Liberalism can be as intolerant as the intolerance it opposes

In today’s intellectual ethos, liberals often claim the high moral ground. They portray conservatives as intolerant for discriminating based on their own belief-systems.

However, liberals too discriminate based on their belief-systems. Consider, for example, the abortion debate. Therein, the pro-choice lobby champions the right to choose abortion, unencumbered by any ideological baggage about when life begins. But they themselves carry ideological baggage: the notion that the embryo is not a person and so is not entitled to the right to life that personhood entails. This notion neglects the biological reality that the embryo, right from the moment of conception, has all the potential to become a fully cognizant human being, like you and me.

With no objective criteria to decide when the embryo becomes a person, subjectivity reigns supreme. Some argue that abortion be allowed up to four months of gestation; others, six months; still others eight months – some, even after birth. Yes, horrifyingly unbelievable though it is, some liberal extremists claim that even born babies can be aborted if they are unwanted.

This subjectivity in separating personhood from humanity points to an intolerant exclusivity, wherein some people are deemed worthy of life and others not. This has no small resemblance to intolerant religions that deem some people saved and heaven-bound, and others unsaved and hell-bound.

In contrast to both intolerant liberalism and intolerant religiosity, the Bhagavad-gita’s worldview is eminently inclusive. It holds that life and personhood begins with conception because the soul animates the embryo from that moment. The Gita (14.04) indicates that all life is sacred – all living beings are God’s children, being impregnated by him into material nature’s womb.

This spiritual vision is not just pro-life; it is pro-humanity, pro-all living beings and pro-inclusivity – without any exclusivist bias, it acknowledges the personhood of everyone, universally.

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