ON THE CASE OF THE FROZEN EMBRYO
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
From song sung by Christian children
Ever seen an icon of a pregnant Virgin Mary? How about a mosaic of the divine vaginal delivery?
Human beings, like other mammals, reproduce themselves by sexual contact. This fact bothers religious people who believe sex is sinful. They may not know they think this way, but they do. Sex is perceived by Christian mythology as the original sin or the result of, or punishment for, disobedience to the deity. Sex is discouraged, hence celibate nuns and priests. The Catholic church, per edicts of aged male celibates, proclaims the only purpose and only morally acceptable use for sex is the production of children, each a unique gift from the deity. The use of sex for pleasure, joy, fun, or celebration with no intent to reproduce is a sin, a minority view shared by other diverse Christian sects, and rejected by the majority of the world’s historic religions.
Since the belief is divinely correct, sex that results in conception has fulfilled its only acceptable purpose. The products of conception are considered human life, supernaturally created. To treat a zygote otherwise would legitimize sex for play, not procreation. If a child is unwanted or a fetus defective, or if you can’t take care of yourself, much less a child, too bad. If you want to play, you’ve got to pay. And, this belief system, coming from the deity, justifies itself forcing the belief on those who think the system stupid.
If all that’s not bizarre enough, the view extends to the non-sexual union of human male and female reproductive material in a laboratory. Join a fertile egg and sperm and, bingo, you’ve got a human being with legal rights.
A while back, a married couple achieved laboratory fertilization of some of her eggs with his sperm. The resulting embryos were frozen, presumably awaiting fetus transplant to a rent-a-womb. When the couple divorced, the products of conception became a disputed asset of the marriage. What happened inspired the following:
THE CASE OF THE FROZEN EMBRYO
Bye baby banting
Soon you’ll need decanting.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
A biology student named Delf
Scientifically played with himself
And when he was done
He labeled it “Son”
And filed it away on the shelf.
Nonsense struck another blow
In the case of the frozen embryo
A Judge has ruled them human life
And awarded custody to the wife
In the divorce it was her wish
To get the goo from the petri dish
Where the little ones were conceived
Where marital passion was relieved
The children went to a frozen tomb
To await resurrection in some womb
There will have to be child support
Ordered by paternity court
To keep the frozen kids alive
Until it’s time they should revive
But it really must be nice
To keep your babies lives on ice
Frozen solid until you say
You are ready to let them play
But there must be other fears
For those who wipe their icy tears
If they should be flushed away
Or allowed to thaw and rot one day
Would a murder charge obtain
Against the one who sent them down the drain
And what should their birthday be
Those conceived in petri
Do the cold days of gestation count
For little souls who just want out
Of a limbo that won’t start
The beating of a little heart
Of course there is no heart to beat
Or even tiny fetus feet
There are no bitsy toes on embryos
And what sex nobody knows
So you cannot even name
Those cells that all look just the same
Ah, the problems that occur
When rational thought and reason err.
Edwin F. Kagin