Penn Jillette on Hammer of Truth

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CherrixThis led Friday’s radio show. And before you ask… Yes, we’re attention whores:

Penn Jillette: There’s this kid… where the hell is he? I don’t even know where he is. But there was a thing on the Today Show the other day, it’s popped up a few places. But I got it from Hammer of Truth. Do you know Hammer of Truth?
Co-host Michael Goudeau: Not very well, no.
Jillette: It’s this libertarian website that I read every day. And I love it. And they also have a little ad for the radio show on there as well. But yesterday on the Today Show, I guess… Abraham Cherrix is a 16-year-old cancer patient who has opted out of another round of chemo in favor of an alternative treatment. Now you all know we do this show Bulls*clap*it and we could be more against alternative treatments. We are very against. He’s opted out of something I would push very strongly for if he were my child, for an alternate treatment. The young man has decided he wishes to pursue a “quality life” rather than a life measured by year markers. The interview went on and the woman writing this says:

The young man has decided that he wishes to pursue a quality life rather than a life measured by year markers. As I watched the interview unfold, my admiration for this boy’s courage turned into horror. It seems that a social worker in this young man’s state decided that his parents were neglectful. His parents supported his alternative treatment, treatment that has not been proven efficacious, and were dragged into court to defend themselves as parents. The state was awarded a sort of joint custody. A custody which mandates the young man to submit to tests not of his choosing. To the government monster, it doesn’t matter if the kid feels better on his organic diet. It doesn’t matter that his parents support his decision. The talons have dug in, and this kid will submit to any testing which may give him unpleasant news “” if only to be sure that he can continue on his alternative path.

Jillette: Amazing! You know… amazing. I think this is another interesting thing for the nut point of view. Because I am totally against giving up chemotherapy, I am totally against alternative therapies, I’m totally against his jive alternative diet. I don’t believe anything about this story except … his rights. He should have his own rights and on top of that his parents should have his own rights.

Bingo, it’s not about some wacky dumb choice, it’s about the state leaving parents alone if they support their child’s decision in making that dumb wacky choice. Can you imagine if child protection services stepped in every time you let your kid play sports without a helmet and protective gear? Dont’s laugh, it’s closer than you think.
Shoutout to the PennFans forums, where you can get daily mp3 recordings of the Penn Jillette show and discuss the show and other appearances and Jillette’s rants with other fans.
Update: Several commenters are making an issue about his diet vs cancer idea being stupid, so clearly he shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Let me respond:

Please stop pointing out the trees (his alternative diet) and look at the forest (personal choice for his body).
You can have an opposing viewpoint to something so long as you don’t cram your beliefs on someone else. That’s all Penn and others are saying here.
Penn and many of us may think this kid is bonkers, and wouldn’t do this ourselves. But who the hell are we to tell this kid he can’t do this to his own body when his parents condone it? This is about someone’s personal choice to have control of their body. Nothing more, nothing less.