By Tom Gilson Published on February 24, 2019
When four Notre Dame professors led a pro-abortion discussion on campus last month, they weren’t just putting forth a doctrine of death. One of them, at least, was claiming the rights and powers of a god.
My stomach lurched when I read this from Professor Karen Graubart at that meeting:
I decided that I needed to have a baby. … I went to a sperm bank, which is like the center of eugenics.… I was able to get myself pregnant, have a baby, and then create a life for myself using that.
Here’s a woman who’s reached the pinnacle of academia. What else could she possibly need? Why, a baby, of course. So she went to the sperm bank where she could get one designed to order. Then she “created” the child — for herself.
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I’m sure she loves her child. I’m sure she’d be horrified to have that statement played back to her, so she could think through all that it implies. No truly human parent could sustain that attitude of “my baby is for me.” So I’m sure she’s better than that.
Still, she did say she created a baby for herself, to meet her own needs.
The Sort of Thing Pagan Gods Do
This is the sort of thing gods do. Pagan gods like Zeus. Not the true God, the one Who made humanity in His image, Who sacrificed Himself as fully as God ever could, so we could live in relationship with Him. The gods who inhabit mythology make people their playthings. As a character in King Lear put it: “As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods./They kill us for their sport.”
No wonder the professor thinks abortion is fine.
And that’s not far off from what Professor Graubart said about her own child. It’s “for herself.” Because she “needed a baby.”
No wonder she thinks abortion is just fine. If children are “for” their mothers — if the reason moms have them is to meet their own needs — what prevents them from deciding that their unborn children don’t meet their needs? Why shouldn’t they discard them, in that case?
It isn’t just this prof. If it had been, I wouldn’t have been so quick to call it a god-attitude. But I’m seeing the same kind of thing more and more across our culture.
The Illusion of Morality Without Deity
Misguided “tolerance” amounts to a god move, too, as everyone invents his own “values,” and the rest of us are supposed to respect that self-created truth as if it were real. The theme plays out in myriad ways: We’ve become a nation of tiny gods.
If God Himself is disallowed, other gods will dominate the debate in His place. That includes people who presume to act as if they were gods.
I don’t mean that Graubart actually considers herself deity. Maybe she does: Some women flaunt their “goddess” nature. More commonly, though, people (both men and women) take on the role tacitly. They act like gods without acknowledging it even to themselves, especially if they say they don’t believe in the supernatural.
Even if Graubart did see what a pagan godlike stance she’s adopted, she could never own up to it. Secularists need to maintain the illusion that there’s such a thing as a godless morality. They’re wrong about that, of course. If God Himself is disallowed, other gods will dominate the debate in His place. That includes people who presume to act as gods.
Is Today’s Error Any Better than Ancient Idolatry?
But of course they are not gods, any more than the idols that caused the Old Testament Hebrews such stumbling. God hated it, and sent them into exile to cure them of it. Still I almost wonder whether their ancient error might have been healthier than our modern one.
They made idols for themselves. Today we make idols of ourselves. Their idols were unmasked and plain to see. Ours hide behind “choice” and “identity.”
Their idols “had eyes but could not see, mouths but could not speak” (see Psalm 115:5); they also had heads, but could not be self-deceived. Today’s self-idolaters are quite the opposite, on each of these counts.
Appeals to give up their self-idolatry will therefore fall on ears that cannot hear.
We can still pray for them, for this is quite literally a spiritual battle. And maybe, just maybe, some of them will respond to reminders that they’re still just human — as human as the young lives they’re so willing to obliterate.