Christian conservatives explain outrage over Dave Rubin's surrogacy announcement
Controversy arose after political pundit Dave Rubin announced in March that he and his husband, David Janet, had fathered children through In Vitro Fertilization and surrogacy, methods of conceiving children that conflict with some Christians' beliefs about family and human dignity.
However, the dispute over how Rubin and Janet conceived their children was only heightened after several prominent conservative organizations, such as PragerU and BlazeTV, publicly congratulated the political figure for fathering children through IVF and surrogacy.
While Rubin once had more left-wing views, he's become more of a voice followed by conservatives and libertarians in recent years. Christian author and radio host Michael Brown noted in an interview with The Christian Post that conservative outlets defending a gay atheist's actions prompted some outrage. Christian conservatives, Brown said, "stand for male-female parenting as God's ideal and God's plan."
"So we always grieve when children are brought into the world and intentionally deprived of either a mother or a father, in this case of a mother," Brown said. "That, to us, is not a kindness towards the children. It's a wronging of the children."
IVF involves transferring an embryo into a woman's uterus after sperm and egg are manually combined in a laboratory dish. Some have warned that the process can result in the deaths of unborn children in various ways, such as when excess embryos are discarded or fail to survive being frozen and thawed.
Surrogacy also raises ethical concerns about the treatment of children, critics say. This arrangement involves a woman agreeing to give birth to a baby on behalf of another person or couple, deliberating depriving that child of a biological mother.
In Rubin's case, the eggs are from one female donor, and two women are the surrogates. One baby will come from Rubin's sperm and the other from Janet's sperm. One will be born in August and the other will be born in October.
Rubin told Michael Malice last week that he's not going to disclose how they will raise the children and how much contact the children will have with their birth mothers and egg donor, and indicated that would be kept private.
The Blaze founder Glenn Beck received an onslaught of calls to sever ties with Rubin. Rubin has said that Beck said publicly that he'd burn down his business before cutting ties with Rubin over this issue.
Brown believes society's acceptance of IVF results from a "larger blurring of moral lines and lack of moral clarity." Without a solid biblical basis for their beliefs, Brown warns that people fall prey to human emotions instead of living in a God-oriented way.
According to the Messianic Jewish host of the "Line of Fire" radio program, God intended for children to have a biological mother and father. When people fail to realize the importance of placing children in this ideal familial environment, it becomes easier to dehumanize them, especially during the earliest stages of their development.
"Once you lose sight of these things, then it just becomes a matter of bringing a human being into the world through whatever means," Brown said. "Or perhaps if you don't want that particular human being because it's a male or a female, then you get rid of it in the womb. Once you cross these lines, really, what is the limit?"
Jennifer Morse, author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along, echoed these thoughts in a Thursday statement provided to CP. Morse is the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a global interfaith coalition that equips Christians to defend the family by educating them about biblical teachings on marriage and human sexuality.
"We can't understand what is immoral until we understand God's will," she wrote. "Sin is the rejection of God's will. For reasons that are not entirely clear to us, God wants our participation in his loving creation."
Morse noted that God intentionally designed human beings' bodies to participate in creating new humans through the interaction between a man and woman. Making a baby should be done "in love," but she contends artificial reproductive technologies change what is intended to be a "relationship between the child, the parents, and God."
According to Morse, when Rubin or others use these technologies, they have "slipped themselves into the position of God, whether they intended to or not."
"This is the core problem with IVF, surrogacy, and donor conception," the family advocate wrote. "This problem exists whether the parents are married or not, whether they are a same-sex couple or whether they are a desperate infertile married couple."
"Instead of the child being a gift from a loving God, entrusted to the parents, the child is 'commissioned' as a product of the parents' 'intentions,'" Morse adds. "In God's providence, every person is a gift from God, with the cooperation of the human parents."
To Morse, there is nothing "conservative" about commercializing gametes and depriving children of a mother because that is not how God intended things to be.
"In God's providence, every person is a gift from God, with the cooperation of the human parents. My mother and father were gifts from God to their parents," the author wrote. "I was a gift from God to my parents. My children are gifts from God to my husband and me. When technology enters the picture, the situation changes."
In an interview with CP, Jennifer Lahl, director and producer of the 2010 "Eggsploitation" documentary examining abusive practices in the fertility industry, revealed another issue with IVF and surrogacy. Lahl is also the president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.
"The surrogate mother [is] exploited because they're not patients, they're doing risky things to their body. They're taking risky drugs that they have no medical need to be taking, and they're being paid," she said.
Lahl cited the case of a surrogate mother carrying a baby for two gay dads and how she was forced to deliver a pregnancy 11-weeks early via C-section because the pregnancy was high-risk. Lahl said the mother and her child's life were in danger because the woman was part of an unethical commercial contract.
She pointed out how surrogacy contracts between the surrogate and the intended parents can also lead to exploitation. Such contracts, she said, often give the intended parents the right to decide if a pregnancy should be terminated, even though the surrogate is the one carrying the baby.
"To me, those are just classic examples of how women and children are exploited and put in harm's way," she said. "We make ourselves feel good about it because they're paid, and they're doing this wonderful act when we don't allow organ donors to be paid, and they're literally saving somebody's life."