Greed can be exhibited in many ways, including the ability of a human being to commit injustice against his neighbor. C. S. Lewis understood this, as must each of us if we are to rise above the current trend toward trampling on the rights of others for the sake of our own self-satisfaction.
This type of greed is reflected in many of today’s headlines. For example, there is “Big Business in Babies,” an article explaining that the first in vitro fertilization company has gone public and is now trading on the stock market. The Australian reproductive health company, Virtus, “enjoys lucrative growth driven in large part by a steady stream of panicked women in their thirties and forties who, for a variety of reasons, believed it both safe and feasible to delay motherhood. They turn to clinics like Virtus’ for last-minute miracles, unaware that, for those beyond the age of 35 years, the vast majority of their IVF cycles will fail.” With cost per cycle ranging from $9,800 to $15,000, one can see that targeting women desperate for a baby is one way to become financial fat cats in the corporate world.
Then there’s the marketing game. Universities run ads targeted to young women to “help another woman get pregnant” by becoming an “egg donor.” The underlying message in this and similar ad campaigns is callous toward the dignity of the individual human being. Commentator Margaret Somerville writes: “Embryos become manufactured products for sale; human reproduction—passing on life to our children—is commercialized; and gamete sellers are objectified.”
A further extension of baby marketing is the unnatural practice of engaging the services of surrogate mothers to bear the children of same-sex couples. In today’s market “an ever-growing number of gay couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to have surrogate mothers carry their babies, turning America’s concept of traditional family on its head.” Such women are said to be fulfilling the “dreams” of homosexual couples.
Not only that, but there is now at least one woman in France who is more than willing to offer her breastfeeding services to same-sex couples. She advertised her new business online and is “renting her breasts” to those who want to have their children breast-fed.
Lest one might think that such morally despicable practices are relegated to the baby business alone, we don’t have to look far to find situations at the other end of life’s spectrum that are equally as astounding in the horror show they present.
In Canada, a family is suing a nursing home because the staff will not starve the family’s mother to death!
As “stealth euthanasia” overtakes medical care of the dying, “medications used to manage pain and other symptoms—opiates, sedatives, and barbiturates—can be misused to cause death. The intention to kill a patient, not just to treat pain and other symptoms, is becoming more common in palliative and end-of-life care settings.”
It is indeed obvious that there is plenty of human greed to go around. Self-satisfaction is trumping respect for human dignity at every turn.
But C. S. Lewis provides the antidote in Mere Christianity,
Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end; submit with ever fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
So search for Christ, and live life according to His word. This is what we must do. He is waiting for us with open arms.