>Victim of Parody

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(WARNING: If the above cartoon seems blurry and/or difficult to read, seek medical attention immediately. Or, just click on it and look at a larger version.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Citizens Who Wonder Who The Hell is Francesco Marciuliano and Why Does He Deserve So Many Vowels In His Name?

About a month ago, I took a week off from my 365-new-cartoons-a-year-for-23-years schedule and another cartoonist filled in for me. He did seven cartoons, but this Sunday panel printed many weeks later than the Monday through Saturday ones, because my own production schedule isn’t in sync.

This parody of the children’s book classic, The Little Prince, seems innocuous enough at first glance, but apparently possesses a seedy underbelly that is roiling with controversy. Read this letter sent to the editor of a major North American newspaper:

We once called the comic strips the funny pages. Why are they no
longer funny? The bulk of the current offerings are negative, some
verging on the abhorrent. In this latter category, I place this
feeble attempt at humor. At best, it elicits a sigh of disgust. At
worst, it mocks The Little Prince, the wartime masterpiece by Antoine
de Saint-Exupery. This runaway world best seller may be understood on
several levels. It captivates as a children’s tale. It symbolically
tells the story of creation. At its peak, it is the autobiography of
a sensitive and lost soul dedicating his work to a dear friend in need
of consolation. The friend is cold and hungry in Nazi-occupied
France, while the author is safe in New York. Lines for the story
appear in every book of quotations. “It is only with the heart that
one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (The
original French is even more beautiful.) Writing like that deserves
better treatment than an ill-considered distortion.

I’ve seen many such letters over the years from readers who did not like the way I treated a religious or political topic, but never one about a piece of literature. I never quibble with a person’s opinion of a creative effort, we all have our individual opinions and perspective, which is part of what makes art interesting. But as a humorist, I don’t feel that any topic is above parody under the right circumstances.

I also wonder who this reader sees as the victim of this “ill-considered” act. I don’t believe in victimless crimes. To me it is simple: no victim–no crime. That’s why I don’t believe in laws against things like gay marriage, marijuana, physician-assisted suicide, or parody. Imagined victims are a big part of our society, however. I’ve gotten many letters over the years from people who object to my putting the hidden stick of dynamite in my cartoons for fear it will “give ideas to terrorists”. If a terrorist is getting his ideas from the funny pages, he’s much more likely to be a danger to himself than to any of us.

All this aside, the most curious line in the letter is this one: We once called the comic strips the funny pages. Why are they nolonger funny?

Since when have newspaper comics ever been funny?

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57 thoughts on “>Victim of Parody

  1. >There’s comedy in every situation so why get soft and cry about it? It’s only a goof, don’t take it personal!Keep punchin’ champ!

  2. >This one of the few bizarro’s I had no idea what it was about. Never read the little prince never will.However, I think Francesco Marciuliano could have made the cartoon a little bit better by adding some of the hidden bizarro items, like a piece of pie, or shoe in orbit. Just my thought.

  3. >The Garfield strip would be funny if a stream roller mashed them both in the final panel, that is something I would not have seen coming.

  4. >so if newspaper comic strips aren’t funny……what is?its true, every sutiaton can be looked at funnily, so when you see a parody of anything, it’s just a question of whether you see the parody-maker’s pont of view or don’t even try to, and complain about how he’s desecrating something.

  5. >I thought the strip was great.Interesting to have receive a complaint about it, the only complaining I’ve ever heard regarding Le petit Prince was when people had to read it for school.

  6. >All three of your examples have victims.I’d say the victims in a society which recognizes gay marriage are the children who are forced into the hands of a homosexual couple. Those children will never have a mother and a father in their lives, only two mommies or two daddies. Marijuana is the introductory drug. It is mentally addictive, and those who smoke are much more likely to try more dangerous drugs. The victim, of course, is the drug addict, and anyone he hurts while his mind is controlled by the drug.The victim of physician-assisted suicide is the person the doctor murders. (P.S. If it’s okay to kill people who are in pain or want to die, why hire doctors? We could just hire a goon from the mafia with much more experience. Certainly, the job would be much more quick and efficient.)If you think about it, almost all bad behavior victimizes someone eventually. Liberals have used arguments similar to Pirraro’s to defend prostitution, because apparently prostitution does not have a victim. Yet, many prostitutes are victims of the human trafficking industry, which lobbies for bills which would legitimize their business.One more thought: who is the victim of an abortion?

