Friday, April 06, 2007

Wanted: Moral Clarity at the White House

The Washington Times reports that yesterday the White House expressed support for a bill that would allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research using embryos deemed incapable of surviving in the womb and/or that have died during fertility treatments. The article applauds the bill, authored by Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, as one that "skirts moral concerns over using embryonic stem cells while ensuring federal funding for the breakthrough science."

A White House spokesman is quoted as saying that the Bush administration is "very supportive" of the legislation and that "By intensifying support for non-destructive alternatives, we can advance medical research in valuable ways while respecting ethical boundaries. But it's mistaken and/or misleading to describe the proposed legislation as a solution to the ethical problem of embryonic stem cell research. Experimentation on already dead embryos poses no problem. However, harvesting stem cells from living embryos is destructive in that it terminates the embryo's life. That the embryos are going to die anyway because they can't survive in the womb is ethically irrelevant. A consistently pro-life stance acknowledges the intrinsic value of every human life and rejects pleas to take innocent life on the grounds that death is inevitable and countless other lives could benefit.

There appears to be a puzzling inconsistency in the administration's thinking. As the article points out, President Bush last year vetoed a bill providing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research because "he said taxpayers should not support research on embryos at fertility clinics, even if the embryos would otherwise be destroyed. Now he says that federal funding for destructive embryonic stem cell research is acceptable because the embryos to be used would otherwise be destroyed, only this time in the womb.

The Isakson bill is a compromise - a moral one.


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2 comments:

Dahn said...

Moral clarity at the White House...in the words of the original George H. Bush; "ain't gonna happen"
Politics and morality no longer coexist well (if they ever did). We can try to hold this administration to a moral position on life (it will probably be the last we feel that we can influence), but they really don't care and they probably never did. I have always felt like this administration has played committed Christians using the strategies of the Reagan administration. I was not a believer when Reagan was in office, I was an extreme liberal and I laughed at the Christians being manipulated by Reagan and his minions. Reagan didn't give anything to the Christians except rhetoric and they ate it up for the most part.
Am I sounding cynical?
We need to be used by God in His effort to change one life at a time not one country.

Eric S. Mueller said...

To the previous commenter, I don't believe you're being cynical. I can see a lot of manipulation of Christians in the name of this administration and it's policies. I was a child during the Reagan administration, so I didn't see it back then. I often wondered if the "other side" is manipulated as badly. I imagine their own leaders and public figures us similar tactics to get them to back candidates and policies that they otherwise might not.

Proverbs 21:1 says "The king's heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."