I thought Bill Nye was a smart dude, and then I saw this video. So much for the myth of his intelligence. Or rather, not his intelligence, but his moral character, and that is far more serious than intelligence. Recently, the children’s show personality put out a video featured on Buzzfeed, telling us rubes that there are “other problems to solve” and thus that the wholesale slaughter of the innocent unborn should be left to the women to resolve.
So I thought it would be valuable to examine Mr. Nye’s words here, particularly as he offered no actual facts to show that we should just minimize abortion and move on to more important things…what those things are remains a mystery, but he offered no suggestions (and no facts related to fetal development for that matter). So here we go:
NYE: “Many, many, many, many more hundreds of eggs are fertilized than become humans. Eggs get fertilized, and by that I mean sperm get accepted by ova a lot. But that’s not all you need. You have to attach to the uterine wall, the inside of a womb, a woman’s womb.”
Mr. Nye, usually when the issue of abortion comes up, the embryo has already implanted, thus becoming a fetus. Now of course, if you want to talk birth control pills, that’s another matter, as those work to alter the chemical atmosphere of the uterus, making implantation impossible and thus forcing an abortion. How many girls and women on the Pill have had numerous abortions such as this, and with no idea? No science to offer on that, Mr. Nye? Nothing? Hmmm. OK.
NYE: “It’s just a reflection of a deep scientific lack of understanding and you literally or apparently literally don’t know what you’re talking about. And so when it comes to women’s rights with respect to their reproduction, I think you should leave it to women.”
What a preposterous statement! And how irresponsible as a supposed scientist. We don’t know the science allegedly, so let’s just leave it to random people to figure it out. Does that make any sense? And what if these women are wrong? What if they don’t know that the baby’s DNA is different from hers? What if they don’t know that the baby isn’t just a parasite or “products of conception” or random cells? Just go ahead and abort? Is that responsible? Humane? Sane? I think not.
NYE: “You have a lot of men of European descent passing these extraordinary laws based on ignorance. Sorry you guys. I know it was written or your interpretation of a book written 5,000 years ago, 50 centuries ago, makes you think that when a man and a woman have sexual intercourse they always have a baby. That’s wrong and so to pass laws based on that belief is inconsistent with nature.”
Hi, Mr. Nye, who obviously doesn’t know two shits about religion. First, Europeans did not compose the Hebrew Scriptures…that was done in Israel, by non Europeans. (can we get this man a history book?). Plus, that out of date culture written by European males is responsible for the organization of scientific study in the first place. Mr. Nye, you wouldn’t have a job or scientific discipline had it not been for those European men who blindly and foolishly follow some old, dusty book put together 5000 years ago.
On top of that, who ever said that every time a couple has sex, a baby results from it? That seems to be an idea put forth by atheists as a Straw Man, to make religious people look stupid. Mr. Nye, that kind of statement makes you look stupid and intolerant and ignorant and short-sighted. And to attach that to the concept of nature is laughable! Allowing a pregnancy to go to term follows nature. Cutting a baby out of her mother’s womb violates nature. Do you need a dictionary, Mr. Nye?
NYE: “But you can’t tell somebody what to do. I mean she has rights over this, especially if she doesn’t like the guy that got her pregnant. She doesn’t want anything to do with your genes; get over it, especially if she were raped and all this.”
OK, now Mr. Nye needs a book of laws, because guess what? You can tell people what to do. And you can tell people that killing an innocent person is wrong and horrible and not legal. And wait a second, she can kill her baby if she doesn’t like the father? Are you serious? Is that some sort of standard of life and death? How about if we apply that to other situations? “Your Honor, I admit that I killed my neighbor, but I just didn’t like him all that much. You can understand that, right?” Could that one get past a jury? No.
NYE: “We have so many more important things to be dealing with. We have so many more problems to squander resources on this argument based on bad science, on just lack of understanding.”
We can’t know if it’s bad science because you haven’t offered any science. Mr. Nye has offered simpering, insulting blather and little more. We have more important things to deal with? Seriously? Innocent unborn children are slaughtered and sometimes their body parts sold, but there are more important things to worry about? What an inhuman, cold-hearted creep.
NYE: “It’s very frustrating. You wouldn’t know how big a human egg was if it weren’t for microscopes, if it weren’t for scientists, medical researchers looking diligently. You wouldn’t know the process. You wouldn’t have that shot, the famous shot or shots where the sperm are bumping up against the egg. You wouldn’t have that without science.”
