As a former scientist who performed DNA fingerprinting for cancer, I am keenly interested in the current state of DNA analysis and diagnosis based on it.
Services like 23andMe and others promise not only to suggest possible medical conditions your genes might predispose you to, they also promise to expose your racial heritage.
But as a conservative who wishes we were really in the post racial society envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and who is tired of the drumbeat of leftist race-oriented politics, the interest in one’s genetic origins strikes me as something worse than a search for personal identity – it seems more like a rejection of western ideals due to the white hegemony and current discontent with racial inequities in the West.
Restated, many people are attempting to find identity and morality outside of the great ideals created by the Reformation and the Englightenment. The problem is, ethnic and alternate global spiritualities have never been a better foundation for personal and societal health than Christianity and reason.
Enjoying parts of Irish or African culture and heritage is fine, but being proud of being white or black, or bringing with us the pagan values of our ancient cultures are a step away from the ideas that made the west free and prosperous. Or as Peter the Apostle wrote:
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers (1 Peter 1:18)
Is it interesting that I am an Ashkenazi Jew with Polish and Hungarian roots? Yes. Is this my identity? No. Am I a white American? No. I am an American who holds American and Christian values. No DNA test telling me of my ethnic heritages, known or unknown, will make me less American, nor more of the human family.