Response: Reaction strong against clones. - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Response: Reaction strong against clones.

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Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2002 12:00 am

By MEL HUFF

The Brownsville Herald

Claims by a Florida company to have cloned a human were greeted with mostly

negative responses from Rio Grande Valley residents.

The churchs position is that it is beneath the dignity of the human being to

be brought into existence and into the world outside of the conjugal act

between husband and wife, said the Rev. Robert Maher, vicar general of the

Diocese of Brownsville. As soon as we separate the giving of love from the

giving of life, we are interfering with the plan of the Creator.

The announcement by Clonaid, a Florida company run by a sect that believes

life on Earth was created by extraterrestrials, was greeted skeptically across

the country. Clonaid officials said a 7-pound baby girl clone was born to a

31-year-old American woman. No evidence of the babys existence was presented.

Still, the claim was enough to catch the attention of many as the announcement

makes headlines around the world.

Maher noted that cloning cannot be accomplished without many failures. An

attrition rate that might be acceptable in animal cloning is not acceptable in

human cloning.

The cloning company claims that its purpose is to help an infertile couple

have a baby.

But, Maher noted, it is not enough to have a noble goal to legitimate a moral

act.

In this instance, the means are unacceptable, he said.

Human beings exist in their own right for their own good, not to satisfy

anyone elses desire, he said. Parents should bring new life into the world

as an act of giving life, not as an act of having something that they want.

Maher added that the Catholic Church makes a distinction between the cloning

of animals and human organs, and the cloning of human beings.

Its nave to think once we have acquired the scientific ability to

manufacture human life that the day would never come when we would not view

human beings as disposable things, he said.

A corruption of the mind and will easily takes place with the loss of the

sense of sacredness of human life, he said.

That can lead to the belief that we can do whatever we want with human life

if we bring it into existence, its ours as a possession to dispose of as we

see fit, Maher added.

Other Valley residents had similar thoughts.

I guess its not totally surprising because after cloning a sheep, the next

step logically is to try to clone a human being, said Rabbi Frank Joseph of

Temple Bethel.

Joseph said that he favors birth through the natural process.

From the Jewish point of view, there are three partners in the creation of a

human being: the mother, father and God; God being the first Creator, he

said.

Henry Greenspan said he wonders where the companys scientists got their

information about how to manipulate DNA.

I would venture to guess it was from all the medical knowledge they gathered

in the concentration camps, he said.

He said there has been a continuing controversy about using the research of

infamous people like Dr. Josef Mengele, who conducted genetic experiments in

concentration camps during World War II. Greenspan noted that the

experimenters kept meticulous records and did many studies of twins and

triplets.

Do we continue to experiment based on experiments that were done against

human kind? he asked. And are we now trying to do what Hitler thought about

doing, which is creating a master race?

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