On the surface, President Bush's decision to allow for limited federal funding of research on 60 genetically diverse stem cell lines that "already exist " and have "already been destroyed" seems reasonable. But to anyone who has taken a course in logic or philosophy, Bush has opened a door, however reluctantly, that will not again be closed.
He has established - morally, politically and ethically - the principle that it is permissible to experiment on a living component of the human race, even for the presumed benefit of other members of the human race. As The Family Research Council's Ken Connor noted, this is the "fruit of the poisoned tree. Courts have long held that to allow government to benefit from a wrongful act provides an unhealthy incentive to persist in such acts."
We have been persisting in such acts since the wrongful act of Roe vs. Wade, 28 years ago. If the government can fund these "limited experiments," what is to stop government from unlimited experiments? Only more pressure from science, more parades of the sick and disabled before Congress and more morally (and legally) vacuous rulings by the Supreme Court, all of which are coming. A number of members of Congress have already said they will introduce legislation to open the experimental stem cell door even wider.
Like the European Jews whose destiny was sealed when they had the misfortune to live under the boot of Adolph Hitler, the fate of millions of unborn babies was determined when they had the bad luck to be conceived in the anti-life era that officially began in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade, but had its roots in an anti-God culture which began decades earlier.
A nation that will not protect babies at the moment of their birth is not likely to acquire a latent morality on the way to exterminating them at ever-earlier stages. Europe, which has for decades outpaced the United States in secularism and the horrors that have flowed from that philosophy, openly speculates about which nation will host the scientists who will first clone humans.
The New York Times editorializes against cloning, but that newspaper, which regularly endorses abortion for any reason and at any stage, long ago gave up any right to be heard on this subject. President Bush, too, opposes cloning, but that opposition will be seen as one man's sentimentality. We are now viewed as complex machines to be dissected and used for whatever purpose the majority may wish.
During last year's campaign, candidate George W. Bush courageously advanced many arguments in favor of life. He did the same in his Thursday night speech, but he reached a conclusion not based on his pro-life position. He adopted the "potential for life" argument that undermines his own stated convictions. Such a view weakens a pro-life position because it allows those already born to impart value to the life of another simply by stating, without any anchor in objective truth, who has a right to live and who does not.
What and who is next? Can anyone stop this? If so, on what basis? If we can steal the essential elements of life from others not yet born, why not exterminate those at the other end of life? Why not kill the elderly and the infirm when they have become a "burden" on Social Security and Medicare, on society, or even on relatives eager to access an estate before much of it goes for long-term care?
Now that they have abandoned any pretense about the uniqueness of human life, what is to prevent scientists, ethicists and even some of the useful idiot clergy from signing off on euthanasia, though in Orwellian style they will call it something else, lest our darkened souls see any light.
It's over now. Science has declared itself God. And government is its high priest. Let us worship, or else. The "or else" may come anyway because others have now acquired the right to decide the conditions under which you will be permitted to continue your life or whether, for the supposed "good" and "benefit" of others, you will have to die.