CloningRev. James Lamb, National Director, LFL
National Lutheran sfor Life, March 19, 2997; Permission granted by National LFL
One can hardly send out a newsletter these days, especially in the pro-life arena, without mentioning cloning. Much ink is being spilled since Scottish scientists announced the cloning of Dolly from another sheep, who so far has remained nameless.
The leap was quickly made to the possibility of human clones. Politicians, ethicists, theologians, reporters are all making statements and the "what ifs" and rumors are flying. Like the report that human cloning already happened in Brussels, Belgium four years ago. Not true. What took place was called "twining." It is a process that happens naturally about 4,000 times a day somewhere in the world. The result is identical twins, not clones. What the Belgium professor did in his in vitro fertilization laboratory was stimulate twining by "rubbing" an embryo to improve the chances of its implantation.
Nevertheless, human cloning is a real possibility. So, would LFL be for or against such a thing? At first I thought that question is kind of like asking, "Are you for or against walking on cut glass?" But, then, that may have been the same kind of response people gave 30 years ago to the question, "Are you for or against killing babies in the womb?"
While quickly conducted polls show most Americans opposed to human cloning and while President Clinton sets up a study commission, while group after group speak against it, nevertheless, the cracks in this solid wall of opposition can already be seen. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa says, "The attempt to limit human knowledge is demeaning to human nature. What utter, utter nonsense to think we can hold up a hand and say stop it." Harkin went on to say he expects to see human cloning in his lifetime. "I don't fear it at all. I welcome it."
Soon there will also be the "compassion litany." "It may be evil, but think of the good that could come from it. We could clone people for spare parts, bring an end to the effects of deadly diseases, replicate a replacement child for one who is dying. Think what this could mean to families, spouses, grieving parents?" These very same "compassion arguments," by the way, are being used right now to justify use of fetal tissue for treatment of various neurological diseases. I have read about the implications of the dangers of human cloning in regard to ethics, legality, human freedom, and my very favorite, "One of each of us is enough!" Such dangers (including the last one if you think about it) need to be taken seriously. The bottom line for Christians, however, is the bottom line of so many things going on in our world, whether they be replication or reproduction. It is, in fact, the bottom line of all our problems. "You can be like God."
Human cloning is taking this basic sin to new heights of human arrogance. So once again the Christian may be called upon to be salt and light and to proclaim the truth of God's Word.
"Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." (Psalm 100:3 NAS)
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