This summer Dr. Lee Silver, author of Remaking Eden, predicted the first human clone would be born within a mere six years. And last month, scientist Richard Seed announced he plans to clone himself within two years. And there's nothing to prevent him from doing it. Congress has considered various measures to prevent the cloning of human beings, but so far there is no law against it. Christians need to be thinking now, seriously, about what will happen if human cloning takes place and about what our response ought to be before it becomes an accepted practice. Consider why anyone would want a clone in the first place. Enthusiasts for genetic engineering talk about the prospects of replacing a lost loved one, or using a clone to provide a genetic match for organ donation. Brave New World scenarios even picture cloning super-athletes or super-scientists. What makes all of these examples ethically skewed is that they represent a sub-Christian view of human nature. A clone is a full human being: Clones are not copies of the people they are cloned from any more than identical twins are copies. They would be genetically identical to the parent, but they would be different people and have minds of their own—just like identical twins are separate individuals, and they have different souls. But the reason people give for cloning treat the clone as having less than full dignity, as a means to an end, a tool for meeting personal needs or social engineering goals. Imagine, for example, that an enterprising biomarketing firm decides to clone homerun champ Mark McGwire and supermodel Cindy Crawford. Each of them donates cells and relinquishes parental rights. Imagine what happens when these superbabies are 15-years-old. These kids may look just like Mark McGwire and Cindy Crawford at age 15. But problems have arisen. Mark II, sick of living under Mark McGwire's shadow, despises baseball. He deeply resents being treated like some product. He wants to lead his own life, not fulfill some company's marketing expectations. Or the Cindy Crawford clone has problems, too. Let's imagine that because of the intense pressure put on her to be a supermodel, she turns to God and decides to go into full-time ministry. Everybody deeply resents her decision. After all, the whole point of cloning her was to reproduce a beautiful supermodel who could earn millions of dollars—not a fundamentalist preacher. These scenarios illustrate one of the horrors of cloning. It's hard enough for anyone to escape his parents' expectations, but imagine the unbearable burden of being asked to live the second life of someone who's gone before—the constant pressure to live up to a preconceived image. Scripture teaches that God loves us for our own sake. We're not mere tools or cogs in some scheme of social engineering. We are unique beings, made in His image. We're not here to fulfill some other person's plan for our lives, but rather to discover God's plan. As the cloning debate heats up, Christians need to explore this subject in depth and help our neighbors understand all that is at stake. This is one debate we should get into now, not after it's an established fact.  


Chuck Colson


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