This week, after years of dodging the subject, the Christian Science Monitor was finally forced to clarify its position in America's most controversial debate: Babies: It's OK to Literally Eat Them, Right? Or What? The official Christian Science Monitor position: Not in favor of literally eating babies. (For now.)
On Monday, the Monitor website published a brief article summarizing a study that examined the effects of newborn baby smell on women's brains. Here is how that article began:
If you're like most normal people, you've briefly considered eating a baby or two.
Why is that, anyway? Why do babies always seem so delicious, even when you're not particularly hungry?
While the article went on to scientifically describe the brain's response to babies' olfactory chemical signals (essentially: Moms love the way babies smell, oh they smell so good, just wanna numnumnumnumnum, love 'em forever, put 'em in a little baby bonnet and hug them and wub dem and never let dem go), many readers apparently interpreted it as a casual endorsement of the literal consumption of human babies by other humans.
Which prompted Tuesday's hilarious anti-cannibalism update:
Based on responses to this story, I should probably make something absolutely clear: You should never attempt to actually eat a baby.
The headline, subhead, and lead to this story are not meant be taken seriously. Together they are, in the parlance of journalism, "the thing that gets people to read the article."
There is never any excuse to harm a child. The impulse that I described in this article does not take the form of an urge to literally bite, chew, and digest a small infant.
Rather, in my experience at least, it arises in utterances such as, "Your baby is so cute I could just eat him all up!" and in behaviors such as placing the baby's toes against the lips and repeatedly uttering the syllable "nom," in an attempt to elicit a giggle from the baby.
I realize now that such phrases and actions are not actually very common. Or normal.
Still, I hope that you will not only stand firm with me in refraining from infant cannibalism, but that you will also urge your friends, family members, and neighbors to do the same.
— Eoin O'Carroll, September 24, 2013
Eating babies: not normal, NOT cool. Don't do it, no matter what great recipes you read in the Christian Science Monitor.