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What Does It Mean to Be Human? & Other March for Life-Related Conversations

Pro-life activists carry a banner during the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

What Does It Mean to Be Human? That’s a question that is just about as foundational as it gets. And yet, our public bioethics gets is wrong in many places, O. Carter Snead, argues in his new book of that title. In the book, he proposes a new way to look at the human person, one rooted in acknowledgement that we are more than our wills. We are embodied and we are made for love and friendship. The timing of the book seems as if it couldn’t be better, as hasn’t the common experience of this pandemic been our universal vulnerability. As I recall it, Tom Hanks getting COVID-19 was the moment people realized this Coronavirus was going to change us. Snead helps guide the right lessons for law and public policy and really our individual lives.

I’ll be talking to Carter today at 3 PM Eastern time. It’s a joint virus-free program as we’ve been calling these virtual conversations, with the National Review Institute’s Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society and the Sheen Center for Ideas and Culture.

You can watch on the Sheen Center’s YouTube page live or anytime.


My chat with Carter is the first in a trio of March for Life-related events. The 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was Friday and the virtual March will be this Friday (moved because of the inauguration, which is typical of recent years). On 6 PM Thursday, in conjunction with the Catholic Information Center, we will focus on how end-of-life care has been impacted by the pandemic with Charles Camosy from Fordham and Sr. Constance Veit from the Little Sisters of the Poor.

And next week – 2:00 on Feb. 3 — I’ll join my alma mater, the Catholic University of America’s Institute for Human Ecology asking the question “What Does It Mean to Be Pro-Life?,” with Erika Bachiochi and Sr. Magdalene Teresa of the Sisters of Life.

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