Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

10/18/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There are no 'potential human beings' only human beings with potential

The supporters of legal abortion depend on verbal shenanigans to persuade and give contrived 'moral' cover to the evil act of killing the child in the womb.  Among their favorite euphemisms are "terminating a pregnancy," "choice," and "reproductive rights."  Those who saw The O'Reilly Factor on October 7th got a double helping of this dehumanizing rhetoric, and sadly some of it came from Bill O'Reilly himself. 

There are no 'potential' human beings.  Only human beings, with the potential to grow and change and come closer every day to being the person God created them to be.

There are no "potential" human beings. Only human beings, with the potential to grow and change and come closer every day to being the person God created them to be.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/18/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: abortion, choice, life, prochoice, prolife, O'Reilly, Factor, BillO'Reilly


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Words have great potential.  They can build up or just as easily tear down; heal as easily as harm; unite as easily as divide.  They can also manipulate and conceal the truth.

Words twisted out of their proper meaning into a refashioned one have perhaps the greatest potential of all - the potential to convince untold numbers of well-meaning yet vacillating people to accept a lie they would otherwise reject.

Nowhere in our society is this played out more clearly than in the abortion battle. The supporters of legal abortion depend on verbal shenanigans to persuade and give moral cover to the evil act of killing the child in the womb.  Among the abortion peddlers' favorite euphemisms are "terminating a pregnancy," "choice," and "reproductive rights."  These deceitfully constructed terms are preferred over the word abortion itself because they brainwash people into forgetting all about the baby.

Everyone who saw The O'Reilly Factor on October 7th got a double helping of this dehumanizing rhetoric, and sadly some of it came from Bill O'Reilly himself.  In a segment with Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley about "nanny state" government intrusion, Colmes argued that Republicans are the worst offenders because they want to prevent homosexuals from marrying and take away "reproductive rights" from women.

O'Reilly started out strong by saying that abortion is about life and death, not "reproductive rights."  Colmes countered, "It's giving women the right to do with their bodies as they choose."  Then, to my dismay, O'Reilly offered up the latest euphemism du jour:  "That sounds good," he said to Colmes, "but what happens to the potential human being in the process?" 

The discussion concluded with O'Reilly asking Colmes whether the government should protect the lives of potential human beings, and Colmes replied, "No, because you cannot tell when it's a potential human being, you cannot answer when that becomes a human being."

There it is:  potential human being.

Not 30 minutes later in his Culture Warriors segment, while discussing that horrible woman in England who said she'd be the first to put a pillow over the face of a suffering child, O'Reilly told Margaret Hoover that abortion sloganeering has desensitized people to the seriousness of abortion through the use of euphemisms like "reproductive rights."  When Hoover objected to him conflating "reproductive rights" with a woman suffocating a child to death, O'Reilly sternly told her, "Whether you believe in abortion or not, it is a very serious issue.  And to cloud it under the euphemism 'reproductive rights' is insulting - insulting - to the potential human beings who lose their lives."

Bill, you may have meant well, but Pot, meet Kettle.  By calling your preborn neighbors only "potential" human beings, you are guilty of the very same sloganeering and deceptive euphemisms you properly denounced on your program.

There are no "potential" human beings.  Only human beings, with the potential to grow and change and come closer every day to being the person God created them to be.

The pro-abortion strategy now is to insist that we cannot know exactly when life begins and therefore, whatever classification you put on the occupant of the womb (zygote, embryo, fetus, baby), it is only a "potential" human being, not an actual one.  As such, it's not a matter of life and death, but solely a matter of a woman's personal choice and "rights."  Therefore, no need to question the ethics or legality of abortion or consider the life being killed, since what is being destroyed was only "potential."

Now genetically and scientifically, the matter is settled.  Immediately upon conception there exists a new and unique member of the species Homo sapiens.  Is there any time from conception to birth when the child is a cat or a whale or a potato?

So now come the ambiguous, subjective definitions of what makes us human and when we become fully human and when a human deserves the right to his/her own life.  Some will contend that intelligence is required, or independence, or utility. 

The pro-abortion advocates insist that a human being is only an actual human being deserving of life if and when the mother decides so.  If she wants the child, the child is a human being.  If she doesn't want the child, it is at best a "potential" human being, but more likely just an insentient parasite.  For the abortion propagandists, humanity is irrelevant.

I expect the abortion peddlers to perpetuate this false and dehumanizing notion that the child in the womb is merely a "potential" human being, but not O'Reilly.  O'Reilly is Catholic, and a high profile one to boot.  The responsibility of his faith obliges him to know better and to defend the humanity and right to life of every child in the womb from the moment of conception, period.

In fairness, O'Reilly has on many occasions been a vocal advocate for the preborn and I appreciate his willingness to speak out when no one else in the media would dare.  He helped Jill Stanek put the spotlight on Christ Hospital's infanticide over a decade ago.  He was willing to call the late Dr. George Tiller exactly what he was - a baby killer.  He didn't shy away from pointing out the funding of abortion in Obamacare.  In many ways, O'Reilly is an ally in the fight to protect the preborn.

Yet, like so many Catholics, he seems to be either ignorant of authentic Catholic teaching or uncomfortable defending it.

