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Archive for the ‘Bioethics’ Category

Evil Men and Women Do Not Understand Justice

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“Evil men and women do not understand justice. (Prov. 28:5). [T]he LORD hates . . . a heart that devises wicked plans. (Prov. 6:16, 18). [T]he name of the wicked will rot. (Prov. 10:7) [T]he expectation of the wicked ends in wrath. (Prov. 11:23) [T]he counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood. (Prov. 12:5-6). [T]he mercy of the wicked is cruel. (Prov. 12:10). The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD. (Prov. 15:9). The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 15:26). The soul of the wicked desires evil. (Prov. 21:10). Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations. (Prov. 24:24). When the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov. 29:2).

The first of the above Scriptures came to my mind earlier today, and as I read it, I could not help but think of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy. These are the current justices who, in their wickedness, have given legal sanction and approval to the killing of unborn human beings, human beings who bear God’s image in full. To these “justices” names could be added many more past justices who have acted in like evil.

The above-named justices have now added to their wickedness the giving of legal cover to abortion clinics to operate without proper health standards, all in the guise of preventing an “undue burden” on a woman’s “right” to have an abortion. As Kevin Williamson aptly stated in National Review Online: “There is a great deal of dishonesty in the abortion debate, which is necessary: Otherwise, we’d be obliged to think about the horror of what we perpetrate and what we endure, and that would be very difficult.” However, Williamson is not quite right when he goes on to say: “A culture that treats pregnancy as a horrible disease and classifies its children as liabilities rather than assets is a culture that is, strangely enough, childish.”

The proper adjective is “wicked,” not “childish.” Supreme Court justices who apply rules and standards to abortion opinions which they would never dream of applying to other issues, solely in order to keep the killing regime going, are evil and wicked. Further, Supreme Court justices who refuse to overturn a lower court decision which would effectively compel pharmacists to sell abortion-inducing drugs are wicked. As Justice Samuel Alito put it, the Washington regulations which these justices allowed to be upheld create a “plain dilemma: Violate your sincerely held religious beliefs or get out of the pharmacy business.”

I believe such wickedness needs to be pointed out in our times.

-D

 

 

Written by Michael Duenes

June 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm

In-Vitro Fertilization, Designer Babies and Humans as Commodities

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Daniel Kuebler has a new post over at The Public Discourse entitled: “IVF, Designer Babies, and Commodifying Human Life.” He has much to say, particularly about the connection between IVF and the possible mainstreaming of human genetic modification. But this excerpt caught my attention.

While not downplaying the emotional difficulties associated with infertility or questioning the intrinsic human dignity of those created via the IVF process, it is important to be honest regarding the myriad problems the IVF “solution” has created. The process itself involves the production of excess numbers of human embryos, only a small fraction of which will ever be implanted into a uterus. These excess embryos have been the subject of litigation between parents, between oocyte donors and IVF clinics, and between sperm donors and biological mothers.

But the issues don’t stop there. Couples have sued because of sperm mix-ups that have led to biracial babies. Surrogate mothers carrying IVF embryos have been involved in litigation regarding everything from custody, to demands for selective abortions, to compensation issues. The entire IVF practice has facilitated a mindset of seeing babies as commodities to be acquired, contracted for, litigated, and purchased through whatever means necessary. They become commodities to be tailored to the desires of the parents either through selective reduction of multiples, through choosing the appropriate characteristics of the sperm donor, or through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which can be used to screen for everything from disease susceptibility to the gender of the child. . . Viewed in this manner, the leftover embryos become just one more commodity to be manipulated.

In my experience, In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of those topics that gets little, if any, treatment from evangelical pastors/leaders, and I sometimes wonder why. I have heard it suggested that IVF may find biblical sanction where only one human embryo is implanted in the mother, so as to foreclose the possibility of any “leftover embryos” which might later be experimented on and killed. However, this suggestion seems to ignore the general way in which IVF is conducted, as described by Kuebler above.

Another possibility for ignoring IVF is simply “battle fatigue.” There may be a good number of evangelicals who agree with the IVF problems Kuebler raises, but who are simply tired of having to “care about” yet another “issue.” Wearied, they just want to get back to “the gospel.” They don’t want to have to ostensibly “condemn” yet another category of people, IVFers, particularly IVFers who have agonized over being childless. With this sentiment I have great sympathy.

However, this makes me wonder about the way in which we evangelicals tend to approach “issues.” In other words, it seems to me that if we saw the interconnected nature of all reality/realities within “the gospel,” and we had pastors who could unpack and lay bare this interconnectedness to us in a winsome and routine way, we might not suffer from this “fatigue.” We might not see IVF, and many other moral/spiritual questions, as “just another issue.” We might see them all as fitting under our obligation from Romans 12:2 to “be not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds.” We might see them as opportunities to articulate the varied way in which Jesus connects with our lives.

Worth considering, I think. Read the whole article here.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

April 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

A Paradise of Glory and a River of Pleasure

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The Gideons put a fantastic little preface at the beginning of their pocket New Testaments, giving the reader a primer on what the Bible is and what should be done with it. I won’t quote all of it, but this gives you a flavor: “It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.” Motivating and sobering words. The whole preface is worth pondering if you can get your hands on a Gideons Bible.

