A Look At the State of Society

"Buss said academic studies suggest that one out of every eight children today -- 13 percent -- 'have genetic fathers who are different from the men who believe they are their fathers.'" [University of Michigan psychologist David Buss, author of the book "The Evolution of Desire"]

-- Sun, Aug 21, 1994 p. C7 Wash. Post

"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. . . . How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?"

-- John Adams (Diary, 2 June 1778)

In this writing I shall invoke a point of privilege and comment on my observations of society. I shant even attempt an analysis of the effects of drugs which are known to scramble DNA. We all know what thalidomide did and what imbibing alcohol can do to the fetus. And the research into the larger problem of "crack babies" being amoral is only now beginning to receive deserved publicity. These kids, whose mothers smoked crack cocaine while pregnant, grow up (usually in a fatherless home) and see nothing wrong with killing another child to get his jacket or tennis shoes.

Ours may well be the final generation in which genealogical research can pretend to record biological parents or an individual's children. A number of circumstances have combined to make this so. At the core of this is the breakup of the traditional family. We see about us unprecedented numbers of out-of-wedlock births. In many instances the mother is not even sure who the father(s) of her child(ren) might be. This is sad and portends future problems in political, legal and ethical, as well as ecclesiastical, arenas.

In addition to the loose morals and unwanted pregnancies which abound, we now have women impregnated in clinics with sperm of unknown donors and in-vitro fertilization with the results implanted in not the ovum's donor.

All this in addition to the previous secrecy which traditionally surrounded adoptions. At least in the "old days" when you took a child to raise; you, the child and the whole neighborhood knew whose it was.

Now we stand on the brink of a whole new world where cloning may be possible. Here, at least, we'll know who the "parent" is; a father-only or mother-only depending upon who donated the DNA. Beyond that we may find "designer babies" whose DNA has been manipulated to produce desired results independent of parental features. For example, two blue-eyed parents with a brown-eyed baby of "their own." Even if such manipulation is done only to cure or prevent an inherited disease, in principle our problem is the same.

--pds April 1997

"NEW ORLEANS. A gay couple in California have won a federal court ruling that orders Louisiana to put the names of both men on their adopted son's birth certificate despite state law against unmarried adoption.

-- Sun, Dec. 28, 2008 p. B2 Washington Times

So much for the value of birth certificates upon which we have relied for so many years.