Happy 2023! And a Metaphor for Our Times


Happy 2023! I've been incommunicado for awhile because I had covid-flu immediately followed by a badly sprained lateral collateral ligament on one knee. I had to figure out how to use a walker for awhile, and tossed and turned all night every night--miserable! However, I am now just walking with a cane; when I leave the house I put a knee brace with metal laterals on, so I can be steady on my feet. Well, anyway, it's been a bit of a challenging holiday season, and I haven't had it in me to do much posting.

What will 2023 bring? I see some things that bring me hope, and other things that tend to quash that hope. I remember when I first read the Book of Mormon, I wondered how it could be true when it seemed like the people went from blessed to cursed in the space of only a couple of years. It just didn't seem possible that the slide downward could be so swift. And here I am, in the 2020s in the USA, seeing the very same thing before my eyes. Who could have imagined that some of the worst possible things humans can do are becoming so normalized?

I ran across a science article the other day that really make a great metaphor for all of this. It was a story about how Western diets lead to auto-immune disease. Let me quote a bit from the article:

"More and more people around the world are suffering because their immune systems can no longer tell the difference between healthy cells and invading micro-organisms. Disease defences that once protected them are instead attacking their tissue and organs.

"Lee also stressed that surging cases of autoimmune diseases across the world meant new treatments and drugs were now urgently needed more than ever before. “At present, there are no cures for autoimmune diseases, which usually develop in young people – while they are trying to complete their education, get their first job and have families,” he said. “That means growing numbers of people face surgery or will have to have regular injections for the rest of their lives. It can be grim for patients . . . "

Isn't that interesting? (And sad.) Humans' immune systems, which should protect healthy cells and attack invading pathogens, have become completely dysregulated. Instead, their immune systems are now attacking healthy cells, and letting pathogens run amok. Sure seems to me to be a great metaphor for what we are seeing in our societies today.

In this case, our immune systems are our institutions, such as our legislatures and our courts. With some important exceptions, these seem to have been compromised with our Western diet of radical individualism married to unfettered capitalism. Our civilization now dreams of breaking all holy bonds and violating all longstanding taboos. We are even beginning to hear the call for "minor-attracted persons" to have the right to act out their desires, for children "deserve a sexual life." Indeed, there is a new acronym to fit this political agenda--and it is a political agenda--AAM, or "adult-attracted minor." (Investigative journalist Roisin Michaux has been doing some excellent work on this worrying new ploy.)

Another example is the new "vision" of podbabies, or the EctoLife initiative as it is called. A German (!) molecular biologist wishes to create a facility in which up to 30,000 babies can be gestated in pods in a large warehouse building. You think I am joking, do you? Read the concept plan and see the concept video for yourself here. Here's excerpts from some of the literature:

"EctoLife allows your baby to develop in an infection-free environment. The pods are made of materials that prevent germs from sticking to their surfaces. Every growth pod features sensors that can monitor your baby’s vital signs, including heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate and oxygen saturation. The artificial-intelligence-based system also monitors the physical features of your baby and reports any potential genetic abnormalities.”

"The pods are equipped with a screen that displays real-time data on the developmental progress of your baby. These data are sent directly to your phone so you can track your baby’s health from the comfort of your zone.”

“The app also provides you with a high-resolution live view of your baby’s development. A special section in the app allows you to watch a timelapse of your baby’s growth and share it directly with your loved ones.”

"EctoLife will also help you edit any trait you like for your baby, including customizing your “baby’s eye color, hair color, skin tone, physical strength, height, and level of intelligence.”

“And if you want your baby to stand out and have a brighter future, our Elite Package offers you the opportunity to genetically engineer the embryo before implanting it into the artificial womb. Thanks to CRISPR-Cas 9 gene editing tool, you can edit any trait of your baby through a wide range of over 300 genes. By genetically engineering a set of genes, the Elite Package allows you to customize your baby’s eye color, hair color, skin tone, physical strength, height, and level of intelligence. It also allows you to fix any inherited genetic diseases that are part of your family history so that your baby and their offspring will live a healthy comfortable life free of genetic diseases. Say goodbye to the pain of childbirth and birth-related muscle contractions.”

What a dystopian vision, dressed up as utopia! This is very much like auto-immunity, isn't it? And don't be surprised at all if it's not women who will be the loudest champions.

I don't mean to leave you hopeless this New Year's Day. I have seen signs that there are still some immune cells capable of distinguishing between healthy and pathenogenic cells. We have seen women and mothers and parents stand up to defend what they are obligated by all that is holy to defend. But whoever reads this, know that the time when you could keep quiet and small must be over. This is the time for standing up, this is the time for speaking up. Make 2023 the year that you do!