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Murder by Memo: The case for embryonic (human) stem cell research (butchery)

March 12, 2009

“Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:12 NIV)

This morning, I listened as the news anchor forced a bright tone into his voice and regurgitated the poisonous talking points of the memo he just consumed:

“President Obama has signed a Presidential declaration that will allow embryonic stem cell research to proceed forward …” The announcer goes on to list all the wonderful medical breakthroughs that this research will under gird. We are assured that the embryos are left over in fertility clinics, and would not have been used anyway.” These embryos were never intended to be allowed to live, so it is OK to kill them now. But, don’t worry, the News Anchor assures us- we will never cross that really bright line- we will never produce embryos for the purpose of killing them! How moral of us! How refined!

So with the stroke of his pen, Obama has made this decision to withdraw protection from the least among us. For a man who famously claimed that decisions about life in its earliest, most delicate phases was “beyond his pay grade,” Obama is certainly giving us our money’s worth now. We only have to pay a lowly presidents salary to a man who is now freely and recklessly making decisions about other people’s right to live and die. Obama’s presidency can almost be defined by the phrase “making decisions beyond his pay grade.”

In his “fair and impartial” voice, the news announcer pretends to state the position of opponents of embryonic stem cell research, “Opponents of embryonic stem cell research say that such research is unethical because the embryos still have a chance to grow up to be people.”

How clever. How dishonest. How revolting. How disingenuous. “Because the embryos still have a chance to grow up to be people.” No, Mr. News Announcer, the “embryos” are human already. You are just using the word “embryo” to camouflage that truth. You know that “embryo” does not conjure up a tiny human with ten toes and ten fingers- you know that people think of an embryo as non-human, as some kind of a tissue blob that does not look like us. It’s always easier to kill a person if you dehumanize him. And you have done it with a word! How brilliant! How stunning! How terrifying!
And Mr. News Announcer, now that you have turned the reality of humanity into a talking point, how will you escape from the “evil times that fall unexpectedly” on men? Have you not considered that someday in the near future, when you are in your News Announcer Nursing Home, that someone will not silently creep into YOUR room and remove YOUR life support? They will reason that you had your chance to be human, but now your time has passed, and someone younger needs your bed to finish out THEIR fully human experience. You will not need that bed- someone younger has decided that your time has come to matriculate out of humanity. Do you think anyone will be listening to you then, as you desperately try to tell them that you missed THAT memo?

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