Friday, August 29, 2008

Pick Out the Bad Ones

My waitress tonight explained that a relative of hers had several boys and wanted a girl before she and her husband "quit". To this end, they had been considering going to a "special doctor" to have the "bad ones" "picked out". My wife later explained to me that the "bad ones" to which the waitress referred were not conceived male Homo sapiens (i.e., boy babies), but Y-chromosome carrying sperm. While my shock subsided somewhat, my concerns of sex selection and IVF abortive harvesting methods remain.

But I wonder, how does a Christian respond to these things, and particularly, to what extent do we get 'preachy'? We live in difficult times, and I believe that I handle these moments in a badly flaccid manner. I console myself with the thought that every time we go out the door with our boys, we are an implicit witness of God's graciousness.

11 comments:

Peter Sean Bradley said...

I suspect that when we are dealing with real people "badly flaccid" is the most charitable approach.

The time for having nuanced discussions about the moral implications of biotechnology with a woman who has her heart set on a girl baby is probably not when she is looking to get pregnant. She's bound to look at it as some kind of personal criticism.

Maybe the most charitable thing is to try to find out how the woman actually thinks this through. For example, "that's terrific, but I wonder how I would feel about my parent having more people involved in making my baby than just me and me wife?" "I worry about the feeling that I would be trying to custom design a child, how do you deal with that."

On further thought, all I can see is that such a discussion would either get really tense really quick or the other person wouldn't have a clue about a moral implication if it winked at her. :-)

Thos said...

Peter,

Very good to hear from you here. I think you described the struggle I feel: I do not want to let a chance to witness pass my be, but interacting on such deep moral matters may be futile with someone with whom I have no rapport.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Peace in Christ,
Tom

Rob said...

Tom

My heart goes out to you. Peter is right “badly flaccid” is sometimes the best way to show charity . Decrement to pick and chose your battles is hard. The best thing we can do is pray for people that we run into that make us feel like this. Turn it over to Jesus is always the best thing we can do.

Peace my brother
Rob

Thos said...

Rob,

It was good to hear from you. I appreciate the sympathy on how hard it can be with these types of conversations.

By the way, do you go to an inner city Baltimore parish? I've posted on the Basilica downtown before: http://ecumenicity.blogspot.com/2007/10/my-thin-places.html.

Peace in Christ,
Tom

Rob said...

Tom

The Basilica is beautiful. I go to a parish in Baltimore County named St. Ursula. I was raised in the inner city so when I was young even though not Catholic i did go to a few inner city parishes. This would be way back in late 70’s. Three years ago I did have the privilege to go to St. Marys Cathedral for Easter Vigil with Archbishop Keeler as celebrant and it was beautiful

Peace
Rob

Yaholo said...

I wrote a related article to the recently. If you don't mind some shameless promotion it is here:

"Contraception of Our Own Humanity - What We Have Really Lost in Our Struggle to Secularize the Womb" - http://yaholo.net/life-application/against-birth-control/

Basically, there is a dangerous culture we are creating by forcing new life to serve our own selfish desires.

Thos said...

Rob,

Very good. I go to school in downtown B'more, so get to the Basilica and the St. Jude Shrine when I can for quiet contemplation and prayer. It's good to hear from a local boy.

Yaholo,

Your shameless plugs are welcome. I read that post of yours when you wrote it originally. Well done!

Peace in Christ,
Tom

Rene'e said...

Hey Tom,

I am Baltimore native too!

It's a small world...isn't it.

Glad to see you around the blogs, I always make sure to read what you write.

Take Care

Thos said...

Renee,

Thanks for the kind word. If you're ever downtown 'Charm City' in the mid-day, I'm a big coffee drinker.

Peace,
Tom

Rene'e said...

Coffee sounds good.

George (Path of the Weis) is my son-in-law, and Rob in your above post is my husband. Maybe in the future one day, we can all get together for that cup of coffee.

We can call it an Ecumenical gathering for coffee.
:)

Thos said...

Rene'e,

Wow, it's a small blogosphere.

Ecumenical Joe sounds nice. Blessed be the bean that binds.

Peace,
Tom