Can You Run That by me Again?

A typical, hackneyed response, by a “pro-choice” Roman Catholic, such as Vice President Joe Biden  is “I accept my church’s teaching that life begins at conception, but I’m not going to force it upon those who disagree.”    Can you run that by me again?  You believe that life begins at conception, which necessarily means that at conception a human being exists, but you will not interfere with the killing of  a human being?    It is a contradiction in logic, philosophy, science and everything else. Click here  and listen to VP Biden and Congressman Ryan describe their view on abortion during the Vice President debate of 2012.  What the Vice President is saying is that some human beings can be killed at will if one chooses to.  Secondly, he says that we cannot force those who disagree – what?   What universe are you from?  Every society in this universe has laws against killing human beings.  In the U.S.  we even have laws against killing animals gratuitously.  What the Vice President is saying is pure nonsense, yet this view is widely held in the liberal Catholic community, as well as with most liberal Christians.

The Vice President, in the debate refered to earlier, states that he’s “a practicing Catholic my whole life.”  As Lieutenant Columbo would say, “can I ask you one last question?”  What makes you a Catholic, if you say that you believe in the Church teaching but anyone who disagrees can do whatever they want and you’re ok with it?   How do you separate your private life from your public life?

Here is an example.  During slavery in the early 1800s, the vice president would have said, I believe that slavery is wrong, as my church says, but I’m not going to force it upon those who have different views.  This exactly what the Vice President is saying about abortion.  This is the insanity of the liberal mind.


4 thoughts on “Can You Run That by me Again?

  1. I think you misunderstand what Vice President Biden said, so I’ll try to clarify it. The United States is not a Catholic nation, which means that the government has no right to impose Catholic beliefs on its citizenry via its laws. There are millions of Americans who are not Catholic and who believe that a human zygote, morula, blastocyst, embryo, or fetus is not “a human being.”

    Science does not provide a definitive answer that it is “a human being.” Human zygotes/morulae/blastocysts are human (adjective) in DNA and alive, and they even each have a life of their own, apart from women, because you can grow them in petri dishes. While it is illegal in the US to grow one that way for longer than 14 days, any mammalian blastocyst grown that way can have its natural pre-implantation lifespan doubled if fed a supernutrient. The human blastocyst’s natural pre-implantation lifespan of maximum 8-10 days could thus be extended to16 to 20 days. However, without implantation in a born human body, it will naturally die or, if it becomes a parasitic twin, it will continue to live in the twin as a tumor does and not develop, and when medical professionals discover it, they will remove it.

    When a blastocyst implants into the tissue of the woman’s uterine wall, it uses some of her tissue to form a placenta and causes the placenta to disable part of her immune system and re-channel her blood. Despite its special growth pattern, the embryo obtains antibodies, nutrients, and oxygen from her blood, as her limbs and organs do, and thus lives as a biological part of her body; hence it dies if she dies, as her body parts do. After viability, though it has an increasing chance of life if biologically detached from her, it still lives as a biological part of her body. Only in the process of birth are its circulatory, respiratory, etc., systems and functioning structure of its heart, etc., transformed so as to be able to live in biological detachment from her.

    This scientific ambiguity allows people to impose varied interpretations on the zygote/blastocyst, embryo, previable fetus, and viable fetus. It is possible to claim that spermatic fertilization of an oocyte produces a zygote with a natural lifespan of less than two weeks which can be extended to 16-20 days, but the woman’s body produces the human being that emerges from that body. This is particularly true because the hormonal balance in her body can determine whether a genetic male is born a phenotypic female or a genetic female is born a phenotypic male.

    That ambiguity means that it is possible for Catholics to believe that a human zygote is a human being, a person, for Protestants of some sects to believe that it is potential for making a human being, for some of them to believe that a viable fetus is a human being, and for Jews to believe that only what emerges from the woman’s womb is a human being, a person, and only when it has emerged more than halfway from her body.

