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What Happens When the “Miracle of Life” is No Longer a Miracle?

In today’s world we don’t view the “miracle of life” as being much of a miracle anymore. The microscope has allowed us to unravel the mystery of conception, the pill and abortion have given women power over pregnancy, anesthesia has reduced the pain of childbirth, and modern prenatal and postnatal care have greatly reduced the mortality rates of mother and child. Thanks to modern medicine we have essentially gained control over pregnancy and childbirth, and having done so we no longer need to view God as the Giver of life. Now we can see ourselves as the givers of life, and we can feel justified in deciding when life begins and when life should end.

     Seeing ourselves as the givers of life has significant implications for how we view our children. Instead of viewing them as being created in “the image of God,” we view them as being created in our image. Instead of teaching our children to pursue what God created them to be, we encourage them to be whatever they want to be, and we push and manipulate them to do what we want them to do.

     Yes, we want our children to be healthy for their benefit, but we also want them to be healthy for our benefit. A healthy child makes a more flattering accessory for a mannequin on display than a child who is deformed, handicapped, or retarded.

     If you think I’m being too harsh or overstating my point, consider the ultimate goal of the Human Genome Project. We want to think the goal of mapping human DNA is to eradicate disease and birth defects. That may be a goal, but is it the goal? I think the ultimate goal is immortality. As the givers of life we want the ability to give ourselves eternal life, and if we cannot make ourselves immortal, then the second-best option is to have the ability to create our children in whatever image we desire. If we can successfully identify, reproduce, and splice all the genes needed to form a human being, maybe we can fashion the idols of our dreams. Can you imagine a build-a-baby boutique where we could flip through catalogues of human traits, from eye color to IQ, custom designing our children, with the only limitation being the balance in our checking account?

     Whether we want to believe it or not, this is where we are trying to take technology in the twenty-first century. Although God told Adam, “for dust you are and to dust you will return,” we are unwilling to accept God as the Giver and Sustainer of life—we want to give ourselves eternal life.

     As technology continues to advance in the twenty-first century, offering us more and more control over pregnancy and childbirth, who or what will we trust as the giver of life? Will we spend more time pursuing ageless immortality? Will we commit more energy to living like mannequins on display? Will we try to fashion our children into the idols of our dreams? Or will we become more grateful for the life we have, embrace the limits of our humanity, and love our children as God created them?

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About Leon Hayduchok

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