Weighed Down by Irony

Weighed Down by Irony October 11, 2019

Some time back, I saw an ad for the Flat Earth Society on Facebook which announced, “The Flat Earth Society has members around the globe.”

Some wag commented, “Say that again, but slower.”

I thought of that when Planned Parenthood sent this out:

No photo description available.

Say that again, but slower:

Image result for fetal development

I am reminded again of my favorite pro-life sign, from Atheists for Life: “For the Embryology Textbook tells me so.” For once, I agree 100% with Planned Parenthood. The size of your body does not determine your worth. And it turns out your tiny fetal body is, in fact, a body and not the formless, featureless “blob of tissue” Planned Parenthood says it is in order to deprive it of all worth as prelude to killing that body. Funny old world, innit?

That said, as a fat guy, the layers of irony here just never end for me Because, as I am reminded by them countless times, “Prolife” reactionary Catholics have written to make clear that, as with so much else they say concerning the dignity of human life, it only applies to the unborn. I cannot tell you how many times Good Catholics have written to insult me for being fat and even to suggest that my worth as a person is absolutely determined by it.  I’ve even been told this somehow proves I am “not a Real Catholic[TM]” because Gluttony.  Do they know anything of my personal history?  Of course not.  But they are certain of my mortal sin and hellish destiny nonetheless.

Happily, as a Chestertonian, I have long ago accepted the reality that to be fat is to be laughed at. But the Reactionary Catholic only makes clear by their behavior that, as usual, their supposed veneration for human life extends from conception to birth. They are then astounded when a pro-choice person, who does not even share their Christian faith, sees their rank hypocrisy as they laugh their asses off at President Adonis’ mockery of heavy women as “pigs” and “dogs” and dismisses their alleged “commitment to the dignity of human life” as the bare-faced lie it is.

One could, of course, try listening to the Church and affirm the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. But that would put you at grave risk of not regarding your culture war enemies as subhuman monsters. It might even open you to the danger of granting them that they are right about fat-shaming so that you can then make your point about the unborn without hypocrisy. And that might open you to considering some of the other ways that dirty evil liberal devils in human form might have things to say that comport rather well with the Church’s teaching.

In the Catholic intellectual tradition, that’s called “testing everything and holding fast to what is good”. It’s also called “being all things to all so that I may win some for Christ”, rather like Paul on the Areopagus. It involves the incredible possibility that people are not all black or all white and that the issue is to measure things by the Tradition and not by whether they fit a Manichaean Right Wing Culture War narrative.  People who are confident that Jesus guides his Church do this.  People who despair of Jesus as Savior believe that the only approach to take is to destroy the enemy by any means necessary, including childishly insulting their weight.

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