I had no idea this was even a question

Sometimes…sometimes you just want to kick some ass. And the only thing holding you back is the unpleasant task afterward of having to scrub your boots.

This is an actual article from USA Today’s “Faith and Reason” section, which doesn’t seem to have much reason behind it. It’s by Cathy Lynn Grossman, who claims to love talking about “visions and values, faith and ethics”, and yet, manages to provide the most nauseating commentary on the recent Nobel for in vitro fertilization yet, even worse than anything I’ve seen from the Catholics. Consider these repugnant questions from Ms Grossman.

Do you think a baby conceived in test tube is still a child in the eyes — or mind or hands, depending on your theology/philosophy — of God? Does the science behind this merit the Nobel Prize for Medicine or condemnation in the realm of faith and ethics?

Do you think a baby conceived in test tube is still a child in the eyes of God? Does the science behind this merit a Nobel Prize, or ethical condemnation? And what about the parents? Is their IVF choice selfish or loving? Are they creators — or merely shoppers?

I read the whole column. There’s not much there. I was looking for some indication that these were rhetorical questions that would be quickly dismissed, but there’s nothing…there’s a quote from the bioethicist Arthur Caplan about the impact of IVF, and there’s a bunch of standard Catholic nonsense deploring the commodification of embryos, but Grossman just raises this vile and ignorant question without a single remark about the obvious fact that the 4 million people who are here because of IVF are…people.

So what are these children? Soulless zombies? Or are they just damned?

The title alone is remarkably off. “‘Test tube babies’: God’s work or human error?”: those are our choices? These kids are mistakes?

I find it disturbing that some people consider the circumstances of a child’s conception to be serious grounds for contemplating their status as members of the human race. This is where magical thinking about undetectable spiritual entities leads you — to a different kind of dualism, where I am privileged because I’ve imagined that I’m granted a soul, while you are lesser because I’ve imagined that you have not…and by the way, you have no means to challenge my claims, which are entirely ethereal and supernatural and also accepted by the majority of the law makers and enforcers in my country.

And it’s incredibly offensive to go further and suggest that the parents of these children, who have gone to extraordinary expense and trouble to conceive, are mere “shoppers”, as if people who get pregnant in a casual evening’s rut are somehow necessarily conscientious ethical philosophers and serious about their children, while someone who sinks $10,000+ dollars into invasive medical procedures and subjects their body to a few months of stressful hormonal treatments must be getting pregnant on impulse.

There really are stupid questions. Grossman just asked a few, and is entirely oblivious to what they imply about her and her attitudes towards children born by methods of which she disapproves. What next? Shall we consider ostracizing a few bastards, too?