Cloning rally at Jeff City draws near
JEFFERSON CITY – Alan Keyes, former United States ambassador to the United Nations and a powerful pro-life orator, will be the featured speaker July 31 in a 7 p.m. rally here at Concord Baptist Church that is designed to help mobilize pastors for the fight against the proposed constitutional amendment promoting the spread of embryonic stem cell research, or cloning.
The Concord rally is the first of five that are in the process of being scheduled across the state. Other rallies will be held Aug. 17 in Cape Girardeau at Notre Dame High School and Aug. 28 in St. Louis at Life Christian Center. Events in Kansas City and Springfield were yet to be scheduled as of press time. All rallies begin at 7 p.m., with a complimentary dinner for pastors and their wives at 5 p.m.
Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America and a member of First Baptist Church, Martinsville, Texas, is a close friend with Keyes and has been working with Missouri pastors to set up the rallies. Monte Shinkle, pastor of Concord Baptist, was glad to provide a venue in mid-Missouri for the inaugural event.
“I’m fully cognizant of the importance of this issue of embryonic stem cell research,” Shinkle said. “In spite of however the political winds might blow, I think we have to make a very strong statement for the pro-life position. Adult stem cell research is a good thing. Embryonic stem cell research is a Pandora’s Box that could open up to a whole host of bad things.
“We’ve had some of the great ethicists of this day (at Concord), and I just kind of see this as a natural continuance for us to have Alan Keyes here, plus the opportunity to rally people across denominational lines.”
Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) President Ralph Sawyer said the July 31 meeting ought to be viewed by Missouri Baptist pastors as a way for them to join forces with pastors from other denominations for the purpose of waging war against the cloning amendment in the summer and the fall.
“This gives Missouri Baptists an opportunity to cooperate with other like-minded Christians who are concerned about embryonic stem cell research,” Sawyer said. “If they go to some of these rallies, they can really make a difference. When we pull ourselves together, that’s when we have the largest impact upon society.”
MBC Executive Director David Clippard said the Keyes speech could serve as a kickoff to a season of biblically based cloning instruction for Missouri Baptist pastors that is vitally needed.
“This is even a bigger challenge than the marriage amendment (in 2004), because it is such an emotional issue,” Clippard said. “The homosexual marriage (issue) was very clear, biblical, black and white, but this one has so much emotion attached to it. The real key is we’ve got to teach our people the biblical basis for this.”
Keyes is described on his website, www.alankeyes.com, as a seasoned statesman, genuine conservative, well-educated leader, pro-life champion and dedicated family man. Credentials within those categories include: a Ph.D. in government from Harvard; president of Citizens Against Government Waste; 1996 and 2000 presidential candidate; host of the MSNBC television commentary show “Alan Keyes is Making Sense,” in 2002; and 11 years with the U.S. State Department.
His appearance at Concord, Shinkle said, is “all a part of bringing people along, understanding the issues of our day, that everyone needs to develop a Christian ethic—not just say that we’re Christians, but in all of our decisions, even the way we think and address issues, we do it in a biblical manner, a Christian manner.”
Scarborough is committed to traveling throughout Missouri from now until the date of the upcoming vote with the goal of talking with hundreds, if not thousands, of pastors and denominational leaders. He said the key to defeating the proposed cloning amendment is mobilizing and motivating pastors in order to produce the desired majority of “no” votes on Nov. 7.
“If this amendment passes, the state will have to fund a lot of the research,” he said. “Don’t let them lie to you about this, because it’s then in the state constitution. The time to fix this is now; not wait until it’s come home to roost.”
“I believe this is the defining issue of the culture war at the present time,” he said. “This is Genesis 3 revisited – Satan telling people in a very subtle, convincing way that this will make life better, you can be like God.
“We’re not against medical science. We’re against medical science without conscience, because we know that ultimately poor women will be exploited by this, just like they are by abortion now.
“They’re going to create life in order to end life to advance life. That is not God’s way.”