Bill Clinton’s Biological Ignorance

I saw this on the Mere Comments blog. I clicked on the link thinking surely this can’t be true. Surely Bill Clinton knows what an embryo is. Surely someone is capitalising on a slip of the tongue. Nope. Bill Clinton is against using embyros if they have been fertilised and could become a baby. He says it more than once.

You gotta see this.

I have to agree with Bill Clinton. Experimentation on unfertilised embryos is perfectly fine by me.

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Obama’s Deadly Confusion or Diabolical Deceit

It is hard to believe that President Obama hasn’t made the connection between science and theology. He’s either not so bright or ever so dishonest. First of all, he calls it difference between facts and ideology. It is nothing of the sort.

I’m sure all readers have seen the video clip of Obama signing the executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for killing embryonic humans. Here’s what he said: “As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research — and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.”

Here’s what he means: “As a person who wants to claim to be a Christian while offending no one, especially my liberal constituency, I believe we are called to care for those humans whose lives do not offend the abortion rights lobby and work to ease the suffering of a select group of humans at the expense of the lives of others. I believe we have been given this capacity by a Generic Non-judgmental Supreme Being, and the ability to choose our will to pursue this research — and the inhumanity and lack of conscience to think we can take innocent lives responsibly and call it science.”

So what drives Obama? It appears that the US can’t afford to let scientists in other countries get ahead of research in the US. Why? The only thing I can think of is that all of this federal funding will go to creating treatments  that will then make millions and millions of dollars for the health care industry. As Obama said, “When government fails to make these investments, opportunities are missed. Promising avenues go unexplored. Some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives. No, we can’t let other countries transform people’s lives!

And why shouldn’t it be us? “But in recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values.” That’s right if scientists say they are doing something based on facts, then there can be nothing wrong with it. It’s the fact, ma’am, just the facts.

So how can Obama then flip around and say “We cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.” So killing humans is not profoundly wrong and has a place in our society. And how, exactly is Obama going to guarantee the government never opens the door to human reproductive cloning?

After all, he has just opened the door to non-reproductive (in other words, embryonic experimental) cloning. Where is the ethical distinction that reproductive cloning is profoundly wrong yet killing embyronic human life is not? What if scientists decide that there is either great research value in a birthed clone or that even greater life-enhancing suffering-easing advancements will be accomplished this way? If those are the scientific facts, what right has ideology or theology to stand in the way?

Joe Biden’s Disabled Thinking

I’ve been quite busy with work, so I haven’t had a chance to write anything the last couple of days. I had ideas about which subjects to broach, but having just seen this story, I know now what I want to say.

At a campaign stop in Columbia, Missouri, Joe Biden said: “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

This was clearly aimed at Sarah Palin, because John McCain supports stem cell research. I don’t agree with him, and neither does Sarah, but he does. But it exposes Biden’s attempt to appeal to emotion without any regard for logic or reason. Biden assumes that to care about children with birth defects, it is necessary to choose doing something about them as the ultimate moral action, trumping all others.

Biden is saying that if you really care about birth defects, you cannot believe that the human life of the embryo is sacred. Only people who believe in the disposability of embryonic life can call themselves caring.

Biden also ignores the fact that stem cell research will do nothing for those parents who already have a child born with a birth defect. It will not ease their difficulty one bit. So why would someone who is going to “work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child” with birth defects have to support stem cell research? Biden is only playing on the ignorance of his audience.

And Sarah Palin does not opposed stem cell research. She only opposes embryonic research. There is a lot of research that is ongoing using the stem cells of adults. After all, we all produce stem cells. Why doesn’t Biden mention that?

Is this the best attack he can make – to combine logical fallacies and factual errors? Is this what Sarah Palin is up against?

I thought Joe Biden might put some substance to Obama’s empty platitudes. I thought we might see something more than smoke and mirrors- something more than unsupportable policies built on the sandy foundation of emotional appeal and the politics of envy. Is it really any surprise that the Republican ticket is moving ahead in the polls?

