The title of this piece reminds me of the really good TV series produced by the BBC where some very educated man started on one subject ran through an hour’s worth of history snippets, and related inventions and ended up somewhere else.
You might start with a modern watch and end up with 5tb century Chinese water clock, covering several major wars, natural disasters, astonishing genius-level concepts and interesting tidbits in between.
So, I'd like to consider fertility clinics. This actually is tied up with the creationist idea of human development, societies' expectations and religion in general.
Repealing (Or At Least Annulling) The Law of Survival Of The Fittest
Do people who go to fertility clinics understand the basic rationale of survival of the fittest? (Do you realize that the question of if evolution should be taught in the schools is still not only being debated, but is actually being voted on?)
Nature (or GOD or Circumstances) has made it difficult or nearly impossible for infertile people to have children, and they and an amazing number of doctors go to immense effort and cost to ensure that they have children, who will probably have the same fertility problems that their parents did, children, who would not have been born without the benefits of modern medical science and who would not have been passing their genes on to future generations. These efforts are, in fact, ensuring the survival of the least fit.
These infertile parents are bringing forth children into a world where over-population is projected to be a serious problem of global proportions in the next 50 to 100 years and where China, as a nation, tried the extreme course of limiting children to one child per family.
(China is reaping the horrors of that particular stance, since most of the people who had one child chose to have boys (either scientifically or the old fashioned way by killing off or abandoning the girls). And now these boys are faced with the real problem of not having any girls to have babies with. Obviously the Chinese rulers do not read much science fiction since I can recall offhand, 15 or 20 novels, which dealt with this very same problem-solution-problem conundrum.)
Religion Gets Involved
The reasons given for this extreme urgency to have children, as opposed to nurturing and supporting children already in existence, who are under-privileged, poorly housed, underfed and/or abused, is the need to have children of their own seed (I do not see the benefits of this-I'm of Scotch Irish descent, and a more cantankerous, pushy, bloodthirsty line is hard to find) or the insistence by a religion that having children is the reason to be married and to exist.
Most of these religions have origins going back to over 2000 years ago when the population of the world was significantly smaller, the state of medicine was much less sophisticated, and the expectancy of a child to survive to the age of 10 was extremely small. In that time, before the industrial revolution, families needed many hands to do the work and feed the family.
None of these culture dynamics are in play at this time, which doesn't seem to occur to any of the religious leaders, who probably are waiting for some prophet to go up on the mountain and speak to God and come down with some more stone tablets or whatever equivalent there would be in the religion of the country of origin.
Abortion Is Also Under Attack
I wonder if it has occurred to the anti-abortion people that the children whose lives they claim to be trying to save are those who are not wanted by their parents?
Aren't unwanted children the ones who are most likely to be abused, neglected, abandoned, and, in dire circumstances, killed?
The most vocal antiabortionists that I see are mostly men who pound on Bibles, and talk endlessly about the sanctity of the family and the need to protect the unborn.
None of them offer to support the children they are saving in the womb for the 16 or 18 years of their development. Nor do they look into the family life-style of the pregnant woman and may have no idea of the quality of life they are saving a child for or the temperament and behavior of the parents involved.
No, they seem to be single-mindedly focusing on not allowing the prevention of the birth of a potential human being. This entire situation reminds me of the truism
"if you are not losing your head when all around you are losing theirs, perhaps you don't understand the situation."
And there is that single woman with octuplets
She already had several children and was living on public support, but some clinic treated her (how did she afford the fees?) so that she could produce more children because that was what she always wanted. So the taxpayers now have 8 more mouths to feed and medical expenses to cover for the next 18 (x8) years. Selfish is the second word which comes to mind. Crazy was the first word. I suggest we let the clinic support these children 'till they are 18.
So Where Does Bing Crosby Come In?
As I was growing up. Bing Crosby starred in several movies portraying Catholic priests. How many people took the role he was playing and the words he was saying as actual fact and meaningful commentary?
I know I got the impression that this was how Catholic priests behaved and these were the expectations for living a moral life.
When Bing died, we discovered he had two families, having started a second set well after the first set of children had reached maturity. On his death, he cut the first family, ex-wife and children, out completely, going to great lengths to make sure that none of them received any of his wealth.
He was reported to be stingy, miserly even, and conniving. He promised several people rewards, promising to remember them is his will, for services rendered before his death and then did not include any of them in his final will. Neither of these sets of actions seemed to me in at all compatible with the priestly roles and high moral principles that Bing Crosby portrayed over the years.
Having a child is a long-term commitment
As I've gone through life, I've listened to many people, mostly men, who acted as priests or pastors or religious guides (this leads to the topic of role models, which I probably will be talking about another time) all of whom said one thing and did another. Or they had delusions of grandeur, such as Jimmy Swaggart (sp?), and his attempt to extort donations on the pain of God causing Jimmy's death.
Which has led me to be extremely skeptical about the dictates of any religion and the worthiness of any advice or instructions from an established religion. All seem to be very happy to dispense advice and information on subjects where they had no personal knowledge or experience, but were relying on rules written millenniums ago in a different place and time and under completely different circumstances.
So, to those desperate for a child and unable to conceive, I suggest adoption. Don't add to the overpopulation problem. Don't bring forth children who will have the same fertility problems you have, instead spend your time and money nurturing a child already in the world and in need of help from someone.