  7. >damn, joshthecartoonguy. for having such a seemingly humorous handle, you’re not very funny. in fact, i would think you were hurting your own argument because nobody on this blog agrees with you, so, sorry about your luck. you’re not gonna change our minds by providing the blanket arguments most modern-day conservatives have been using to dictate everyone else’s lives for the last how many years. from your statements, you’ve obviously never known a gay person, smoked pot, or been in a situation where your personal health was seriously negotiated.and i’m going to give you an answer to your final question. to be a victim of something, some degree of suffering must occur. do unborn fetuses suffer? most likely not, considering they don’t even have brains yet and suffering is the result of your brain triggering your pain sensors. so, who is the victim then? i would say it was the woman who felt it necessary to have the abortion. but it was her choice to HAVE the abortion, so she CAN’T be a victim if she put herself up to it. so to answer your question to “who is the victim of an abortion?” my answer is: nobody.oh, good cartoon btw.

  8. >Hey joshthedepressedguy, there are a couple of kids in my family who have two parents who love them desperately and who have been in a committed and joyful relationship for almost 30 years. They’ve obliterated most of the hetero marriages in my family by decades. And amazingly enough, neither of their kids have held up people at gunpoint and forced them to do gay stuff. Astounding, I know. In fact, both of their kids are straight, gainfully employed and very successful at what they do.Sorry to ruin your day.

  9. >The only victims involved in abortions are those poor women who don’t have safe, clean and reliable clinics to go to. Forced to resort to back alley alternatives.

  10. >Shortcake – “nobody on this blog agrees with” joshthecartoonguy? Who the hell are you to speak for everyone else, you pompous blowhard? Because I definitely agree with him.

  11. >Derek, exactly what facts are you referring to? If you have any stats (real ones, not crap from Focus on the Family) that show that children of gays and lesbians are horribly unhappy and maladjusted and social misfits and OH THE HUMANITY, I’d love to see them.Speaking of facts, it took me about two minutes to find this:http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=L9jpL9Qg0RmvWPcvj6KvGthMTFVH2jD0lBXlTDs2LGzPThnGppkG!147932901?docId=5000363967The Internet is full of such studies. If those words are too big for you to understand, I’ll spell it out: the people who are the most vehemently opposed to the homosexual lifestyle are the ones who are desperately trying to cover up their own latent tendencies.Larry Craig, anyone?

  12. >”And amazingly enough, neither of their kids have held up people at gunpoint and forced them to do gay stuff.” I never suggested anything of the sort. My point is that every child should have a mother and a father. We don’t live in a perfect world, so that isn’t always possible. If we did live in a perfect world, there would be no orphans and no abusive parents. Every child would live with their biological mother and father. A single mother can provide her child with love, and motherly affection, but she can’t be a father. A single dad can’t give his child a mother. If you don’t think having a dad and a mom matters, we have no common ground on which we can continue this debate. If you agree with this first premise, I’d be interested to hear your arguments as to why the state should deprive an orphan child of any chance of having a mother and a father by placing them in a homosexual home.

  13. >Penny, you demanded that Derek back up his assertion with facts and stats. Even if he did, you would just dismiss them. However, that didn’t stop you from making a sweeping generalization about the motivation behind opposition to gay marriage. How can you possibly say that everyone who does not accept sodomy as a normal lifestyle must be covering up their own latent homosexual feelings? Please, back this statement up with some stats. “Real ones, not crap.”

  14. >b.a.d.Is abortion “clean, safe, and reliable” for the fetus? What is killed as a result from an abortion? You may accuse me of being fixated on the state of the fetus, but that is the central issue. If a fetus is not a living human being, a person, then of course women should have full, unrestricted abortion rights. Convince me that the fetus is not a human, and I will change my position on abortion immediately.Your thoughts?

  15. >You are correct that my statements were blanket arguments. They weren’t meant to sway you but to spark debate like they are doing now. (While we are batting around logical terms, let me point out that you did use several ad hominem attacks.)”to be a victim of something, some degree of suffering must occur. do unborn fetuses suffer? most likely not, considering they don’t even have brains yet and suffering is the result of your brain triggering your pain sensors.”Late term unborn infants DO have brains. Do you think we should push abortion rights back farther into the womb? If so, where do we draw the line? If we can’t draw a hard line, is it a matter of degree? Does it gradually become immoral to kill a fetus as it’s brain develops? This is a serious issue, and I don’t see what is laughable about it.

