Pope Ratzi was in charge of a parade yesterday, where everyone pretends to know every footfall of poorly documented Jewish rabbi’s execution, so they can re-enact it and make portentous comments at every step. The whole thing is online, if you want to read it. The Seventh Station is the interesting one.
But what is it that today, in particular,
strikes at Christ’s holy body?
Surely God is deeply pained
by the attack on the family.
Today we seem to be witnessing
a kind of anti-Genesis,
a counter-plan, a diabolical pride
aimed at eliminating the family.
There is a move to reinvent mankind,
to modify the very grammar of life
as planned and willed by God.
But, to take God’s place, without being God,
is insane arrogance,
a risky and dangerous venture.
I don’t know about any attack on the family, and I think the accusation is just as ridiculous as Bush’s absurd claim that terrorists are attacking us because they hate freedom. He’s simply putting up something that almost all of us appreciate and enjoy and recognize as a good thing, and saying the nameless, inchoate “they” want to destroy it. Does anybody know anyone who wants to destroy the family? Anyone? I hang out with liberal college professors—they have families, and seem to get along with them fairly well. I teach college students—many of them seem to aspire to fall in love (if they aren’t already) and make a new family of their own someday. Could we have a few specifics, please, on who these nefarious family-haters are, and how they plan to mess up my happy home life?
I also don’t get the “anti-Genesis” remark. I’d interpret it as a warning shot against evolution, but it’s in the context of this strange “we like families” truism. The next paragraph makes it clear, though, what parts of Genesis he’s talking about.
The citation  that is being interpreted as a condemnation of genetic research refers to Genesis 1:27 and 2:24.: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” and “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Awfully thin, old boy. I hope that the hard-line Catholics aren’t really arguing that we need to leave the genome alone because it is a copy of God’s Holy DNA, which would have some peculiar theological connotations. No, scratch that—I would love to hear the religious argue that. I want to see a mob of theologians argue about the ideal sequence of God’s own Hox genes. I also want to see the theological wrangling over two contradictory concepts: the inviolability of the genome vs. the necessary recombination and modification of the genome caused by sexual reproduction. Is crossing over heretical?
Finally, let me reassure everyone that I do not have a god complex, and do not aspire to take any god’s place. Gods are fantasies, nebulous vapor, words to describe the nonexistent, and I plan to defer becoming nonexistent for as long as is possible.
Although, of course, it is inevitable that someday I will achieve godhood. It’s just not a particularly desirable state, and it’s more than risky and dangerous—it’s lethal.