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We hope ‘What happens in Missouri stays in Missouri’

Perhaps the most important battle for Indiana’s most innocent residents occurred last Tuesday, and it happened in another state. It was a vote that did not involve a candidate at all. Whether one was Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Socialist, was irrelevant. What was at stake was protecting the lives of those incapable of defending themselves.
Missouri had an amendment on its ballot ‘ one that used the euphemism ‘early stem cell research.’ This was to approve the procedure of cloning human embryos for the purpose of harvesting stem cells. It also specifically prohibited implanting these embryos into a human womb.
In other words, the production of new human life was endorsed, so long as it would be destroyed. Missouri voters by a razor-thin margin have approved for human life to be manufactured in a lab, with the accompanying promise to kill that life when it is no longer useful for the lab’s experiments; prohibiting it from being implanted or ‘adopted’ for implantation. To the Christian ear, this is hideously contrary to God’s sacred gift of life.
Deception of the voting public has been great. This amendment was, in reality, about cloning ‘ stem cell research was a side issue. In addition, the only promising results in the field of stem-cell research have come from adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells. Stem cells from embryos have not produced a single ray of hope. (In fact, embryonic stem cell experiments so far have produced brain tumors in laboratory rats.) Only exaggerated and unscientific opinions have given false hope to those who suffer from Parkinson’s, spinal injuries and a host of other ailments.
Why should we care? Shouldn’t we just leave this to politicians to sort out? Actually, no! The truth is this is not a political issue; it is a Biblical, moral one. Life is not ours to create. Even more so, it is not ours to destroy. Cloning human life is trying to play God (which was the same sin of Adam and Eve in paradise). For that matter, trying to deceive God or others about killing was part of Cain’s sin after he murdered his brother Abel.
For some 33 years, life has become cheap in this country, and that attitude manifests itself in our entertainment. We live in a culture that sees school shootings in the news, extreme ‘shoot-em-up’ video games, humorous murders in sit-coms, and abortion and euthanasia praised by some of our favorite hospital drama series.
Indeed, life has become cheap. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006, it just became cheaper, except for research facilities in Missouri which will now ‘make a killing’ off of the grant funds spent for what we used to call ‘mad-scientist’ laboratories. Now, we pray that this infection does not spread across our great land. We pray that, to spin off of the popular television commercial, ‘What happens in Missouri stays in Missouri!’
Yes, we just witnessed the most important battle for Indiana’s most innocent residents. So now what? Teach. Teach your family your spiritual virtues. Teach them the sanctity and respect of life. Teach them love. And teach them to speak up to defend the innocent who cannot speak for themselves.
Editor’s note: The Rev. Richard Heinz is senior pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church and School near Lanesville.