For all our sakes, let's review what the Church teaches about the human person:  "Man exists as a unique and unrepeatable being, he exists as an "I" capable of self-understanding, self-possession and self-determination.However, it is not intellect, consciousness and freedom that define the person, rather it is the person who is the basis of the acts of intellect, consciousness and freedom.  These acts can even be absent, for even without them man does not cease to be a person."  (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 131)

As to the cowardly tendency of many to say that abortion is "between a woman and her God," we should remember this: 

"Certain sins, moreover, constitute by their very object a direct assault on one's neighbor.  Such sins in particular are known as social sins.Social too is every sin against the rights of the human person, starting with the right to life, including that of life in the womb."  (CSDC, 118)

Regarding the alleged "right" to abortion, the teaching is crystal clear, there is none. There IS a Right to Life: 

"The right to life, from conception to its natural end is the condition for the existence of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia."  (CSDC, 155)

"Concerning the 'methods' for practicing responsible procreation, the first to be rejected as morally illicit are sterilization and abortion.  The latter in particular is a horrendous crime and constitutes a particularly serious moral disorder; far from being a right, it is a sad phenomenon that contributes seriously to spreading a mentality against life." (CSDC, 233)
 
In truth, birth does not elevate the humanity of the child to a new, previously unattained status. The child in the womb is fully human from the moment of conception and as Catholics, we are gladly burdened with the duty to proclaim and defend this truth against the deceptive euphemisms of our time.  We're not lacking in this country for public Catholics who don't know and don't live their faith, or worse, flaunt their open disregard for Church teaching.  What we need are more Catholics who know their faith thoroughly and profess it unapologetically. 

Bill O'Reilly has great potential to become such a Catholic.  Each of us has that potential.  Here's hoping we all exceed our potential.

(By the way, the Compendium is available on Amazon.com and Catholic bookstores everywhere.  Every Catholic should have one.)

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven).  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  Visit her at My Chocolate Heart.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

By Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... continue reading


(Video) Nina Pham's incredible goodbye will bring you to tears Watch

Image of Supporters of Nina Pham, the nurse who was infected with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has released a video which shows the goodbye between Ebola-patient Nina Pham and her doctor, as she leaves Dallas for treatment in Maryland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 26-year-old nurse was infected with Ebola after ... continue reading


(Video) South Carolina's shocking SHARKNADO! Watch

Image of A rare shark feeding frenzy was caught on video in North Carolina, as hundreds of sharks attacked a school of Blue Fish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing video has appeared on YouTube which shows 100 of sharks engaged in a feeding frenzy just feet from the shore in Cape Lookout, North Carolina. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bizarre video was taken on October 9, but was not made public until ... continue reading


Fed takes in record of over $3 trillion in taxes Watch

Image of A Treasury Department report has revealed that the U.S. government has taken in a record amount of tax revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, at over $3 trillion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest Monthly Treasury Statement has showed that inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues and tax revenues have reached their highest point even as of the 2014 fiscal year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The inflation-adjusted tax revenue reached ... continue reading


James Robison: Turn In Your Sermons! Watch

Image of James and Betty Robison

By James Robison

The city of Houston has issued a wake up call to all freedom-loving Americans by ordering pastors to turn in their sermons and staff communications dealing with homosexuality, gender identity, and Mayor Annise Parker. You must hear the real message loud and clear ... continue reading


He doesn't even care anymore. Government draws in $3 trillion after numerous tax hikes Watch

Image of The U.S. government took in over $3 trillion dollars in taxes for fiscal year 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has collected a record amount of taxes for the 2014 fiscal year, topping $3 trillion in revenue for the first time in history, numbers from the Treasury Department revealed. The data also showed that this influx of cash has brought the current ... continue reading


Trying to win a Darwin Award? Man seen walking next to Ebola patient with clipboard for protection Watch

Image of Who is this man and why isn't he protected like the others?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Maybe he's trying to win a Darwin Award? The nation is aghast at a plainclothes man who appears to be coolly walking beside Ebola-infected nurse, Amber Vinson protected only by --a clipboard. Everyone else around him was dressed in a hazmat suit as she was placed ... continue reading


After two years it's back! Mysterious Air Force spaceship to land in California Watch

Image of The U.S. Air Force's X-37B, which is set to land at Vandenberg Air Force base on October 15, after nearly two years in orbit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States mysterious X-37B unmanned space plane is about to land after it has spent almost two years in orbit on a classified mission. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Air Force announced that the X-37B will land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in ... continue reading


Supreme Court trounces Texas rights in abortion bill battle Watch

Image of Supporters of the Texas anti-abortion bill which was passed back in July 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The controversial anti-abortion law passed by Texas in 2013 that had shut down numerous unsafe and unsanitary abortion clinics is now being halted by order of the Supreme Court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 6-3 order means that many abortion clinics that ... continue reading


U.S. doctor cured of Ebola gives blood to stricken Texan nurse Watch

Image of Twenty-six-year-old Nina Pham has been in quarantine since last week after catching the disease from

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With growing fears of Ebola ravaging the United States, an American doctor who contracted the disease - and survived, has donated some of his blood to Texas nurse, 26-year-old Nina Pham, who fell ill after treating an infected Liberian man. It's the third ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter