In which the putty tells the Potter what sort of thing it wants to be.

In a scene torn right out of the unwritten prequel to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a fight rages in Australia over whether a couple should be able to choose the sex of the child they wish to conceive. They have three sons conceived naturally, and their infant daughter died soon after birth. Just recently they aborted twins whom they conceived through IVF because they were twin boys–they don’t want more boys; they want the daughter they believe nature has heretofore unjustly denied them.

“I will not serve,” Lucifer said to God, thus prompting his own fall and that of all the angels who took his side. To where did Lucifer fall? He fell into the prison of his own self-conceit: a tiny, miserable state where all he can meditate upon is his own injury and the perceived injustice of not being given that to which he decided he was entitled. And all he can do for all eternity is try to convince others that he was right–that he and they are like unto God. The creature revolts against the natural order and grasps at equality with God–the primeval evil.

The conceit of Satan applies to all sinful acts, of course. But life, with rationality and free will, is the first and most precious gift God gave personally to humans–creating us out of the dust of the earth, but then personally breathing into us His own spirit–the gift of life and all the mechanisms God ordained for the transmission thereof holds a place sacrosanct above all other earthly gifts. Thus, any attempts we humans make to manipulate that gift, to bend it to our will rather than trust in the Providential regulation of it, constitute our own “I will not serve.”

God created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need and He will provide it. Faith tells us this, hope strengthens us to accept it, while charity prompts us to embrace whatever God sends our way as being from His hand for our greatest advantage, even if we cannot, in any way, understand how it is so.

When we reject this order, written on our hearts from our own personal in-breathing of the Spirit, we see no problem demanding designer babies conceived in a test tube rather than within the embrace of spousal love. The unnatural next step, then is rejecting the result of our own machinations if we don’t like how the results are going.

This couple, and those arguing on their behalf, insist that they want and are entitled to a girl. In pursuit of this, the boys who, by chance, were conceived in a test tube, were disposable. Two human lives, thrown away because they weren’t what their parents wanted.

I have visions of a spoiled child throwing his chocolate ice cream cone on the ground and bawling because he wanted vanilla!!!!

According to the father, whom I’m sure saw no irony at all, “After what we have been through we think we are due for a bit of luck.”

Luck? The word seems to have no aspect of chance involved any longer if it comes to encompass what this couple is doing.

But in a world where the IVF and sex-selection are technologically possible, the providence of God is not trusted, and laws pertaining to bioethics come to be based on what’s possible rather than what’s right, such battles are inevitable.

Another voice in the argument who seems to have unplugged his irony detector, Professor Gab Kovacs, a leader in Australian IVF, said, “Laws should be made to protect people from things that are going to damage them. …Why should we make this illegal? Who is this going to harm if this couple have their desire fulfilled?”

Well, professor, so far the efforts to fulfill their desires have killed two unborn boys. On top of that, the vision of the couple regarding the worth of life has been clouded, since they clearly regard the fulfillment of their own desires to be vastly more important than the life of their children. They claim they love their three (living) boys, and I don’t doubt they do, at some level, but on what basis do they love those boys? On what basis will they love the daughter they may eventually have? Will they love them because they chose them? Or because they are unique gifts from God with their own life; their own worth; their own spark of divine fire?

It seems the latter is incompatible with their actions.

And thus we are left with life being subjugated to choice; man becomes the measure of truth; the creature instructs the Creator on how things ought to be.

They will not serve.

What a mercy that God also gave us time, with the possibility of contrition, conversion, and forgiveness.



  • joe

    If the Catholic Church really wanted to stop abortions, all they would have to do is excommunicate all those members who support abortion, being they clergy, politicians or major contributers. It appears that they have other concerns, possibly involving their tax-exempt status, as being more important than the lives of babies. If you can’t make progress with the Catholic Church, where else can you start.

    • Tom Crowe

      Hm. That’s an interesting take. Not sure how it would stop a single abortion, though. Those who are committed to grave evil and who already exhibit contempt for the stated and unambiguous position of the Church don’t seem to me to be the sort who would be affected by excommunication. It’s akin to saying all we need to do to stop gun crime is ban guns… Hasn’t worked anywhere yet, because those who are open to committing crimes with guns would be open to committing crimes to *acquire* guns. But you are completely correct that the Catholic Church is the best hope for effecting the cultural change needed to end abortion.



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