The Bible is replete with promises that God will carry, bear, uphold and lift up His people. What a great comfort!! God says, “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes…Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you…The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms…Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms…Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation….For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, so that you do not strike your foot against a stone…But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head…Be gracious to me, O Lord; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death…He delivers me from my enemies; Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me…He will lift me up on a rock…He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.”

Watching the Academy Awards the other night brought to my mind again a piece I’d read awhile back on The Public Discourse, entitled: “The Girl in the Tuxedo: Two Variations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” The author, Jean Lloyd, ponders the radically different way her struggles with sexual identity would have been treated had she been dealing with them now, in 2015, rather than in the 1980s when she actually was dealing with them. Today, resisting confusing transgender impulses in the teen years is not really considered an option, or at least not a respectable one. She concludes:

In 2015, sexual orientation redirection efforts are precluded from discussion, even if she explicitly asks for them. However, if she senses she is transgender, her right to redirection must be honored. If she wishes, she can quickly begin the process of “transitioning” to become a male. This path will involve intensive gender re-socialization, hormone therapy, and if she wants, irreversible amputative and reconstructive surgeries. This is an arduous and painful journey, with many risks and harms, irremediable loss and regret among them. But it is considered worth these risks and pain. She is, after all, only fifteen, and it would be unfair at such an age to limit the horizon of her possible identity paths and the options available to her. . . And at long last, she—become he—will have what she wanted. Or, if not exactly what she wanted, at least what those initial counselors, affirmations, and “freedoms” had left open to her younger self, in flagrant disregard of the long-term possibilities and options they had foreclosed.

You can read the whole piece here.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

February 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

How Can You Disagree with Jimmy Fallon?

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My wife and I were watching Jimmy Fallon the other night, and we briefly touched on the topic of his latest child, and in particular, on the fact that she was carried through pregnancy and born via a surrogate mother, rather than Fallon’s wife. My first thought was not so much on the rightness or wrongness of surrogacy, but the on the bald fact that Jimmy Fallon is “cool.” And because he is so very cool and funny, how can you disagree him, if you’re inclined to do so? I mean, to disagree with such a cool person about his choice to use a surrogate has to be “hateful,” “judgmental,” “idiotic” or just “not cool.” And that’s the point. “Coolness” trumps just about everything. Katy Perry is lauded and praised for saying that she kissed a girl and she liked it. It’s “cool” because, well, she’s cool. The merits don’t come into it. Jon Stewart is cool, too, and thus, many young people take their cues from him. For to be uncool is to be unenlightened, unkind, uncaring and wrong, no matter how good one’s reasoning might be. The power of cool is overwhelming in our culture today, an almost unstoppable force. There’s no need for “big brother” to watch over our opinions when we can be “cool-shamed” – to use one pundit’s term – into celebrating, or at least being indifferent toward, things that don’t warrant celebrating.

At the end of Psalm 139, King David says some things to God which we would generally avoid saying. He says that he hates those who hate God. Indeed, he says that he hates them “with complete hatred.” He considers them his enemies. He asks that God would slay the wicked. What are we to make of thoughts like these from “a man after God’s own heart?” What’s more, what are we to make of the fact that they are part of the Scripture? Are they supposed to illustrate for us how not to feel about wicked men and women who despise God and who “speak with malicious intent” and “take [God’s] name in vain?” Are they just showing a certain raw emotion in King David? What do they tell us about God? We know they must tell us something, for “all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” David’s words here must be profitable toward this end as well. Perhaps they convey to us that there is indeed real rebellion and contempt for God in this world, and in truth, it is ugly and wicked, and God has a holy hatred of sin for the way it tarnishes and blunts His glory. So too, then, do those who have God’s heart feel a similar impulse and desire for the vindication of God’s name in the face of the wicked. It reminds us that God’s love is not merely sentimental, and His holiness and purity are of inestimable worth.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

February 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

A Little Coat Hanger as a Necklace

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Kevin Williamson has reported that a pro-abortion group, the DC Abortion Fund, has taken to giving out coathanger pendants. His story is well-worth reading as it exposes the lie that so-called “back alley” coathanger abortions were prevalent in the days before abortion was legal.

But my thought as I read his piece was this: I wonder if people wearing little coathangers as necklaces might not be a good thing. In other words, having a little coathanger hanging around one’s neck is odd, to say the least, and could really only beg an observer’s question: “Why do you have a coathanger on your necklace?” I assume that anyone who wears such a thing would be more than happy to answer, and this presents a great opportunity to then discuss abortion. It practically calls for it. Now, it may not be much of a “discussion,” but I would at least want to respond to any wearer this way: “Interesting. I’m curious: In your opinion, what is the unborn?” Then see where it goes from there.

Wearing a coathanger around one’s neck gives me and others like me who care about precious, unborn human persons, the chance to direct the abortion issue, perhaps, to the relevant questions. Now I doubt that I’ll run into someone wearing one of these coathangers, but it’s interesting to think about the possibilities if I, or you, just happen to. “Always be ready to give an answer,” as St. Peter might say.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

March 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm