The Big Giant Head

Bill O’Reilly believes that Rush Limbaugh has a moral argument.

On the Fox side, you have Americans who believe it is morally right to create and then destroy in research life in pursuit of curing terrible afflictions. The Limbaugh side says it is morally wrong to interfere with nature and terminate a potential human being, even in its initial stages.

Now it all comes down to what you believe. Nobody can win the debate. You either believe life begins at conception or you don’t. And the polls say Americans are about equally divided on the issue.

Awhile back I wrote at length about why the question of when “life” begins is a stupid question, and that O’Reilly’s dichotomy — You either believe life begins at conception or you don’t — is a false dichotomy that misses the true nature of life and death, as I see it.

(If you are really adventurous, here’s an advanced Dharma talk on the subject of life and death by John Daido Loori, the roshi who took on the impossible task of imparting some wisdom into my thick head. Don’t let the talk bother you if it doesn’t make sense. More than that I won’t say.)

“I know Mr. Limbaugh believes he is doing the absolute right thing in objecting to the destruction of potential human beings,” says O’Reilly. I rather doubt Mr. Limbaugh cares about the destruction of anything except his own ego.

Further down the news story O’Reilly played a clip of his appearance on Oprah. I don’t have the clip, but if anyone finds it, let me know. Here’s the transcript:


OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW”: Why do we have to be put in categories, Bill?

O’REILLY: Because you have to make a decision. I think you have to fight for what kind of a country you want. And if you want to be in the middle, and you vacillate back and forth, I don’t know what good that does.

Again, you don’t have to toe the line. You have to make a decision on what kind of a country you want to live at.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can’t legislate what freedom of speech allows. Freedom means freedom. Say what you want to say and someone else can decide.

O’REILLY: This is important. That’s bull. I’ll tell you why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom is bull?

O’REILLY: No. It’s not freedom. You can hide behind freedom all day long. Responsibility goes along with freedom, sir, with all due respect.


To which I say, WTF?

My earlier post on the Michael J. Fox ad is here.

11 thoughts on “The Big Giant Head

  1. If Limbaugh doesn’t believe in interfering with nature, why is he taking Viagra? Seems to me “God” may be saying he doesn’t want any little Rushies.

  2. I never hear a right-winger say that its morally wrong to have created all those embryos in the first place. Where’s the acceptance of God’s will in not having a child and in not messing with nature in order to have one?

  3. I have long felt that if abortion on demand is forbidden in this country, then it should be REQUIRED that any female between the ages of 14 & 55 leaving the country take a pregnancy test. If she leaves the country +, she takes a test on her return. If she is -, she goes directly to jail. Because legislators know they have the $$$$ to exempt themselves and their family from a ban on abortion. So let’s level the playing field if you REALLY want to ban abortion.

  4. Most species have many, many, children for each one that actually makes it to adulthood – most die before their first year is up. Parents used to have many children knowing that many/most would never live to adulthood (~14 at the time….). Those that died were eaten by other life forms and … yadda yadda yadda … circle of life.

    So we create many embyos in order to wind up with a single life (who will very likely live to adulthood) and the rest get used by other lifeforms for other purposes, like stem cell research, and … yadda yadda yadda … circle of life.

    I don’t get it either.

  5. It comes down to simple observable reality versus a kind of magical overloading of of a scientific fact. Here you have a woman, a real, observable person. There, you have a magical (yes, backed by science) dust-speck that is technicaly a human being.

    The dust speck is not a person. The dust speck might become a person under certain circumstances. Even though the dust speck contains the complete DNA for the person it might become, it is not a person. When people consider the dust-speck a person, they are taking the rather amazing scientific facts of DNA as a seed for a magical fantasy.

    I am not prepared to say at what point a human being becomes a person. I don’t really think there is such a point, I think personhood has to do with thought and emotion and feeling and perceptions and interaction with others, and it grows. But I will say this: a person has organs.

  6. I saw about thirty seconds of O Reilly on Oprah before I instinctively reached for the clicker. She looked like a liberal caught in the headlights, much as most of us were when the right began rearing its obnoxious head some years ago.

    The false dichotomy O Reilly presented is a perfect example of controlling the frame. Once the frame is established you’re stuck into debating on their terms, which disallows the admission of new information that would demolish O Reilly’s position.

    For O Reilly to appear on Oprah, it was like watching a master con man walking into townfull of innocent babes.

    I’ve yet to hear O Reilly, Limbaugh or any wingut refute the central point of Michale J Fox’s argument that the stem cells are to come from embryos that we’re now presently throwing away.

  7. A priest, a minister and a rabbi are talking. “Life begins at birth” says the minister. “Life begins at conception” says the priest. Both look to the rabbi. “Life begins when the kids move out and the dog dies”.


  8. “Life begins when the kids move out and the dog dies”.

    Good’n, but the dog doesn’t have to die. 🙂

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