In the science fiction film "Blade Runner," scientists created a type of clone called "replicants." They ended up manufacturing thousands of them and turning them into slaves. Well, whatever else the film might have been, it was a good example of what happens when we view humans as a means to an end instead of beings created in God's image.

In cloning, an adult gene is implanted into an egg that has been stripped of its genetic content. Some scientists would like to create huge numbers of cloned human embryos to be used in research and then destroyed. In the process, humans would be turned into commodities.

Supporters have made dazzling promises about the medical breakthroughs that would result if we allow these human embryo farms. But there are a few things the scientists and supporters aren't telling you--and they're things you need to know because tomorrow the House of Representatives will vote on two cloning bills.

First, those who favor the cloning of humans for research claim cloned human embryos are not really embryos at all. False! A cloned human egg, if allowed to develop, will grow into a human baby--just as a cloned sheep egg resulted in "Dolly," the famous cloned sheep.

Second, cloning of animals has not been as successful as we've been led to believe. In fact, some of the results have been grotesque. Human dignity demands that people never be treated as a means to an end. But cloning is justified on exactly these grounds: as a means of helping infertile couples or improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson's.

But once we play Creator--treating people at any stage of life as means to an end--we dehumanize them. Most congressmen would not dream of getting up on the House floor and repealing the 13th Amendment that prohibited slavery. But they feel perfectly comfortable voting to create a class of humans whose only purpose is to serve their needs. In other words, a race of slaves.

Half a century ago, C.S. Lewis predicted the arrival of the technological revolution and he warned us what would happen if we ever started viewing humans, not as individuals made in God's image, but merely as commodities. In his essay "The Abolition of Man," Lewis said, "If man chooses to treat himself as raw material, raw material he will be: not raw material to be manipulated, as he fondly imagined, by himself, but [by] his dehumanized conditioners." In other words, once we conquer nature, nature conquers us.

We need to let our representatives know today what we think about human cloning. I urge you to call your representatives and ask them to support the Weldon-Stupak Cloning Prohibition Act, which would ban all human cloning. Further, ask them to oppose the Greenwood amendment. This amendment has been called the "clone and kill" bill because it would allow bio-tech firms to set up human embryo farms where human embryos would be mass produced, then killed and used for medical research.

We must help our neighbors understand what's at stake here, and why we oppose cloning. It's because God created us, not as commodities, but as unique beings--in His own image.
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