By Leila Miller
Leila Miller is a wife, mother, grandmother, and writer. Her books include Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak; Raising Chaste Catholic Men; Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues; and Impossible Marriages Redeemed. She resides in Phoenix, and blogs at LeilaMiller.net.
Dave Rubin, the popular pundit for the conservative network BlazeTV, recently announced that he and his “husband,” David Janet, were using surrogacy to obtain two children. When I saw that even some faithful Christians were celebrating this news, I knew it was time for a gut check. Let’s bring faith and reason to the table and look at how many deadly sins are committed when “married” homosexual men rent the wombs of surrogates to procure babies for themselves.
I count at least ten.
- Active homosexuality. Sodomy is one of the four sins that, according to Scripture and the Church, “cry out to Heaven for vengeance.” Homosexual acts invert, subvert, and pervert the natural order of human sexuality as designed by God. They are “acts of grave depravity” which contradict the natural law and can never be approved (CCC 2357).
- “Gay marriage.” This legal fiction further obscures the truth and meaning of human sexuality, undermining the purpose and understanding of real marriage, a primal institution that God ordained even before the Fall. Marriage is not only a religious thing, either; it is a natural law issue written on the hearts of all men. Even in pagan times and atheist regimes, a bridegroom has always presupposed a bride. The very etymology of “marriage/matrimony” derives from mater and means “to make a mother”—something impossible for homosexuals. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith directs that “clear and emphatic opposition [to same-sex ‘marriage’] is a duty” and that laws permitting it are “gravely unjust.”
- Surrogacy. Surrogacy, or renting a woman’s body to grow a child, is nothing less than human reproductive trafficking—the utilitarian objectification and exploitation of a woman who is used as a means to an end. The woman, who may be carrying her own biological child or another woman’s (via purchased eggs), is subject to the financial, health, and outcome requirements of a legal contract, of which she can be found in breach or violation. The CDF teaches that surrogacy “represents an objective failure to meet the obligations of maternal love, of conjugal fidelity and of responsible motherhood; it offends the dignity and the right of the child to be conceived…and brought up by his own parents; it sets up, to the detriment of families, a division between the physical, psychological and moral elements which constitute those families.”
- Masturbation/self-abuse. In order to procure his sperm for the procedure, the man commits the “intrinsically and gravely disordered action” of masturbation. The very design of our bodies as male and female speaks to the right use of human sexuality. In fact, our bodies make no sense without the existence of the opposite sex, and the reproductive system itself is not complete in either male or female. It is only complete in the union of the two. Having sex “alone” is nonsensical and selfish. “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose” (CCC 2352). Using our bodies contrary to our nature is contrary to love itself—and always inherently sinful.
- Pornography. In infertility clinics, masturbation and the collection of sperm are routinely facilitated by the use of pornographic videos and images in the “collection room.” Most people never think about that aspect of things when they see the smiling images of the “dads” holding the eventual ultrasound picture. But, as one clinic explains, “Inside the collection room, we have all the essentials for collecting a semen specimen: a vinyl ‘love’ seat, a magazine rack with a variety of classic adult magazines, a television and DVD player with several adult movie options.” In other words, lots and lots of pornography. So, in this step of the process, the sin of masturbation is aided by a massive and lucrative porn industry that exploits women (and men) on screen in the most depraved, destructive ways.
- Third parties are directly involved in a child’s conception. What God designed and reserved for the most intimate moments between husband and wife—the sacred creation of a new soul—becomes a public event, with strangers invited to facilitate and trigger the conception. Techs, nurses, and doctors are the direct agents in the conception of the child, which violates the right of each child to be the product of his married parents’ sexual union. As a rule of thumb, according to the U.S. bishops: “Procedures which add a ‘third party’ into the act of conception, or which substitute a laboratory procedure for intercourse, are not acceptable.”
- The willful killing of human embryos. Another word for this is murder. Human embryos are individual human persons, created by God in His own image. With surrogacy and IVF, it is routine to create “excess” embryos to get the desired sex, cull for disease/defect, and prepare for multiple IVF attempts if previous cycles fail. Countless human embryos (persons) are suspended in deep freeze, used as research material, and/or willfully destroyed; this is commonplace and built into the industry’s business plan. In a discussion of bioethics, IVF, and embryo rights, the Church is clear: “The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.”
- The commodification of children. We have bought the lie that children are a “right” for the adults who desire them. This is a deep deception, as only the children have rights in this area, and not the adults: “A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The ‘supreme gift of marriage is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged ‘right to a child’ would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right ‘to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,’ and ‘the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception’”(CCC 2378).
- Intentionally denying a child his mother. The child born of surrogacy for a gay male couple is motherless by design. This is in no way similar to a child being born into tragedy where his mother has died or is unable to care for him. Rather, this is about seemingly rational adults making the conscious decision, well before the child exists, to manufacture a child who will never have a mother. By nature, God gave each of us a mother, and each of us has a right to our mother. We used to weep for a motherless child (and lament a fatherless one); but today, we approve it with a smile and even a hearty, public congratulations. This brings us to…
- The celebration of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin. Catholics: you know that the nine sins above are grave sins, and if you didn’t know it a few minutes ago, you know now. We are all culpable for what we know (and for our willful ignorance). If we knowingly celebrate deadly sin, then that celebration is itself mortally sinful.
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Though I’ve enumerated ten deadly sins committed when homosexual male couples use surrogates to get babies, you have likely realized that the majority of those sins are also committed by heterosexual couples procuring children in the same immoral ways. So many deadly sins are celebrated, and yet one mortal sin alone can deprive us of Heaven forever. We should tremble, not rejoice, at such baby announcements! Why do so many professed Christians support (and engage in) these acts that grieve the heart of God and risk their immortal souls?
Because we have forgotten who we are, and who God is.
Sin is first and foremost an offense against God, against Goodness Himself. The saints preferred death to sin, wishing never to wound the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the slightest way, and we should wish the same. Even though we all inevitably sin due to our weakness (thank God for confession!), the disposition of our hearts should be God-centered. We should desire (or at least desire to desire!) only God’s will because we love Him more than self or the respect of our neighbor. Instead, we Christians have become comfortable and man-centered, wanting people to like us, forgetting that the wages of sin are death. The sins above—and all sin—should repulse us. If we excuse, justify, or embrace even one of the sins enumerated above, can we dare claim to be disciples of Christ?
Now, I will surely be accused of being “mean” “unloving” and “lacking in compassion” for writing this list. But look carefully. I have never said we should denounce or hate any of the people involved in the sins described. We are all sinners in need of God’s mercy; I know this all too well. But we cannot love both God and sin. And we cannot claim to hate sin if we applaud it and find joy in it.
Christians, it takes courage to stand against the spirit of the age. It hurts to be mocked and shamed for telling the unpopular truth. But this is nothing new. Let us turn around now and beg forgiveness of God for the mess we have made of His created order, and the tragedy we have created for His babies. Let us vow never to be part of these sins again.
“Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)