Stem cell decision exposes religious ...

Stem cell decision exposes religious divides

There are 15 comments on the WBT-AM Charlotte story from Mar 9, 2009, titled Stem cell decision exposes religious divides. In it, WBT-AM Charlotte reports that:

The embryonic stem cell research debate is steeped with religious arguments, with some faith traditions convinced the research amounts to killing innocent life, others citing the moral imperative to alleviate ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WBT-AM Charlotte.

NitaM

Dillon, SC

#1 Mar 9, 2009
The embryonic stem cell research debate is steeped with religious arguments, with some faith traditions convinced the research amounts to killing innocent life, others citing the moral imperative to alleviate suffering, and plenty of religious believers caught somewhere in between.

President Barack Obama's order Monday opening the door for federal taxpayer dollars to fund expanded embryonic stem cell research again brings those often colliding interests to the fore.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called Obama's move "a sad victory of politics over science and ethics."

"This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested," Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia, said in a statement.

On the other side is the Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a United Church of Christ minister and a professor at Chicago Theological Seminary.

"There is an ethical imperative to relieve suffering and promote healing," she said. "This is good policy for a religiously pluralistic society that cares about human suffering and the relief of human suffering."

Obama alluded to religion in announcing the changes, saying, "As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."

Some religious traditions teach that because life begins at conception, any research that destroys a human embryo, as this research does, is tantamount to murder and is never justified. The Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention are among those that oppose the research.
cont'd.
http://www.wbt.com/news/details.cfm...
NitaM

Dillon, SC

#2 Mar 9, 2009
Other more liberal traditions, including mainline Protestant and Jewish institutions, believe the promise to relieve suffering is paramount. In 2004, the governing body of the Episcopal Church said it would favor the research as long as it used embryos that otherwise would have been destroyed, that embryos were not created for research purposes, or were not bought and sold.
Under Jewish law, an embryo is genetic material that does not have the status of a person. According to the Talmud, the embryo is "simply water" in the first 40 days of gestation. Healing and preserving human life takes precedence over all the other commandments in Judaism.
Some groups and faiths are divided on the issue. Muslims disagree over _ among other things _ whether an embryo in the early stage of development has a soul. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormon church, has not taken a position.
The Rev. Joel Hunter, an evangelical pastor from Orlando, Fla., who serves on an Obama White House advisory panel, said he was encouraged by Monday's developments.
"The principle is still that it's not only understandable but in some ways moral to use embryonic stem cells that are destined for destruction for research for helping people," he said. "I think we have to tread very lightly and very carefully, and I think we have to be vigilant for years to come."
But most evangelicals criticized Obama's move. Gilbert Meilaender, a Christian ethicist at Valparaiso University and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, created by President George W. Bush, said Obama's decision was especially disappointing because scientists are advancing toward being able to produce cells that act like embryonic stem cells without destroying any human embryos.
Meilaender said that while there is no good solution for frozen embryos left in storage at fertility clinics, destroying them for stem cell research is not the answer.
"My own position is that having, as it were, produced and used them once in the use of someone else's project, for a reproductive purpose, that using it once for someone else's purpose is enough," said Meilaender, a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Catholic bishops have been outspoken in opposing embryonic stem cell research. Other Catholics, though, are more open to lifting the Bush-era restrictions, with caveats. The Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said restrictions should be put on embryonic stem cell research _ including prohibition on their buying and selling, and using only embryos that otherwise would be destroyed.
"I'm trying to make an argument for some middle ground here," Reese said. "Hopefully down the line we can reach a point where we don't have to use embryonic stem cell research."
Polls show some believers are willing to buck their leaders on the issue. Fifty-nine percent of white, non-Hispanic Catholics and 58 percent of white mainline Protestants favor embryonic stem cell research, according to a poll released in July 2008 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Only 31 percent of white evangelical Protestants, however, favored the research.
Princeton University politics professor Robert George, a Catholic and another member of the Bush-era Council on Bioethics, said the moral argument over embryonic stem cell research is not rooted in religion but in ethics and equality. He said research shows that an embryo is a human being in its earliest form of development, so we have to ask ourselves whether all human life should be treated equally, with dignity and respect.
NitaM

Dillon, SC

#3 Mar 9, 2009
"I don't think the question has anything to do with religion or pulling out our microscope and trying to find souls," George said. "We live in a pluralistic society where some people believe there are no such things as souls. Does that mean we should not have moral objections to killing 17-year-old adolescents?"

This George who ever he is is really touting Atheistic views and has no clue and neither does Obama for the ramafications of the killing of unborn babies does. Stops life growing of an unborn baby and leaves scares so deep in the mother's consciences that some later commit suicide. I knew a neighbor that had an abortion and was found hanged from the rafter of her house because of all the guilt she had for having an abortion. What a shame!
http://www.wbt.com/news/details.cfm...

