A Day in the Life

Tomorrow, the Catholic Church is set to release the first statement in over 20 years related to sexuality and in particular, assistive technologies for fertilization.  Noting that this arena has exploded since 1987, the Church is stepping forward to once again assert the Biblical assertion that the creation of life is not a matter of human decision, but a gift from God.

They take umbrage (rightfully so) with embryonic scanning that attempts to detect potential ‘defects’ so that couples can select the ‘best’ embryo for implantation.  Of course, those deemed less ‘worthy’ are destroyed.  While this may not appear to be a big deal for those who assert – illogically – that embryos are only a collection of cells and therefore no different from a fingernail clipping, it is a crucial issue for those who assert that the ‘humanness’ of a person begins not at some medically convenient, arbitrarily defined point in development, but rather at the point of conception.  
I expect the Church will be lambasted for this stand, since it contradicts notions made popular in the last 30 years about reproduction being a matter of personal choice (beyond the choice to have sex in the first place), and being a ‘right’ that all people ought to have (assuming they can afford the necessary procedures).  The Catholics once again seem to lead the way in clearly and publicly articulating a consistent vision of mankind as a creation which includes a responsible view not only of sexuality but reproduction as well, linking the two in their proper relationship and affirming the dignity of both.
They appear also to be making the argument that this is not strictly a theological decision.  While that may sound rather odd coming from the Pope, it is Biblically consistent.  The Bible does not make claims that contradict the natural order – it makes assertions about the nature of that natural order – it’s source and purpose.  Although many (though not all) people would shrink back from the horror of suggesting that we should ‘eliminate’ or ‘euthanize’ those individuals who we label as ‘challenged’ or ‘handicapped’ or ‘defective’ in some physical or intellectual realm, far fewer of these people would likely see a problem with the ‘logic’ of wanting to be able to choose to have a ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ child – thus consigning an embryo that appears potentially ‘defective’ to death.  It’s easier to destroy a human being when they’re ‘just’ a ‘clump of cells’ in a petrie dish or a test tube, than it is to lethally inject a living child, or an adult.  However the logic is no different, and by refusing to combat the deadly conclusions at their inception, we legitimize the most audacious and counter-humane assertions.  

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