by Fr. Michael Copenhagen
“Take heed lest perhaps it be stolen: restore ye to its owners, for it is not lawful for us to eat or to touch anything that cometh by theft.” -Tobit 2:21
Such is the warning given by the just man Tobit, who suffered mockery, persecution, and tribulation at the hands of his own people because he sought to keep God’s law, to alone refuse idolatry and corruption in an evil age. He insisted on honoring God and neighbor by burying the dead at a time when the desecration of their remains was the state mandate. For this great deed, he was forced to flee and placed under a sentence of death. Holy Scripture relates this account because burying the dead is more than just a corporal work of mercy, it is a grave obligation so that the creature whom the Creator loves so much, fashioned after his own image and likeness, is not abandoned at the wayside to be disfigured and dishonored while the rest of us callously step over his remains to go about our daily commerce.
Was not the dignity of the human body and soul elevated still more after the time of Tobit when our nature was assumed by the Son of God who took flesh of the Virgin and came in our likeness that we might be irreversibly elevated above the angels? Tobit’s predicament stemmed from honoring human nature and its Creator, and Tobit’s predicament now belongs to those who refuse vaccines made from aborted children.
How is this so? It is best to set aside sterilizing semantics to look at the plain truth. A child is torn from its mother’s womb, and then immediately dissected, if possible alive with beating heart so that the sample is fresh. A piece of the child’s organ is then taken to a laboratory, immersed in an enzyme to break the tissue down into individual cells, and when a continually reproducing “immortal” cell line has been obtained after many such abortions, it is patented and the cells industrially multiplied in vats to become viral factories. [i]
When a sufficient amount of the infectious virus is grown in the cells, the brew is processed in a way which destroys the whole cells but leaves behind the virus along with significant amounts of the child’s DNA and cellular protein. In the various states and territories, parents are required to administer this into the bodies of their children for the sake of the public good even though the vaccine could be produced in an alternative and ethical manner. Those who refuse it are banned from the public square.
Any healthy conscience has a natural revulsion to this ghoulish process and closer moral analysis certainly justifies that reaction. In determining the moral liceity of using vaccines derived from abortion, an assessment of cooperation with evil in terms of distance from the original abortion is a necessary but ultimately insufficient criterion because there is another distinct and more immediate category of sin involved. To conclude, as some have, that there is only mediate remote material cooperation in abortion by the vaccine recipient is a red herring. It shifts emphasis away from the specific moral character of possessing and using the cell line itself toward “historical association” with the original abortion, obscuring the central problem while even causing it to go unnamed. The recipient is an immediate participant in the commission of continuous theft of human remains obtained through deliberate killing, their desecration through exploitation and trafficking, as well as ultimate omission to respectfully bury them. While the original killing establishes the illicit character of using the remains, their possession and use becomes a distinct evil in itself, the circumstances of which do not cease as a form of theft, desecration, exploitation, and refusal to bury, regardless of the consumer’s distance in time from the abortion, or the number of cell divisions, or the merely sub-cellular fragmentary inclusion of the child’s DNA and protein in the final dose.
Two sanitizing mischaracterizations contribute to this unwarranted shift in emphasis away from immediate continuing theft toward “historic” completed abortion. Firstly, the broadness of labelling human remains obtained through violence as “illicit biological material” is not only insufficient but dehumanizing and offensive. Although the vast majority if not all of the cells currently used did not physically constitute part of the child’s original body, these cells still belong to the child. They are a living remnant of the child’s life in this world. If they are not the child’s cells then whose cell’s are they? Is it possible to stretch jargon so far as to say that these are no one’s cells? No person donating their tissue for cell culture and knowingly encountering the resultant cells in a lab would identify them as anything other than “my DNA, my cells.” The child has been silenced, the parents have forfeited by abortion any right of consent to respectful scientific use of the body, the scientists and patent holders have no right to possess or use the cells: these human remains belong to God, must be respectfully reposed, and it is not for Caesar to say otherwise.
