Cute baby blogging is one of my favorite things to do here. So much of what I post is not very uplifting, to say the least, so a cute baby face is a nice palate cleanser. More than that, though, I see new life as new hope for a better and brighter future.
Even when it comes in less than desirable circumstances (rape, fornication, adultery, incest and various technical procedures), new life is a light shining in the darkness, a reminder of how God brings good out of the worst situations and has not given up on humanity, even when we turn our backs on him.
Anyway. On to the cuteness!!
My sister sent me this video of Cruz making silly baby noises last week. It’s way too cute and funny not to share. What a crazy kid.
His cute silliness makes up for her vertical video syndrome.
Cute baby bonus:
• A British woman is suing the American couple she agreed to become a surrogate for after they allegedly backed out of the deal because she is carrying twins. The couple only wanted one child and demanded that she abort one of the fetuses She refused and wants to put the twins up for adoption.
• The International Medical Travel Journal reports that Cancun is attracting attention as a hot destination for the discerning international fertility tourist – seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and surrogacy services.
• The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, famous for cloning “Dolly” the sheep, lost a bid to get a US patent protection on their cloned animal. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that, instead of being a “product of human ingenuity,” Dolly and other cloned animals like her are just genetic copies of naturally occurring beings.
• Twin births are on the rise in the United States. Now, one out of every 30 babies born is a twin. This increase is largely due to an increase in infertility treatments like in-vitro fertilization and “ovulation stimulation medications.”
• BioEdge reports on the intensifying debate over “moral bioenhancement.” A special issue of the American Journal of Bioethics last month explores the benefits and dangers of Persson and Savulescu’s 2013 publication Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement.
It only took two weeks, but I finally edited and uploaded the latest episode of BioTalk with the lovely and smart Rebecca Taylor.
Transhumanist ideas are often spread in notable science/tech journals, magazines and even some conferences. And today’s rapidly-progressing technological world is making their goals more and more plausible.
However, as Rebecca put it recently, “To grease the wheels of the transhumanist technological utopia it will take getting a generation on board with radically changing the nature of humanity.”
That’s where the world of popular entertainment comes in.
In this episode of BioTalk we discuss transhumanist images in some recent movies and television shows.
What we see is a mixed bag. Some seem to take the subject more seriously, showing the negative consequences of trying to enhance the human race beyond our nature. For others, the radical altering of an otherwise healthy human body is not only largely unquestioned, it’s sometimes portrayed as an act of patriotism.
However its portrayed, for good or for ill, we should use these forms of entertainment as an opportunity to have a serious conversation about our transhumanist future. Especially now such a future is not as far fetched as we once thought it was.
This has been a recurring theme in Rebecca’s writing lately. A few examples:
TV Show Intelligence: Patriotic Transhumanist Propaganda
Transhumanist Children’s Book Says “Death is Enemy of Us All”
Why I am not a fan of Captain America
New Disney Show Pushing Transhumanism
E. Christian Brugger on Transhumanism and Captain America
• Researchers have discovered that instead of simply being an extra copy of each of the genes on chromosome 21, trisomy 21 has an effect on the expression of genes on other chromosomes. Rebecca Taylor observes how this new discovery has implications for the future of human genetic engineering.
• Judie Brown explains why personhood described as being “from the moment of conception” no longer applies to every human being thanks to modern reproductive technology.
• A new app-controlled device for people with hearing loss also improves normal hearing and conjures “images of a bionic future”.
May 1 is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. St. Joseph was regarded in the Bible as a good and just man and was referred to by his profession (“is this not the carpenter’s son?” Mt. 13:55).
The emphasis on Joseph’s work in the Bible and throughout tradition speaks to the importance of our own professional work.
I love this passage from Carl Anderson’s book Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II’s Theology of the Body on the body and work:
The body enables man to respond creatively to the world and to God – and to respond is to be responsible. There is no true freedom without responsibility.
We learn to appreciate the link between freedom and responsibility through work. We can even define work as man’s way of giving the material world a share in the dignity of the human body. To work is to give the world a human shape.
Nevertheless, because we work in our bodies, our labor isn’t purely external to us. Nor is its value simply the sum total of what we produce. The quality of work is not measured only by the quantity of the objects our work may produce. John Paul II, who put in countless hours of manual labor in a Polish factory, was very sensitive to the impact of work on the worker himself and on the development of his character – and impact the pope called the “subjective” dimension of work (Laborem Exercens, 6) Because man works in his body, whenever he transforms the world through work, he is also transforming and molding himself. How, since man’s life is a journey toward God, the work by which he shapes his life is a kind of “liturgy” (which comes from the Greek work leitourgia, meaning “work of the people”). To work is to shape the world into a reflection of our relationship with God; it is to incorporate the world into our worship. Every human action, every work man performs, no matter how humble, has a liturgical dignity. (p.36-37)
Sanctifying ordinary work
-Professional work – and the work of a housewife is one of the greatest of professions – is a witness to the worth of the human creature. It provides a chance to develop one’s own personality; it creates a bond of union with others; it constitutes a fund of resources; it is a way of helping in the improvement of the society we live in, and of promoting the progress of the whole human race…For a Christian, these grand views become even deeper and wider. For work, which Christ took up as something both redeemed and redeeming, becomes a means, a way of holiness, a specific task which sanctifies and can be sanctified (St. Josemaria, Forge 702).
-Before God, no occupation is in itself great or small. Everything gains the value of the Love with which it is done (St. Josemaria, Furrow 487).
St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us!
Jennifer Lahl on the growing trend of “social surrogacy”:
Social surrogacy is defined as the use of a surrogate mother to carry your pregnancy to term for social reasons vs. medical reasons. There is no medical reason the intended mother can’t get pregnant and carry her child to term; she just doesn’t want to get pregnant for a variety of reasons.
So, assisted reproductive technologies, which started out as a way to help infertile couples have children, has now “progressed” to just a service provider industry, providing babies made to order when and how we want them.
Just the latest example of ‘Reproductive Rights’ Run Amock.
Earlier today I was on Catholic radio in Lexington, KY, talking to Mike Allen of the Mike Allen Show about how John Paul II helped lay the foundation for building a culture of life. We didn’t have time to cover everything, but I think we managed hit on several important points.
Click the play button below to listen to the show. I come on about 19 minutes past the hour.
For more, see JP II and the Culture of Life. Who else excited about this canonization??
Since Mike mentioned the eventful Easter weekend I had while I was on his show, I figure here is as good a place as any to also do a little cute nephew blogging!
An Easter baptism! Alleluia!
I just left him yesterday and I’m already having Cruz withdrawals!
See more cute nephew blogging.
Happy third day of Easter, everyone! May you all encounter our living and true God and experience His infinite mercy and love.
At 5 pm Eastern I will be on the air in Lexington, KY talking about the soon-to-be Saint JP II and how he helped lay the groundwork for building a culture of life. Tune in live from anywhere at realliferadio.com.
That’s right. I met a saint.
image: The Lamentation, Peter Paul Rubens c. 1609
Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. -from an ancient homily on Holy Saturday
“The night becomes darker in fact before the morning begins, before the light begins. God intervenes in the darkest moment and resuscitates.” -Pope Francis, April 14, 2014
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
“Look to the crucifix, kissing the wounds of Jesus…He has taken upon himself the whole of human suffering.” -Pope Francis, April 14, 2014