CNN has another article about surrogate parents. Why is it that I feel so bizarre about this story?

 To make things even more strange, it is a familial surrogate parent. You know - the kind that has been popping up in the news lately. We had the mother-daughter surrogates this week. Now we have another story, this time of a sister carrying the baby for her brother. Aside from the bad jokes this story sets up, there is the fact that at least 2 people were killed as a result. You see, the first two “embryos didn’t take” (culture of death slang for “the children we created died”). They went back for a second round, and she is now pregnant with twins. Let us hope they don’t decide to “thin” the pregnancy.

I am always conflicted about how to explain this to people. I mean if I start a conversation with the average passer-by about how surrogate parenting is evil, I will most likely be written off as that lunatic without heart who probably likes to torture bunny rabbits.

On the women’s blog (pregnant mother and biological mother), they sound so caring and sweet. The tough thing is that they are 100% sincere about their actions – at least as far as I have gathered. They seem to be doing what they think is right, and the surrogate mother is really making what she and 99% of Americans would consider a great sacrifice for her brother and sister-in-law.

 This story leaves me with such a twisted stomach though. I cannot help but think about the laws – both moral and natural that were violated: doctors playing God and innocent children being created, manipulated, and placed in a sort of person factory so that the desires of a couple to have blood children could be fulfilled. Many would call this situation selfish – especially on the part of the biological parents. I would perhaps agree with that, but I think the problem is far deeper.

The problem is with our culture. Some time ago, we lost our moral compass. We can no longer identify good from evil. Evil is considered good. These people were failed by their parents, their friends, their neighbors, coworkers, and people in their church. They were given good hearts. There is no doubt about that. They think they are acting in a selfless manner. The problem is not with their intelligence. They are undoubtedly smart people. The problem is in the formation of their conscience. No one ever gave them the tools they needed to make correct moral choices.

They are not the only ones. The average person is in the same shape. Many if not most people mean well. They live their lives fighting for what they think is right. They are like a speeding projectile, failing neither in velocity nor in maintaining an accurate path. The problem is in the calculation of the trajectory. Somewhere, someone pointed them in the wrong direction. Perhaps they should decide to think outside the box, evaluate their life and morality, but how often does that happen? How realistic is it to expect someone to remake their values on their own. We can only rely on Divine Providence for the graces necessary to do a moral 180.

We could perhaps raise an argument with these people. Perhaps by being beaten over the head with enough logic, they will come to see the truth. This is possible but not very likely. I suspect the percentage of people that can be argued out of their moral indirection or misdirection is shockingly small. These types of cases are the worst possible way to approach a deficit in morality. A case filled with the illusion of selflessness is a losing proposition for a person trying to instigate conversion. This story reaches people on an emotional level. The moral dynamics are too intricate. The human reaction is too commonly just to tune someone out when they raise issues with a case like this.

So our attention turns to what can be done for people that believe surrogacy is a beautiful and selfless gift. I believe we have to start with small moral lessons; teaching the small things in everyday life. We must start raising issues with seemingly minor moral transgressions. Our society has already slipped deep into moral error. We neglected the issue for far too long. It will require agonizing and relentless work. Turning a culture around is no easy task, but it is the price we pay for several decades of feel-good theology.