"PERSONS NOT PROPERTY"
-- "BEGOTTEN NOT MADE"
Life * Family * Freedom * Solidarity
1000 Noelle Court
Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
Rev. Mr. Keith A. Fournier
Founder and President, Common Good
May 6, 2002 for Immediate Release
I am here today to place the full support of "Common Good"
behind passage of the Senate Bill # 1899 entitled the "Brownback-Landrieu
Human Cloning Prohibition Act. What we gather to support
together is more than a piece of legislation; it concerns
the future of freedom itself and concerns the common good.
The protection of the dignity of every human person is the
great human rights struggle of our age.
To "manufacture" human life for the purpose of intentionally
destroying it through experimentation is always and everywhere
wrong. It is intrinsically immoral, unethical and must be
made illegal. Human embryonic life deserves full legal protection
not destruction. Human embryos are persons not property
and to paraphrase the words of the ancient Christian creed,
they are "begotten not made".
We must learn from the horrors of the eugenics movement of
the last century (the bloodiest in human history) that the
end does not justify the means. We have passed this way before.
We have witnessed the bad fruit of a counterfeit notion of
"freedom" as a raw power over others. We have witnessed the
blight of promised "advances" wherein entire groups of people
were relegated to second class status and a "culture of death"
prevailed over a "culture of life".
The stench and smoke of the ovens of the twentieth century
still rise from the memories of the horrid concentration camps.
That horror must never escape our collective memory. Nor should
the shameful images of the bullwhips, the shackles and the
gallows ever fade. The dark shadow of human slavery still
rears its ugly head even in our day.
Justice still cries out against the raw abuse of power over
an entire class of people who were deemed to have no human
rights, treated as human chattel, and enslaved because of
the color of their skin. We must learn from our past as we
build for our future. We must outlaw the "use" of a new class
of persons - those who have no voice because they are hidden
in the womb or, in this instance, manufactured in a test tube
- by a new class of oppressors who treat human lives as a
product for experimentation.
In our "post September 11" world let us together reaffirm
our bedrock commitment to the dignity and sanctity of every
human life, no matter how young or old; no matter whether
in the womb or outside its once safe refuge; no matter how
elderly or infirm; no matter what color, race or creed!
It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human
life - even if a potential good is promised. There must be
no unwanted humans. If "wanted-ness" becomes the criteria
for personhood and legal protection it is the poor, the elderly
and those without a voice who are the next in line. The ability
for any person to survive without the need of help from others
cannot become the criteria for "humanness" either; to do so
will end civilization as we know it. We are made for one another
and we are our brother's keeper.
Human embryonic life must never be manufactured, "harvested"
or cloned in order to intentionally destroy that life. This
is the inevitable result of cloning. To do so always kills
a human person. There are other morally legitimate and scientifically
justified efforts underway that can explore the legitimate
promise of stem cell research and the promise of medical advances.
We support good science and the common good together.
I am here today to pledge "Common Good" a way, work and movement
dedicated to life, family, freedom and solidarity, to this
great effort. Through our foundation we will educate on this
vital issue until the full truth is known by the American
people. Through our Alliance we will lobby for this vitally
important legislation and other important legislative efforts
that promote the Common Good.
There simply is no more important work on earth.
The future of civilization itself is at risk.
Rev. Mr. Keith A. Fournier is the Founder
and President of "Common Good" and a member of the Catholic
clergy, serving as a deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia.
Attorney Fournier is a constitutional lawyer and policy activist/consultant,
with extensive experience in the practice of law, association
leadership and policy work spanning a twenty-year professional
career. He is also a founder and builder of several policy
efforts dedicated to life, family, and authentic economic,
religious and human freedom.