Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hate the Sin, Love the Mutant

It was announced yesterday that the Vatican has released "new sins for the modern age." The Holy See's new list includes these chestnuts (my paraphrasing):

Thou shalt not pollute the earth.

Thou shalt not indulge in excessive wealth.

Thou shalt not manipulate genetics.

Power to Big Daddy Benedict for doing his part to get things green. As for #2, I'll stay away from the inherent pitfalls of trying to define what constitutes "excessive." But the genetics line has me as bummed as a Nexus 6, but for different reasons.

Let's forget for a moment that the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel -- a man who crossbred flowers to create new species (thereby manipulating their genetic structure, gang) -- was an Augustinian Catholic Priest. That inconvenient truth aside, what the heck does the Pope -- or God, for that matter -- have against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godzilla, and Rutger Hauer? I mean, two-out-of-three of those parties have been known to save the world at least once.

Oh, right, I forgot: sanctity of life only applies to humans. Apparently, chickens and carnations don't have God in 'em. That's why we're allowed to eat meat and 'taters. You know, I like a nice lamb chop now and then. But does this edict mean that cloned Dolly chops are out-of-bounds? Should young ladies beware boyfriends bearing bouquets of Mendel hybrids? More importantly, what happens to test tube babies and future human specimens? I do believe that stem stell development and human cloning are as inevitable as colonizing space... so what will be the church's attitude to someone born of science, rather than of woman? Will those who've been cured of terminal illness by genetic therapy be deemed sinners? How about children whose parents chose their sex in utero? This seems to me a dangerous, vague line that Monsieur Pape has drawn in the Catholic sand.

By the way, I seem to write about Godzilla a lot.

1 comment:

PotSmokinAlien said...

you know how at the end of the third His Dark Materials book, the Authority is a terrified old man who is so ancient and decrepit that he basically disintegrates into nothingness when exposed to the actual elements of the world?

I have a sneaking suspicion that guy is supposed to represent the Pope.