This is an e-mail that I sent to the Spiritual Formation and Social Justice Team from the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. I was very concerned that they were telling churches within the Conference to support Amendment 2 this upcoming election cycle; and I had one of those “ARG” moments…you know, the ones where you JUST have to fire off an e-mail or letter letting them know how you feel. So, here it is for your reading/commenting pleasure:
Cathleen and Allen,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Richard Davis, and I am one of the laity at Trinity UMC in Brookfield, MO. I am also in the Candidacy Program in preparation for future ministry opportunities within the Conference.
The reason for my correspondence today is to express my concern with the stance that the Spiritual Formation and Social Justice Team is taking over the upcoming Amendment 2 proposition that is on the November 2006 election ballot. After reading in yesterday’s NetNews that the Team is in favor of passage of this ground-breaking piece of legislation, I felt that my dissenting voice, among many others in the northern Missouri area, needs to be heard by Conference staff.
Stem-cell research is very important as we progress in finding cures for a multitude of diseases and afflictions plaguing the world today; many wonderful cures and/or therapies may be obtained from this research in the future. However, to “create” a blastocyte, as the wording in this amendment states, is the same as creating a life. God says in His Word that He is the Creator; not mankind. It doesn’t matter that this mass of cell is still in a formative state and doesn’t resemble a human being; it is still a human life in the process of growing. It also doesn’t matter that this life is not implanted in-utero; we have seen in the past few years that cloning is a viable option outside of a mother’s womb, whether that mother be an animal or a human.
The opening words of this amendment deliberately misleads people into believing that they would be voting against human cloning; however, as one reads further into the text, it states that “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.” This does not mention any scientific research outside of the uterus. This is nothing more than the production and harvesting of human life (no matter how small that life is). It is the proposed murder of countless numbers for the sake of scientific endeavor. How can we justify creating life just to kill life?
Adult stem cell research has so far yielded surprising results; embryonic stem cell research has given us no cures; and no hope.
According to the wording of this amendment, the Missouri legislature won’t even have the opportunity to regulate the companies and institutions that clone humans for research purposes. Amendment 2 bluntly states that no state or local law may “prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research….” This basically allows the companies and research facilities the right to conduct embryonic stem cell research established by Amendment 2 above the rule of law. They would be able to operate as their own “gods” when it comes to the mass cloning of human lives. What they say would go; no one would be able to interfere with their agendas.
The primary funders of Amendment 2 are the Stowers family, who are also the founders of a multi-billion dollar medical research institute. The family has thus far spent $1 million to get this initiative onto the ballot, and they have also committed an additional $10 million to the campaign. Opponents to the amendment do not have similar financial resources to contribute to the dissenting side, so most of what we are being subjected to via the media is viewed in a positive light.
This measure is not just about allowing and funding embryonic stem cell research (which would be good enough reasons to oppose it); it is all about creating more constitutional protection for cloning. Even the horrors of abortion (which is also against what the Word of God says) do not have this kind of constitutional protection behind it.
The moral and ethical issues with Amendment 2 go far beyond just the mere wording; this is a spiritual battle that will test the mettle of Who we believe in, and for the Truth as it stands in the Bible. God says human life is His creation alone; it is not the work of man. Instead of embracing the man-made creation of life for the purposes of medical research wholeheartedly, we as Christians, should stand up with one voice and let those voices be heard. And, as the Body of Christ, we need to look at the vast implications of this amendment and, as a unified Missouri Conference, let our people know that this is totally against what the Word of God says and vote according to that spiritual Truth.
Thank you for your time. I pray that God will speak to your hearts concerning this matter.
Blessings in Christ,
So…that was my take on the matter. I received a reply back just the other day (mind you, I sent this two weeks ago) that was basically all sugar-coated with “feel-good” wording which frankly disappointed me. I thought that if enough people spoke up on the matter, they might reconsider their stance.
But at least a dissenting voice was heard; even though it may be one crying in the wilderness, I will never let my focus about important issues and events waver from what God says in His Word, and what He wants for our lives.