That makes no sense, and that’s not a scientific argument. Scientists have created many things: telescopes, all sorts of stuff. And all of that is great, but it doesn’t speak to the illicit murder of innocent life. You can make a machine to watch an abortion and one to perform the abortion, and that doesn’t make abortion OK.
NYE: “At some point we have to respect the facts.”
Still waiting for facts, dude.
NYE: “And I understand that you have deeply held beliefs and it really is ultimately out of respect for people, in this case your perception of unborn people. I understand that. But I really encourage you to look at the facts.”
This is called pandering. It’s also called being a condescending jerk. Nobody buys that for a hot minute, buddy.
NYE: “So I just really encourage you to not tell women what to do and not pursue these laws that really are in nobody’s best interest. Just really be objective about this. We have other problems to solve everybody. Come on. Come on. Let’s work together.”
This is like satire! It’s like saying “Hey! Let’s not tell people who they can and can’t kill! Let’s just go along to get along! Who cares if unborn babies get killed? There are more important things than unborn human life! Come on, guys!
Give me a break.
I don't want to spend too much space on The Donald, so I think this video pretty much sums up my opinion of him. Enjoy!
That is all.
When Cecile Richards apologized to America for the tone of Medical Services Director for Planned Parenthood, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, she took things too far. As many of you have heard and seen, both Dr. Nucatola, along with Mary Gatter, Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director, were caught on video discussing the obtaining and sale of fetal tissues and organs.
Planned Parenthood has absolutely nothing for which to apologize, other than that they continue to waste prime opportunities to do even more for women, and for the world. The times in which we live call out for justice and radical change, and while Planned Parenthood has taken great strides in doing just that by obtaining fetal specimens for research labs, much more is needed, if the world is to be saved.
Imagine this: it’s a hot day in Southern Arizona, the mercury topping 120 degrees. All around, lakebeds and rivers are drying up due to global warming, causing so many resources to become so much more expensive and rare. With necessary environmental controls now placed on carbon emissions, we’re all seeing prices go way up. This causes stress and frustration, and it causes a racist backlash against those Dreamers who have journeyed to our land in search of freedom and respect. Sadly, these courageous individuals take the brunt of white America’s frustrations, though they had nothing to do with the exploitation and abuse and violation of our nation’s resources.
This abusive treatment has given rise to racial tensions everywhere, which we now see spilling out into the streets as brave activists try to take back the dignity denied them for 250 years. And in the meantime, the gap between rich and poor has grown all too wide, with the white 1% living off the sweat and blood of the rest of us. With global warming bearing down on us unrelentingly, as absolutely every scientist believes without exception, it has become a race to see who can grab the most. And as the white 1% who are in the NRA’s back pocket have the most money and the most guns, it makes sense that they just steal precious resources from our now empty hands.
What does this have to do with the fetal harvesting program conducted by Planned Parenthood? Everything!
Planned Parenthood knows women and women’s troubles. Not only do they provide health care for women, including abortion after twenty weeks gestation, which is critical to any woman’s life, but they also provide transgender hormone therapy, along with many other things that only serve to make everyone happy, healthy, and vibrant. Planned Parenthood’s slogan, “Care. No Matter What,” is further evidence of their total commitment to making everything better and more peaceful and perfect. Would they steer you wrong? I think not. These are women helping women.
This is why their fetal harvesting program is so important and why it must continue and indeed, grow. This is what will save the world from chaos. Women who seek safe and legal health care are too often shamed by judgmental haters and Tea Partiers, and that’s a crime that goes far beyond micro-aggression. Not only does that endanger women’s lives and make them slaves to men once again, but it also causes these women to feel guilty about something that should make them feel proud. After all, when a woman of 17 who has been impregnated by her 32 year-old partner feels that this is a bad time to carry a pregnancy to term, she might be forced to feel guilt because she has chosen to terminate her pregnancy after twenty weeks gestation. She has likely grown up in a family or a town dominated by the Christian Right, and thus, she may find herself being shunned for doing something would only benefit her life.
Knowing that her products of conception are being used in a positive way makes her feel good. Clinics all over America report this very thing, that when the woman learns that the issue removed from her will be used to save children’s lives in poor neighborhoods, she is happy, she is affirmed in her own okay-ness, and she can walk out of the procedure with a smile on her face. The money she pays to Planned Parenthood that day is well spent because she has made the world a brighter place.