    So Biden, a Catholic, accepts what his church teaches and feels bound to live his life in accord with that. But he lives in a secular nation that recognizes freedom of religion and thus is legally and feels morally bound to let others believe what their religions teach and live their lives in accord with that. He is probably also aware of the fact that, at the founding of the US, when most citizens were church-going Christians but not Catholics, abortion before “quickening” was legal in every state’s common law.

    This issue of living one’s life in accord with a faith or spiritual belief is important because a pregnant woman is not a passive vessel. Either she is using her life, antibodies, nutrients, and blood oxygen to grow an embryo/fetus, or some other force is using it to do that. If she considers her pregnancy to be a Satanic contradiction of her God and conscience, she may feel obligated to refuse to let her life be used that way. For
    Catholics, that may be murder, but within a different spiritual belief, it may not be murder but rather the morally and spiritually right action.

    There are many nations in this world that are Catholic, in which the Catholic Church imposes Catholic beliefs and interpretations in law. They do not have freedom of religion in the same sense.

    Those of us who know that “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” also know that to force a person to use their own life for something that violates his or her conscience is not acting in accord with the Spirit of the Lord. The Holy Spirit did not come upon Mary until she specifically consented to pregnancy (not sex), which she did only after obtaining items of information by “testing the angel.”

  2. Mr. McCoy, thank you for your comment on my piece “Can You Run That by me Again?” You state that the U.S. is not a Catholic nation and the government has no right to impose Catholic beliefs on its citizenry. No argument there. You also state that “millions of Americans believe that a zygote, morula, blastocyst, or fetus is not “a human being.” Additionally, you state that “science does not have a definitive answer that it is a human being.”

    First of all, I did not claim that the unborn is a religious issue, neither Catholic, Protestant, or of any other religion. What I argue is that the unborn is a human life at conception. This is a scientific fact, as I will show later. This is not a religious issue; it is a moral issue but not, necessarily, a religious issue. Is murder a religious issue? Does government have the right to force its will on us for murder? Government forces its will on us all the time (murder, theft, traffic laws etc.).

    You’re claim that science does not definitively answer that the unborn is a human life is also incorrect; it does. The facts of reproduction are straightforward. Upon completion of the fertilization process, sperm and egg have ceased to exist; what exists is a single cell with 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) that is called a zygote. The coming into existence of the zygote is the point of conception – the beginning of the life of a new human organism. The terms zygote, embryo and fetus all refer to developmental stages of the life of a human being. The embryo is a whole and complete organism. That is, she is not a mere part of another living thing, but is her own organism; an organism that will develop without any outside assistance. The unborn is distinct, living and whole human organism. Embryology textbooks and leading scientists confirm this fact. One of the most used embryology textbooks, “In the Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology,” authors, Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud explain: “Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a singe cell – a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as unique individual.”

    Dr. Landrum Shettles, the first scientist to achieve conception in a test tube, writes that conception not only confers life, it “defines” life. Dr. Alan Guttmacher, the former head of Planned Parenthood was perplexed that anyone, much less a medical doctor, would question this. “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge,” he wrote in his book “Life In the Making.”

    Dr. Jerome Lejeune, “Father of Modern Genetics” and discoverer of the cause of Down’s Syndrome, stated, “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion . . . it is plain experimental evidence.”

    Lastly, your statement that millions don’t believe that an unborn is not a human is irrelevant. Since when do we base morals on public opinon? Morals are not up for a vote. Morals are absolute truths that cannot change. Do any societies disagree that murder is not a moral value and should be left up to popular belief? Do you think that stealing should be left up to the individual to decide? That is moral relativism and moral relativism is a self-defeating proposition; if you don’t believe it, just try to convince the thief who stole your car that he/she should not do that if he/she believes it is their right to have your car.

