"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

Destroying Human Life at Tax-payers’ Expense

March 9, 2009

Today, President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Let’s be clear about what this means. Tax-payers will now be forced to pay for research that destroys innocent human life in its earliest stages.

You wouldn’t have known what was at stake had you listened to President Obama’s remarks today just before he signed the order. In fact, you wouldn’t even have known that human life was on the line at all. Here is the justification that President Obama gave for signing what amounts to a death-warrant for embryonic human life.

“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. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. 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.”

Did you see his argument? I didn’t either. It’s because there’s not one. He simply argued by assertion that funding the destruction of human life is moral. Obama says nothing about the moral status of the embryonic human beings that his order will destroy. Is it too much to expect the President of the United States to offer at least some sort of rationale for denying the humanity of those he would destroy in the name of scientific advance? High approval-ratings may make that kind of argument fly before an undiscerning American electorate, but it won’t fly before the only tribunal that counts.

President Obama says that he believes that “we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering,” yet he does not believe that we are called to care for embryonic human life. How can he so casually exclude from the human community a whole class of persons? Does advancing science to ease the suffering of one set of humans justify the destruction of another set of humans? Apparently, he thinks it does. But where does this logic take us? If human embryos are not protected from this destructive research, are human fetuses? What about “unviable” fetuses? What about “unviable” babies? What about “unviable” humans at any stage of development? Obama may not see where his bankrupt reasoning takes us, but this is where it goes nonetheless.

President Obama also said that we need science to be free from “ideology.” In his own words:

“Promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s also about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about letting scientists like those who are here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

Really? Does the President actually want science unbound by ideology? What about an “ideology” defined by its commitment to preserving the rights of innocent human life? Does Obama really want scientific inquiry to be free from an obligation to protect human life? Isn’t this the kind of ideology-free science that the Nazi’s used to exclude Jews and gypsies from the human community? Contrary to what many “progressives” would have us believe, scientific inquiry is not value-neutral. Science can be used for good or for ill. There are all kinds of things that scientists can do but shouldn’t. But the President speaks as though what science can do it then should do. That is deadly logic and morally bankrupt.

Obama is once again living up to his word. Signing this order is exactly what he promised to do during his campaign, and it is an affront to the sanctity of human life.