Full disclosure: I no longer consider myself a Christian. I was raised a Southern Baptist, which I found an extremely intolerant, judgmental, and ignorant lifestyle. Once I matured emotionally and intellectually, I shed that myopic view of the world and now consider myself a secular humanist.
Many have suggested that Thomas Aquinas played an important role in Western civilization’s climb out of the Dark Ages. Aquinas averred that reasoning was a gift from God and that Aristotle was therefore acceptable in the eyes of Catholic doctrine. In a speech at Regensburg, Germany, in September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI attempted to uphold Aquinas’s position when he stated that reasoning is an important part of Christian life. However, reasoning is in direct conflict with the Church’s position on human stem cell research and cloning. Benedict was wrong; when reason is applied to Christian mythology, we find that human stem cell research and cloning are not only permitted but required by the fictitious Christian deity.
According to Christian theology, there is nothing short of a mandate from God for human beings to emulate Jesus (Jesus being one third of the “one god”). Christian doctrine does not accept a division between God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. From the Christian perspective (Catholic or Protestant), human beings have an obligation to live a life that emulates their mythic god. Christians cite John 13:15, where the Greek verb upódeigma is used to clearly explain that their god’s behavior is to be viewed as an example to copy or imitate. Describing Jesus in 1 Peter 2:21, the noun upoógrammóV (example or model) is used. This is not a minor precept but rather a foundational tenet: Christians are to emulate their god.
Christians believe that their supernatural deity created human beings. Obviously, to meet the emulation edict, Christians, too, should create human beings. In the biblical account of the creation of humans in Genesis 1:28, God reportedly commanded: “be fruitful and multiply. . . .” This direct command does not limit by what means humans are to multiply. Christians believe their god created humans without engaging in sexual intercourse, so arguably, neither should Christians. This is a chain of reasoning that Christians can only escape by claiming to know intuitively (that is, through faith) that cloning is wrong. Balanced against a direct, unambiguous command from God (“be fruitful and multiply”), there can be no doubt that Christians should firmly support the cloning of human beings.
What view of human embryonic stem cell research does Christian theology truly support? Conservative Christians decry human embryonic stem cell research as the murder of innocent human beings. Medical science teaches us that the human female body (which the Christian god supposedly designed) aborts four or five fetuses for every live human birth. In other words, the Christian god takes the life of four or five innocent human beings to create one (through human cloning, I assume we will eventually improve on God’s results).
Christian reasoning should also recognize the “goodness” of taking innocent human life for the sake of other human life. The most glaring example of this behavior to be emulated is the Christian’s eagerly embraced responsibility for the torture and murder of the innocent Jesus (the very purpose for which we are taught that Jesus was sent to earth). If there is one element of Christian theology that is necessary to Christianity, it is the idea that an innocent life (Jesus) was properly sacrificed for humanity. Therefore, an analogous sacrifice of innocent life (namely, human embryonic stem cells) for humanity’s sake should be considered one of the most divinelike actions we could imitate.
How ludicrous are the results when we mix religion with reason!