Statement in support
of the Brownback-Landrieu Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S.
by the Reverend Dr. Charles B. Nestor
Senior Fellow for Public Policy, National Clergy Council
Senior Pastor of the Manassas Assembly of God Church
I am the Reverend Dr. Charles Nestor, Senior Fellow for Public
Policy of the National Clergy Council and Senior Pastor of
the Manassas Assembly of God Church in Bristow, Virginia.
I have struggled with diagnosed multiple sclerosis, an incurable,
progressive, and degenerative disease of the central nervous
system for 12 years.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease mentioned prominently among
the many that would benefit from so-called but unsubstantiated
therapeutic cloning. I support the passage of the Brownback-Landrieu
Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S. 1899).
Why has our society rejected the practice of the harvesting
of human organs, the medical experimentation on prisoners
and mental hospital patients, and the warehousing and passive
euthanasia of comatose patients and infirm seniors?
Why is the name Joseph Mengele a metaphor for unethical,
immoral, and horrific treatment of human life throughout the
civilized world? It is because our culture, informed by its
Judeo-Christian ethic, condemns as unacceptable any practice,
which would allow one person to benefit by the taking of the
life of another.
The people of the United States are renowned for their compassion,
generosity, and motivation to relieve the suffering of others.
However, this nation has never codified any practice as moral,
ethical, or legal, which would permit one human being to be
sacrificed without consent for the advantage of another.
The current discussion surrounding human cloning for therapeutic
purposes fails philosophically and morally, because it is
based on "end-justifies-the means" reasoning. No one would
deny the value of cured diseases, or prolonged and increased
quality of life. The manner in which these valuable ends are
achieved must be equally moral and ethical to be acceptable.
Cloning of humans is simply not a right means.
To make the production, sale, and barter of human embryos
an acceptable and affirmed practice would devalue human life
to the level of a consumer commodity. We as a culture have
in practice and in law established that human life is not
to be bought, sold, and traded as mere chattel. An industry
is waiting to be born that profits from egg harvesting, DNA
patenting, and embryo production and marketing.
There are differing views among us as to when human life
begins. Some would say at fertilization. Others say at viability
or when nurtured within a mother's womb. Still others would
opt for the moment of first breath. As long as there is deeply
held and profound disagreement on this subject, human cloning
must be forestalled by law in this country.
It is a fact that not one successful treatment has come from
human somatic cell nuclear transfer. It is a fact that, if
such cloned human embryos were implanted within a mother's
womb and carried to term, the result would be the birth of
a living human child. It is a fact that successful treatments
are being developed from non-embryonic stem cells.
The known facts should give us pause and call us to halt
a practice, which is fueled by speculation, and promulgated
by greed. The majority of people in this country do not want
the cloning of humans to occur. This bill should be passed
and signed into law because it is the right thing to do. It
is the moral and ethical thing to do.
Personally, I long for the day that the myelin cells surrounding
my spine are regenerated. I long for the day that I can play
golf, that I can play ball with my grandchildren, and that
I can walk through the shopping mall with my wife. I would
never want that day to come as the result of a human life
being sacrificed so that I could benefit.
The passage of the Brownback-Landrieu Human Cloning Prohibition
Act (S. 1899) is the right thing. It is the moral thing. It
is the civilized thing to do.