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My first son, Adam, was born November 12, six weeks before the Raelian cult announced to the world that they had successfully delivered the first cloned baby. Brigitte Boisselier, the group's scientific director, nicknamed the baby Eve.
Adam was born naturally, with his mother's eyes and his father's nose, conceived in the loving union of man and wife. But as this tiny living person formed and grew in his mother's womb, his parents marveled at the mystery of taking part in God's creation. There was no question: God had created this being as surely as he had created the first man, and only he could breathe the breath of life into him.
Eve, on the other hand, was conceived of the demonic ambition of people desiring to become God, to manipulate nature and pervert science to defy death and achieve immortality. It's a story as old as the tower of Babel, as old as Lucifer and Adam and Eve in the Garden. Even the name they chose belies their blasphemous self-confidence--creating a woman from a rib.
But the Raelians are wrong about one thing: they didn't create this baby. Despite the evil designs of the scientists who engineered her conception, it was God who gave her life, and she would never have been born without his blessing. Eve is a child of God as surely as my son Adam is, created by God in his image to love and serve and glorify him.
Don't get me wrong. Cloning is an abomination that mocks God and the natural order he has established. It should be banned internationally, and roundly condemned by all who have reverence for life. If the research conducted on animals is any indication, Eve and those that follow will likely suffer greatly for the sins of their fathers or mothers. Cloned cattle, for example, have been plagued with unexplained high rates of congenital defects and other abnormalities. Then there is the prospect of abuse of this science by people with even more twisted ideologies. Humanity will surely pay dearly for taking this path.
The Raelians--and the more qualified but equally unscrupulous scientists who have been racing to be first to this milestone--are not only egomaniacs, but shameless profiteers as well. They are exploiting the grief of bereaved parents with the false promise of resurrecting their lost children, manipulating the frustration of infertile couples who will pay any amount to have a child, and appealing to homosexual couples dependent on hi-tech fertilization methods. (According to the Raelians, one of several more clones they are nurturing will be born to a lesbian couple within a month.)
Eve is innocent, just as is the child of rape. To welcome such a child in no way condones the crime that led to its conception. This is the terrible and wonderful mystery of God's working. His ways are past our understanding. He allows these evil things to happen; he can even use them for good.
God has a purpose and plan for every child sent into the world, no matter the circumstances of their birth. Perhaps Eve was sent to turn us from this madness, to ensure that cloning doesn't become the next logical step in a society that has already embraced genetic engineering of plants and animals, in vitro fertilization, and homosexual marriage as natural and acceptable practice.
Maybe it's too much to hope that Eve's birth will shock us into changing course. Clearly, she can't save the world. But God can, and will. May that day come soon, for the sake of Adam and Eve and all God's children.
-- by Sam Hine
[Sam Hine is a member of the Bruderhof movement and an editor at http://www.bruderhof.com.]
Copyright 2003 by Sam Hine