Rep. Paul Wieland of Missouri is lying

Rep. Paul Wieland of Missouri is lying August 15, 2013

If you’re really scared of the bogeyman, then by definition, you must be interested in the evidence for whether or not the bogeyman exists.

You cannot be, simultaneously, scared of and incurious about the bogeyman.

When a little kid can’t sleep because he’s afraid the bogeyman is hiding in his closet, a good parent turns the lights on, takes the kid by the hand, and shows them that the closet is empty. The kid goes along with this because the kid wants to see — he wants to know.

That is what it means to really believe.

And that is why we know that Missouri state Rep. Paul Wieland is a liar and a blowhard.

Missouri state Rep. Paul Wieland and his wife used to opt out coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion services in their state insurance plan. But under Obamacare, the plan is required to cover birth control and they can no longer do so. The Wiedlands have filed a lawsuit, saying their religious freedom is being violated and asking for a personal exemption to the contraceptive coverage mandate.

Rep. Wieland explains, “I see abortion-inducing drugs as intrinsically evil, and I cannot in good conscience preach one thing to my kids and then just go with the flow on our insurance. This is a moral conundrum for me. Do I just cancel the coverage and put my family at risk? I don’t believe in what the government is doing.”

Wieland claims to be acting out of “conscience” based on what he “believes.” That’s a lie. That’s a pose.

What Wieland refers to here as “abortion-inducing drugs” are not, in fact, abortion-inducing drugs. Pretending that they are does not make them so. Worrying that they are cannot make them so.

There’s a difference between a person of conscience and a person who will do and say anything to pretend to be a person of conscience.

Wieland’s referring to things that are not “abortion-inducing drugs” as “abortion-inducing drugs” is factually incorrect. That part of his statement is false, but that is not the lie he is telling.

Wieland claims that his conscience is grievously mortified because of X. This isn’t a lie because X happens not to be real. This is a lie because Wieland doesn’t care whether or not X is real.

If he really believed what he claims to believe, he would have to be very interested in that. If his conscience were truly involved in this, then that conscience would compel him, require him, force him to go and look in the closet, to examine the evidence that is just sitting there.

He ignores that evidence. He actively ignores that evidence. This behavior proves he’s lying.

He is not doing what anyone who really believed what he claims to really believe would have to do. He is doing, instead, what he has to do in order to preserve his sanctimonious pose of willful ignorance.

He claims to have a “moral conundrum.” That’s a fancy word for a tricky question. Wieland doesn’t have a question. People who have questions are looking for answers. Wieland is running from them. He isn’t looking for answers, he refuses to look in the direction of answers.

Contrast that with the examples of Roman Catholic Cardinal Joachim Meisner and Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula. These guys actually do “see abortion-inducing drugs as intrinsically evil.” Their initial response to the emergency contraceptives Wieland is talking about was shaped by that genuine belief, which is to say that it compelled them to examine whether or not such emergency contraceptives were, in fact, the “abortion-inducing drugs” they were actually worried about as an actual matter of conscience.

They had a question so they sought answers. Their sincere belief required them to look in the closet. It was empty. No bogeyman. These are not the abortion-inducing drugs they were looking for.

Wieland refuses to look in the closet. Wieland is desperately trying to keep anyone else from looking in the closet either.

That’s because Rep. Paul Wieland is lying.

But he wants you to vote for him so he can protect you from the bogeyman.


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