There’s a Seinfeld episode where Elaine asks George to bring her back a big salad. George’s girlfriend somehow ends up holding the big salad and hands it to Elaine, and Elaine thanks her for it. This, of course, upsets George because he bought it and her handing it to Elaine gave the wrong impression; it made it look like she bought it. He complains to Jerry, “She just took credit for my salad.”
We’re all Costanza right now with the bizarre new trend of surrogacy photos coming out. Whether it’s Paris Hilton or two gay men sitting shirtless on a hospital bed—they’re taking credit for the metaphorical salad.
But it’s not that it’s a fake and contrived photo of a post-birth moment that bothers me. It’s that the fake and contrived photo mirrors the reality of the situation—of what surrogacy is—that it’s fake and contrived, totally unnatural.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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But I want to push the envelope even further on this and say that contraception and reproductive technology (including in-vitro fertilization) are two sides of the same coin, and both should be banned because they’re both contrived.
All these man-made “aids” aid in is thwarting or circumventing nature for selfish motives. And while selfishness is bad in and of itself, when it comes to the sexual act and children (the by-product of the sexual act), there should be absolutely no tolerance of it. With birth control used to avoid having children and in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy used to purchase children, none of these see children for what they are: gifts. And these gifts and their good should be put above the wants and desires of adults.
But it shouldn’t surprise us that we don’t see children as gifts because we as adults don’t even see ourselves or others as gifts to be given. Instead, we are all instruments to be used. For how one sees sexual intercourse determines how one sees the human person and life itself.
If one views the body as separate from the soul and intercourse as a means to the end of personal sexual pleasure, then the context in which it takes place and with whom won’t matter, and the matter made while having it won’t either. But, if they view themself and the other as a gift, and they see the act itself as a gift (symbolizing something greater, perhaps partaking in the Trinitarian communion of love), then they’ll see the product of the act as one, too.
Part of the problem for this is the incoherence even within the pro-life movement itself. Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life and a leader in the pro-life movement, recently deleted the tweet:
IVF is a very difficult issue for many in the pro-life movement. There are ways to only create the embryos that you will implant while not destroying others. So, while we oppose IVF we still recognize there is a way to do this in a more “ethical manner.”
She then later tweeted:
The problem with IVF is not that it creates Life and families, but that it kills so many…
If a movement aimed at protecting life at conception can’t even agree on the ethical means of conception, how could they ever effectively argue and persuade a culture when they’ll fracture at the next obvious turn in the fight?
Yes, IVF and surrogacy are unethical for the obvious reason—they kill embryos in the process of getting them “to take.” But more fundamentally unethical is viewing children as an entitlement one is owed and the wealthy are able to purchase.
Even more problematic is the philosophical notion that we have the right to be creating life in a petri dish, completely divorced from the act of love that has made every human being since our first fallen parents, the act of love that, with God, wills another being into existence.
It’s no wonder that the next logical step is to place this newly minted life made in the lab within another womb; and soon it won’t be a rented human womb but an artificial one.
It’s a slippery slope, and it’s going straight to Hell.
[Image Credit: Paris Hilton Instagram]