Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman Dr. James C. Dobson will interview Mel Gibson, director of the critically acclaimed “The Passion of the Christ,” on his daily radio program Monday on the actor’s outspoken opposition to California’s Proposition 71, the initiative proposed to amend the state’s constitution to create $3 billion in public debt to fund the cloning of human embryos for embryonic stem-cell research.
“Why are we being misled into thinking Prop 71 isn’t about cloning, when it is?” Gibson asked. “I’m voting ‘no’ on Prop 71 – creating life simply to destroy it is wrong, particularly when there are effective alternatives readily available. In 23 years, [animal] embryonic stem-cell research has not produced a single human cure. All it’s yielded is tumors, rejection and mutations.”
Gibson’s offensive puts him squarely at odds with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Republican governor is supporting a California ballot initiative to sell bonds to finance stem-cell research, putting him at odds also with the Bush administration, which limits federal funding for similar studies.
Gibson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he has an “ethical problem” with the research, and called the governor Wednesday night to talk about it.
But when Gibson reached Schwarzenegger, he said the governor told him he had to make a speech and would call him back.
“Well, Arnold, I’m still waiting for your call,” Gibson said.
Schwarzenegger appeared puzzled.
“I don’t know what this was all about,” the governor said in Los Angeles.
“I did talk to him for several minutes and explained to him what my position was on” the stem cell proposal, the governor said. Schwarzenegger said he had to cut short the call because he had to give a speech in San Diego.
“After that, I called back at 9 o’clock and left a message on his phone,” Schwarzenegger said. “He hasn’t returned my call.”
Gibson, a Roman Catholic, as is the governor, said that when he first heard about the proposition he was overjoyed but changed his mind. Gibson said he had no faith in the cloning of human embryos but would support the use of adult stem cells.
“I found that the cloning of human embryos will be used in the process and that, for me, I have an ethical problem with that,” he said. “Why do I, as a taxpayer, have to fund something I believe is unethical? The true promise for treatment and cures lies with adult stem-cells, which do not require the cloning of human embryos nor the destruction of those embryos,” Dobson said. “The National Institutes of Health reports at least 74 diseases treatable by adult stem-cells. Sacrificing the tiniest members of the human family on the altar of science – and questionable science at best – is nothing short of state-funded cannibalism.”