Tuesday, July 3

Blog Against Theocracy : Sound Science

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.


  1. Add your voice to convince Congress to override Bush's veto of S.5 - the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007.
    Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007
    Tell your Senator to support it!

    In solidarity,

  2. Just a note to say "keep it up" I read your blog daily. Good work.

  3. Anonymous10:20 PM

    You touch on an important potential pothole for all of us in regard to not only Medications, but with Stem Cell Research.

    What if the advances in stem cell, and gene research allow human beings to live for 3-400 years? We can't even handle our 75-80 years without fucking everything up.

    This is a serious moral conundrum, and I wonder sometimes if people honestly think about the potential consequences.

    10-15 billion people living to be 400 years old? Wow, that is terrifying.

    Not that I oppose stem cell research, I don't, but it is something to think about.

  4. Anonymous11:48 PM

    Stem cell research? As someone in my extended family has Huntington's Disease, I know that it's about more than living to be 400 years old. She's in her late 50's, and the disease is taking an increasing toll on her quality of life--what she has left of it. If I could do anything to change that, I would. And about being pro-life...I hope that we all are--and that means being in favour of a healthy and maximized life for everyone who has been born. I'm not in favour of the death penalty, for a number of reasons, and yet I hear often of people who are opposed to abortion, for any reason, and yet support the death penalty. A little more consistency from some people, and a little less attempt from them to control the lives of others, would be appreciated. Thank you for your post, B.G.

  5. great post.

    oh it is so simple to wave those fetus posters or posters of smiling (and most often white)babies but after they are here and living often in a bad part of town with a mother that for many reasons isn't ready or able, well, i don't see many of those same people that board those buses to d.d. every year as if it's a junket to atlantic city going into those places where the real babies are and doing much of anything.

    more often than not those pregnant women that the fetus police wave their posters at who decide to carry their pegnancies to term automatically become those mythological "welfare queens" that the same protesters rail about on right wing talk radio.

    as to stem cells. i keep looking on e bay for an undamaged 17th chromosome, but no luck so for crying out loud people anyone that can equate a divided cell with my mom or my late gram or 2 of my uncles or me or millions and millions present and future, well i guess you must be a lot "holier" than i'll ever be.

  6. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Sherry, the FACTS regarding you and your mom and gram and uncles are unworthy of consideration to people whose BELIEFS are theocratically driven. That sorry truth was the point of my BAT contribution and has become my main point of contention with Theocrats.

  7. we could all just stay in a fetal state forever. they seem to like that, unborn or born with no brain function to speak of. oh, they'll move mountains for those!


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