While in his first year studying at Harvard Medical School, the late conservative columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer was permanently paralyzed from the neck down after a horrific diving board accident severed his spinal cord. So, in many ways, he had the most to gain from the unfettered stem cell research that was rubber-stamped by the Obama administration back in 2009. But Krauthammer, who sat on the Presidents Council for bioethics, became a leading dissenter to the morally questionable action. In an interview with Dennis Prager, he explained why.
“I thought this might help me someday but what is far more important to me is that my son might grow up in a world where moral lines are drawn and where we do not manipulate the human embryo – that kind of world I would not want to bequeath to him,” the eloquent columnist explained. “Obama left open the manipulation of the human embryo with no limits and I found that utterly unconscionable. So I declined to attend the ceremony.”
Over the years, there has been much speculation as to the nature of Krauthammer’s personal religious convictions, and he kept us guessing right until the end. “There was once a philosopher who said, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I fear him greatly.’ That’s about where I am,” Krauthammer told the Daily Caller back in 2013. “I’ve had a fairly difficult and complicated notion of the deity.”
One thing is for sure, however, he found none of life’s answers in the philosophical blackhole of atheism. “I believe atheism is the least plausible of all the theologies,” the renowned writer told Prager. “It is clearly so contrary to what is possible. The idea that all this universe always existed, created itself? I mean, talk about the violation of human rationality.”
Krauthammer added that he had a “recognition of the mystery of the universe.”
The author told Prager that he “stood in awe” of creation but noted his struggles with the presence of an “interventionist figure” entering the world. At the end of the day, Krauthammer said, he would rather “leave it as a question rather than an answer.”
“I feel the way that I think Newton once said. I feel like a snail on the side of a great ocean and the idea that I can understand a notion like God or humans is as if we’re expecting a snail to understand the motion of the tides through calculus and physics,” he told the Daily Caller.
“That’s not possible. So I see the same kind of intellectual gap in the capacity of humans to understand in any deep sense about theology of God as for a snail to figure out how the tides work.”
When it comes to politics, Krauthammer had some extraordinary and unconventional views – he believed that, despite the inevitable slime, politics is, in fact, the most important aspect of our society today. Indeed, Krauthammer explained how he intended to compile all his columns on that which is non-political. Once he had collected all his writings on subjects that were exclusively “elegant and beautiful” he planned to write a book titled “There’s More to Life Than Politics.” But he quickly decided that the political realm was just too important to leave by the wayside.
“In the end, everything that matters, all things elegant and beautiful depends on getting politics right. If you get it wrong, all things that matter get swept away. Germany 1933. China and the cultural revolution. In five years, they tried to destroy five thousand years of Chinese culture. They even abolished color in clothing,” he explained.
“Just go to North Korea today. The politics of a mad Stalinism has reduced the people to slavery and created a desolation; spiritual, moral and material.”
“In the end, you’ve got to do the politics – distasteful, grubby and inelegant as it is,” Krauthammer implored.
Well, said Prager, “whatever your theology, God Bless you Charles Krauthammer.”
“And may he bless you as well,” Krauthammer replied.
Charles Krauthammer died on June 21 after a battle with small intestine cancer.