Hypocricy of Christianity in regard to stem cells

This is my first Pit rant. I hope it burns hot.

One of my highly-devout-Jesus-fish co-workers was soooo happy to hear the other day that her hero conservative “Dubya” had banned further research on stem cells.

Now, it doesn’t sit well with me that the religious right who believe in fairy tales are potentially deciding the fate of MY life by retarding the speed of research which may eventually save my life. That bugs me.

What bugs me more is the way that said co-worker can fluff off any question she receives about stem cell research in particular.

Me: “You know, in fertility clinics they sometimes fail and death to clumps of cells ensues. Are you against fertility clinics?”
Her: “No.”
Me: “So, you AREN’T against the death of these cell clumps, but you ARE against the research done on them? Am I hearing you correctly?”
Her: “Yes. Stem-cell research is just… wrong.”
Me: “So why is it wrong? You know, when you were a baby, they injected you with booster shots developed from research on aborted fetuses… is that wrong? Are you against booster shots for babies?”
Her: “Of course not… [getting uncomfortable now] You know Acco, everyone has their opinions. I have the right to mine.”

Someone on this board has a sig that reads something like this: Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion. I love that because it is so right-on.

I busted that out, and she sauntered off, miffed. Since then, our friendliness factor has suffered, but you know what? Fuck it. I can safely say that my tolerance for fundies is dead and rotting in the Hell that they so faithfully believe in.

How can she so easily let the church do her thinking for her on an issue of such importance? Is she a mentally lifeless, slobbering idiot? Does she question her beliefs ever? Can the church ever be wrong? Apparently not.

Is there any room upstairs for mental processes in that head so packed full of rigid religious nonsense? WTF!

These are the types of people who rule America. We are fuckin’ doomed.

It must be so wonderful to note that after bludgeoning your ex-friend with badly formed arguements, you have the wisdom and understanding to immediately lump all “Fundamentalist Christians” into the same bucket.

I don’t blame her for ignoring you. I’ll do the same from now on, I think.

Acco40, truly you have a dizzying intellect. Those back issues of Time magazine you read in the doctor’s waiting room plus your wicked debating style and super-enhanced self-awareness make you a formidable opponent.

People who oppose stem-cell research fear the slippery slope. They can see the possible benefits for people with degenerative diseases. They understand that “stem cells” are a by-product of fertility clinics and abortions that are already taking place. But they fear commercialization of the process, increasing market demand for stem cells to the point where people are creating embryos (either in a lab or the old fashioned way) for the sole purpose of research and treating diseases.

So, to recap:

Supporting fertility clinics does not equal supporting stem cell research.

Supporting childhood vaccines does not equal supporting stem stell research. Your friend was a baby and unable to make decisions for herself when she received her booster shots. I admit that I was not aware that vaccines were developed through research on aborted fetuses (anything is possible). I’d be interested in seeing a cite for that.

Ambivalence about the ethics of stem cell research does not make one a fundamentalist Christian, or anything else that you can label.

Your logic is poor, your arguments faulty, and your arrogance is amusing.

Thanks for the cross-eyed compliment. I’ll take it.

Oh, and thereby possibly saving lives of people who are already here. What a travesty.

Commercialization of the process will happen no matter what… eventually. Without public research dollars though, it will make it easier for private biotech companies to gain a stranglehold on the treatments - and the costs.

Well, I gotta do what I can, those Fundies are a slippery bunch.

I’m heartbroken. Who are you again?

I’m more of a person than you can hope to be, little one. Go play elsewhere.

My understanding of the Bush decision is that he merely limited federal funding to 60 existing lines of cells. He didn’t ‘ban’ any research. I think it’s valid science, but deserves the public’s scrutiny. Under no circumstance should trade in embryos become a commercial endeavor. I’m confident that if the existing lines of cells prove insufficient while scientific gains are being made, the decision will be re-evaluated at that time. Bush’s limits are a bit stringent, but research will continue.

I don’t enjoy being set upon by holy rollers, but your description of the discussion makes you look like the aggressor. I’d also advise against letting friendships suffer because of differences in religion or politics. Discussion is one thing, but in the end people are allowed their opinions. I’ve argued with many creationists, and when the vast majority of them departed no more enlightened than when they arrived, I shook their hands and wished them well.

