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America's Culture War: Stem-Cell Research

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Farther Down the Slippery Slope We Go

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

On October 13, 2001, just thirty-three short days after the World Trade Center tragedy, America lost eight more precious innocent souls. It was not until Sunday, November 25, 2001 that scientists at Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. announced they had created human embryos through a process known as nuclear transfer (cloning). [This is the same group of scientists who reported in the May 22, 1998 issue of Science that they had created a “transgenic” cow/human hybrid embryo.] In discussing their latest endeavor to clone humans, Dr. Michael West, president and CEO of the company, remarked: “I don’t think this is safe yet for human reproduction” (see “Doctor: Cloning...,” 2001), and he then stressed that he does not support cloning to create human beings as a means of reproduction. However, his overall goals are not as altruistic as they might first appear. While Dr. West and his colleagues do not support human cloning as a means of human reproduction, they have absolutely no problem creating human embryos through cloning in order to extract the precious stem cells of which those embryos are composed. West argued: “There are people out there, people we all care for, who are suffering and dying and need therapies now” (“Doctor: Cloning...,” 2001).

Playing on the emotions of individuals, Dr. West coldly remarked: “We’re talking about making human cellular life, not a human life.” He argued: “A human life, we know scientifically, begins upwards, even into two weeks….” And so, hidden under the guise of what many refer to as “therapeutic cloning,” America has found yet another way to destroy innocent life. Proverbs 6:16-17 states: “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.” Who is more innocent than the unborn? Make no doubt about it, this latest declaration has taken us a significant step closer toward human cloning, and a significant step farther away from God and His Word. Creating human life for the sole purpose of later destroying it to obtain stem cells is immoral and evil.

The Advanced Cell Technology study involved eight eggs, two of which divided to form early embryos. One egg progressed to the six-cell stage before it eventually stopped dividing. Were these embryos human life or merely cells? The prophet Isaiah confirmed it this way: “Hearken ye people from afar; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name…. And now saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant…” (49:1,5). Jehovah not only viewed Isaiah as a person prior to his birth, but also called him by name. Additionally, the Lord, speaking to the prophet Jeremiah, stated: “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee…” (1:5). James observed in the book that bears his name: “The body without the spirit is dead” (2:26). If the body apart from the spirit is dead, then the opposite of that statement also must be true, in that if the body is living, then the spirit or soul must be present. It is obvious from these texts that God does not consider life to begin at birth, but rather at conception. Thus, upon conception, when that full complement of chromosomes is actively metabolizing and living, God already has placed within that living embryo a soul. Therefore we must analyze all new scientific technology with this truth in mind—even when diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s tear at the very roots of our own families.

Is it any wonder that we have young people growing up today with no future plans, and who see no value in their existence? Children around our country watch as we kill our unborn young through medical research and abortion. They watch as we prematurely terminate the lives of our elderly through euthanasia, and they listen to news reports that describe how gunfire was exchanged over a pair of tennis shoes. Add to all of this that our children have been receiving a steady diet of evolution—that we are here by accident and originated from ape-like creatures—and you begin to understand why teens place such little value on human life, and why we have tragic school shootings.

In today’s world, there is a growing tendency to ignore the divine principle that life is God-given (Acts 17:28), and to view human life as that which may be destroyed at will. We need to reaffirm that human life, as a gift from God, is sacred! Should Christians make this an issue of moral and ethical concern, or should we as one man said, “Leave it so that discarding laboratory-grown embryos is a matter solely between a doctor and his plumber?” Can we afford to sit idly by and do nothing? James wrote: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (4:17).

REFERENCES

“Doctor: Cloning not Safe for Reproduction, Despite Breakthrough” (2001), CNN, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2001/health/11/26/human.cloning/index.html.




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