Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Frist's Folly: How Does He Do It?

This morning in a reply to a friend who expressed her appreciation for the title of last Friday's post about Senator Bill Frist, I mentioned that I still can't get over how contorted his reasoning is. I also commented that I don't know how the man can sleep with all that cognitive dissonance ricocheting around. 

Christianity Today's Stan Guthrie shares his own wonderment at the senator's "marvelous burst of logical and moral incoherence." Commenting on the Mr. Frist's affirmation that he is pro-life and that the human embryo "deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect," Guthrie asks, "In other words, treating human embryos with 'the utmost dignity and respect' includes killing them for research—as long as that killing is done 'within ethical bounds.' That's pro-life?"

Guthrie concludes his appropriately titled article, "Frist's Folly", with this important reminder:
Finally, Frist's flip-flop reminds Christians that we cannot rely on any political party—even one officially "pro-life"—to always make moral (or even logical) decisions. While we may make temporary alliances with this politician or that, ultimately we do not belong to any party. We belong to Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

Maybe I’m missing a nuance or two, but after reading Frist’s speech, it does not appear to me that Frist has flip-flopped or that his position is necessarily incoherent.

Frist promoted funding for stem cell research “from human embryos that 1. are created for the purpose of fertility treatments; 2. are no longer needed by those who received the treatments; 3. would otherwise be discarded and destroyed.”

How is this significantly different from allowing funding for “research only from blastocysts that would otherwise be discarded”? Am I missing something? It seems like his position, as he notes several times in his speech, remains unchanged from what it was before. Evidently he still opposes the creation of embryos for research.

YnottonY said...

Richard A. Galen has a different take on the issue:


KP said...

Anonymous, you're correct in noting that Frist has not fudamentally changed his position. That's not my bone of contention with him. The incoherence I see in his position is his affirming on one hand that a human embryo is a human life that should be treated with dignity and respect and his support for ESCR which by necessity, destroys that life. As Melinda Penner has pointed out, Frist, the self-avowed pro-lifer, has adopted a pro-abortion justification.

Tony, thanks for the link.