  3. Russell, I agree. Your agruement is right on point and you provide an excellent analogy. I am saddened that so many of our Catholic leaders have not been loud and clear on this issue. Is it not there job to prepare us to enter into the kingdom of heaven? It is such a disservice to many “practicing Catholics” .

  4. Russell, please call me S L (it’s Ms).

    I do not agree that the science is cut and dried. A zygote is a distinctive human cell, and while some biologists question whether one human cell can be a human organism, it does become a multi-cellular morula and blastocyst. But that blastocyst, in a petri dish with nutrients, cannot grow into an infant. Only if implanted biologically in a person’s tissue inside her body can it continue to live long enough. Biologists will attest to that. The embryo and previable fetus cannot continue to life if removed from the woman’s body. The question is thus whether the embryo has a life of its own rather than part of the woman’s.

    Suppose a zygote/morula/blastocyst/ embryo/fetus were declared a person. The issue of legal rights, as I understand it, is as follows.

    A person (= human being) has the legal right to his/her life and body, but not to anyone else’s. As a person, a woman has a right to her own body and its contents. She has the right to refuse access to her body and its contents even to police except when they have cause to believe she has a contagious disease that is a danger to the community or is carrying illegal substances in her body. Others cannot legally penetrate her flesh to take samples of her blood or DNA if she is of sound mind and refuses consent. This security of person goes with rights to refuse to have sex, be sexually assaulted or abused, be a subject of medical experimentation, or have one’s blood drawn or organs removed to use them to save even a dying person in an emergency, to say nothing of refusing medical treatment.

    Where I live, the law allows the use of lethal force if necessary not just when one perceives one’s life is being threatened, but when one is threatened with rape or sexual abuse or is being raped or sexually abused. Third party use of lethal force to help the victim is also allowed. If someone tried to perform a medical experiment on a person who had not consented, I have no doubt that the law would also apply. A legally insane rapist or medical experimenter could be formally innocent, yet lethal force is allowed to stop the rape, sexual abuse, and medical experiment if the person did not consent. Yet the only factor distinguishing rape from consensual sex and coercive from consensual medical experimentation is whether the person acted upon has consented or not.

    On what grounds would a blastocyst as a person have a legal right to implant in a woman’s uterine tissue, take some of her tissue to form a placenta, and cause the placenta to kill some of her immune cells, shut down others, and re-channel her blood without her consent? On what grounds would the embryo have the legal right to stay implanted, obtain antibodies, nutrients, and oxygen, expel waste into her blood, and leak some of its cells and isolated chromosomes into her blood? Without her consent, any of these things would be serious crimes, all the more serious because done in a sex organ. Legally, lethal force can be used to stop them, even if the one doing them is legally insane, formally innocent.

    The point is, if the embryo/fetus is a part of a woman’s body, she has the legal right to remove it, and if a zygote/morula/blastocyst/embryo/fetus is a person, it has no more legal right to the woman’s body than anyone else and she has the right to use lethal force to remove it. That evaporates the issue of the legality of abortion or, in my view, the ethics of the right to one’s own body alone. In that light, it is easier to see that the objective biological evidence ambiguously admits varying interpretations.

    As conjoined twins both have the capacity to breathe and eat, though respiratory and digestive organs may be shared, they are not comparable to the embryo/fetus and woman. A more comparable example is the case of the parasitic twin fully contained inside and attached to the body of the other twin. On its discovery, usually soon after birth, it is surgically removed as a health hazard to the twin and no one calls this illegal or unethical killing of a human being because it does not have the capacity to live outside and detached from the twin’s body.

    The difference in the case of embryo/fetus and woman is that, if the woman’s body supplies a growing space, oxygen, nutrients to it as part of her body for a long enough time, it will be able to grow to the point that it will be able to live outside and detached from her body. To me, that makes the objective evidence scientifically ambiguous enough to admit all the varying interpretations that people and their religions have put on it. And that is not “moral relativism.” It is impartiality in a society with democratic values, including the value of freedom of religion.

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