There is no privacy, so secrecy, no place to hide. Big Brother is real. Big Brother is us. We’ve given away our privacy to every app we install on our phones, every website we subscribe to online, every company we purchase from, every content provider we meet. If we don’t give it away, our friends do it for us every day by inviting us to play online games, including us in their selfies, and congratulating us publicly for every milestone. The footprints of everyone’s life journey are all over the internet.
William Shakespeare could have written “As You Like It” today, and the words would still ring true. “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…“. We truly are all actors on a public stage; we’re also watchers, reporters, and critics.
Walter Palmer, a dentist from Bloomington, MN, found out just how public his life is when he became the latest recipient of the digital equivalent of a public lynching. You know the story. He is a world champion animal killer who paid an enormous amount of money for the privilege of killing an endangered animal, Cecil the Lion, just because “killing is fun!” and stuff.
It’s not just the editorial cartoons, passionate reports of this story by celebrities, and (improbable) extradition to Zimbabwe to stand trial for this illegal hunt that troubles Mr. Palmer. The court of public opinion has judged, found him guilty, and has reacted with reviews on his Yelp and Google listings, demonstrations outside his clinic, and a long list of fake and retaliatory social media profiles created solely to punish this man for his crime. As a result, Palmer has gone underground to hide; a privilege reserved for rich hunters, and not for the innocent creatures they kill.
Horrible as this shooting was, and regardless of what we think of Palmer, this is merely a distraction from a much worse crime: Planned Parenthood’s harvesting organs of intact (born alive) babies before killing them. (Warning: some of those links contain disturbing content).
The issue that is always hotly debated is whether abortion is murder. No one can tell precisely when life starts. Can a 20 week fetus survive? A 21 week fetus/baby was delivered and lived. Can a 20-week fetus feel pain? This report says they do. In an age when extremely premature babies live and thrive, when do we stop calling them a fetus (and therefore, just a lump of cells) and a baby – a viable human being? Since it’s not always easy to pinpoint the moment of conception, or actual fetal development, how do we differentiate between the two?
I’ve always lived by the motto, “to each her own” when it comes to abortion. Now, I wonder whether by doing so, I’m enabling women to kill a child that could be loved and raised by a family who desperately needs one. Am I supporting Planned Parenthood’s black market harvesting/killing/profiteering by saying nothing? If it is murder, when is murder okay, and when is it not? If we can kill an “inconvenient” 5 month old child just because it hasn’t taken its first breath, can we kill an elderly person before they are ready to breathe their last, for the same reason?
Yes, the killing of large game, just because one has a lot of money and has become proficient with a bow and arrow is unacceptable. But let’s not forget there are bigger issues that need attention. If Planned Parenthood loses the spotlight, we miss an opportunity to stop the death of a future generation, just because there is a lot of money to be made.