This post first appeared at BG on December 26, 2006.
I continue to blog this week about First Freedom First, an umbrella group working to safeguard the separation of Church and State - BG
One would think "Sound Science" included rejecting intelligent design but First Freedom First categorizes that under "academic integrity" and it's all kinda arbitrary, but hey, they've got it covered. The Sound Science component has to do with stem-cell research, access to emergency contraceptives, and making sure the National Science Foundation and FDA are not being run from a pulpit somewhere in Virginia.
Scientists seem to be tripping over themselves working to find a way to harvest stem cells without destroying an embryo. That might solve the political "moral" fight staged over stem cell research, but it doesn't solve a larger problem churchy types will have to face at some point: the breaking of the commandments regarding idolatry when it comes to the unborn fetus.
Churchy advocates hold up photos of unborn babies like they are Jesus his own self (and hey, don't get me started about idolatry and graven images when it comes to that dude). It's called fetus fetishization, folks, and it's no different than a golden calf.
Anti-abortionists might argue that this is about human life but we all know it isn't because if it was there would be at least as much effort on the part of abortion foes to help single moms after their baby is born as before. Some churches do make an effort in this regard but it is not nearly as prevalent.
On the other hand, don't get me started about the "Church of the Latest Pill from Big Pharma." There's a whole lot of faith going on every time you put a pill in your mouth and expect healing, folks, and I for one am really concerned about how much more "life-span" all of us "need" and the promises of medical science to bring it to us regardless of cost or quality of life. (See End of Life Care at the earlier post.) If I'm pushing envelopes here it's because this conversation has to include all of it.
Okay, now I've gone on this long theological tangent but there are two battlefronts in the fight for sound science. The first is in the hearts of Christians, and we Christians really have a lot of work to do to figger out if we're really walking the talk.
The second battlefront is simply, earnestly, for the Constitution of the United States. Churches and other religiously-inspired groups simply can't be allowed to dictate federal policy regarding scientific research. It's not their provence. Render unto Caesar, and all that.
More on First Freedom First's Sound Science component here.