When it’s me or a stem cell….

For the second time in eleven months, President Bush has vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill. Never mind that embryonic stem cells easily regenerate, providing society’s best opportunity to tackle a variety of human maladies such as spinal cord injury, burns, diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Conservative Republicans, reflecting the views of the Christian right, have taken the stand that the death of even one human cell is a crime against God and humanity. After vetoing the bill, Bush said, “I made it clear to Congress and the American people I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line,” said President Bush. “Last year, Congress passed a similar bill. I kept my promise by vetoing it. And today I am keeping my word again. I am vetoing the bill that Congress has sent.”

The Bush veto, which backs away from science for religious reasons, reminds me of sailors telling their mates not to sail too far out in the ocean, lest their ships fall off the flat earth. Galileo was persecuted for suggesting that the sun, not earth, was the center of our planetary system. If the Republicans had control of the Congress and when Galileo was a scientist, you can bet your last five bucks that the Republicans would have run him out of town for going against the laws of God. With regard to stem cell research and keeping brain-dead people like Terri Schavio alive, the Republicans stand on the same religious dogma as those who burned witches in Salem or the ignorant Mullahs who rile up crowds when a Danish paper runs an editorial cartoon depicting Mohammed as a bomber.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about the stem cell issue. His response was, “Hey, if I’m sick and it comes down to finding a cure for me or saving a stem cell, I win! Final score, me 1, stem cell 0.” I couldn’t agree more. To argue that the first cell in the development of a human embryo is as sacred as a live, fully developed, breathing human being is absurd in my opinion. While I do not advocate cruelty to animals, to argue that an animal is as important as a man, is equally ridiculous.

Lets face it. It is human beings that have won the biological contest for species superiority. Within our brains is the creativity we need to further our livelihoods, to create art and music, and to explore and utilize the mysteries of science. While Bush fiddles, literally thousands of Americans will die prematurely and needlessly as stem cell research is delayed. The idea that it is OK to let a human being die for the sake of saving a stem cell is, in my opinion, shortsighted at best. At it’s worst it’s downright evil. If you ever wondered why we have Democrats on capital hill, all you need to do is listen to a Republican rail against abortion, stem cell research, and evolution. Yes, folks, with these Republicans we have in our own backyard, intolerant, and scientifically clueless Mullahs.

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