100 days in office. Troubled was not quite the word, he said, but he had been "sobered by the fact that change in Washington comes slow".
For a leader who gave "change" a nationalistic and even mystical value in his campaign, the financial and political obstacles to his grand schemes for health, education and other social reforms must be agonising. At the liberal online journal Slate, they have had a Change-o-Meter ticking since day one and he has only averaged 27.7 points out of 100.
For others, however, what Obama has changed has come much too fast. "Never" would have been a good timescale for overturning the Mexico City policy, freeing up taxpayer money for groups that promote abortion internationally, but he managed that after only three days. And, in retrospect, that was not just change for the sake of change, but the beginning of a policy theme at variance with the dignity of certain human beings.
Abortion, stem cell research, conscience, and torture have been the big ethical issues of the first 100 days -- issues that go to the core of human dignity. The right of every person to life, to freedom of conscience and bodily integrity is the very bedrock of civilisation and nothing that is built on their denial is worthy to stand, be it ever so just and equitable in appearance ...