Renting a Womb – Women Reduced to Baby Breeders (editorial from CP)
I find this bashing of “womb renting” (parental surrogacy) hypocritical on two levels. I have observations below this link and excerpt, where I explain why I find this hypocritical.
I myself don’t know if I support surrogacy or not; that isn’t my point. My point is that I find some of this Christian man’s objections to it hypocritical.
- BY ALEX MURASHKO, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
February 11, 2014|12:39 pm
Editor’s Note: This is the second part in a series on surrogacy, titled “Renting a Womb.”
Although not specifically mentioned in the Bible, the act of surrogacy in order to produce a baby should be considered unethical, says Scott B. Rae, professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Biola University.
Surrogacy, Rae argued, diminishes a woman’s role in procreation. The woman, he said, is reduced to a “baby breeder.”
Rae, who serves as dean of the faculty at the university’s Talbot School of Theology and chair for the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics board, told The Christian Post that the Bible “looks pretty skeptically at any kind of third party contributor who comes outside the matrix of marriage.”
CP: What is the current social thought on surrogacy?
Rae: I think the feminists who object to surrogacy because it reinforces a stereotype, that has some merit. The other thing that troubles me is that it separates procreation and responsibility. Scripture is pretty solid on the connection between marriage, procreation, and parenting. This is what troubles me about sperm donation – that you are involved in procreation but overtly disavowing a responsibility for that. Surrogates do the same.
“It seems to me that procreation is intended to be done by stable, permanent, monogamous, heterosexual married couples,” he said. “The norm is laid out in Genesis 1 and 2 where you have the creation of Adam and Eve, the institution of marriage, and then the mandate to be fruitful and multiply. It sets procreation within that context.”
One reason I find it hypocritical:
- (Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids
Here you have a community – conservative Christians – who set marriage and having children up as idols that all should obtain, and if you don’t obtain one or either, you’re treated as a failure or weirdo.
So if you take actual steps towards either one (marriage or having a baby), such as using IVF, infertility treatments, or hiring a surrogate, you get told you are in sin or in error for it.
Secondly, conservative Christianity already treats ALL women like “baby breeders,” even the ones who do not pay for a surrogate. Case in point:
- (Link): Conservatives and Christians Fretting About U.S. Population Decline – We Must “Out-breed” Opponents Christian Host Says
Gender complementarian Christians, who are present in what seems large numbers in many Protestant and Baptist churches and other conservative churches and denominations, regularly teach that a woman’s greatest or only role or calling in life is to marry and make babies.
See these links:
- (Link): Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming
Conservative Christians already worship motherhood (see Link), and continually tell women their greatest or only God given or God approved role in life is to be a wife and mother.
Christians say this to each and every woman listening to a church sermon, not just women who are surrogates. So this professor has a lot of nerve referring to only surrogates as “baby breeders” when all women in Christianity are viewed as nothing but “baby breeders” (and ‘help meets’ to their spouses, if they are married).
Women who are infertile, childless, or childfree are not made to feel welcomed or accepted in most evangelical, fundamentalist, Baptist, or Reformed denominations. They are made to feel like outsiders, losers, weirdos, or freaks.
Lastly, and as someone in the comments pointed out, Mary acted as a surrogate mother, to carry the baby Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary was not even married yet at the time. In light of the fact Mary acted as a surrogate, I’m not sure how a Christian university professor can object to other women doing so and not be holding a double standard.