Sunday, December 6, 2020

OF MASKS AND OTHER STORIES WE TELL

When I woke up early one morning, I was pondering the swirling debate over wearing masks.  I haven't been able to figure out quite why some people are so opposed to them. Yes, they are annoying to wear, but there do seem to be some valid scientific studies that indicate that they can protect the wearer as well as those who are around them from the possibility of spreading or catching Covid-19.

I remember that one of my daughters, who is a biochemist, told me that at one time she attempted to put all the facts together in an article for friends who were concerned that vaccinations could cause autism. She provided the information that the doctor who had published the original article claiming that vaccines could cause autism admitted that he made it up and that there are no peer-reviewed studies that give any credence to the theory that vaccines could cause autism. She was able to convince a  few of her friends who trusted her integrity and her scientific background, but most of those whom she knew just refused to believe it, and instead continued to put their children  at risk by refusing to vaccinate. Apparently, if someone believes a story that later is shown to be false, it is very hard for them to give up their belief in the first story. In fact, she discovered that the more you try to argue with someone, the harder they cling to their unsubstantiated position.

The mask and vaccine controversies, and the unwillingness of some to change their minds in the face of overwhelming evidence had me so puzzled that I couldn't go back to sleep.

However, as I continued to ponder this conundrum, it occurred to me that there is another controversy where the scientific evidence has piled up and yet it is being ignorantly or--by those who are making money from it--deliberately ignored. The most marginalized people in this country are those who can be killed because they are black or female or disabled or inconvenient because their geographic location makes them fair game. When you look at racism in this country, consider the fact that twenty million black human beings have been targeted and killed: that is half the black population of the United States.

From the time that Lennart Nilsson's spectacular photographs of the child in the womb were published in Life magazine in 1965, the "Drama of Life before Birth," gave evidence that what was growing in the womb was alive and human.  Yet those who believe that it is acceptable to end that life hide behind phrases such as reproductive freedom. It is curious that those who not long ago said that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, now demand that it be accepted up until the moment of birth, and that if a child should somehow escape the abortionist's poison or knife or crushing forceps, the doctor and the mother should decide whether anything should be done to help what is clearly a newborn baby.  It is curious that an ad that showed people who had survived abortions was rejected for the Superbowl. The commercial featured more than a dozen abortion survivors in varying stages of their lives from around the world, who asked, "Can you look me in the eye and say I should have been aborted?" The youngest abortion survivor featured is 7-year-old Zechariah Hagan, one of the first abortion pill reversal (APR, a treatment to reverse the effects of an initial dose of an abortion drug) success stories. The commercial was not graphic or violent in any way; these people were just asking why they had had no rights when someone was trying to kill them before they were born.  In addition, if it weren't for the financial gain, it seems odd that abortionists do not want women seeking abortions to see the ultrasound of the human being they are considering killing. Probably because 75% of those who see the ultrasound choose not to have the abortion, and that is bad for business.  What happened to freedom of choice?  Or why should an abortion clinic not be forced to follow the same safety and hygiene regulations as any other free-standing medical clinic? The clinic where Dr. Kermit Gosnell performed abortions and killed babies who escaped his deadly techniques by cutting their spinal cords was never examined for years although there had been many complaints. For the full horror story, the movie Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer recounted the actual events that led to the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a physician and abortion provider who was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants born alive, involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient undergoing an abortion, 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating a 24-hour informed consent law. The film is the true story of the investigation and trial of Gosnell, his 30-year killing spree, and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up. He was finally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Now those who believe that abortion is killing are being told that we must pay for it with our taxes, and that doctors and nurses must kill the unborn no matter what their religious beliefs are. I believe we are coming to a point, just as we did before the Civil War, when the slaveowners in the South were not satisfied with being allowed to keep their slaves, but Northerners were being told that they must accept slavery because the slave was less than human. And those of us who object to the indiscriminate killing of human beings in the womb are being told that we must accept it because those human beings are also less than human. 

If we can believe that, it's no wonder that some people don't believe that masks offer some protection against Covid-19. After all, there have only been 270,000 deaths attributable to the coronavirus in the U.S. That number seems very high and we are right to be concerned about it. However, since 1973, there have been over 61 million abortions in the United States.  This number dwarfs the number of coronavirus deaths; while our first responders have been fighting non-stop to prevent Covid-19 deaths, abortionists deliberately cause the deaths of all those unborn human beings and sell baby parts at a profit (Planned Parenthood executives under oath admitted this). 

I have a hard time accepting rage against someone who won't wear a mask while we calmly accept the destruction of millions of human beings in their mothers' wombs. Perhaps it's the fact that we fear someone not wearing a mask threatens us, while an abortion merely destroys an anonymous, unseen child who cannot ask us for help or protection. Where is the mask that will protect that little girl or boy?

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