The Curmudgeon


Friday, January 19, 2018

If Cripples Did Not Exist, It Would be Necessary to Break Some Legs

A new prenatal test for Down's syndrome has sent the Church of England into the usual contortions as it attempts once again to reconcile its divergent moral functions of crude superstition and smarmy hypocrisy. The Church does not particularly want to start a ludicrous moral panic over something it cannot control; but on the other hand, it would really rather like to. Social acceptance and living conditions for people with Down's syndrome have greatly improved since 1929, when there were rather more church-goers than there are now; and certainly since the era of Christianity's moral dominance, when such people, if they survived at all, presumably served as amusing freaks or as examples of saintly simplicity for priests to point at amid exhortations to pay the tithe. The Church is worried that women who take the test may choose to abort their foetuses, and that this will cause a lack of Down's syndrome with its attendant moral benefits. The Church has no wish to tell women what to do; but on the other hand, the matter is at least tangentially connected to one of the Holy Spirit's most obsessive concerns, namely what consenting adults get up to in the bedroom. Accordingly, the Church has demanded that parents should be given "comprehensive, unbiased information," just in case those maniacal, cackling abortionists in the medical profession might not have thought to offer it.


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