I have been receiving emails and posted material urging me to mobilise the Lighthouse congregation to join in a concerted effort to stop the latest embryo and fertilisation legislation.

These have been coming from various evangelical groupings who are making common cause with the Roman Catholics and Anglicans who have been grabbing the headlines on this issue.

No hyperbole seems to be too great for my brethren on this matter. The future of mankind is apparently at stake and I will be guilty if I do not raise my voice in protest.

The proposed technology will attempt to place a nucleus or the chromosomes of an adult person into the the embryonic or egg cell of another mammal species in the hope that “stem cells” can be manufactured.

If the cell can be persuaded to grow and divide it is hoped that the successor cells will become predominantly human stem cells suitable for replanting into the original donor of the genetic tissue.

These cells have great healing potential since they can replace crucial cells in organs like the brain, spinal cord, liver etc. which have been destroyed by illness or trauma.

I personally find this proposal a great improvement on using human embryos for this kind of work and I am irritated by the inevitable invocation of Frankenstein and Dr. Moreau’s Island.

I had no such avalanche of junk mail in the long run up to the Iraq war – indeed many of us seemed to see that adventure as a way of “liberating” the Iraqi Christians. I fear the “sanctity of human life” concept has some very strange applications.

I have a post on human nature on the Theology Review which deals with some of the faulty assumptions behind this propaganda.