Category: Culture

COVID-19 vaccine progress

Last April, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops organized a petition drive to urge the federal Food and Drug Administration to make sure any COVID-19 vaccine be derived from ethical sources, not involving cell lines originating from fetuses killed by induced abortion. So what has happened since?

Some vaccines are in the testing stage already. Two, from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, have been much in the news over the past couple of weeks. In a recent EWTN interview, ethicist Joseph Meaney of the National Catholic Bioethics Center said that neither of those vaccines are developed or produced from human fetal cell lines. I’m happy to hear that, since those two vaccines will likely be the first to market.

As the bishops wrote in their petition last spring, “It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience.

No matter who’s in the White House or Congress or the FDA or a pharmaceutical company’s board, that’s a message that is going to need to be delivered over and over again.

Photo by Artem Podrez, Pexels.com

Still dreaming

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech 57 years ago today.

I’m understating the case to say that nonviolence hasn’t quite won out yet. I could fill this post with links to news reports just from today, from this country, proving that point.

With all that Dr. King wrote and said, I keep coming back to his 1964 book, Why We Can’t Wait. I have a paperback edition I treasure, published in his lifetime, without prefaces or afterwords written by people trying to frame his words for me.

In a book that continues to challenge me every time I pick it up, there’s this.

Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh.

Martin Luther King, Why We Can’t Wait

“Must” become, not “has” or “will.” There’s urgency there. Perpetual urgency seems a contradiction in terms, yet here we are.

Marching

There’s a march in Washington today, timed to coincide with the anniversary of “I have a dream.” It’s meant to be a nonviolent affirmation of the need for racial justice, and I hope nothing disrupts it.

Pandemic or not, I have no problem with a scheduled march for human rights. Coronavirus doesn’t seem to stand in the way of violence anywhere, so it shouldn’t stand in the way of peaceful demonstrations. The National Park Service in Washington seems to appreciate that.

I expect the same courtesy, permits, and COVID-19 precautions to be extended to the March for Life next January.

Featured photo: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo credit: National Park Service/volunteer Bill Shugarts.

On the Air With Education Choice Advocates

I’ll be guest-hosting The Karen Testerman Show on WSMN 1590 Nashua at noon on October 31. My guests will be a couple of my favorite advocates for children, focusing on education choice: Kate Baker of the Children’s Scholarship Fund – New Hampshire, and Michelle Levell of SchoolChoice NH. Tune on online at wsmn1590.com.