He’s the Patron Saint of nothingness. Don’t you read sigs?

Oh and since this is the pit…I’ll throw all logic to the wind and ignore every well reasoned counter argument or degrade it with my pithy retorts.

Ignore a part of what you believe for a moment and take a look at what magdalene is saying. Imagine that an embryo isn’t just a lump of cells but an actual human life. I know this isn’t what you believe, but pretend it is because many many people in this nation do believe it. They’re not all fundementalists and some of them are
gasp pro-choice.
Magdalene is saying that one line of arguments is that we’d be creating lives just to kill them. You say “but we’d be saving lives,” true…at the cost of lives. So if you consider an embryo to be a life form, or a potential life form, how many of those must you create and kill to justify saving someone else’s life?
Should we kill 200,000 embryos in the hopes of creating a vaccine? Well fine then. Let’s round up 200,000 homeless and experiment on them. After all, we’re saving lives here. Can’t put a price on that.

Now you can sweep it all under the rug by saying “but I don’t believe they’re alive.” Fine then. Wonderful. And that invalidates their opinion how?

I can safely say that my tolerance for fundies is dead and rotting in the Hell that they so faithfully believe in.

Errrr . . . doesn’t an informed opinion require an open mind?

One of the major points for stem cell research is that the embryonic stage represents “the beginnings of human life”, as Bush said… not actual human life. Any? biologist will admit that these cell clusters aren’t alive.

Yes, but by stopping federal funding for future endeavors, he might as well have.

Yes. I tend to get fired up about subjects which I feel strongly about… and I doubtlessly was the aggressor in that situation.

I have since apologized to the co-worker in question for my ahem, insistance, and things are smoothed over. However I feel no less passionate about the validity of the pro-stem cell argument.

Just to clarify: this was written with the intent to indicate that all religious fundamentalists are against stem-cell research, and if they are pro stem-cell research, then they are not truly fundamental.

If I was mistaken in this assumption, I apologize fully.

I think you’d be hard pressed to find a biologist who would claim that those cells are not alive.

Yes, but by stopping federal funding for future endeavors, he might as well have.

Your OP stated specifically that Bush “had banned further research on stem cells,” a claim that is clearly false. All Bush did was limit (not ban) federal funding at the present time. Federally funded research will continue, and there is no limit on non-federally funded research. (This is not like proposed legislation to make human cloning illegal.)

Just to clarify: this was written with the intent to indicate that all religious fundamentalists are against stem-cell research, and if they are pro stem-cell research, then they are not truly fundamental.

If I was mistaken in this assumption, I apologize fully.

So you have unilaterally defined “fundamentalist Christian” to require opposition to stem-cell research? On what basis? Fundamentalism has nothing whatsoever to do with stem-cell research. The prime characteristic of Fundamentalism is belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible. The Bible doesn’t mention stem-cell research anywhere.

For the record, I think Bush’s decision was okay, though I wish he had gone further and allowed funding for stem-cell research on existing embryos.

Boy, I bet this thread didn’t go the way Acco40 hoped it would. Well, I’ve been there and I thought I’d drop by and give some advice.

People here at the SDMB don’t mind when people are wrong, we mind when people have a lethal combination of arrogance, close-mindedness, and impatience. You, my friend, had all three of these things in aces. Now everyone makes mistakes and the best thing is to simply walk away.

You see, your understanding is not as full as you want everyone to think it is. You have simply gathered the evidence required to support your predetermined position. One key to making a good argument is to not diminish the other person by accusing them of believing in “fairy-tales” or grouping all fundies together based of your limited experience with a handful.

I would not assume that just because someon believes in Jesus and is against Stem-Cell research that he/she has never “questoined their beliefs” or that they believe the “church is never wrong”. You provided no proof that this individual has been a blind-faith believer their entire life. I’d be impressed if you had any proof of that.

Of course, when Saint Zero critiqued your comments and said they would ignore you, you said, “I’m heartbroken. Who are you again?” This is more sad than it is aggravating. Do you see how negative and arrogant that sounds? It diminishes the value of the person and makes it appear as if you are a king or dictator before whom we should all bow.

