Embryonic Stem Cell Research
A bit of good news midst the gloom: A federal judge temporarily blocked the Obama administration Monday from using federal dollars to fund expanded human embryonic stem cell research (FoxNews.com).
[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 8:31pm CDT AD 9-30-2009 shows alternatives –other than Komen– for fundraising activities related to Breast Cancer research that are Pro-Life in their outlook]
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) is an organization that funds breast cancer research. This noble effort by Komen to save the lives of both women and men who are afflicted with breast cancer is tainted by their funding of abortion via Planned Parenthood.
Each year Catholics and most other Christians raise their concerns about supporting Komen specifically because Komen donates money to Planned Parenthood. Catholics and most other Christians unknowingly assist Komen in their fundraising efforts which goes against the teachings of Jesus as stated in the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”.
Due to this criticism attributed to Komen in funding abortion, Komen released an open letter in March 2009 concerning their relationship with Planned Parenthood. In this open letter they defended their donations to Planned Parenthood raising three (3) reasons why it is acceptable to continue to donate money to Komen even though they provide funding to abort innocent unborn children.
I will address their open letter with their three (3) reasons here:
During the 30 minute meet and greet audience today at the Vatican, the Pope pressed Obama on abortion and embryonic stem cells. The Pope gave Obama a copy of Dignitatis Personae, which I hope he will read. He indicated that he would.
Here is the statement of the Vatican on the meeting, hattip to Catholic Key Blog.
“This afternoon, Friday 10 July 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in Audience the President of the United States of America, His Excellency Mr. Barack H. Obama. Prior to the Audience, the President met His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, and also His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.
In the course of their cordial exchanges the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interests of all and which constitute a great challenge for the future of every nation and for the true progress of peoples, such as the defence and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience.
Reference was also made to immigration with particular attention to the matter of reuniting families.
The meeting focused as well upon matters of international politics, especially in light of the outcome of the G8 Summit. The conversation also dealt with the peace process in the Middle East, on which there was general agreement, and with other regional situations. Certain current issues were then considered, such as dialogue between cultures and religions, the global economic crisis and its ethical implications, food security, development aid especially for Africa and Latin America, and the problem of drug trafficking. Finally, the importance of educating young people everywhere in the value of tolerance was highlighted.”
It has become an oft repeated trope of Catholics who are on the left or the self-consciously-unclassifiable portions of the American political spectrum that the pro-life movement has suffered a catastrophic loss of credibility because of its association with the Republican Party, and thence with the Iraq War and the use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees. Until the pro-life movement distances itself from the Republican Party and all of the pro-life leadership who have defended the Iraq War and/or the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on detainees, the argument goes, the pro-life movement will have no moral authority and will be the laughing stock of enlightened Catholics everywhere.
Regardless of what one thinks about the Iraq War and torture (myself, I continue to support the former but oppose the latter) I’m not sure that this claim works very well. Further, I think that those who make it often fail to recognize the extent to which it cuts both ways.
In honor of my son’s first birthday this week:
Becoming a father has brought clarity to my soul- one could say spiritually and in other significant ways which relate back to the state of my eternal soul. I have always been political, but now I believe I really get what that means. Politics is treated like a game, a sport, a business; it is even viewed as a necessary evil by many. Politics and sex are similarly abused by many, and cheaply regarded by way too many. They aren’t games, or sports, they are about loving others, taking care for the next generation. Politics and sex are holy, even if we do our best to undermine them and rob them of their inherent godly potential for good.
Consider the alternative to political organization- anarchy. Who benefits from that? The strong, the uncaring, the ‘might makes right’ crowd; certainly not the child, not the honest man looking for a stable situation to raise a family up in peace.
Worthless Political Hack Nancy Pelosi, in defiance of the teaching of the Catholic Church of which she is purportedly a member, said on Friday embryonic stem cell research is the answer to our prayers. She is quoted as saying , “We need science, science, science, science, science. ” I agree with the Worthless Political Hack. She might consider this little factoid: number of cures and treatments from adult stemcell research: 72; number of cures and treatments from embryonic stemcell research: 00.00. If the Worthless Political Hack ever wishes to read the actual science on the subject a good place to start is here.
As arguments raged over Obama’s executive order to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research a few weeks ago, the administration’s pro-life defenders emphasized that this was only a small incremental step beyond the Bush administration policy and that the Obama administration would be very careful in examining the ethical issues and most especially would not allow the production of cloned embryos.
The problem is that, as shown by an extended debate between Doug Kmiec and Robert P. George on the US News “God & Country” blog, current policy far from banning cloning, will encourage it. (HT: Mary Meets Dolly, one of the best resources for serious Catholics on genetics related ethical and scientific issues.)
Obama’s statement was:
And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.
Fertilizing embryos? You know, I never thought much of the intelligence of ex-President Clinton, although I stood in awe of his political skills, but I did think, based upon his colorful history, that he had the facts of life down pat. For his future reference, and the edification of anyone who agrees with him about fertilizing embryos, this video might be helpful. The fellow not correcting Clinton? Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the nominee of President Obama for Surgeon General until Gupta abruptly withdrew his name from consideration.
Update: Father Z is all over this story.
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. There are massive leaks all over the Catholic blogosphere concerning a Papal Letter in regards to the SSPX. Pope Benedict XVI will release a statement expressing his disenchantment of the reaction among Catholics over the lifting of the excommunications of SSPX. His Holiness also explains that he will connect the Ecclesia Dei commission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He also states clearly that the Church is not frozen in 1962, so the SSPX will need to embrace Vatican II. In addition Vatican II also “brings with it the the whole doctrinal history of the Church”, ie, the Church didn’t end at Vatican II either.
For the story click here.
2. The Pope’s trip to Israel will entail a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque otherwise known as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. That’ll be interesting.
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. There seems to be a growing counter-movement in U.S. politics aligning itself against the Catholic Church. We see it happening in Connecticut where state legislatures want to control Church property. We also see it in the higher echelons of government where President Obama are using Catholic pawns such as Douglas Kmiec and Kathleen Sebelius. It isn’t being orchestrated by anyone, but the common theme seems to be to neutralize the effectiveness of the Church. Dave Hartline of the Catholic Report wrote an excellent column tieing all these loose ends together and explaining the consequences of this growing counter-movement.
For Dave Hartline’s columnn click on counter-movement above or here.
2. Speaking of Connecticut, Archbishop Charles Chaput has this to say concerning SB 1098 that would remove the bishops authority over each parish:
“legislative coercion directed against the Catholic community in one state has implications for Catholics in every other state. If bigots in one state succeed in coercive laws like SB 1098, bigots in other states will try the same.”
The bigots Archbishop Chaput is referring to are Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Mike Lawlor, who are both homosexual activists that opposed the local Church’s efforts to defend marriage between a man and a woman.
For the article click on SB 1098 above or here.
President Obama has signed an executive order lifting restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, as he promised in his campaign speeches. For anyone who doesn’t see this as yet one more blow in a long string of anti-life policies, consider the chilling words at the end of the article that people are using to justify the research:
“This was already life that was going to be destroyed… The choice is throw them away or use them for research.”
I wonder how long it would take before we use such arguments on, say, criminals sentenced to life in prison (or who are on death row, even). Or the elderly. Or the sick. Or the mentally deficient. Or…