An Open Letter to Senator Carey:
29 November, 2005
I read your essay on stem cell research in the Wilmington Journal today. I was happy to see that your vote was consistent with the religious proposition that innocent human life is worthy of protection; I was sorry to read, however, that you would make your vote dependent upon the people’s will. Do you really think that justice ought to be subordinated to the people’s opinion?
As to the factual matters of this issue, I submit that you have confused items of religion with those of biology. The value of human life is, indeed, a matter of religion. We Christians affirm the rights and privileges of human beings over against animals because we believe in the sanctity of human life, created in the image of God (that ancient imago Dei doctrine). We therefore eat plants and animals for our own pleasure and nourishment; moreover, we experiment on them even to their destruction so that we may improve our own health and wellbeing. This is a matter of religion which informs the foundation of our culture and western civilization. This fact you overlooked or chose not to acknowledge.
The matter of biology on which you, like the federal courts over the past three decades, explicitly erred has to do with the beginning of each human life. Human life, like all mammalian life, begins at conception. This fact has been brought into ever-increasing clarity this past century by the use of powerful microscopes and extensive developments in the study of genes and DNA. Unfortunately, moral awareness has developed inversely with biological knowledge, so that even as we can observe a child in the womb with a beating heart at eight weeks, we butcher him partial-birth style nine months later as he nears his time to see the sun.
To say, as you do, that “Many Ohioans believe that human life begins at conception” is a little like saying, “Many Ohioans believe that Ohio State often has a good football team.” What many Ohioans believe has nothing to do with the existence of a fact.
There are, of course, those who recognize the biological facts, but whose religion or world view permits them to candidly advocate the destruction of innocent human life. Take, for instance, the Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the DNA helix, one Francis Crick. This gent believes that human beings ought not to be declared such until the third day after birth after they have been thoroughly examined for good health. Upon discovery of a clean bill of health for an eligible infant, the newborn can be declared human. Of course, this policy recommendation is not born from anything to do with science; rather, it proceeds from Dr. Crick’s neo-pagan religion. Our Nobel Prize winner, for example, holds to a religious viewpoint concerning origins which postulates that life on planet earth came from aliens.
Dr. Crick may have become somewhat of a fool even as the Good Book warns concerning those who persist in rejecting Him (Romans 1:21, 22). But his foolishness does not directly affect citizens as does that of a civil ruler. You are charged by God’s word to do justice (Romans 13). And how shall you know what justice is apart from His Law?
Affirm the sanctity of human life as that which is created in His image and legislate accordingly. When research engages in the intentional destruction of human beings, it is wrong. That truth, not the people’s opinions, is the proper ground for your position on the issues.