But my question is this: why limit using fetal tissue in medical research? Sure, there’s a law about harvesting fetal organs for a profit, but that’s not the point. The point is simple—we are a society in need, but not at the expense of our environment. Companies like Opening Lines, a Division of Consultative and Diagnostic Pathology, Inc., of Illinois, paved the way, even providing a convenient price chart: intact embryonic cadavers being sold to labs for a reasonable $400-$600 dollars, an intact trunk for just $500, with or without limbs, and they even offered discount rates on items such as eyes—a whopping 40% discount if you could only give them one, and a generous 30% discount on fetal brains should they have become somewhat fragmented in the extraction process.
While these wholesalers are helping women by offering these items to research labs, think of what else they could do, if only they had true vision, a more comprehensive business plan, and the proper ad campaign, including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn. As of now, finding these wholesalers on Google is next to impossible, meaning they’re shutting themselves away from what could be big business. And with a rise in corporate and business taxes, as well as an end to the Bush tax cuts, the revenue generated for the Federal Government could really take off—with the right menu of services.
Sure, start with medical research and all those areas that make us better people. Fantastic! Applause! But the problem remains that with our landfills growing exponentially every day, and as our waters continue to be polluted by big business and big oil, we have to think green. We have to think sustainable. We have to think about alternative energy and about how we can use this industry to help address the threat of global warming. After all, as President Obama noted in February 2014, “When I think about the array of global climate – of global threats – think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – all challenges that know no borders – the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”
We must do as the President tells us because he knows what is best for all of us. When he spoke to the Coast Guard earlier this year, he rightly pointed out horrible dangers, that “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country.” Thus, Planned Parenthood and its contracted tissue wholesalers must expand—they must reach with their imagination and dare to find new ways of handling this potential goldmine that will enrich us all without damage to Mother Earth. Yes, aborted fetuses are routinely incinerated, or they are ground up for easy disposal down any sink, but that could harm both our air and our waters. We have to be creative!
Who doesn’t love to hold a new baby and caress her soft skin? When a baby is wanted, that’s one of the best, most healing things anyone can do. Why not be able to do that when the pregnancy isn’t wanted? Why not take that beautiful skin and transform it into an amazing jacket or vest or vachette leather handbag? Baby dolls for little children, using genuine baby skin, so that little ones can enjoy that same healing sensation? Doesn't that make us all kinder and gentler?
As the world becomes more globalized and our dining trends become more open to new flavors, this is the ideal moment to introduce new ingredients, new “superfoods” into our diets. We’re all crazy about kale and brussels sprouts and chia and quinoa these days, and with so many getting into smoothies and shakes and new kinds of juices, why not add a new ingredient to our national pantry?
Now mind you, vegans might not be able to participate in this, however, that is a choice that must be respected, and one must never be allowed to speak against them or make inordinate jokes at their expense. In fact, those kinds of haters deserve to be put in prison. But that’s an issue for another day. The use of fetal blood as a part of healthy cooking, for example, would bring incredible benefits to everyone—take a look at only a few of its ingredients: proteins, important minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and more…and no carbs. One gram of blood contains only 9 teeny calories, making it an easy addition to any savory meal, and with no worries about your waistline.
The fiscal potential for this is nearly unlimited for a couple of important reasons. First, young women have a strong sexual appetite, and as they are often careless about taking their birth control pill, they are more likely to conceive unwanted pregnancies. This gives organizations like Planned Parenthood and Family Planning Associates plentiful opportunities to obtain these ingredients and to have their wholesalers broaden their market to include food sellers, clothiers, handbag designers and so on. Second, women in late-term crisis pregnancies might be encouraged to terminate, specifically so the products of conception could be used in new and spectacular ways. In fact, wholesalers could develop incentive programs for these women, who are often economically challenged, so that they can get off welfare and have a home of their own.
