The article “For senior, abortion a medium for art, political discourse” (4/16) was an account of one of the most execrable crimes ever committed. Aliza Shvarts ’08 has committed an unpardonable sin not in the religious sense, but against rationality and humanity as a whole. By smearing the unborn across a canvas she has painted a truly terrifying picture of what life is like inside a moral vacuum.
I find it difficult to believe that if a student had approached his or her advisor and asked to put on an exhibit where mice would be killed in cold blood, their bodies displayed, and their deaths videotaped, that they would have received approval. Yet Shvarts received the go-ahead to carelessly destroy what, depending on your point of view, was undeniably the potential for human life. Would Juan Castillo ’08 have been intrigued by the “creativity and beauty” of an exhibit where mere rodents were put to death? The fact that no one in the Art Department had the wherewithal to truly stand against this depraved exhibit exposes Yale’s increasing moral bankruptcy, and indeed that of the entire intellectual establishment as a whole.
We are nurtured here, and pushed to think freely so that we may form opinions of our own. Without this sort of guidance it is possible that past leaders who have emerged from this campus would never have amounted to anything. Indeed, we must preserve Yale’s unique ability to foster creative thinking and spark fires within some of the brightest minds of our generation.
But there must be morality. There are those things which are right and those which are wrong. One cannot use the nebulous concept of artistic license to simply wave away those boundaries which humankind has realized mark the borders between good and evil. It seems that one might, in the most secular terms possible, define a soul as the ability to recognize these limits, and stay within them. Artistic license can be used to create art that offends all kinds of sensibilities, but it cannot, and must never be, wielded against the foundation of our humanity.
Therefore, Shvarts’ display will be naught but an altar to her soullessness. Within the suspended cube where she will put samples of blood from her self-induced abortions (to call them miscarriages is a gross and unacceptable misnomer) she will also have preserved specimens of what could have been humans with a soul, with the ability to understand what is right and what is wrong. If Yale allows this exhibit to be shown, it will be complicit in her actions. If it hides behind its promise of “intellectual freedom” and refuses to take a stand against the marginalization of human dignity, it will only open the door for increasingly disturbing attempts to defy morality.
Patrick Vegara is a freshman in Silliman College.