X-marks the question?

Posted: September 3, 2019 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , ,

Ah ethics, bio-ethics. Anyone who has dived into a helping profession, human services, science, medicine or even religious studies knows the conundrums. There has been many times all these fields have been proven to be on the wrong side of history in regards to the human condition, and the full personhood (Imageo DeiĀ for us of the Christian persuasion). The Star Trek series touched on the dark outcome of the practice of Eugenics, with the Eugenics War, the original Episode, Space Seed, and Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.Ā Eugenics is the nasty practice the world believed in that gave rise to Naziism and their final solutions for LGBT folks, Jewish, Roma, multiple births and persons with disabilities (13 million). The thrust of the storyline within Star Trek is how the perfection was corrupted, and that the diversity of the world was loss. It was within our diversity that victory was held, and the old concepts of breeding to purity was blown out of space over the Genesis planet.

Yet, it still rears its ugly head today. This concept of racial superiority has sadly still stuck around, and we see the 2-3% of the People’s Party of Canada base attempting a resurgence, and Scheer, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada not wanting to call it out for fear of losing his base. Yet, there is something as insidious, within the work towards full inclusion. Through the way we have crafted our world, chasing the funding dollars, and trying to get on the “agenda” for personhood to be noticed– we have created a stratification within those seen as vulnerable. That further breaks down the voice.

It all starts to come down to the chaos theory purported in Michael Crichton’sĀ Jurassic Park, and the echoing question of just because we could, no one stopped to ask if we should?

How does this fit in?

Simple, like Star Trek (and many other series), Marvel’s X-Men have told a social-political justice story of the battle for equality and inclusion. In the 1960’s it was a very thinly veiled commentary on the rights movements of African Americans, though one could have the Mutants used for any group that has had to fight to be recognized as full persons- Indigenous, Women, etc. In the later decades they became stand ins for the societal debate of LGBTTQ2+ and Persons with Disabilities. No more jarringly so that Joss Whedon and John Cassady’s opening story arc ofĀ Astonishing X-men: Gifted (single issues, graphic novel, motion comic) that I found the novelization of by Peter David in the book section of Dollarama (who can turn down a $4 Peter David adventure?).

What is Gifted?

It is an ethical question that has been put forward multiple times in the debate of conversion therapy, seclusion rooms, eugenics, and put forward in disability studies classrooms and queer theology–

If there was a pill you could take to “cure” you, would you?

Dr. Kativa Rao now has that cure pill for Mutants. The questions begin to be asked:

  1. Who decides on use? The individual? The family? The government?
  2. Would it ever be forced upon someone?
  3. Is Mutation an illness or a part of how you are? (Now men, remember in genetics, we are the broken x-chromosome-that is we are the mutation).

The magic pill question of ethics, not in the crux of 4 colour worlds. Pointing out that the drive to discover the genetic map for anything is the drive to erase or eradicate. So, what does that mean for our scientific world within the scope of should and could?

It is a unique time, as we are the mutants in the story. We have so divided the human family based around labels and codes, that each and everyone of us some day could be asked the “cure question” for what we are seen as not “typical”. The tension of the story being when two founding members stood on different sides of the divide on using the Cure (Beast & Cyclops), but like with any genetic research what foundation of horrors is the cure built upon?

These words by Peter David in the book, are deeply about personhood:

The X-Men had always been symbols of what people could accomplish when they were forced to adjust to strange, new abilities. Bit if there was a new reality where mutants din’t have to adjust…

…why should they be forced to?

Symbols were all well and good, but all the X-Men were–all they really were–were examples of what mutants could be if the chose to live their lives as mutants. Rather than allow themselves to be beaten down by society, mutants could band together and create a world where they lived in solidarity with each other and drew strength from that. A strength that would enable them to survive long enough for society to realize that mutants were simply different, not enemies. (p.249).

And that is the crux, my son is a super hero, I have gone through my own journey of recovery and rebirth. Would it have been easy to simply take a “cure” and be “normal”? Possibly, but in that moment of “cure” we have lost the beauty of who we are, and the journey we are one…a journey to be. And in being but one piece in the beautiful mosaic that is the world.

That is the true cure, removing the stigma from our own selves, the apprehension and fear of the different, and embracing our neighbours and finally, realizing and knowing, we are in this together.


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