Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Stem Cell Research
Maybe you noticed the news this past week or two, where President Obama reversed a George Bush mandate that sharply limited the use of human embryos in stem cell research. Then this past week he signed another bill that put at least some of the limits back in place. At a minimum, it is confusing. The average American probably doesn't understand what our government's position is on stem cell research.
Of course, if you look at the controversy, you'll hear a strong argument for stem cell research. Scientist (and others) believe that it may be possible to use stem cells from human embryos to address heart-wrenching health issues like paralysis, paraplegia, or even Parkinson's disease. Of course these are tragic aspects of the human experience. Those who suffer from such maladies and their loved ones will argue sharply that just about anything would be worth it if it could end the pain and suffering.
The problem is that stem cell research using human embryos is just about anything. I won't get into the abortion dilemma here. Frankly, the truth is so simple it's not worth arguing. If you ignorant enough to believe that abortion is okay, or so in the dark about the issue that yo don't know - I challenge you to go to http://www.images.google.com/ and search for pictures of "abortion" or "aborted babies" and then tell me if you still think abortion could be okay.
While today's stem cell research doesn't typically use human aborted fetuses, it does use human embryos that have been fertilized. We usually teach, in Christian theology, that life begins when sperm fertilizes the egg ... creating the human embryo. That human embryo begins to grow and develop. At some point it crosses the line and becomes officially a fetus. So the argument is that if we legalize stem cell research and open the flood gates for it - we could soon be using aborted embryos or fetuses for such research. In fact, there are arguments that someone might actually conceive a child for the purpose of aborting it for the stem cells it could provide.
Why am I blogging about this? Because I don't want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant about the issues here. As Christians, you need to know that mankind is treading in some very dangerous moral territory. Once that egg is fertilized with sperm and begins to develop, it is conceived. The Bible says that God planned our days since our conception. So at that point, God recognizes this fertilized egg, this embryo in development, as a person. Freezing it doesn't change God's view of what it is. Freezing it doesn't change what it is.
Christians should be far more alarmed about abortion than we are. And we should be even more concerned that the abortion territory is being encroached in the name of research. Not only have we already used abortion to say that a baby shouldn't have life in favor of the parents' convenience. Now we are close to saying that a baby also shouldn't have life in favor of even strangers who might be suffering. And keep in mind, that suffering was allowed in their lives by God Himself.
So, what do you think of stem cell research? Do you think what President Obama does or doesn't do about it really matters?