What Do Hank Green, Ed Sheeran & Monty Python Have in Common?

Well, besides being personal favourites of mine… They all have videos which I think are sneakily Pro-Life. I don’t mean they’re trying to be Pro-Life (and they could well be supporters of abortion for all I know.) I just mean that they can’t help it.

But let me explain.

“Basically Still An Embryo”

What it is: I love the vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green, and the whole Nerdfighters-reducing-world-suck-DFTBA thing. In this video, Hank welcomes John’s brand new daughter Alice into the world.

How it’s sneaky: Hank makes the point that newborn babies “are born pretty premature compared to other placental animals” and they “are basically still embryos”, which is why they cry…. All. The. Time.

This isn’t an argument for anything, of course, but it does remind us that life is a constant process of development. It makes no more sense to draw the line for abortion of at 20 or 24 weeks than it does at 6 weeks when the heart starts beating, or at 6 months when babies can (finally) sit up for themselves. (Or 26 for that matter, when they finally move out of home…)

It’s not that there are no differences between an actual embryo and a newborn baby who is “basically still an embryo” – clearly there are many and they are enormous and glorious! But which is big enough to say, “oh yes, this is now a human being whereas before, it was not”?

ALSO, babies are frickin’ adorable and they have soooo much potential. The whole world and their whole lives are in front of them. Who are we to say what kind of life Baby Alice or any other baby will have? Who are we judge to that some child would be better off dead before they’re even born?

“I’ll Put My Future in You”

What it is: Ed Sheeran has a beautiful voice and this is one of his most touching songs, Small Bump. It’s about the miscarriage of a baby at 4 or 5 months.

How it’s sneaky: Small Bump is the least sneaky of these pro-life videos but when you start to think about it, it gets awful. Ed sings about a baby who was “just a small bump unborn for four months then torn from life”. 4 months is only 16 weeks, a time when lots of babies are aborted. But he tells the child, “If you’re not inside me, I’ll put my future in you”. There are two things I think we can take away from this.

Firstly, babies might not be inside their fathers but they are just as much their father’s child as they are their mother’s. This is why we need men in the debate over abortion. It’s not just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue.

Secondly, the way we treat unborn children who die depends largely on what we have decided their value is. Ed says that he’ll “put my future in you” and that that baby is “my one and only”, but what if he had decided differently? So many abortions happen today because fathers refuse to love their children. Because if it’s a woman’s choice to abort her child, then why can’t it be a man’s decide he doesn’t want it?

“Every Sperm is Great!”

What it is: Ok, if you don’t know Monty Python then I’m not sure I can help you. This is their famous “Every Sperm is Sacred” sketch.

How it’s sneaky: And right now, you might be thinking I’ve gone off my rocker. Don’t I know that this is a parody? An hilarious satire to make Catholics and their rejection of contraception look ridiculous? But I still love it because a) it’s hilarious, b) it’s really catchy, and c) it looks like so much fun!

And sure, when you look at all the kids as a statistic – as an abstraction – you’re like, “there’s too way many people!” But here’s the question: Which singing, dancing, giggling centre of consciousness would you like to get rid of? Which one don’t we really need? Those adorable kiddies with their big eyes? The deep-voiced, dacked gentlemen in the loos? The graceful, can-can dancing nuns?

I think “Every Sperm is Sacred” is sneakily Pro-Life because it makes us see that “issues” like abortion are only viable in abstraction. Once you get down to real people and their real lives – “in your neighbourhood” – things change. Because people aren’t statistics, or probabilities, or tools in constructing some grand scheme for social progress. They are human beings and yes, every single one is wanted, is good, and is needed. What they will make of their lives, we don’t know.

But I do know this. You have to be alive to be the next Monty Python.


4 responses to “What Do Hank Green, Ed Sheeran & Monty Python Have in Common?

  1. What a refreshing read! Thanks for the videos and for introducing me to Mr. Hank Green. Some people just don’t know how much they are Pro-Life (even when they claim otherwise or neutral territory). It’s a hopeful thought!

    • Thanks Jenn! Yes, I think nearly everyone is instinctively Pro-Life. We know babies and all human life is precious, it’s just been clouded by rhetoric and abstraction. I can’t remember who said it but someone said that abortion will be ended when abortion is known. I think they are spot on. Thanks again for commenting! 🙂

  2. Entertaining and useful! That is to say, being able to discuss stuff like this with people takes the edge off the issue and makes them wonder if maybe, just maybe, there might be something wrong with abortion.

  3. These videos are ironically (and as you say, sneakily) illustrative of the universality of how we talk about wanted pregnancies, regardless of the speaker’s stated position on abortion.

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