What does all this mean in the end? Wage potential for women on welfare, fewer struggling families on assistance programs, cleaner oceans and landfills, better nutrition for people of all classes and hues, and a general sense of doing something for the greater good. That makes people really come together as a community, and it is a strong community of people who think and act alike that makes for a more harmonious society. It means we come together in the spirit of sustainability, of repurposing and recycling which will, in the long run, help to bring an end to global warming for a few important reasons:
1. Fewer people harming the environment
2. Less need, therefore, for natural resources, allowing the trees to grow again
3. Less dependence on welfare and more revenue coming in—that means that taxes can be raised universally and thus bring an end to the deficit while still being able to invest in our children’s future
4. More competition in business—more wholesalers diversifying would lead to competitive pricing, which thus would bring down cost and allow more people to buy the end product
5. Thus, with more people having access to more products, that sense of belonging can only increase, bringing an end to racism and white privilege
6. Positive attention can also be brought to this issue through reality television. Just as we have been educated by charming shows such as “I am Jazz” and “I am Cait,” Planned Parenthood could easily have a show called “I am Deb,” featuring Dr. Nucatola as she gets through her day of seeing patients, extracting fetal tissue, haggling with wholesalers, going on date nights with her partner, sharing funny moments with her children. We know that shows such as this normalize certain behaviors and industries, and this would be no different.
7. The increased media would inspire other young women to follow in Deb’s shoes, wanting to harvest fetal tissue themselves. It would create a positive atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance and love, and as we know, it's a good day when love wins.
This will inevitably have an impact on global warming because all clinics, restaurants, design houses, and media outlets who engage in these activities would use sustainable practices, thus bringing awareness to all, which would ultimately lead to a planet that is free from mean practices. Federal regulations would ensure that this program be taxed and that the appropriate fees would be put in place so that everyone benefits.
Therefore, Planned Parenthood should pat itself on the back—rather than reacting as if Dr. Nucatola and Ms. Gratter were “caught” in something bad and for which they must apologize, they should bring these brave women out of the shadows and celebrate them for the helping work they do on a daily basis. These women are the vanguard, our leaders into a brighter future with less less global warming and more community, and we should thus encourage Planned Parenthood to, as they say at University of Southern California, “Fight On.”
To quote President Barack Obama from a speech he made in April 2013: “As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way,” said Obama. “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”
*Note: this is satire, in case you were worried about my sanity...
A while back, I had the opportunity to attend a senior retreat at a Catholic school. Many readers may remember their own retreat experiences as high school seniors. It is truly a transformative experience for many, both students and leaders alike. While many of the retreatants were Catholic, some were not, yet they participated along with everyone else, and it's always a good time.
Keeping in mind the diversity of the retreatants, we decided to hold a brief Q & A session, to allow students to ask questions about the Catholic Church. Normally, it works very well and is both fun and informative. Along with our retreat's priest chaplain, I ran that session a couple of times. The first time was great, and we all learned a lot about the Church and each other. A year and a half ago, we got ambushed.
A girl raised her hand and pertly asked why the Church does not permit same-sex marriage. Both the priest and I gave the standard Catholic response, but she wasn't having it, and suddenly we had a mob of bullies on our hands, shouting and insulting and being spectacularly rude and intolerant. The crime? Speaking about the Church's teaching on homosexuality and marriage. But the group didn't stop there. Since I had spoken about the Church's teaching, I was now a bad person, and one boy started picking away at the wording of a speech I had given an hour earlier. He could now delegitimize me and demonize me for my Thoughtcrime, and he was determined that I would be punished. Never mind that up to that point, I had a perfectly normal relationship with him. No longer. I was now a homophobe, a religious bigot and an extremist tool of the One Percent.
Therefore, when I read Kirsten Powers' The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, I understood what happened last year on retreat. I suddenly realized that these kids were doing exactly what Powers talks about in her book: ganging up on someone they disagree with, delegitimizing them and demonizing them.
The premise of the book is perhaps nothing new. I've written about similar issues right here at the Artful Catholic, and many other writers have done the same thing. Basically, she shines a very bright light on a very ugly side to the liberal, or rather, illiberal mindset, showing their intolerance for all to see. Powers, herself a lifelong liberal Democrat, is quick to make an important distinction, that those who engage in this kind of intolerance are in fact an insult to liberals and are in fact, illiberal. I think that is an important distinction to make, and it goes to the heart of her argument. Disagreement is not wrong. Disagreement is healthy and normal. It is through a rigorous debate, therefore, between differing sides that people can learn and grow and become truly tolerant. That's the ideal. Powers and I would likely disagree on many things, but I'm entirely with her on this one.
In the book, she takes the reader through dozens of examples of illiberal intolerance, often against other liberals. Early in the book, for example, she talks about the way CNN's Campbell Brown, a lifelong liberal, was delegitimized after she dared to "challenge teacher tenure rules that protect underperforming teachers" (21).
