The First and Second Commandments to love God and love our neighbors serve as our life ethic. Regardless of whether we talk about abortion or pandemics, we seek to love God most and lovingly serve others well. Why? Because we respect God and respect the image of God.
You’ve heard it. “My Body, My Choice!” or “Follow the Science!”—we’ve all heard both of these statements many times over the years. I’ve only hung out on this planet for half a century; however, the theme of the pro-abortion crowd has been, “My Body, My Choice” for many of those years. Likewise, in the past eighteen months or so, any day of the week you might hear or read someone say to “Follow the science” related to the pandemic. People have told us to live by these mantras, slogans, or mottos—and continue—but don’t look too closely. Many of the people who say these things, as we have observed this week, do not live by them.
My Body, My Choice
Consider how historically the words “My Body, My Choice” stood for those arguing for women’s rights, as people in the 1970s fought for reproductive rights and accessible abortions. Individuals and groups who used this mantra argued for any woman to have a right to end a pregnancy anytime she wanted since it is was her body and her choice whether or not to have a baby. Over the past many months, however, individuals are making this claim against masks and vaccines. People using the same slogan argue against mandated vaccinations by the government and employers, as well as vaccination passports. Seemingly, it is the same crowd, who for years championed the slogan, who now oppose it related to vaccinations.
But, not so fast, this week’s SCOTUS decision to allow a new law in Texas related to abortion to stand brought out these same individuals arguing again with the same slogan for abortion rights. Protestors marched in Austin at the Texas State Capital this week again arguing for “My Body, My Choice.”
How can you argue both? Related to what I want (in this case, abortion), it is My Body, My Choice. However, if you do not want to get a vaccination, then the same argument does not apply.
Follow the Science
Anyone who has lived in the US over the past eighteen months and also followed the pandemic at any level has heard the mantra, “Follow the Science.” Both the Trump and Biden administrations nationally as well as many state and local governments have said ad nauseam to “Follow the Science.” Of course the statement gets more than a little confusing as we try to sort through the science on social media, YouTube, and government websites.
What happens though if the science changes? Related to the pandemic, again, the science tends to change each week. Vaccination efficacy, variants, breakthrough infections, and symptomatic positivity rates frustrate even the best observers trying to determine what is what. Certainly no one can say the science is settled. Yet, some employers, schools, elected and nonelected officials, and others continue to make policy based upon the argument, “Follow the science.”