Yet again a common piece of news is interrupted by earth-shaking opinion. In the latest issue of The Economist, an article about the tension in the Philippines between the dominant Roman Catholic Church (4 of 5 Philipinos is Catholic) and their president, Rodrigo Duterte slips in a bombshell.
llegedly molested by a priest as a boy, Duterte appears to be on a vengeance agenda with the Catholic Church. So I'm reading along and then there's this:
"We are pro-life in every respect," explains one priest at a dinner where balut--fertilized duck eggs cooked and served with the fetus inside--are being enjoyed.
When people talk about objective news, they have no clue what they're talking about. True objectivity does not exist. Journalists choose what is newsworthy; they choose how to present the story; they choose the kind of twist or spin to put on it. I know because I was a news reporter for two years on a newspaper staff. Journalism is story telling, and nothing lends itself to subjective presentation as much as storytelling.
Notice the spin that this journalist put on a tidbit in the story. First, it calls a chick embryo a "fetus." I don't know anyone in agriculture who calls an unhatched chick a fetus. That's reserved for mammals at least. I'd give a pass if it had been an unborn calf being eaten. That's okay to call a fetus. But not a chick. It's a perjorative term, trying to elevate a cultural norm, an expression of cultural diversity, to something immoral. Ditto anyone thinking eating horse is wrong. Or monkey.
Second, it's juxtaposed with the statement "we are pro-life in every respect." The obvious placement of the meal particulars is meant to jolt us. But further, the insinuation is that human pro-life should include unhatched chick pro-life. In other words, we're supposed to deduce that an unhatched chick embryo is similar in kind, in sacredness, in moral dimension, to an unborn human baby.
Here, just buried in run-of-the-mill news coverage, is a worldview atomic explosion that we're supposed to assume is normal, reasonable, and without subjectivity. The goal here is to poke fun, to indicate hyper hypocrisy, and to break down any philosophical or moral differences between kinds of life.
The whole point of the right to life movement, the sanctity of life, is to elevate the human to a special place of protection, respect, and responsibility in the collective mind of a culture. If the human is simply an animal, a tree, a bacteria, then we have no moral or ethical dimension. A chicken never expresses charity to anther chicken. A pig never helps a weaker pig. All of the distinctives of civilized interaction disappear in an animal-human equivalency. Animals do not practice philanthropy; hence, survival of the fittest.
That is not to say we disrespect or abuse non-human life. It is to say that humans have responsibility to chart a life-to-life interaction that encourages life: more fertile soil to grow more vegetation to make more blooms to feed more pollinators, for example. It's a web of interconnectedness.
Interestingly, animals never struggle with sexual identity. So if humans are just animals, we're not acting like it in that dimension. Just a random thought.
The desire to disparage the pro-life movement can hardly be measured. Most journalists, steeped in the abortion narrative, jump on any chance to belittle the pro-life movement, even if it's as absurd and morally shocking as identifying an unborn human baby as equivalently identical in all dimensions to an unhatched chick. That should give us all pause to ask: where are we headed?
Clearly, this spin that puts unhatched chicks on par with human unborn babies naturally extends to born chicks and born babies. In other words, your daughter is your cow is your grandson is your fish. This is the obvious and unarguable extension of the supposition, and it presents a real conundrum. Ban the fly swatter.
Where are we headed?