April 20, 2014

Wesley J. Smith: Of Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Politics, and the Rule of Law

gravity

Source: First Things The Center for Bioethics and Culture asked me to expand upon comments I have made here noting that the politics of ESCR seem to have the power to supersede the rule of law. Not being the shy and retiring type, I immediately agreed.  The result is now out.  From “Embryonic Stem Cell Research Versus the Rule of Law:” First, let’s consider an ongoing case in the USA, in which two adult stem cell researchers sued to enjoin federal funding of human ESCR because, they claim, doing so violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. Dickey-Wicker, a government rider to the budgetary process, has been passed by every Congress and signed by every president since 1996. Its terms explicitly preclude the Feds from paying to create embryos for use in experiments, or for research that destroys embryos. Thus, the outcome of the researchers’ lawsuit should be decided based on the facts of how embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) is performed … [Read more...]

Obama, Stem Cell Research, and Orthodox Christianity

Earlier this week, President Obama issued an Executive Order repealing President Bush's August 2001 restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. This was no surprise, especially since, as Senator, he voted for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which was vetoed by President Bush. While, the issues surrounding the creation and use of embryonic stem cells remain substantially the same, this change in political policy affords us another opportunity to reflect on how we, as Orthodox Christians, might approach this topic in the context of the public controversy. There is no doubt that there has been a simmering resentment in the scientific community over these restrictions (spurred on in part by more general funding cuts for the National Institutes of Health). Obama gave voice to this during his campaign when he charged the Bush administration with "handcuffing" scientific progress. There is also no doubt in my mind that researchers themselves are most competent to … [Read more...]

Met. Nicholas on Michigan’s Economic Crisis

Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit discusses Michigan's severe economic decline -- caused by the state's close ties to the auto industry -- and its effect on the state's parishes in an interview with the Greek-American newspaper National Herald (available on the Orthodox Christian News site with free registration). To tell you the truth, our people have been affected in some ways, but not as strongly as some other communities because the majority of our people our educated people. There are scientists working for the auto companies and also people working in the lines, but many of those people have retired so either they received a buyout or pension. Most of the young people are working as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists. Interviewer Theodore Kalmoukos also asked Metropolitan Nicholas about the direction of the Church in America. The Metropolitan answered: I hope we are going to God’s kingdom, but in order to get there, we have to strongly proclaim the gospel … [Read more...]