“Hail Mary, full of Grace”

Since: Dec 07

I'm ProLife :)

#4 Mar 9, 2009
This is ridiculous, we should not fund embryonic stem cell research. It is a human embryo, therefore a human being. Despite that, there have been absolutely NO cure or treatments from embryonic stem cell research, yet there have been well OVER 60 from adult stem cell research which can be obtained from umbiblical cord blood, as well as blood donations from adults, no destruction of any life. The created an entire functioning liver from adult stem cells. In order to harvest embryonic stems cells you must destroy the embryo.

When embryonic stems cells were used for treatments, tumors with bone and hair would grow, why? Because that is what the embryonic stems cells were made to create. It causes uncontrollable growths.

Why waste federal tax money on such a HIGHLY contraversial issue that so far has done NOTHING to help people and has actually caused problems? Because it is an agenda, a pro-abortion agenda saying human embryos are nothing more than blobs of tissue.

If Mr. Obama truly wanted to help people, that are born with disabilities, he would reject embryonic stem cell research in favor of non-controversial adult stem cell research.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

#5 Mar 10, 2009
"... Other more liberal traditions, including mainline Protestant and Jewish institutions, believe the promise to relieve suffering is paramount. In 2004, the governing body of the Episcopal Church said it would favor the research as long as it used embryos that otherwise would have been destroyed, that embryos were not created for research purposes, or were not bought and sold."
Matt

Crest Hill, IL

#6 Mar 10, 2009
It so sad that the unborn have to be sacrificed. So many political leaders have such harden hearts. They can't see the truth if it bit them in the buttocks. Barack H. Obama should legally change his middle name to Herod. He sees the unborn as expendible to futher his political future much like a King who reigned 2000 years ago who slew the Hebrew baby boys.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

#7 Mar 10, 2009
Joe DeCaro wrote:
"... In 2004, the governing body of the Episcopal Church said it would favor the research as long as it used embryos that otherwise would have been destroyed, that embryos were not created for research purposes, or were not bought and sold."
For what it's worth, SNL alum Dennis Miller agrees.
Richard

Macungie, PA

#8 Mar 14, 2009
Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn't suffer. He is GOD. He didn't have to die. He could have walked away. You may say he committed suicide for us. I lost a Mother and Sister to diabetes. I have a Son with type 1 diabetes. My Dad is crippled up with Parkinsons desease.

Thousands of embryos are distroyed daily. If we can save lives and end suffering that should be our first priority. I agree with the Jewish belief that "The promise to relieve suffering is paramont".

Let the Catholic priests think about how many lives were distroyed by their lewd acts !

I want my Son to live a long, healthy life !
edfoxy33

Blue Bell, PA

#9 Mar 14, 2009
this research is ok but why must the taxpayer get hit again and again? let the mercks & pfizers etc. do it...they will make the money on all found stuff that is a medical money maker anyway!
hope

Flagstaff, AZ

#10 Mar 14, 2009
Richard, and you suffer watching your son. We can't escape suffering. It's impossible to escape suffering; God meant it to be that way. Jesus came so that we might follow Him. We also follow Him in suffering. There is no escape from it. The good news is that our suffering can be offered to God just as Jesus offered his suffering for us. In that way, suffering is not wasted but is offered as a prayer to save our fellow man from sin. There is a communion among believers of Jesus, and that communion gives you and your son peace and strength in your union with Jesus. I hope that helps you. Peace be with you.
joe poli

AOL

#11 Mar 14, 2009
I wonder if Obama is happy his mother didn't abort him??? I bet they would have made tremendous medical advances if they used Obama for stem cell research.
hypocrits

United States

#12 Mar 14, 2009
if these people are so against the research, let them and their families turn down any and all future medical cures that occur from the research
Don Schenk

Allentown, PA

#13 Mar 16, 2009
So George W. Bush allowed government funding of the Episcopalian Church's position, but Barack Obama wants the government to fund the breeding of embryonic stem cells.
And the reason that private companies don't breed humans with their own money (which Bush would have allowed) is that the whole thing is really a waste of money, which is only useful in order to dehumanize human embryos.
We're getting closer to the morals of the movie "Blade Runner"--or to hailing Dr. Mengele as a hero of medicine, if you prefer.
bobby booshay

Houston, TX

#14 Mar 17, 2009
Richard wrote:
Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn't suffer. He is GOD. He didn't have to die. He could have walked away. You may say he committed suicide for us. I lost a Mother and Sister to diabetes. I have a Son with type 1 diabetes. My Dad is crippled up with Parkinsons desease.
Thousands of embryos are distroyed daily. If we can save lives and end suffering that should be our first priority. I agree with the Jewish belief that "The promise to relieve suffering is paramont".
Let the Catholic priests think about how many lives were distroyed by their lewd acts !
I want my Son to live a long, healthy life !
Jesus didn't suffer on the cross to eliminate our suffering, but to give redemptive meaning to our suffering. We live in a fallen world, there will always be suffering (the consequence of sin). The end can never justify the means. The destruction of innocent life can never justify medical attempts to alieve suffering, which are very questionable anyway.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#15 Mar 17, 2009
bobby booshay wrote:
<..........can never justify medical attempts to alieve suffering.........
An-a-cin is subjective..........

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