Oklahoma Senate candidate: Parents who use IVF are “waging an assault against God”
Pastor Dusty Deevers, an anti-abortion extremist, loves embryos more than infertile couples
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Dusty Deevers, the Republican nominee for a vacant Oklahoma State Senate seat, delivered a sermon last year in which he railed against in vitro fertilization (IVF), saying that embryos “were incarcerated in frozen prisons,” referring to them as “cryo-orphans,” and urging the audience to love their “embryonic neighbors.”
He also argued that parents who used IVF were “waging an assault against God.”
IVF, of course, is a procedure in which a sperm and ova are joined outside the body, in a laboratory dish. It’s meant to help couples struggling with infertility or other health problems. The concern for anti-abortion extremists is that, in IVF, the embryos that aren’t implanted inside a uterus may be discarded or placed in a freezer. They believe that’s tantamount to murder.
The sermon was delivered at Ekklesia Muskogee, a Reformed Baptist Church, in January of 2022. A clip is below but you can watch the full sermon here.
… Today, I want to ask and answer the question: What must you and I do to love our IVF embryonic neighbors as ourselves? My aim today is, with our Creator's help, graciously to bring before your conscience the harsh realities of IVF so you will respond by faith, in faith, by loving your embryonic neighbor.
Why should this matter to you? Well, we've heard why it should matter. Millions of our embryonic neighbors, unnecessarily, are being led to slaughter every year by IVF and assisted reproductive technologies.
And countless others are cryo-incarcerated in frozen prisons. We are creating cryo-orphans for the sake of biological offspring.
Saints, our longing to bear children with our own DNA must not lead us to treat our embryos in a way that God forbids.
Is your longing to bear children in your own image leading you to flirt with means of procreation that fail to uphold the sacredness of human life? That would lead these embryos or your children to death, or a freezer, or deliver them up to destructive experimentation in the name of science?
If discontentment is driving you to accept the destruction or freezing of your own embryonic children, you are waging an assault against God, your Creator, and you're doing it through his image bearers.
Is He not better than 10,000 children who look like you and carry your DNA? He is.
Uh… how many IVF babies does he think couples have…?
Deevers’ comments are especially relevant at a time when all abortions are banned throughout Oklahoma, from the moment of fertilization, except when the mother’s life is in danger. While the state’s Republican-fueled bans on abortion don’t apply to IVF procedures, there are many anti-abortion activists who believe the laws should prohibit any kind of procreation that’s not “natural.” In their minds, the only acceptable pregnancies ought to occur between a male and female, who aren’t related, within the context of marriage, and only, I assume, when they’re in missionary position.
Deevers is the sort of person who would vote to expand the state’s abortion ban to IVF treatments.
It’s telling that he’s all about the health and safety of embryos while fully opposed to gun safety measures, vaccine mandates, environmental concerns and all the other ways to make sure actual human beings can have a healthy, happy life.
He’s more interested in forced birth than actual life. And even when science can help families have children, he opposes it unless it’s done in a way that comports with his interpretation of a single version of a single book.
How did this guy get so close to being able to write laws?
Since 2016, Deevers has been the pastor at Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Elgin, but he says he found himself getting more political during the pandemic, whining about face masks and seeking the “proper Christian response to tyranny.” Even his campaign page is centered around his faith, not anything useful he’d do for his constituents: “When the District 32 seat was vacated, it was clear to me that God had been preparing me for this race… My purpose in this campaign is to glorify God and fight for the causes I believe He would have me fight for.”
He’s made it clear he would have a Christian Nationalist agenda in office, too, as Right Wing Watch found during Deevers’ recent appearance on a show called “The Sword and The Trowel”:
“We want to see morality brought back into government,” [Deevers] continued. “I want to see pornography abolished. I want to see no-fault divorce, come back to at-fault in divorce—and even public shaming for those who are at fault in divorce. I want to see abortion abolished. These are the kinds of morality and government issues that we need to get back to.”
Later in the program, Deevers dismissed the concept of separation of church and state, insisting that Christ is “the ruler of all the kings of the Earth” and therefore civil government must always operate under “the presupposition is Christ is Lord.”
The District 32 State Senate special election takes place on December 12. John Montgomery, the Republican who held the seat before resigning in August to become the president and CEO of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, won the election in 2022 with 67% of the vote. Which is to say: This is Deevers’ race to lose.
And that’s horrible news for people in Oklahoma.