FIRST-PERSON: Sowing and reaping a culture of death
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- America, it seems, has become the primary destination for those desiring to choose the sex of their baby. Couples from around the globe are traveling to the United States to obtain the procedure that is illegal in much of the world.
Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, who directs fertility clinics in New York and Los Angeles, recently told the "London Evening Standard" that he has helped thousands of couples from 142 countries choose the sex of their babies.
Those seeking Steinberg's services overwhelming choose to have boy babies. The latest growth trend, he said, is couples coming to him from China and India, of which 98 percent ask for a boy. The "boy" embryos are implanted. The "girl" embryos"? They're frozen -- or destroyed.
Steinberg indicated that he considered offering parents the ability to choose a child's hair and eye color, but dropped the idea when pro-life groups ardently complained.
For many in America, especially physicians, the unborn child has become nothing more than a commodity. On the one hand, if the commodity is unwanted for any reason, a price can be paid to do away with it. On the other, for enough money you can customize your order.
In the United States babies are routinely aborted because the mother just doesn't want to be pregnant, because the baby is the wrong sex, or perhaps because the baby has a "flaw. The cost for an abortion ranges, on average, somewhere between $300 and $500.
Choosing to have the baby of your dreams is a bit more costly. Steinberg charges in the neighborhood of $45,000 for his services. Seeking a procedure that most countries ban has its price. However, Steinberg does throw in airline tickets and a hotel.
How did America come to have such a crass view of the unborn child? It can only be understood from the standpoint of truth.
"Whatsoever a man sows," the Apostle Paul declared in the Bible, "this he will also reap." Of course, this universal truth is accepted and expected when applied to agriculture. If a farmer sows soy bean seed, he anticipates and accepts that, given time, he will reap soy beans.
What you plant, what you sow, you will reap. It never deviates. The truth of sowing and reaping consists of two other critical elements: time and increase. Reaping always occurs some time after sowing. The time may vary depending on the nature of the seed, but you always reap later than you have sown.
Increase is a critical aspect in the truth of sowing and reaping. One of the incentives for planting anything is that you expect to reap more than you have sown. Plant a single watermelon seed and you expect to harvest many melons.
When it comes to agriculture, we accept and expect to reap what we have sown, later than we have sown and more than we have sown. But the Apostle Paul did not have agriculture in mind.
The reality of sowing and reaping that Paul had in mind was behavior, thoughts and even ideas. Once an idea is sown, it will germinate and grow and eventually bear fruit. If what is reaped is sown again, the process continues. If never checked or curtailed, the resulting harvest can be overwhelming. Just ask anyone acquainted with the invasive vine kudzu.
What does understanding the process of sowing and reaping have to do with couples selecting the sex of their baby and abortion? If -- as many scientists tell us -- man is not created in God's image, if man does not have a soul, if man's only intrinsic worth is he is an animal fortunate enough to be a little higher on the evolutionary ladder, then what difference does it make if humans are genetically engineered or summarily destroyed while still developing in the womb? If man is not God's special and crowning creation, then he is just another species that can be commoditized -- especially while in the womb. It results in a culture of death.
Ideas have consequences. If our society is to be one that promotes life, then the idea that life originated with God and is of special worth must be maintained. It must be spoken of, written about and championed -- it must be sown. It is that truth alone that can produce the philosophical fruit that all of human life is sacred and preempt the notion that it is a commodity that can be manipulated or destroyed.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention's office of public affairs, and editor of the Baptist Message, www.baptistmessage.com , newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).