MPs Support Cloning of Human Embryos
On 19 December, MPs passed an amendment to the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act which will allow the cloning of human embryos for medical research. The new regulation was endorsed in a free vote, the Prime Minister being among the 366 MPs who voted for it, while Conservative leader William Hague was among the 174 who voted against.
As it stands, the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act permits licensed research using aborted human embryos for very limited purposes, but the new amendment allows scientists to produce embryos – each one being an early-stage human life – in the laboratory and to experiment on them till they are 14 days old. It is possible that a cloned human baby could be produced by implanting such an embryo into the womb of a woman, and this in turn could lead to the making of “designer babies”.
Indeed, the “creation” of the first genetically modified monkey (given the name ANDi), last month, is also seen by some scientists as a further move in that direction. Dr David King, coordinator of the Campaign Against Human Genetic Engineering, said: “This is yet another step on the slippery slope to designer babies. People should wake up to the fact that genetic engineering of people could be just around the corner. We need a global ban on human genetic engineering, and research directed towards it should not be funded.”
As we said in the last issue (page 28), cloning of human embryos for therapeutic purposes involves the destruction of human life. In the course of research many embryos are cloned and destroyed. God reveals in His Word that life is to be generated only within the marriage bond and in order to glorify Him.
The Queen’s Annual Broadcast
The Daily Telegraph of 26 December stated that the Christian content of the Queen’s broadcast of the previous day “has rarely been made so explicit”. It was encouraging to many that she acknowledged both God and the Lord Jesus Christ – an acknowledgement that is conspicuous by its absence in the speeches of other national leaders. She stated: “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.”
However, it must be said that her Majesty made no mention of the more basic matter of Christ as Saviour. No one can really have Christ as their example, to the glory of God, who does not have Him as their Saviour.
Also, it was a source of dismay to many Christians that she belittled the uniqueness of the Word of God by classing it with the books of false religions. “Of course religion can be divisive,” she said, “but the Bible, the Koran and the sacred texts of the Jews and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, are all sources of divine inspiration . . . .” As might be expected, the ecumenical content of her message was applauded by leaders of some other religions.
Let us ever pray for our rulers and others in authority that they would be enlightened by the Spirit of God and become willingly subject to the King of kings. Then indeed they will become nursing fathers and nursing mothers, spiritually and morally, to their subjects (Isa 49:23), and we shall “lead a quiet and peaceable life” (1 Tim 2:2).
Forgetting the Seventh Commandment
When Section 2a, which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in schools, was repealed last year, the Scottish Executive promised that new guidelines for schools would promote “an awareness of the importance of stable family life and relationships, including the responsibilities of parenthood and marriage”. Few will be surprised that these guidelines seem to place marriage no higher than living together without being married. It is a recipe for disaster. Even where an unmarried partnership has a degree of stability, there cannot be that degree of stability which should follow the vows of marriage. God’s guidelines should be respected.
It is also disturbing to learn that the so-called morning-after pill is now being made available without a doctor’s prescription. It is also being distributed by nurses to pupils in some English schools, without even the guarantee that parents will be informed. Clearly a first step towards cutting down teenage pregnancies is to promote the teaching of Scripture, in particular the fact that the God who created mankind has explicitly commanded, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”.