  16. >One last thing before you all start examining my arguments. I have known a homosexual person. The reason he chose that lifestyle is that he never had a loving father-figure in his life, so he tried to find a man to fill that void in his life through sexuality. It did not make him happy. He was miserable and took all kinds of drugs. But when Jesus Christ came into his life, he no longer felt a need to live that lifestyle.

  17. >I’ve mentioned it here before but it bears repeating: I am a hard-core born-again Christian. The debate about whether one can be gay and saved is certainly not going to be solved here on this message board. However, I believe with all my heart that there are a number of “side” issues that are actually pretty inconsequential to the Christian faith. Homosexuality, evolution, diet…there are a number of things that just don’t impact salvation. There are a number of issues that, no matter which side one falls on, are not deal-breakers when it comes to being saved. The only thing that matters is whether one believes Christ is who He says He is. I think nearly ALL Christians ultimately stand before God and hear, “You really blew it on a couple of issues. But come on in anyway.” I believe it is a very, VERY rare person who gets it “right” (according to the Bible) on every single issue. It’s the ones who believe they ARE “right” on all the issues and try to beat everyone into believing as they do who scare me. I am delighted that your friend found Christ, truly. However, you can be gay and saved. You can. Show me in the Bible where it says otherwise. And while you’re at it, show me any verses, anywhere, that state, “Get people to believe in Me by beating them over the head and making them feel like dog crap about themselves.” Indeed, the New Testament is loaded with verses admonishing us to not be “stumbling blocks” to other people who are seeking spiritual answers. Regarding the latent tendencies issue: if you pay any attention at all to the news you’ll remember the number of evangelical and political leaders, very vocally opposed to the gay lifestyle, who have been outed. Empirical evidence backs this up, as do any number of actual scientific studies. Look ‘em up. Regarding your comment that in a perfect world all kids would be raised by their “biological parents”: I was adopted. I was not raised by my biological parents and frankly, would think you were a complete dickhead if I overheard you saying that. Seriously, man…you need to think about what your comments are doing to the people around you who may be honestly seeking spiritual answers. Your “biological parents” comment may have just been a slip of the tongue, but it could have tremendous impact if overheard by an adopted person. It would be just one more reason for people to wonder why they should investigate Christ when some of the people who claim to represent Him are seemingly so narrow minded?I actually am very anti-abortion, but I’m still vehemently pro-choice. If a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy came to me and asked for my opinion or help, I would offer it. However, it is not for me to decide what every other woman in this nation should do with her womb. People who are anti-abortion would do much better to SUPPORT women facing unplanned pregnancies than yelling at them and, again, making them feel like crap about themselves. What purpose does that serve? We clearly are going to have to agree to disagree on all these issues, but I would ask you to consider that your, “My way or the highway” stance isn’t doing any good to the people around you. The last commandment Christ gave was to go out and tell people about Him, not beat them up over the side issues. Jesus loves and forgive gays, women who have aborted, all of us. Period.Peace.

  18. >Penny, I thoroughly agree that you can be gay and be saved. The friend of mine I told you about is an example. I agree that you can’t be right on every single issue. I admit I could be wrong on this issue, which is why I’m interested in hearing opposing arguments. However, I think there is a huge difference between a homophobe, someone who thinks homosexual people are all hell-bound, that AIDS is God’s judgment on homosexuals, that Christ didn’t come to die for homosexuals sins. I think one of those Biblical passages homophobic pastors quote actually demonstrates Penny’s point:1 Corinthians 6:9-11“9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”Paul doesn’t add at the end, “But being homosexual is the worst sin of them all!” He ranks all these sins equally. Have any of you ever stolen anything? Even something small like a pen or a peanut? Have any of you ever lied about someone? Even a small lie? I have. Everyone has. We all stand equally condemned. Would you not agree, Penny, with Jesus’ words, “27″You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” That means I’m guilty of adultery. Everyone is guilty of adultery. We all need Christ’s love.The question I am asking is: is homosexual behavior itself a sin? I think it is. Does that make me a homophobe? Even if I agree that Christ died for their sins as well? Even if I agree that they are fully fledged citizens guaranteed the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Is Paul a homophobe to include homosexual behavior in his list, Penny?

