Human Exceptionalism

“Christian” Eugenics

Dr. Albert Mohler, a national Christian leader, advocated in his blog a few weeks ago for what can only be described as the eugenic manipulation of fetuses–if and when it becomes possible–to prevent the babies from being homosexual. The blog entry is only now being reported in the mainstream press, and as you would expect, it looks as if it might become a firestorm.

Rather than rely on media reporting, let’s analyze what Mohler actually wrote. To his credit, Mohler acknowledged the intrinsic equal worth of gay children: The biblical basis for establishing the dignity of all persons–the fact that all humans are made in God’s image–reminds us that this means all persons, including those who may be marked by a predisposition toward homosexuality. For the sake of clarity, we must insist at all times that all persons–whether identified as heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, transsexual, transgendered, bisexual, or whatever–are equally made in the image of God.

And he warns against eugenic abortion: Thus, we will gladly contend for the right to life of all persons, born and unborn, whatever their sexual orientation. We must fight against the idea of aborting fetuses or human embryos identified as homosexual in orientation.

But having also warned against the drive to create “designer” babies as if children are a matter of mere manufacture, Mohler undercuts his own intrinsic worth argument by claiming that it would be appropriate and “Christian” to redesign fetuses found with biological factors that would create a propensity to being homosexual: If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin.

How is this in any less eugenics than, say, redesigning a baby with normal intelligence to be an Einstein, redesigning a child who will be diminutive, to be tall, or redesigning a baby with normal hearing to be deaf? Once we accept that children can be remade to suit parental desires for their children–which is a different matter than, say, correcting a heart defect–we have bought into Brave New World.

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