Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Tuesday, February 9, 2016
A Doritos advertisement made the Top Five Super Bowl ads in USA Today's poll. It depicts a pregnant mother getting an ultrasound. The father holds a bag of Doritos chips. Each time he eats one, the baby in its mother's womb reacts. I thought it was the best Super Bowl ad this year.
Not everyone agrees. NARAL Pro-Choice America immediately tweeted their complaint about the ad's "antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses." Their strategy is logical: when people realize that a fetus is human, they are less likely to support abortion.
So here's the science. At the moment the sperm penetrates the egg, the twenty-three chromosomes of the sperm unite with the twenty-three chromosomes of the egg, producing a new forty-six chromosome cell. It has the human chromosome pattern with all inheritable factors and can never grow into anything but a human. Its chromosomal uniqueness is immediately distinct from the mother.
At that moment, the new organism is alive. Ethicist Robert Joyce: "At any given moment, a whole living substance—be it a peach tree, a rabbit, or a person—either is or is not alive. . . . There is no such thing as a potentially living organism. Every living thing is thoroughly actual, with more or less potential. . . . That single-celled individual is just as actually a person as you or I."
By the fourth week of life, a baby's brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop. At six weeks, facial features begin to form, the skeleton is complete, and brain wave patterns can be recorded. At eight weeks, all organs are functioning and all systems are intact. At twenty weeks, the unborn child has hair and functioning vocal cords, sucks her thumb, kicks, and grasps with her hands. She feels pain even more intensely than adults.
In other words, we don't need Doritos to "humanize fetuses"—God has already done so. Now it's our turn to value life as much as our Father does. Here's how:
One: Pray for mothers to choose life and help provide for mothers and children in need.
Two: Treat every person you meet today as the unique creation of God.
Three: See yourself as God sees you. You are "wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Whether you won the Super Bowl or feel defeated by life, you matter to God.
For Christians living in a secular culture, it is absolutely critical that we see ourselves and our world as God does. Begin with yourself. Your Father considers your eternal life worth the death of his Son.
Do you agree?
Note: Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance highlighted today's theme that every life matters. For more, please see Nick Pitts's Beyonce, Black Lives Matter, and her new song 'Formation'.
Publication date: February 9, 2016
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