Teachers unions and their illiberal left allies quickly deemed Brown public enemy number one. Rather than debating Brown and challenging her arguments, the illiberal left began a delegitimizing campaign. Brown was no longer an accomplished woman, nor was her desire to improve the education system sincere. No, she was a nefarious right-wing bimbo under the control of conservative men lurking in the background (21-22)
And you should read what the illiberal left has to say about conservative women such as Michelle Malkin. You'll have to buy Powers' book to read that one.
Powers also highlights the treatment of Emily Yoffe, a liberal feminist, who challenged the statistic that one in five women would be raped during their four years of college. Pointing out the far-fetched nature of that statistic (which was originally limited to one or two campuses, not to all of them), Yoffe was attacked on Twitter and called a "rape apologist." "She was accused of 'perpetuating rape culture' while one user asked if her son was 'a serial rapist or something.' Alexandra Brodsky, the founding co-director of Know Your Title IX, wrote at Feministing that Yoffe was a 'rape denialist' and Tweeted, 'There is a special place in hell for women who are Emily Yoffe'" (184-185).
Powers' book is filled with these shocking examples and more, bringing to light a frightening trend that silences speech and shuts down any sort of debate. One point that I thought was particularly brilliant was Powers' observation that so many of these unhinged college students come from a generation of kids that were coddled and pampered and bubble-wrapped. This was the generation where everyone got a trophy, even if you didn't play. This is the generation that has been so protected that they automatically view dissent as harm. To quote Hollywood, "they can't handle the truth."
Naturally, there are many young people who can handle the truth. One such young woman is Thrin Short, a teenaged pro-life activist. Powers details the physical assault on Short by UCSB professor Mireille Miller-Young, who objected to Short's anti-abortion signs depicting aborted fetuses, and in fact, was absolutely unapologetic, citing that these signs were upsetting and harmful (70). So rather than engage the teen in a debate, which could have been friendly and interesting, Miller-Young lashed out with violence and destruction of personal property. The kicker is, as Powers points out, the university supported Miller-Young, even after she had been convicted of battery and theft.
Dr. Stephanie Batiste, an associate professor in UCSB's Department of Black Studies and English, expressed sympathy with Miller-Young's reaction to the activists, reimagining the bullying that ended in a physical altercation as a simple and understandable outgrowth of Miller-Young's 'kindness combined with her commitment to justice'...Miller-Young is so 'kind' that she has never directly apologized to the girl she attacked, or to the students she intimidated and mocked and attempted to silence' (73).
We don't all need to agree on everything, when it comes right down to it. I have many conservative friends, but I also have many liberal, even radical friends. We may not see eye-to-eye on politics or religion, but we can still peacefully coexist. And we should be able to engage in a healthy discussion on these sensitive topics, with respect and with open minds.
This is why Powers' book is such an important read. If disagreement is viewed as hostility, to be answered only with ad hominem attacks, then there is no discussion, no authentic debate. If we can't respectfully disagree, then how can we learn from each other? If we can't be proven erroneous, or prove someone else to be erroneous, then what do we become? If we are bullied into silence by demagoguery, then when are we free to speak our minds? This Orwellian trend is reminiscent of dictatorships where "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death" (Orwell, 1984). This uniformity of thought turns us into drones, too afraid to have an independent opinion.
How many of you feel like you have to whisper in corners because your opinions might be slightly (or very) conservative? How many of you are reluctant to admit that you listen to Rush Limbaugh because you agree with what he says? Even if you are liberal, how many of you might not mention that you watch Fox News? By the way, Powers points out that 30% of Fox viewers are Democrats. How many of you might even fear for your job security if you post a conservative article on Facebook, or Favorite a conservative tweet on Twitter? If that's you, then you must read this book because you'll see that you are not alone.
At the end of her book, Powers rightly suggests that "we should all make efforts to invite people who hold different views into our worlds. Contrary to popular thought, familiarity doesn't breed contempt. It breeds understanding and tolerance" (202). This book is a starting point for people of all political and religious views, and once you've read it, you might just be inspired to fight against this silencing, for everyone's sake.
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Culture is all around us, in the city, the country, everywhere. We see it from the old world and the new, and as Catholics, we have a rich tradition of developing Western culture throughout our history.