Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

10/18/2010 (3 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 (3 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 September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

Pope Francis names Bishop Blasť Cupich to replace ailing Chicago Archbishop Watch

Image of Ill from liver cancer, Cardinal George said at a news conference in Chicago that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has chosen Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich as Chicago's new archbishop. The ailing Cardinal Francis George welcomed his pending retirement after his 17 years of service, with only the highest praise for his successor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


World population could hit 11 billion by 2100 new study reveals Watch

Image of Africa will see the largest population boom, going from 1 billion to 4 billion by the century's end. Asia will also likely rise a bit, but will peak at 5 billion by 2050 and decline.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A United Nations-led analysis published on September 18 has revealed that the world's population may reach 11 billion by 2100, which would mean two billion more people than previously expected, largely due to high birth rates in Africa. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


As death toll passes 2,600 U.S. lawmakers worry about spread of Ebola Watch

Image of Red Cross workers in Guinea in protective gear. Currently, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst nations worst hit by the West African Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Legislators in Washington are becoming increasingly concerned about the spread of Ebola and worry that it could become more contagious and potentially spread into the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama's new plan to put 3,000 U.S. ... continue reading


Obama gains support from House to further fight against ISIS Watch

Image of President Obama, with the support of the House of Representatives, may now start arming and training Syrian groups to fight the Islamic State, and will continue to strike targets in Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Barack Obama told Americans-in somewhat ambiguous terms-last week that he intended to destroy the Islamic State, as of September 17, he promised that the United States will not fight another ground war in Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


Nice try! Democrats try to distance themselves from Obama for midterm, but it's too late! Watch

Image of Kentucky Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, seen here with a shotgun in an ad where she attempts to distance herself from the disastrous and unpopular policies of President Barack Obama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, is trying her best to let Kentuckians know that she is certainly not an Obama Democrat, releasing a campaign ad where she wields a gun to prove it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grimes' 30-second ad takes place in ... 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, Proverbs 3:27-34
27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... 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