An Intimate Dinner with Billy and Betty (On the Side)

I was a high school sophomore when someone told me that in China, aborted fetuses were considered a delicacy.

I thought they were lying. 

I still think they were lying. 

I had seen a spider consume its prey, the hapless insect rolled in a silken web.  I had seen our cat consume the placenta, after giving birth to a litter of kittens.  But we humans—advanced beings made in the image and likeness of God, and upon whose hearts natural law had been inscribed—do not eat other humans. 

Oh, I had read far-fetched adventure stories in which cannibals fired up a big stew pot full of missionaries.  In that rare case, I thought, the imaginary antagonists—deviant and uncivilized—were driven by pokeweed or some jungle elixir to engage in a grotesque religious ritual.  It would never really happen.

But what do I know?  This week Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortley introduced  S.B. 1418, a bill in the Oklahoma legislature that prohibits the manufacture or sale of

“food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.”

This would seem to be a completely unnecessary bill.  Surely, NO ONE would ever do this! 

But a stomach-turning 1995 article in the Hong Kong Eastern Express reported on hospitals which routinely sold aborted fetuses as “health food.”

And Shortley’s bill follows on the heels of recent reports that a San Diego-based research and development company, Senomyx, is conducting flavor enhancement research with HEK293, a cell line which has become a staple in biochemistry labs, and which was originally derived from human embryonic kidney cells.  Among Senomyx’s clients are major corporations such as Nestle, Campbell’s Soup, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, which market common food products such as Pepsi and GatorAde. 

Shortley doesn’t know whether or not human embryos have been used in the state of Oklahoma.  He told Tulsa-based KRMG Radio, “I don’t know if it is happening in Oklahoma; it may be, or it may not be.  What I am saying is that if it does happen, then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here.”

Hitler’s SS troups did, according to reports, fashion the skin of murdered Jews into lampshades. 

I am reminded of the old radio drama “The Shadow” and its creepy theme:  “What evil lurks in the hearts of man.” 

Lord, have mercy.


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