Rally energizes foes of Amendment 2
RAYTOWN – Sept. 11, 2006, marked the fifth anniversary of a terrible evil brought to America’s shores. It also marked a rally to keep a different evil from becoming entrenched in the Missouri Constitution.
The fourth of five such scheduled rallies across the state saw approximately 900 people of various faiths gathered at First Baptist Church, Raytown, in an effort to rally Christians to vote against Amendment 2, which would protect embryonic stem cell research and allow human cloning and the destruction of human life.
Ironically, the main roads to and from First Baptist sported billboards on all sides promoting Amendment 2, and the controversial “life-saving cures” its supporters promise.
As in other rallies around the state, the night featured: Rick Scarborough, a former Southern Baptist pastor and founder of Vision America, one of the rally’s sponsors; Dr. Shao-Chun Chang, a medical doctor and instructor at Washington University Medical Research Institute in St. Louis; and Alan Keyes, a former ambassador to the United Nations and presidential candidate.
Unlike previous rallies, the Raytown event had two unexpected guests who threw the consequences of stem cell research into sharp focus.
Ian and Emmalyn are the twins of Robert and Anna Burnett. The two 13-month-olds are “snowflake babies,” babies born from frozen embryos that, had they not been adopted, would be destroyed. It is such embryos that the cloning lobby in Missouri wants for their research. The Burnetts were on hand at the White House in July when President George W. Bush vetoed a law that would have lifted restrictions on stem cell research.
“We urge you to vote ‘no’ on Amendment 2, because there is another option, and that’s adoption,” Robert Burnett said.
Robert Finn, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, said Christians must cooperate if the amendment is to be defeated.
“Your pastors and I have a special obligation to speak out against this evil in our state,” he said. “We must do our part and dear friends, so must you. You must speak out.”
Scarbough called the uphill battle against embryonic stem cell research a “David and Goliath” battle that the church must fight.
“But remember, David won!” he said. “The church of God can only lose when we don’t engage in the fight. I’m calling you, whether you attend a big church or a small church, whether you’re black or white, male or female, to stand up and let your voice be heard. This is a hill on which to die.”
Chang came at the question from a scientific point of view, saying that the acts protected by Amendment 2 are cloning and destructive.
“Science tells us these embryos are human beings and it tells us this can be done,” Chang said. “But science cannot tell us if this is right or wrong. That is a moral issue and from a moral standpoint, it is wrong.”
As the keynote speaker, Keyes compared the evils of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
“Those innocent people five years ago were killed by those who wanted their agenda and to make their point,” he said. “They didn’t care if innocent life was trampled on. In Missouri you’ve been promised all these miracle cures from embryonic stem cells, but what is the price? All you have to do is show a willingness to sacrifice those innocent embryonic lives.”
Both Keyes and Scarborough squared off with a somewhat hostile media during a pre-rally press conference. One reporter asked whether a Maryland resident, Keyes, and a Texan, Scarborough, had any right to argue against an amendment to Missouri’s constitution.
“It doesn’t matter where I’m from if I’m telling the truth,” Keyes told the press.
Scarborough expressed surprise that “the secular press has accepted the lies of the cloners without questioning them.”
Christians Against Human Cloning and Vision America hope to host at least three more rallies across the state between now and Nov. 7. A rally in Springfield will take place at 7 p.m., Sept. 21, at Central Assembly of God Church. A complimentary dinner for pastors and wives begins at 5 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, call 1-866-522-5582. Organizers hope to host rallies in St. Charles and St. Louis. For the latest information, visit www.missouriansfortruth.org.