  19. >”the people who are the most vehemently opposed to the homosexual lifestyle are the ones who are desperately trying to cover up their own latent tendencies” – the weakest, most cliched argument out there, and the one that screams “I got nothing.”

  20. >Penny, why do you say you are you anti-abortion? If the fetus is not a human being until birth, what is wrong with abortion? Why should we try to reduce the number of abortions?

  21. >Penny, is it not graspable in that cranium of yours that one might hold the opinion that gay parents are not in the best interests of children? Stop making excuses for the views of others and start looking at your own opinions and asking why.

  22. >Josh, I think you’re focusing too much on the side issues, but that’s strictly my opinion. Christian gays are split into to camps: those who believe one can be a sexually active gay person and still be functioning under the law of the Bible, and those who acknowledge that they are gay and choose to be celibate because they don’t think one can be gay, Christian and sexually active. (And frankly, those two camps find a way to get along, which makes it all the more stunning that straight people are so focused on what gays are doing [or not doing] in their private lives.) As a heterosexual, I would never in a billion years presume to state which is the correct stance. I’ve not walked in a gay person’s shoes, so I’m not going to tell him/her how to live. I will state that yes, we are all sinners and we all need Jesus, but how each of us hammers out the details of his/her behavior is between each person and God. And before you set up the straw man of, “Well, then we might as well not have any laws at all, then,” homosexuals who practice safer sex with consenting adults are not hurting anyone. Murder hurts people. Driving drunk hurts people. Gays who are practicing safer sex with consenting adults are not.The forgiveness of my sins is a constant, ongoing thing. I wasn’t forgiven just once and oops, if I happen to sin again I’m screwed. Every Christian is forgiven every single day of his/her life after accepting Christ. (And thank God, because I screw up constantly.) The same holds true for gays. If they believe they can be sexually active as Christians, whether or not they are functioning under the law they are STILL SAVED. Your telling them otherwise is, frankly, none of your business, and even worse, goes against the Word of God. If the Lord has stated that His forgiveness applies to everyone who accept Him, no exceptions, who are you to state otherwise? You stated, “The question I am asking is: is homosexual behavior itself a sin? I think it is.” Fine. That’s your prerogative. However, you, as a person, have no right to apply your human standard to other human beings. The Christian gays who choose to be celibate agree with you. Those who choose to be sexually active do not. It doesn’t negate their salvation. So why does it bother you so much? I also never stated that I don’t believe a fetus is a human being. You’re looking at this so black and white: surely someone who is pro-choice must think that a zygote is just a blob of cells, right? Wrong. It’s just that I also happen to value the living, functioning human that is housing that zygote. By looking at the issue in such all-or-nothing terms, you’re totally reinforcing the belief that some non-believers have, that all nut-job Christians care only for the fetus and nothing for the woman. This is so hurtful and counterproductive!You also stated, “How can you possibly say that everyone who does not accept sodomy as a normal lifestyle must be covering up their own latent homosexual feelings? Please, back this statement up with some stats.”I did. You didn’t read them.I also never stated that, “…everyone who does not accept sodomy as a normal lifestyle must be covering up their own latent homosexual feelings.” I did state that the people who scream the loudest about how gays are evil, sick, and the source of all the woes in the world are statistically covering up their own tendencies. Seriously, look up “empirical evidence”. Also, seriously, look at some of the many studies that have been posted on this topic. Google is your friend. If one quietly believes in one’s own heart that being gay just isn’t “natural” that’s a far cry from being Fred Phelps. Again, you’re looking at it as being totally black-or-white. Derek, you stated, “Penny, is it not graspable in that cranium of yours that one might hold the opinion that gay parents are not in the best interests of children?” Oh sure, I totally grasp that people can have the OPINION that somehow gays are lesser beings and will taint any kids in their midst. I totally grasp that people can have that OPINION. And jimbojones, you stated, “…the weakest, most cliched argument out there, and the one that screams ‘I got nothing,'” yet you didn’t offer any facts to back up your statement. So you…got nothing. Interesting.I really do wish you guys well. I hope that you can open up your hearts and come to embrace the thought that we are all different, but “different” doesn’t equal “bad” or “wrong”. Peace.

  23. >I’ll take a page from Penny’s notebook – since you are so supportive of homosexual causes, you must have been raised in a fractured heterosexual household. That statement is about as accurate and fair as your blanket “if you have issue with homosexuals you must be homophobic” crutch.

