Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Breaking the term limit," Sept. 16, 2000

Our kids are not really being overcome by piety. This is not a major problem in American life right now.

William Bennett, cultural conservative and friend of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, on media criticism of Mr. Lieberman's emphasis on religion and public morality. On CBS's Face the Nation, Mr. Bennett responded to host Gloria Borger's question of whether Mr. Lieberman had "crossed the line" by pointing out that "morality cannot be maintained without religion." Mr. Bennett also noted that Mr. Lieberman was merely quoting George Washington.

A truly long, long good-bye.

Nancy Reagan, from her book I Love You, Ronnie (Random House), characterizing her lonely struggle with President Reagan's Alzheimer's disease. Mrs. Reagan's book is a collection of romantic letters written by Ronald Reagan to Nancy, whom he married in 1952.

To say that this distinct person has no rights is not a liberal position but an elitist one. To rid the world of unwanted people is a totalitarian principle, not a democratic one.

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Elden F. Curtiss, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb., writing in the local newspaper to criticize the abortion-on-demand position of the Democratic Party. The archbishop also issued this warning: "You can be assured that I will challenge any Catholic in Northeastern Nebraska who claims to be a member of the church and at the same time supports abortion."

We therefore reject the [parents'] suggestion that [their daughter] suffered damage based on the fact of her being born rather than aborted.

Thomas Moyer, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, rejecting a wrongful-birth lawsuit by parents of a child who suffers from spina bifida. Patricia and Lawrence Hester sued their doctors for failing to tell them that tests on their unborn daughter Alicia suggested a high risk of birth defects. Had they known, the Hesters would have aborted Alicia. Because they didn't, they sought compensation for medical and educational expenses and for "pain and suffering" brought about by the birth of their daughter. Justice Moyer held that judges and jurors do not have the power to determine the value of life with or without disabilities.


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