By Family Research Council
“This whole kerfuffle in Alabama has revealed … the worldview of the Left, which is a worldview of death. And they’re really running with this like they ran after the Dobbs decision,” David Closson, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, said on “Washington Watch” Tuesday. “This is not like a one-off,” agreed FRC President Tony Perkins. “The worldview has been revealed. And I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer.”
Enraged by an Alabama Supreme Court decision recognizing the value of all unborn human life, the left-wing media has attempted to carefully curate camera angles of the controversy, so as to portray a hamster as a hippo. First, they launched a scaremongering campaign falsely alleging that Republicans are targeting in vitro fertilization (IVF). Then, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) opportunistically promoted a bill that wouldn’t so much protect IVF as it would legalize other anti-human practices, such as human cloning, human-animal chimeras, designer babies, and commercial gestational surrogacy.
To browbeat timid opponents into playing along with the charade, the Left trumped up fears of “theocracy” based on a non-binding concurring opinion. “The hand-wringing on the Left … isn’t actually on the majority decision,” Closson noted, but on “a concurring opinion that the chief justice wrote.”
Fear prevents people from thinking clearly, and that’s exactly what the Left is hoping for. If legislators had a moment to sit back and reflect, they would likely realize that “there are moral and spiritual, theological implications here,” said Perkins.
In fact, “There’s a long history within Christian ethics of looking at IVF and saying that … it’s morally fraught,” said Closson. IVF is a process designed for helping infertile couples conceive a child by combining egg and sperm in a laboratory, and then implanting the newly created human life back into the mother’s womb. “As Christians, we believe that at conception, when that sperm and egg come together, you have a human being.”
However, many IVF practitioners create far more embryos than would ever be gestated. “Usually it’s a dozen, maybe even more embryos” that are created, explained Closson. “They selectively choose which ones to implant in the woman.” Of these, all but one will likely be aborted. “Then the others are stored in freezer,” added Closson, resulting today in “millions of frozen embryos in freezers all over the country.” Many are never used and ultimately destroyed.
Despite the moral and ethical pitfalls of IVF, the Alabama Supreme Court did not prohibit the practice, nor even regulate it. All they said was a law protecting children from harm applied to all children, including embryos conceived via IVF. And, in a concurring opinion, Chief Justice Tom Parker added his commentary on the Alabama Constitution’s recognition of the “sanctity of unborn life.”
“That phrase, ‘sanctity of [unborn] life,’ appears in the Alabama Constitution. So, just being a good lawyer, [Parker] said, ‘Where did these words come from? What do these words mean?’ And so, he explored the Christian tradition of understanding sanctity of life, image of God,” Closson summarized.
Closson found it humorous that mainstream media accounts made the mistake of sneering at Parker’s opinion for “quoting 16th-century dead theologians like John Calvin and whatnot.” All their derision proved is that “Christians have been thinking about these issues for a very long time,” he pointed out. “It’s not that we just thought of these in a right-wing think tank last week. We’ve been thinking deeply about these issues for centuries.”
This is humorous because the Left doesn’t realize how far outclassed they are by centuries of brilliant minds. They don’t realize it because they never had to engage with that ancient tradition. Their thinking descends from Karl Marx, and while they might engage with some of his immediate intellectual forebearers (Rousseau, Darwin, Mill), they have little use for a tradition that had already grown wizened before those men were born. “The problem we’re seeing today is the absence of moral truth,” said Perkins. “There are no ethics that are standard and steadfast. It’s a Wild, Wild West.”
One implication of this ethical anarchy is the absence of any limits on what science should do. Just as researchers for the Chinese Communist Party continue to bioengineer deadlier coronaviruses and chimerical monkeys, so the American Left displays an apparent preference for pedantic, utilitarian reasoning over fundamental human rights. Duckworth’s bill would be a go-ahead signal to a lot of ethically dubious research.
“Just because science enables us to do something doesn’t mean we should do it,” argued Perkins. “We should be concerned about both the means and the ends of where this would lead us. And it needs to be guided by biblical truth, by morality … [and by] ethics.”
The fundamental reason why Christians believe all human life is valuable is that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). To every human being, this reality imparts “transcendent value,” insisted Perkins. “It’s not value assigned to it. It is value that is inherent in it because it is created in the image of God.”
The road to pushing for designer babies, chimeras, cloning, and surrogacy begins by denying the fundamental reality that all human beings have inherent value because they bear God’s image.
“We need to start calling out a lie for what it is. It is a lie,” Perkins insisted. “Understanding is the first step, but having the confidence of that understanding gives us the ability to push back and say, ‘No, this is not true. It is not right, it is false.’”
Conservatives “playing defense” over the sanctity of unborn life don’t seem to realize that ours is the inherently stronger position. For centuries, Western civilization’s brightest minds have helped develop the implications of this doctrine, which is absolute truth. What does rootless, groundless, post-modern Marxism have to offer in comparison?
The current circumstances are as if the presidential motorcade was suddenly set upon by a gang of youths throwing pea gravel. Exiting the vehicle would be foolish, and waving a white flag would be irresponsible. If conservatives recognize and exploit the advantages of our position, the smear campaign against those standing up for the lives of unborn babies — including those conceived via IVF — can accomplish nothing.
Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.
EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.
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