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Volume 69, Issue 106, Monday, March 9, 2004

Opinion
 

Concern for life crosses party lines

By Jennifer Jackson

Germany's justice minister recently attempted to pass a ruling stating that embryos conceived outside of the womb should not be given human-dignity protection. Apparently he feels such embryos are not quite human enough. Fortunately, he failed to pass this ruling because of strong opposition, but you'll never guess who led the opposition.

It was not the pro-lifers, the Christians or even conservatives, although they had a part. It was the Green Party leading the battle cry. Surprised? There's more.

It is Europe, known for typically being liberal, which passed a law against therapeutic cloning -- a law that the U.S. Congress is far too squeamish to go near. 

Environmentalists are not usually accused of being conservative, especially here in the United States -- where they are not taking up the battle against cloning with the fervor of the Europeans. That battle, in the United States, has been left to the Christians. Conservatives -- whom are not normally accused of tree-hugging, but often charged with carelessness or indifference to the environment's condition.

It is unfortunate that these two groups are considered to be ideological opposites, because they are, in fact, natural allies.

In Europe the cloning battle is important to the Green Party because of its strong belief in the sanctity of life. Sound familiar? That's because American Christians are using the same arguments against cloning. These two groups ought to be fighting together.

However, American environmental groups seem to have become caught up in maintaining a liberal outlook and appearance, which of course means being against all conservative stances. But at what cost does this liberal maintenance come? Environmentalists have lost sight of their main battle -- protecting and promoting the sanctity of life.

Christians, similarly, have forgotten that the environment is something they ought to care about. Protecting and preserving God-given life includes taking care of the Earth. In addition to this mentality, according to the Bible, the earth is a gift from God, created for man. Christians ought to feel a responsibility to take care of this gift and should never be found guilty of carelessly misusing natural resources.

Still, without the Christian belief that each human is created for a purpose and endowed with worth by a creator, the stance of the U.S. environmentalists actually makes more sense. Perhaps they have realized that life really can't be sacred in an evolutionary world. In that case, maybe it's the Europeans who are, however admirably, fervently fighting for an issue that they have not taken to its logical conclusion.

Assuming that environmentalists will continue to wear the label of protectors of life, America would do well to take a lesson from Europe and realize who its real allies are. American Christians should also be actively fighting to protect the environment alongside the environmentalists.

As trite as it might sound, we accomplish more together. But first you have to get off the bandwagon of mindless party and ideology conformity and do some thinking on your own. But here's a warning: After doing some original thinking you will most likely surprise yourself with the next bandwagon you decide to hop on.

Jackson, a columnist for The Daily Cougar, 
can be reached at jenny@mail.scholars.uh.edu.
 

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