Santorum loses chance at presidency

Ex-Senator Rick Santorum recently said as a black man, President Obama ought to be more sensitive to the defining of a fetus as a non-person.

“The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer: Is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no,” Santorum says in the interview, which was first picked up by CBN’s David Brody. “Well if that person, human life is not a person, then, I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'”

There are a number of things wrong with that statement. First, on what basis is Santorum claiming President Obama didn’t want to answer that question? He went to the 2008 televised interview with Rick Warren. That tells me he was more than willing to answer that sort of question. Second, black people are living, breathing, conscious, aware, have advanced nervous systems, etc, etc. They are not comparable to fetuses.

But then the article had to go and give this quote from Obama in 2008.

Santorum was referring to Obama’s comments at a 2008 forum with Pastor Rick Warren in which he said the question of whether a baby should have human rights was “above my pay grade.” Obama later said his remark was too flip, but “I don’t presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions.”

It isn’t a theological question. Theology has nothing to logically say about abortion. Of course, that doesn’t stop religious leaders and adherents from doing so, but that doesn’t mean they have any real basis.

But was I to be left disappointed with this article? Was I to be left with a dumb quote from a very intelligent man? Fear not:

“Just about everything else in the world he’s willing to do – have the government do – but he can’t answer that basic question which is not a debatable issue at all,” Santorum told Jeffrey. “I don’t think you’ll find a biologist in the world who will say that is not a human life.”

Two things. One, really? What constitutes life is not debatable? Come on. Santorum should be required to shut the fuck up at this point for that one. Two, really, really? No biologist is going to say a fetus is not a person? Has Santorum ever talked to any biologists? Has he ever looked at a mass of cells? I’ve never looked at a human embryo in person, but I’m confident that it isn’t any more a human being than any of those zebrafish embryos I decapitated dechorionated were living zebrafish. I’ll let you know if I change my mind at any point in my career. Just don’t count on it.

Oh, and the post title? It’s probably wrong. If anything, I see this as increasing Santorum’s odds with the Republican anti-science base.

6 Responses

  1. Science? This isn’t a scientific question. Science cannot make a judgment call for us and that’s what this has always been.

    I think smashing endangered bird eggs would be frowned upon. Why should that be? They aren’t endangered bird _______. Just eggs.

  2. Science is what tells us that a fetus’ nervous system is poorly developed. Science is what tells us that what we’re seeing a mass of developing cells that bears no resemblance to anything we could study under the banner of psychology or any other science that is dependent upon human consciousness.

    As for the endangered bird eggs, no one is frowning upon the breaking of the eggs because that act in and of itself is wrong. The problem is that the eggs are wanted for some other goal. An aborted fetus is not wanted as a human being by the mother. Your analogy would be more apt if we were talking about someone destroying a fetus against a mother’s wishes.

  3. You’re right about all of it. Science doesn’t tell us when it is a human though.

    Generally I think it would be considered as such when it could reasonably survive outside the womb. I consider it a human when it begins to have the appearance of one. You might not consider it a human until birth because it is a parasite on the mother.

    All are as equally right as they are wrong. Its a judgment call.

    As for the eggs, while the analogy isn’t perfect (none ever are) you got the idea just fine.

  4. Cold scientific facts can’t answers questions like “when is a human or a human” they can only give us information from which we can each make a determination, or decide as a society.

    Science will never tell us when a human is a human, only people can do that. There is no test, no experiment that can make a determination of such a nebulous concept as ‘humanity’.

  5. Science will never tell us when a human is a human, only people can do that

    That is absolutely correct. What is equally correct is that religions will never tell us when a human is a human. Religions have absolutely no qualifications to do so. They have proven to be the opposite of ethical or moral.

  6. Maybe not, but they can have an opinion. Scientists can have opinions about the matter, but they don’t have any special qualification to determine humanity either. Just like my priest, he can tell me what he thinks.

    Like I said, its up to the individual or society to draw the line.

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