Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Never in my memory has the self-appellation “pro-life” been on shakier ground. The contradictions between those who claim to be pro-life and their actions make one’s head spin like Jim Carrey’s in The Mask.
Now we have pro-life anti-vaxxers. According to a Gallup poll, 59% of Republicans weren’t vaccinated as of May of this year.
We know the pro-life crowd tends to be Republican. (Pro-life is actually anti-abortion rights, after all.) However, these folks seem quite selective as to the lives they deem to be “pro.”
They claim to care passionately about the rights of an unborn fetus but couldn’t give a fig about the lives they endanger by going mask-less and unvaccinated – especially the lives of children now increasingly succumbing to COVID. In New Orleans alone, Children’s Hospital hasn’t had an open ICU bed in weeks. Dr. Mark Kline, physician and hospital chief, attributes this to the fact that the Delta variant is vastly more contagious and Louisiana is among the states with the lowest vaccination rates.
These children are exposed by attending schools in which masks are not required and by living in unvaccinated families. Ah, but these lives must not matter because they are already born.
And what about the lives of those with serious illnesses endangered by the lack of hospital beds and resources otherwise occupied by unvaccinated COVID patients? Currently, 98-99% of the Americans dying of COVID are unvaccinated. But again, these lives don’t matter.
(And though this doesn’t have anything to do with vaccinations, always last on the list of lives of importance are pregnant women: women who, traumatized by rape, must now under the new Texas law carry that child to term: a daily, hourly reminder of a nightmare not at all of her making. Women who, jeopardized by a high-risk pregnancy discovered after the Texas six-week limit, cannot save their own lives because under the Texas law, the criteria for termination of a pregnancy for reasons of a mother’s health are so restrictive as to be life-threatening, especially since doctors will probably err on the conservative side out of fear. Ah, but these lives, too, are unimportant.)
As if all of this weren’t disturbing enough, into the circus tent of insanity bounds a new clown by the name of Jackson Lahmeyer, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, real estate investor and pastor of the Sheridan Church. This supposed man of God is selling dispensations for those who want documentation that they have a religious objection to the vaccine. He says he will sign any such form, but he is offering a downloadable form on his own church website in exchange for becoming an online member of his congregation and a $1 donation. Because, you know, being pro-life, Lahmeyer claims to care deeply about the lives of those threatened by COVID. He then gleefully told the Washington Post his phones and emails have “blown up” with 30,000 requests. Not bad pocket change for a paper version of snake oil.
We could dismiss this individual as just another mad man if he hadn’t then announced he’s running for the U.S. Senate against the incumbent James Lankford, who had the unmitigated temerity to “betray Donald Trump,” declare he believed the 2020 election to be legitimate and apologize to Black Tulsans for not understanding their plight.
We can only hope that for the Democrats running against these guys, a version of the old saying holds true: With Republicans like these, who needs enemies?