Monday, March 19, 2007

Designer Babies Bad, Modified for "Morality" Babies Good?

Reverent Albert Mohler - Baptist Minister with a Congregation of 16 million believers.

In response to negative feedback to his comment that there is a "Biblical Justification for modifying babies "in eutero" to eliminate homosexual tendencies, due to the biblical definition of homosexuality as sinful".

To my fellow evangelical Christians:

1. Let's get this straight -- God's condemnation of sin is not determined by science, but by God's Word. The Bible could not be more clear -- all forms of homosexual behavior are expressly condemned as sin. In so doing the Bible uses its strongest vocabulary and places this condemnation in the larger context of the Creator's rightful expectation of our stewardship of the sexual gift. All manifestations of homosexuality are thus representations of human sinfulness and rebellion against God's express will. Nothing can alter this fact, and no discovery in science or any other human endeavor can change God's verdict.

? Which version of the bible? The original Greek version that uses an oft mistranslated word for homosexuality? (the one referring to catamites, IIRC)

2. There is no conclusive research that indicates any biological basis for sexual orientation. But -- and this is a big "if" here -- if science were ever to discover a correlation or causation with biological factors, Christians should not be surprised. We believe in the catastrophic and comprehensive effects of the Fall and God's judgment upon sin.

? Way to remove self-determination from humanity as a species by attributing a mythical crime carried over to all individuals to the nth generation.

3. Such a discovery, if it were to be accepted, would not change God's condemnation of all forms of homosexual behavior, nor would it mean that this represents the inviolable "identity" of any individual. As I argued previously, moral responsibility does not require absolute moral choice. A soldier in battle may not have chosen to be in a situation of moral anguish, but he is still absolutely responsible for his decisions and actions. Those who commit homosexual acts, whoever they are and whatever their biological profile, are absolutely responsible for their sin. Regardless of any actual or hypothetical orientation, those who commit same-sex acts are responsible for the choice to commit the sinful act. Those who claim that they did not choose their sexual attraction are nevertheless fully responsible for choosing to perform sexual acts the Bible condemns as sin -- period.

? Yup. Typical church talk. Repress thy impulse to be sexual, for sex and sexuality is evil.

4. Some Christians seem absolutely convinced that there is no such thing as sexual orientation. There is a point to be made here. No "orientation" can alter the sinful status of sinful acts. Some have written me to say that there is no such reality as a homosexual, only those who perform homosexual acts. This flies in the face of the Bible, however, which speaks of those who commit such sins by their sin -- murderers, liars, adulterers, gossips, etc. It does not help to deny this. But, even though no "orientation" can alter the moral status of actions, the fact remains that some persons are sexually attracted to persons of the same sex while the majority are sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex. There are other terms to use here, ranging from "sexual attraction pattern" to "sexual arousal profile," but sexual orientation seems a bit less explicit and is generally understood within the culture.

? Repress! Repress!

5. Research into the human genome and the possibility of germ-line therapies raises all kinds of moral concerns, ranging from the creation of designer babies to the redefinition of humanity. In one article, I was said to advocate genetic therapies. I never said that, and I resolutely oppose such proposals. I would not advocate the use of genetic therapies to create heterosexual babies -- or any other therapy of this type. The hypothetical question I addressed had nothing to do with genetic factors at all. Furthermore, genetic factors are likely to be so complex and inter-related that no single genetic factor or set of factors is likely to be found to cause anything as complex as sexual attraction.

? So what are you saying. Its ok to modify babies in eutero or its not ok to modify babies in eutero?

6. Caring Christians will be aware of the fact that many persons who struggle with homosexuality -- males and females -- testify as Christian believers or as those troubled in conscience that they simply have no idea where same-sex desire originated in their lives. They do know that they did not choose this pattern of attraction. Again, that does not reduce their moral responsibility in any way or to any degree. But caring Christians, fully committed to the sole authority of the Bible, must want to help persons to understand and deal with this specific temptation to sin.

? Like send them to the same rehab center that made Ted Haggard into a fully reformed, 100% Heterosexual Man despite years of homosexual dalliance?

7. The causes of same-sex attraction are likely to be very complex. The research of Joseph Nicolosi and others points to specific social and environmental factors as a prime cause. Boys who do not identify themselves with Dad by age two are clearly at risk. Dr. James Dobson addresses many of these factors in his book, Bringing Up Boys. Given the devastating impact of the Fall, we should not be shaken to our foundations if other causative factors are found. In any event, Christian compassion must lead us to want to know how this would happen in order that we can help those struggling with this sin. We should be thankful for those who, through biblical counsel and guidance, are helping homosexuals to find victory in Christ.

? Once more with the fall. An innocent 2 year old child who does not associate himself with Daddy should not be burdened by a mythical crime commited by mythical figureheads in a bronze age manual for faith that is grossly out of context for the 21 century.

8. Let's remember that all of us are born with a huge moral defect -- we are sinners from the start. Christians who have responded with claims that God would not allow a person to be born with a bent toward sin miss the clear biblical teaching that all of us are born with a bent toward sin and with a sin nature. We are born marked by Adam's sin and already under God's just condemnation for that sin.

? Humanity IS EVIL. Sinners all. Sorry I just can't buy that identity-crushing responsibility-destroying identity foisted onto an 'imperfect humanity'.

9. The only cure for sin itself is the cross of Christ. No therapy will cleanse us of sin, no treatment will atone. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ will save, and salvation is found in Him alone.

? this just makes no sense at all.

10. Thanks are due to all who wrote or contacted me about these issues. That is not an easy thing to write, given the caustic tone of many communications and the fact that so many did not even bother to read my article. Nevertheless, I learned from your responses, and I am sure that God intended them for my good. I also want to be humble in asking fellow believers to join me in thinking about these crucial questions. If I have missed something, point it out. If I have violated Scripture in any way, bring this to my attention. If I am confused in any way, point to clarification.

? Clarification: you are basing your moral stand on a mis-translated moral story that requires the assumption of an invisible sky being that wants us to be happy, but has spitefully invested us as a species with (from your mythology) a lingering taint of evil sinfulness that was produced by a mythical figurehead deep in the distant past failing to follow instructions, thus condemning us all to roast in an eternal BBQ in celebration of the omni-benevolent sky-beings spite.
Are you confused? Indubitably.


Cameron said...

There appear to me to be several inconsistencies in Mohler's position;

- Is the fetus a person? If so, doesn't altering it genetically violate God's will?

- Given that homosexuality is at least in part genetic (and not a 'life-style choice' - or else why genetically modify the kids?), aren't they as natural a part of God's creation just the same as all of his other children?

Jefe said...

I view this as a classic case of compartmentalization.

The inconsistencies don't speak to each other because they are held within dogmatic compartments in the believer's mind - separate from one another, yet inviolate due to their {supposed} divine origin.