There are a great many people who cannot have children for one reason or another, but who want children. There are also a great many children who, without modern medical science, would die – like my youngest son, who suffers from Gaucher Disease. Without modern medical science, he would be dead already and rather than enjoying watching him play around the house, I would be visiting his grave in a cemetery.
There is no essential difference between these two issues. In both cases, modern medical science takes a hand and improves our lot in life. Couples can have children who might otherwise not have them, and sick children can live instead of die. And the two are connected in another way as well. Couples who are carriers for Gaucher or similar diseases, who might otherwise have to play the lottery and risk having a child who has the disease, can instead use modern medical science to ensure that only a fertilized egg free of the disease is implanted in the womb. Rather than giving birth to a child who may die, or who will at the very least have very expensive medical problems the Republican Party says they shouldn’t be able to pay for, the couple can give birth to a normal, healthy child.
You would think this would be a desirable outcome. But from all the Republican rhetoric, it is not. Nor is it a desirable outcome for Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Catholic Church. He sounds exactly like an American protestant fundamentalist except for his Pagan fish hat and his Pagan high priest of Rome title (Pontifex Maximus).
Pope Benedict, as much a fan of the thirteenth century as fellow Catholics Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, as well as protestant fundamentalists, calls modern medical science – artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, sperm washes, donor eggs and surrogacy – “arrogance.” He says that if God doesn’t want us to have children, we should not have the power to overrule him but accept his decision in the matter.
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