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The astonishing election of Barack Obama to the presidency was a great moment and also a tragic one.

It was a great moment for human equality: during endless decades, blacks have felt like strangers in their own land -- not truly bona fide citizens. One can only imagine how it feels not to be fully at home in the nation of one's birth. When Afro-Americans look to Washington, they will now see one of their own, as Catholics did in 1960 with Kennedy. To view their joy election night was unforgettable. 

That was the great aspect of it. Racism -- prejudice -- is evil. Everyone should cheer at the advancements of African-Americans, and celebrate their equality. That was truly joyous. Who could not savor that aspect?

The tragedy is that the first Afro-American president -- this man of undeniable intelligence, likeability, and skill, who caused a historic moment -- is so radically "pro-choice" and in fact is now ready to take us to a new level of danger.

The danger is not only his tremendously strong support for abortion (which includes partial-birth), but also human-embryonic stem cell research, which causes the destruction of human life at its earliest stage -- just after conception (just like abortion) -- and occurs when cells are cultured and manipulated for medical use, leaving the nascent human, conceived outside the womb, in a lab dish, at a fertility clinic, to die at the age of four or five days.

In most cases this is done by the simple in vitro fertilization of an egg with sperm, but such embryos can also be multiplied through cloning.

Sources indicate that President-elect Obama will move to initiate and expand such research immediately upon entering the Oval Office, through an executive order.

Make no mistake. This is a spiritual crisis. For those who believe that life begins at conception (and despite a woeful lack of attention to the issue by pro-lifers during the election), human embryonic destruction is comparable to any other form of abortion.

And as with abortion, it will lead to future tragedy.

The research will almost certainly be approved and funded by the Democratically-controlled Congress, where House leader Nancy Pelosi has long expressed urgent support for it, as has Senator John McCain, and as has Senator Hillary Clinton -- whose pro-choice position is as radical as Obama's (though she has escaped the vitriol directed at him).

It is a truly "stealth" danger. Once approved, the number of human embryos could skyrocket. At least 400,000 have been frozen already in the U.S., although just a small percentage -- 11,000 -- have thus far been designated for research (according to one recent assessment). The question is whether unfettered research will cause a multiplication to the point of approaching or exceeding the 1.2 million unborn terminated each year in the U.S. through regular abortions.

The embryos are usually "extra" ones created when a couple has sought help from a fertility clinic, but they can also be cloned -- greatly increasing the number.

Stem cells form various organs, chemicals, and tissues that can then be manipulated to develop in a way that yields substances which may help alleviate or even cure a number of serious ailments or even grow new organs. Diseases that might be treated by transplanting cells generated from human embryonic stem cells include Parkinson's, diabetes, traumatic spinal cord injury, Purkinje cell degeneration, Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, heart disease, and vision and hearing loss.

The problem: embryos die in the process of that freezing, thawing, and of course drawing forth of stem cells.

Scientists refer to it as a "hollow microscopic ball of cells" called the blastocyst; it should be called a child, known by God.

To make matters more unpalatable, the inner surface of the culture dish is typically coated with mouse embryonic skin cells that have been treated so they will not divide. This coating layer of cells is called a feeder layer. The reason for having the mouse cells in the bottom of the culture dish is to give the inner cell mass cells a sticky surface to which they can attach. Thus, human and rodent cells are grown side by side, interacting.

Embryos may become corporate property. "We will have an entire class of human beings that are corporate property, governed only by corporate contract law," notes viewer Margaret Schaut, who follows such matters from Michigan. "The uses? A farm for replacement organs. Testing 'material' for chemicals, cosmetics, drugs. Testing for effects of the new high-tech weapons on 'human tissue.' Chimeric (part human, part animal) research and development. Cyborgs -- research and development of electronics integrated with the human body."

In and of itself, human cloning is a ghastly sin -- never mind its coupling with embryonic destruction.

With it we reach the point where we create humans so we can destroy them and harvest their remains. It is subtle and microscopic and out of view: but did they do anything worse in Nazi Germany?

Have politicians meditated on this? Has Obama (and  not just him)? How can men who seem to be of good will -- and high intelligence -- support such things?

Whether or not it ever approaches the number for abortion, the technology of cloning and stem cells brings to mind what we have called the 1990 prophecy -- in startling fashion. In fact, a mystery of that prophecy might now be solved.

That alleged message -- granted to an anonymous recipient on December 3, 1990 -- warned of "a new evil the likes of which mankind has never before encountered.

"It will arrive almost imperceptibly," said the missive, "with few people noticing the depth of its evil, for it will appear to have beneficial and convenient aspects. It is an evil comparable to abortion -- that is to say, that even if evils as great and widespread as abortion were to be eliminated, this is enough of an evil that it would present mankind with an enormous challenge."

Is that new evil embryonic manipulation? "Comparable" to abortion -- and yet not abortion per se -- could be seen as indicating something such as embryonic research (as well as other forms of genetic manipulation, with "beneficial" relating to medical promises). Breakthroughs and funding for cloning technology took place precisely four years after the prediction -- in 1994.

"This evil is being allowed as a test because of the prayers inspired by Mary to put off chastisements," claimed the prophecy. "How mankind responds to this new evil will determine the extent, length, and severity of the first chastisements. These chastisements will differ according to regions, and like the great evil, will not always or usually be immediately noticeable for what they are."

A follow-up prophecy to the same person 14 years later included the words: "The smallest of what lives is precious in My sight."

Are we thus poised to enter a more intense period of events?

Where is the outrage?

How many realize the result if President-elect Obama blindly signs such an executive order? The prayer here, as the Pope suggested, is for the new president's enlightenment. Something is coming. It will be here soon. By 2010 there will be intensification.

Few recall a major article  in The New York Times a few years ago on a decision by President George Bush to ban government funding of embryonic destruction but to allow limited private research into this realm -- opening the door for such research (and tempting scientists to barge through, which they now threaten to do if the president and Congress do what it appears they probably will).

"Scientists Urge Bigger Supply Of Stem Cells," said this particular article, at the top of the Times' front page. "Report Backs Cloning to Create New Lines."

That was the headline. And the date?

September 11, 2001.

[resources: Tower of Light]

[see also: Here come embryonic stem cells, Stem-cell firms see stock rise, and Conservative Christians reject 'racism' label]

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