Thursday, 21 February 2008

Just a Block of Wood? Er, yes it is.

I just happened to be dabbling in the fascinating stream of news being generated daily by Christian Today - your one stop source for the information you really need, so long as that information is to do with cardinals or ministers having podcasts - when I saw the words "embryology bill" in the Top Stories section. Well me being me, never one to risk missing something I can rant about, I had a little read.

It turns out the Lawyers Christian Fellowship - who believe in "witnessing to the legal profession by speaking the good news of Christ" - has released a new "viral" marketing scheme intended to make people oppose the HFE Bill. You can watch it here on YouTube if you like. I wouldn't really bother though as I'm about to describe it to you anyway.

The video consists of a man chainsawing a block of wood into the shape of a foetus and ends with the words "just a block of wood?" and a link to the Passion for Life campaign website. Am I supposed to watch this and have the revelation that the block of wood is, in fact, not a block of wood? Am I meant to come to the striking revelation that just by making something foetus shaped you can in fact make it into an actual human person? Would it then be wrong of me to 'kill' this block of wood? I don't get it. In fact, just today at lunch I made my mashed potato into the shape of a foetus and then devoured it, thus presumably making me guilty of murder.

Of course I don't believe that abortion is murder so I guess I'm not really guilty of anything, but I am in their eyes. Honestly! Not just a block of wood? No, it's just a block of wood that bears a striking resemblance to a foetus. So what? This viral marketing lark doesn't often make sense to me. Sometimes the videos are funny or clever but most of the time it's like this one. It won't have any effect on an already rational person because it is just a sodding block of wood no matter how much you write "it's a baby" on it!

In addition to this, they're lawyers! I know that's not a very logical argument - all right, not at all a logical argument - but their job is to defend or prosecute a case regardless of the actual guilt or innocence of those involved. They are often paid to defend the indefensible. Maybe Christian lawyers always only defend the innocent and prosecute the guilty, I just don't think it's likely.

In other news, the Atheist Society have set up a Facebook group in opposition to the Passion for Life group. We currently lag behind by about 1,000 members but we're new so give us time. I urge anyone who uses Facebook to look up "Passion for Reason: Supporting the HFE Bill" and join. Also, if you read the information on the bill and agree with it, write to your MP (in the UK, obviously) saying so. The Passion for Lifers are doing this and it'd be a shame for any MPs to get the wrong idea.
Finally, there's a petition on 10 Downing Street's e-petition scheme about it too. I know they always ignore these petitions but do it anyway. It can't do any harm after all.

I leave you with this quote from Christian Today:
"We want people to remember that the life of a human being, made in the image of God, is incredibly precious and that this reality must inform what legislation should and what it should not permit."
I'm glad their views only apply to those people made in the image of God. Us godless heathens can presumably get on with our lives safe in a society who's laws are unmolested by religious nonsense...


Laurie said...

I, of course, had to go and watch the YouTube after you said not to. I just had to see how someone could carve a block of wood into a foetus with a chainsaw. Does this mean that the popular chainsaw carvings around here shaped like bears are real bears?

Stephen Bain said...

I believe that, using their own logic, yes those carvings are real bears. Which probably means some people are in for a big surprise when they go down to the woods today.

It also means that if I can whittle a stick into a passable representation of a Ferrari then I can own a sports car...

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps you have missed the point the video was doesn't say that the block of wood is somehow magically a baby, but rather that it is no longer a simple block of wood, but a piece of art. The point being that you can look at a foetus and say it's just a bunch of cells, or you can look at it as a human being that has a right to live. It is saying that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Stephen Bain said...

The block of wood shaped like a foetus is still just a block of wood. It just happens to be a block of wood with altered aesthetic properties.

I know the point the campaign is trying to make, I just think they're making it in a stupid way. As with the rest of the Passion for Life campaign, they are going for emotional impact over facts. The campaign is also based on a series of half truths and misrepresentations of what is actually in the HFEB.

For the record I am both pro-HFEB and "pro-choice".