  24. >”I’ll take a page from Penny’s notebook – since you are so supportive of homosexual causes, you must have been raised in a fractured heterosexual household.”And if I was? Dude. Please. Come up with something better than this.I’m not supportive of homosexual causes. I’m supportive of people being treated with dignity and fairness whether or not they’re performing exactly as the individuals around them would wish. In a group of 20 people there are going to be 19 people thinking I’m not living quite right. It’s just human nature for us to not agree on everything. I just happen to think that other people should be given not only the benefit of the doubt, but also respect, no matter how they choose to live.

  25. >”And before you set up the straw man of, “Well, then we might as well not have any laws at all, then,” homosexuals who practice safer sex with consenting adults are not hurting anyone. Murder hurts people. Driving drunk hurts people. Gays who are practicing safer sex with consenting adults are not.”I wasn’t going to make that argument because I absolutely agree with you on this point: the government should not interfere with people’s private sexual lifestyle. Whether that activity is ethical or not is another issue. However, tolerance towards the homosexual lifestyle is very different from society celebration of homosexual lifestyle. That is what society does by granting marriage licenses to homosexual couples (or civil unions, or domestic partnerships). That is why I focus on this issue; it affects our society today. By granting marriage licenses, government is essentially saying that this ethically questionable relationship is equal to a relationship between husband and wife. It naturally follows that homosexual couples should have equal rights when it comes to raising children, even though they can never produce a child of their own through their “natural” alternative lifestyle. I believe it is wrong for government to force children into these households.

  26. >there are a lot of things defined as wrong in the Bible that do not directly harm other people, penny. does that make the Bible invalid on those points?

  27. >Yeah, that’s pretty much the response I expected. Which is to say, none. Because you have no answer for the empty points you throw at other people when they are turned around.

  28. >”It naturally follows that homosexual couples should have equal rights when it comes to raising children,” I totally agree that gays and lesbians should have equal rights when it comes to raising their kids, but they don’t. States set their own laws, and in many states the two parents do not have equal rights. In some states only the parent who bore/adopted the child has the legal right to visit him/her in the hospital, for example. “I believe it is wrong for government to force children into these households.”Yeah, making the kids grow up in foster homes or orphanages when there are loving, two-parent, financially-set household begging for them is an awesome idea! Yay! Don’t forget, you’re talking to an adopted person here. My parents willingly subjected to state authorities hashing over every. single. aspect. of their lives in order to claim the right to be my parents. My brother is my parents’ biological child; he was about two years old when my folks started the reams and reams of paperwork to adopt me. My parents went through extreme scrutiny of their finances, their marriage, their personal lives, their professional lives. They went through multiple interviews. The people at the (state-run) adoption agency, with totally straight faces, interviewed my TWO YEAR OLD brother to make sure it was a good enough home for me. Trust me on this: any couple that can survive the vetting process of an adoption agency has what it takes to be damn fine parents, regardless of what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom.

  29. >”there are a lot of things defined as wrong in the Bible that do not directly harm other people, penny. does that make the Bible invalid on those points?”Such as?

  30. >”Yeah, that’s pretty much the response I expected. Which is to say, none. Because you have no answer for the empty points you throw at other people when they are turned around.”If I say “touche” will that make you feel better? Or, actually, I’ve got it: do some web searching to back up your stance and then come back with some facts. There’s an idea.

  31. >Put down the rock you are hitting the keyboard with for a moment and try to listen. I was merely demonstrating how tired and shallow your “if you have issue with homosexuality you must be homophobic” line is.

  32. >Jimbo, I’m quoting myself here because you must have missed it:”I also never stated that, ‘…everyone who does not accept sodomy as a normal lifestyle must be covering up their own latent homosexual feelings.’ I did state that the people who scream the loudest about how gays are evil, sick, and the source of all the woes in the world are statistically covering up their own tendencies. Seriously, look up ‘empirical evidence’. Also, seriously, look at some of the many studies that have been posted on this topic. Google is your friend. If one quietly believes in one’s own heart that being gay just isn’t “natural” that’s a far cry from being Fred Phelps. Again, you’re looking at it as being totally black-or-white.”Fair enough?

  33. >Penny, are you saying that you believe a fetus is a living, human person, but it’s okay to kill it anyway? Should a mother have full, unrestricted abortion rights, up to the very moment of birth?

