Playing God explores ethical arguments surrounding genetic engineering by proposing the possibility of resurrecting individuals from traces of their DNA. The short story revolves around the assumption that the Shroud of Turin could be used to 3D print a new Jesus, thereby bringing about his Second Coming and a possible apocalypse.
Deacon Geppetto of the Church of His Holy Second Coming switches on the shoddy television in his quarters, the low buzzing comes as a welcomed respite to his long day of judgement and protest. The Deacon could be found most weekdays outside the CRISPR Therapeutics compound leading a rorious crowd in limerick chants while furiously waving signs reading “Stop Playing God!”, “Gene Editing Satanists” and the curt abbreviation “WWJD?”.
The Deacon’s ears perk up when he hears the words “Shroud” and “Turin” mumbled from the screen in the corner. He quickly turns the volume up a few clicks. The buoyant newscaster has managed to capture his attention as the Deacon has long been enamored with the artifact said to have wrapped the body of Christ.
“WHAT IS THIS BLASPHEMY!”, shouts the now irate holy man. The journalist on scene at the forensic facility, reports that DNA has been successfully lifted from the shroud; leading to a widespread debate among members of the Christian faith over whether the DNA sample should be used to facilitate Christ’s Second Coming.
The reporter, unaffected by the Deacon’s shouts, goes on to conclude “the gene editing technology which was successfully implemented in the resurrection of the majestic Mastodon could possibly lead to a prophesied Apocalypse, but it would also give us the answer to the long awaited question, “What in fact Would Jesus Do?”.