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Moral Outrage Over a Lion, But Not For Dismembered Babies

There are many days when, after reading the news, it would be natural to look up and see Rod Serling, cigarette smoke swirling around him, standing in a corner giving a trite summation of how events like the Supreme Court assuming a legislative role should be soberly analyzed and learned from, in the twilight zone.

Unfortunately, this is reality. And there is no more sickening instance of the backwards, unhinged nature of American politics than the disparate reactions to the ongoing Planned Parenthood debacle and an American hunter’s decision to shoot a popular African lion.

As Planned Parenthood goes into crisis mode, sending a letter to media begging them not to cover their black market dealing in the remains of babies carefully aborted to preserve the “specimens,” and California investigates the Center for Medical Progress, the organization responsible for bringing these truly evil practices into the public eye, #CecilTheLion has been trending on Twitter.

There’s no debate about an American hunter paying to shoot a famous African lion. No one has questioned the motives of the hunters, brought up issues like population control or the ethics of the guides who took the bribe. The incident has been universally condemned. Many, including animal activist group PETA are calling for criminal charges. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel was even brought to tears on live television over the incident.

Yet, somehow, the trafficking of human remains, which political correctness dictates cannot even be referred to as human because that would be an attack on the so-called right of a woman to “choose,” is about medical ethics and privacy law. Funny how the left dismissed such things when NSA surveillance and bulk data collection were an exigent public policy matter, after, of course, flipping their position from being against it under the Bush administration.

It’s stunning, in an uncomfortable and sickening way, to consider:

Cecil has a name to go by. The fetal remains- limbs and organs being haggled over callously- were deemed unworthy of  personhoood, and thus are referred to coldly and callously. The results of such a practice are evident in the nonchalant, jocular manner with which Planned Parenthood employees discuss them, over a casual, chatty lunch and while sitting next to the dismembered remains, laughing.

Cecil is being called “beloved.” No one seems to care about the lack of compassion shown for lives literally torn apart.In fact, tears or physical revulsion have been spun into a sign of hatred. Somehow, being shocked or horrified at the banal sterility with which Planned Parenthood officials discuss how best to rip a baby from the womb so as to preserve the most profitable parts of its body is a part of the war on women.

The practices revealed in the videos are evil and sickening. But they really shouldn’t be that surprising given that Margaret Sanger’s stated purpose in founding the organization was to introduce eugenics into society. What is truly, gut-wrenchingly unconscionable and monstrous is the caveats and equivocations being offered up as a perverse ethical  justification while the death of a lion, truly unethical though it may be, is brought to the forefront of cultural debate, used as a crusade when there is no real point to be argued, and couched in terms of compassion and love.

It’s a case of classic collectivism- the sanctity of life does not matter because someone somewhere may benefit from one person’s suffering. Put aside your petty little ego for the sake of humanity. Not addressed are the inherent contradictions of how devaluing one life could benefit more lives, or how it special-discrimination plays into egalitarianism. But, then again, this is the apex of moral relativism, so such linear, absolutist thinking can be callously discarded. Much like the limbs and organs of the babies necessarily sacrificed in such a culture.

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Katherine Revello

A recent graduate of the University of Maine, where she majored in journalism and political science, Katherine Revello is an aspiring political commentator. Her focuses include theory, the philosophy of money and populism. Currently, she is a graduate student at Villanova University. She is the founder of The Politics of Discretion, a blog dedicated to advancing her philosophy of discretionism. Follow her on Twitter: @MrsWynandPapers

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One Comment

  1. i suppose this sounds like a warped and broken record, still, I maintain that this downhill skid began when the doors of ‘Family Homes’ opened and let traditional values leave, taking God with them. Suddenly even schools, houses of education dismissed His influence and found it offensive. This has smeared or erased all guidelines of moral behavior. We have been timid when confronted by the politically correct police and stood silently as they put our freedoms in jail and held without bail.

    This attitude will continue until ‘we the people’ truly believe “If it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for” and collectively share an Aha moment .

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