GUEST COLUMN
From Reproductive Rights to Testosteronic Rights

March 1994By Vincent E. Butler

The Rev. Vincent E. Butler, S.J., is Aide to the President of Xavier High School in New York City. His articles have appeared in such diverse periodicals as American Ecclesiastical Review and TV Guide.

Almost everything is legal between consenting adults these days. Isn't it odd that dueling pistols is not?

Perhaps by borrowing the logic of the pro-choice movement, we can put this matter in proper perspective. Consider the harm done by the limitation of testosteronic rights to a gentleman's freedom of choice — his right to duel. Every day we see the evil effects of these restrictions in the killing of innocent bystanders. If dueling were legal, it could be regulated, and the tragedy wreaked by back-alley or drive-by killings could be eliminated.

Of course, the "respect human life" crowd would have its objections. But is a cad or a bounder really human? And does government have the right to impose its morality in this matter? (Of course due to my religious background I believe that a cad/bounder is human, but what right do I have to impose my private beliefs on others?) I would not for the life of me force a duel on anyone, but I defend to the death someone's right to choose.


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