Ahead of His Time

The Welsh get unfairly blamed for a propensity to a certain crime against nature. However, a string of attacks has made national news (and here) and the alleged perpetrator is a Londoner.

Though it seems a bit over the top, he was arrested in a dawn raid on his home. He has been bailed by police while they continue their enquiries, on the condition that he not visit any farmyards in the London area. Of course there’s nothing to stop him visiting farmyards outside the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police.

This may be what has been happening all along. It may be Londoners looking for virgin territory, so to speak, visiting the hillsides of Wales, and observers have just assumed that they are Welsh. The lie is then spread by other English people, casting aspersion on the natives of the Principality.

The alleged crime carries with it a possible two-year prison sentence. However, in the news stories there is no mention of a political lobbying group protesting about his right to express his own sexuality. After all there is no suggestion that the sheep in question were lambs. These were described at violent attacks, though there was no evidence of actual violence. Do we just assume that the sheep were not consenting?

Isn’t is just a bit hypocritical to say that others are not bound by sexuality linked to the possibility of procreation, and yet criminalise this man for expressing his own orientation? This is especially true given the advances in embryology. Scientists have already created human-animal hybrids and cloning became most famous with the case of Dolly the sheep. Who’s to say that in a very few years, a man and his ewe (though I suppose that’s sexist to say “his ewe”, implying that it’s not an equal partnership) won’t be able to have their own offspring.

Rather than being criminalised and ostracised, this poor man should be recognised for living in the true spirit of the age. He is a shinig example of the British liberal ethos that it shouldn’t matter what you do as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.

Muscular Christianity

I just saw Dr Evan Harris, MP – key proponent of hybrids, embryo testing, and abortion – on BBC News The Record. He was discussing the upcoming legislation.

“I’m actually relieved that we’re not in the American situation, where I think there’s disproportionate influence in my view of white, extreme right-wing, muscular, evangelical Christianity.”

Dr Harris works better in an environment where the Church isn’t so strong.

Life and Death

According to the Daily Telegraph, Prime Minsiter Gordon Brown has been warned by his whips that his opposition to reducing the abortion gestational time limit is likely to fail. The mood of the House is to bring the limit down. With nine time-limit amendments tabled, the most likely compromise appears to be a fortnightly reduction to 22 weeks. I think 20 weeks should be a reasonable adjustment to even the most die hard pro-death supporter, but it would seem that even that extra two weeks will be too much for some to stomach.

The son of a Church of Scotland minister, Brown will vote against the pro-life position on any attempts to change the law. Even though less than one percent of abortions happen between 22 and 24 weeks, and those are the most gruesome (except for the very later abortions, which it appears will continue to be legal), Gordon doesn’t want to keep them from happening.

What is interesting to me about battle lines on this “women’s rights” issue is that the chief pro-life leaders in the House of Commons are women. The pro-choice campaign is led by men. Abortion is a very cross-party issue here. The Labour Party has long had significant support amongst Catholics.

So next week as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is debated by a committee of the whole House, it will be a matter of life and death.  On Monday, the debates will cover human-animal embryos and saviour siblings. Tuesday will start with lesbians and fertility treatment, before moving on to abortion. The preservation of the unborn and the sanctity of the entire human species is up for grabs.

Open Season on Ridiculing Christianity

Britain is now almost completely officially a post-Christian country. As reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, which was passed with amendements abolishing the blasphemy laws, has received the Royal Assent.

As junior Justice minister Maria Eagle said in debte, “Given theat these laws protect only the tenets of the Christian Churches, they would appear to be plainly discriminatory.” Of course, given that the UK is officially a Christian country, with an established Church, this would appear to be plainly appropriate.

As a practical matter, this will mean that non-Christian religions, which are increasing protected, will be at an advantage over Christianity. This is not because prosecutions will now cease under the blasphemy laws. The last prosecution was in 1977. It is because it sends the message that Christianity does not even enjoy the pretense of protection.

The amendment was proposed by Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat who is always at the forefront of the affront to Christianity. Dr Harris is also the big proponent make abortion more accessible and genetically modifying humans through embyro manipulation and hybridisation.