Obama Declares Clone Wars

  • Rick Scarborough
  • Mar 13, 2009

Barack Obama finally kept a campaign promise he made in 2008.  He said, “I am a strong supporter of stem cell research, “ and had promised to “restore scientific integrity to policy-making.” This week he signed an executive order to overturn President Bush’s eight-year ban on funding embryonic stem cell research with federal dollars.

By lifting the ban, scientists are free from “religious restraints” and can experiment at will.  Except human life must be taken in order for the research to progress.  Human embryos that are only days old must be destroyed to obtain the cells.

For Christians, taking a human life is enough to know it’s wrong, but in this case science is also on our side.  There have been 73 diseases treated by using adult stem cells, with the FDA currently having approved 9 of those treatments.  In fact, the use of embryonic cells can actually potentially have a devastating effect on the patient. A recent study published in February in PLoS Medicine showed that injecting embryonic cells into patients can cause disabling and possibly deadly tumors.  You can read more at http://health.usnews.com/blogs/heart-to-heart/2009/03/04/why-embryonic-stem-cells-are-obsolete.html.

There has been much progress in adult stem cell research.  Stem cells have been successfully derived from human skin cells, wisdom teeth and umbilical cord blood.  These cells have been used to successfully treat patients with Type 1 diabetes, Leukemia and other forms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and heart disease while maintaining ethical standards.

The scientific journal Nature recently published papers detailing the process used by joint research teams in the UK and Canada to successfully reprogram ordinary skin cells into so-called induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS cells).  They were able to do this without the use of viruses to transmit the reprogrammed genes to the cell.  Using a “piggyback” system, scientists were able to insert DNA where it could alter the genetic makeup of the cell before it was harmlessly removed.

The reprogrammed cells derived from adult stem cells have additional benefit because of the “significantly lower cost, ease of production, and genetic identity with the patient,” according to James Thompson, a stem cell pioneer from the University of Wisconsin who was the first to grow embryonic stem cells in 1998.  He obviously knows what he’s talking about.

The argument for the use of embryonic stem cells is the hope of creating replacement tissues to treat various diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.    But as President Bush put it, “Even the most noble ends do not justify any means,” and the use of adult stem cells is actually accomplishing more.

Taking a human life for scientific advancement is morally, ethically and Biblically wrong. The Catholic Church stands in agreement, releasing a statement on Saturday calling it “deeply immoral.” If the treatments are being discovered through the use of adult stem cells, why is it necessary to push the issue of embryonic stem cell research?  One can only conclude that the current administration’s view of human life is frighteningly low and can be sacrificed as long as it is a means to an end.  This is an unnecessary act of war on the unborn!

That alone is reason enough to fight this, but financially it is also irresponsible.  It doesn’t make sense to sink federal dollars into a project that already has the odds stacked against it 73-1, as mentioned earlier.  A wise businessperson wouldn’t think of investing money into a venture that is proven not to be the best choice for advancement.  Why should taxpayers be forced to?

“Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for experiments that require the destruction of human life,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “President Obama’s policy change is especially troubling given the significant adult stem cell advances that are being used to treat patients now without harming or destroying human embryos.”

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Rick's Photo - Bio Pic


I remain...Your servant and friend,

Pastor Rick Scarborough

Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.   2 Chronicles 19:7

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