Not only that, but you didn’t respond to the critique. Saint said that you shouldn’t lump everyone together. You simply said, “Well, I gotta do what I can, those Fundies are a slippery bunch.” Sounds like you are at war with these people. Why did you group all fundies together? Because they are slippery? Huh?

It all sounds like a lot of bottled up rage. Of course, you could just dismiss me as well. It’s your choice.

Most fundamentalists I have talked to are against abortion, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization. That seems consistant enough for me. So, there you go.


I’m with you every step of the way. Apparently Bush announced today that he will veto any attempts to expand this research. This just goes to show that he is only willing to do as little as possible, and is really only concerned with how this will affect the 2004 election, as is the case with every decision he makes.

I, for one, don’t understand why the religious folk should even have a say in anything related to science. In the first place, this is a government decision, wouldn’t separation of church and state apply? Also, since when has anyone who is religious been known to have an open mind towards anything scientific? The idea that they want a say in making a scientific decision is downright scary. I don’t ask an 8 yr old for tax advice and I don’t ask a christian for scientific input. Blind faith has no place in the scientific community and I’m tired of it. If anything, doesn’t using these cells give them a purpose instead of just something to be discarded? That seems to be morally a better way to go. We can throw them away or use them to help develop cures for some of the awful diseases that ruin peoples lives. I bet if Bush had a spinal injury, he would have a different opinion.

Riiiight. I forgot that no scientists are religious. Silly me.


musicguy, have you even bothered to pay attention? Do you even bother to think, or is this just the random twitchings of spinal cord reflexes that made you post? Do you understand that the constitution doesn’t bar religious people from participating in the politcal process but rather the reverse?

Dr. Lao:

This is a true statement. However, you should recognize that you say most and not all, and that this sampling is limited to those that you personally have talked to. I still don’t think it’s fair tactics to make sweeping generalizations based on this information.


OMG. Please don’t associate scientists with such generalizations.

It’s not solely a scientific decision, and in a democracy people get a say.

Once again, I believe it is valid science and should be pursued, but if we are going to discuss it you need to treat the other side fairly. You would never accept similar generalizations and over simplifications coming from a dreaded ‘fundy’.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste.

However, I’m relatively quiet. Comes from introspection and overall shyness. That’s probably why you didn’t think of me immediately before posting that rather inflammatory statement above.

To prove my willingness to view the scientific method with an open mind, despite my admitted Christian beliefs, I would be receptive to a study to determine the logistics (or at least to ascertain if the possibility even exists) of removing your cranium (and that of Acco40) from your respective rectums.



since when has anyone who is religious been known to have an open mind towards anything scientific

Waverly: OMG. Please don’t associate scientists with such generalizations.

I was generalizing christians. They completely disregard science in the area of evolution, rather choosing to believe in a fairy tale. Their credibility was shot long before I made my accusation.

musicguy quote:

…idea that they want a say in making a scientific decision is downright scary

Waverly wrote: It’s not solely a scientific decision, and in a democracy people get a say.

People get a say in the sense that they choose who will be their leaders. Of course, since our leader wasn’t chosen by the people, but rather the supreme court, I guess our voices weren’t heard in that regard either. That will be fixed in 2004. I also maintain that in matters of science, scientists should be listened to much more than someone who believes in myths. It’s wonderful to say that this is a democracy and we all have a say but we didn’t vote for this, Bush chose it. That doesn’t sound very democratic to me. He knows what the right choice was but instead chose to do as little as possible, so as to not piss of the precious few that voted for him. His choice was not scientific but political and we could use a hell of a lot less of that type of decision making.

Musicguy, I guess I was right when I said you don’t pay attention. So I’m going to post in all caps, bolded:


Perhaps that will gently push you to consider the possibility that you suffer from craniorectal inversion.

This is a joke, correct? If not you should run. Run fast and far before the next person sees this. Don’t you wish the edit option was enabled? I’m no longer what one could consider catholic, but my father is, and he has a fine scientific mind. Care to insult my family again? I assure you I am not always nice.