Friday, January 27, 2017

I am human

I am human.
When I was conceived, I had my own distinct dna.
By the time I was five weeks I had a beating heart.
By the time I was ten weeks, I had my internal organs, arms and legs, fingers and toes.
By the time I was fifteen weeks I had distinct fingerprints, my gender became obvious.
By the time I was twenty weeks my mother could start to feel me kicking.
By the time I was twenty five weeks the baby fat was here, but on the bright was my hair
By the time I was thirty weeks, my lungs and other organs were getting ready for life outside of my mom's womb.
By thirty five weeks my kidneys and liver were fully functional.
By forty weeks I was outside of the womb.

But my development wasn't done yet.

Over the course of years my tiny body grew...and grew...and grew.
I developed the ability to crawl, to walk, and to run.
I developed the ability to grasp, to climb, and to get into just about everything.
I developed to be able to babble, then say a few words, and then talk.
I developed the ability to emote, to think, to reason.

My mind was developed by training I received at home and in school.

It wasn't until my late teens and early twenties that my body stopped growing taller or that my brain was fully developed.

In all of those stages I required help from outside of me.  I needed my mom from the very beginning.  I needed my dad as well.  I needed their care, their guidance, and their protection.  At no time since conception was I anything other than a human being.  My DNA said as much.  I did not change from one species to another...I was always human.

I was not a human being because I was wanted.
I was not a human being because of the quality of my parents.
I was not a human being because I made it out of the womb.
I was not a human being because I had no deformity or disease...they are human beings too.
I was not a human being because a government said I was.
I was human by virtue of genetics and science.
Biology tells me as much.

I was a human being...and am a human being...from the very beginning.

Every human being, from conception on, is a unique and irreplaceable human person. You are...I am.
We might be able to say we were zygots, embryos, or fetuses.  But as those are not singular to the human species, we have to distinguish it by adding the adjective 'human'.  To call any human merely a clump of cells is to dehumanize them so that we can justify whatever action we wish to take against or for that human being.

For me, as a Catholic, this all points to the wonderful way in which God knits us together.  He can take whatever circumstance we were conceived in and transform it into a life worth living.  But one need not believe in God to understand that each one of us is human.  We also know from the harsh lessons of history the great evil done when any group is stripped of their humanity.  Let us strive to melt the harshness of heart that blinds to truth so that the very thought of destroying innocent life in the womb is seen for the inhuman act that it is.

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