The Small Voice, Still by James Hitchcock

The Small Voice, Still

The commission appointed by the White House to study the cloning of humans took testimony from various religious leaders. Predictably, those opinions were by no means uniform, although all the religious voices expressed reservations about the practice.

One might think this was a textbook civics lesson. The nation is faced with an extraordinary and unprecedented issue with unimaginable implications for the future. It badly needs guidance. Historically, morality has been closely linked to religion, and the various religions thus have much to say.

Not so, in the minds of some people, who appear to think that the religious voice should be excluded from such deliberations. That appears to be the view of the Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin, for example, writing in a recent issue of the New York Review of Books.

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James Hitchcock is Professor emeritus of History at St. Louis University in St. Louis. He and his late wife Helen have four daughters. His most recent book is the two-volume work, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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