  34. >Think of your mother, whether she was your biological mother or your adopted mother. Maybe you didn’t have a very good relationship with your mother, and you wish you could have had one. Maybe you had a wonderful mother, someone who was there for you, who talked to you, who put on band-aids for you. So much has been written about the importance of a loving mother. Think of your own mother and how much she means to, or meant to you.How many of you would say that any man could have filled the role she played in your life? I just think that every kid should have a mommy. But if a kid has two daddies, he doesn’t have a mommy.If “Heather has two mommies” then she doesn’t have a daddy. Also, Penny, I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make earlier. I love people who choose to adopt. Whatever you think about the state of the fetus, adoption is a wonderful way to lower the number of abortions. John McCain has adopted more than one child. Choosing to adopt is a beautiful, selfless choice which shows character you can believe in.

  35. >”people who scream the loudest about how gays are evil, sick, and the source of all the woes in the world are statistically covering up their own tendencies.” Why don’t YOU back up your OWN statement with evidence?

  36. >I do believe everything from a zygote up to full term is a life. I also believe that abortion needs to remain legal. Late term abortions are not requested just for the hell of it by flighty, vacillating women. Unless the mother will die and/or the fetus is not viable, I challenge you to find any medical doctor anywhere in this country who would agree to a late term abortion. You won’t find one, and rightfully so. Again, I value the woman who is housing that zygote/fetus. And again, I’m not going to force my beliefs upon anyone in whose shoes I’ve not traveled. Sarah Palin’s daughter is very blessed to be in a family where daddy didn’t beat the shit out of her for daring to show up pregnant, or mommy didn’t kick her out of the house. The reality for many, many women is that an unplanned pregnancy is a lot more than just nine months of discomfort.

  37. >”people who scream the loudest about how gays are evil, sick, and the source of all the woes in the world are statistically covering up their own tendencies.” Why don’t YOU back up your OWN statement with evidence?Honey, I have. I can’t reproduce the entire World Wide Web for you here, thus I have mentioned several times that if you Google it yourself, you’ll find tons of studies outside of the lone one I posted. I’m done with you.

  38. >To be precise, what you did say was that “the people who are the most vehemently opposed to the homosexual lifestyle are the ones who are desperately trying to cover up their own latent tendencies.” Not a blanket statement? Got evidence?

  39. >That is very convenient. How’s this – if you do your own studies on the world wide web, you will find tons of studies proving that children need both a mother and father. That was easy. Thanks for the tip.

  40. >”I love people who choose to adopt.” I’ll be sure to tell my parents. “Whatever you think about the state of the fetus, adoption is a wonderful way to lower the number of abortions.”No, helping young women realistically avoid getting pregnant is the way to lower the number of abortions. “John McCain has adopted more than one child.”He legally adopted two of his step kids and he and his wife Cindy adopted a daughter from India. Their daughter Bridget is one of the few things I admire McCain for.”Choosing to adopt is a beautiful, selfless choice which shows character you can believe in.”But only if you’re straight.Right? Sorry to be so snarky, but please, enough. Let’s agree to disagree and move on.

  41. >No, Derek, it’s what happens when the olive branch has been repeatedly offered to people who would rather smack me with it.Again, peace.

  42. >”I do believe everything from a zygote up to full term is a life. I also believe that abortion needs to remain legal.” Penny, that position makes no sense. If a fetus is a living person, why doesn’t it have a right to life? Whatever reason a woman has for obtaining an abortion, the fetus still ends up torn to pieces. Second, is viability even a factor? Viability is the ability to survive outside of the womb, correct? Now, would you not agree that personhood does not depend on time and place? An African-American is a 100% human person, whether he lives in the North or South, or if he lived in the civil war times or the present day. The fact that, in those times, the law said he wasn’t an equal human being did not change the fact that he was endowed by our creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Now, a premature baby born deep in the forest will probably die without medical care. On the other hand, if he/she is in a hospital surrounded by doctors, this same baby will survive. Similarly, the same baby would die if it was born in times before advanced medicine. But today it would survive. In case, it is not viable. In the other case, it is viable. Viability is dependent on time and place. If you agree that a person is a person entitled to rights regardless of time and place, then you cannot deny a fetus its right to life based in viability, which is dependent on time and place.Also, Google isn’t necessarily a reliable source of information.