Secondly, “historical distance” from the abortion does not distance us from the possession of something stolen. If I am the beneficiary of a violent bank robbery where the clerk was murdered to secure funds, my personal distance from the robbery does not make it licit to possess or spend those funds or even other monies made playing the stock market with them. If this is the case with lifeless currency, how much more with the body of an innocent human being. If a copyrighted film is captured, reproduced, and sold through the internet, it does not somehow become licit to possess and use it simply because it has been copied many times over from the original, even if I have provided the means of copying, storage, and playback. The copyright protected item is the original artistic creation.
Our artist is the Divine Author of human nature who produces a unique biological and spiritual work in His own image and likeness. It is absurd to say to public consumers that everyone must indefinitely use stolen work to help lessen the likelihood of a potential future problem even though a perfectly fine substitute can be easily and ethically provided. How much more with cannibalizing human remains obtained through violence. No one is bound to participate in one sin in order to avoid another. It is never permissible to do evil for a good purpose.
For those who argue that participation becomes licit if receiving the vaccine is looked at as a temporary solution to a significant public health danger, they should know that it is not temporary but expanding and that it will be forced regardless of whether it helps public health or not. Public authorities who support public murder cannot be taken seriously as guarantors of public health. If immortality through medicine is the new religion then the insurance card is our baptismal certificate, psychiatry its confession, doctors its priests, the medical bureaucracy its hierarchy, research its contemplation, euthanasia its anointing, and its eucharist is the pharmaceutical solution, particularly vaccination. One person is sacrificed that the nation might live, their body multiplied and distributed by the priests. “Those who do not eat the flesh and drink the blood of this sacrifice will not have life in them.” So we are told. It seems there is little more than a lab coat between this and human sacrifice as medicinal witchcraft.
And there is an inquisition coming for those who contradict the new dogma. In one Washington Post article, we are put on notice:
“The initial steps we have taken are essential: prohibit non-vaccinated children from public spaces, including schools; promote educational efforts; and, in extreme cases, force isolation on pockets of populations…Viewed through the lens of public safety, it is the parents who should be punished. Why not make them pay for the harms they are causing?…Fines for the increased public safety burdens put on these communities by a few ought not to be the responsibility of all. In many states, when hikers ignore warnings that certain trails are too dangerous and then have to be rescued, the fees for the rescue must be paid by the hikers. It’s a fine for making a self-centered decision that placed an unreasonable burden on a larger community. Measles should be no different…In the same way we have created sex-offenders lists to protect our children, communities can inventory families that choose not to be vaccinated, notifying employers of these parents as well as neighbors who may choose not to expose their children.” [ii]
Isolation, fines, public humiliation, and blacklisting. There is historic precedent as to where this leads. Despite the public threat in his own day, Tobit proceeded in his work under the command that he be slain, obeying the law of God rather than the unjust law of men while risking his life to do so. God made him an example of faithfulness amidst hardship. When he was mocked by his kinsmen for adherence to these good works and told that his deeds were hopeless, he rebuked them: “Speak not so. For we are the children of saints, and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith from Him.”[iii]
I remind all those who imitate Tobit’s naysayers and persecutors that the God of heaven and earth is very much alive and very much offended, that He loves each of these murdered and exploited children as His particular creatures, that He will restore life to their bodies in the Resurrection on the last day, rejoining body and soul in these innocents who were denied baptism and the chance to live based on the whim of tinkerers trying to extend our finite years, that He will restore this “biological material” to its rightful place and its rightful owner on that day, and we will all meet these children face to face.
I A lengthy account of the development and use of this process is given by Dr. Leonard Hayflick in an interview where he explicitly discusses his creation of the WI-38 fetal cell line.
II Julliette Kayyem. Anti-vaxxers are dangerous. Make them face isolation, fines, arrests. 30 April 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/30/time-get-much-tougher-anti-vaccine-crowd/
III Tobias 2:17-18