  43. >Josh, you are so fascinatingly black and white. There are *degrees* of viability. Just because a baby is born with ten fingers and ten toes and even vital organs that function perfectly, it isn’t necessarily viable. Anencephaly is present in approximately 5 out of every 1000 births. It is not only uniformly fatal to the infants that manage to go full term, but such pregnancies present elevated risks for the mothers. Polyhydramnios is very common, as is placental abruption, among other problems. The babies that do make it full term cannot legally have their organs donated to other babies. (Never present a medical scenario to a nursing student, in other words.) ;-)If baby is, by your definition “viable” at birth but absolutely, positively destined to die shortly after birth, and his/her organs can’t be donated, and a complication that very much puts the mother’s life in danger arises, what would you suggest? That the mother have to go through the agony of delivering a doomed baby, even though it might cost her her own life? That’s actually cool with you?It’s not black and white. Oh, unless I’m getting a scenario featuring a black person presented to me to try to make an argument. Nice playing of the race card.We’re not going to agree on this. You have your stance, I have mine. Let’s agree to disagree and move on.And seriously, peace. I mean that.

  44. >Penny, those are degrees of development, not viability. The word viability means the ability to survive outside the womb. Either the fetus will live, or it will die. It is either viable, or it is not. If viability is gradual, please explain how that is so. Furthermore, viability depends on time and place. The analogy with the slave was meant to make my argument clear. Can you answer that argument?Also, you give me this extreme example where the mother will absolutely die if the baby is not aborted. For the sake of the argument, let’s agree on this point: if the mother will die as a direct result of the fetus is delivered, she should be able to abort. But what about cases where her life isn’t threatened? Out of the 50,000,000 women who have obtained abortions, I’m sure many weren’t going to literally die if they didn’t obtain this abortion. In fact, some women do obtain abortions for selfish reasons. There have been cases where Miss America competitors aborted their children just so they could compete. Do you think this is wrong? If so, why?

  45. >Josh, I’m 47. My ovaries are way done doing their thing. I won’t be dealing with any unplanned pregnancies, so I hereby promise you I won’t personally have an abortion.Beyond that, I am not going to continue discussing this with you, short of urging you to aim all this concern of yours in another direction, hopefully in the form of aiming your checkbook at a nearby daycare for mothers living in poverty. But…you’re doing that already, right? Right?Peace. Out. Really.

  46. >Oh, and, Merriam Webster has a message for you: “the quality or state of being viable : the ability to live, GROW, and DEVELOP”There are degrees of viability, especially in the medical setting. Sorry.

  47. >penny said…Oh, and, Merriam Webster has a message for you: “the quality or state of being viable : the ability to live, GROW, and DEVELOP”There are degrees of viability, especially in the medical setting. Sorry.Penny, the fetus has the ability to grow and develop from conception. I agree with you that we should end this discussion. Once we reach the point where we agree that the fetus is a living human person, but we cannot restrict the mother’s right to kill this person at any time for any reason, there’s really no common ground we can stand on. You live in a wold separate from mine. You call it the world of black and white. I call it the world of reason.

  48. >Sarah, did you notice any questions I asked that Penny didn’t answer? She didn’t answer my argument against using viability to determine if a fetus has a right to life or not. Premise 1: Personhood and the right to life does not depend on time and place. Premise 2: viability is dependent on time and place. Conclusion: viability is not just cause to deny a fetus its right to life. She never answered my question about whether she believes that a woman should be able to obtain an abortion at any time for any reason. Penny says she believes that a fetus is a living person from the moment of conception, but didn’t answer this question: why then it does not have a right to life the same as a born child or a grown person. If you want to discuss this issue, let’s clarify this first: who bears the onus of proof?By posing these questions, I am bearing the onus of proof. That means we are assuming that a fetus should not be granted the right to life, and I must prove that it is by my arguments. The person who doesn’t bear the onus of proof is playing defense. They don’t have to prove their position, they just have to answer my arguments. When Penny ignores these questions and attacks me with her own arguments, the argument can’t continue because both sides simply shout their arguments and never answer each other’s questions. Some of her points were valid, but she was using them to dodge answering my questions.If you don’t want to answer my questions, feel free to present your own arguments for why abortion is right. But bear in mind that if you do take the offensive position, we have to continue the argument based on the assumption that abortion is not good, and that the fetus is a human person with a right to life until you prove by one of your arguments that it isn’t. If you want to have such a debate, offense or defense, I’m game. But not unless we agree to follow the course of the argument and not diverge from unanswered questions.

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