Pope Francis said: “There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. But before all else we need to keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and to counter the dominance of a one-dimensional vision of the human person, a vision which reduces human beings to what they produce and to what they consume: this is one of the most insidious temptations of our time.”
“The crisis of the Western world exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God.” Whittaker Chambers
William F. Buckley Jr.called this Russian spy, Whittaker Chambers, “the most important American defector from Communism.” Whittaker had lived under such indifference and saw its consequences. Empirical evidence led to his change of heart and country. He warned us to be vigilant. Are we vigilant?
We are living in a society that prides itself on its humanity, and credits itself with such as its accomplishment, all the while, being unaware of the source of such blessedness. We are living and enjoying the vestiges, perhaps,the last vestiges of Judeo-Christian ethic, morality and virtue.
Do we yet recognize the Western world’s indifference to God? Let’s start with the image of God. Where do we find it if not imprinted on every child created within Woman? Look at the way that child is provided for, by God’s design, within the woman’s womb. “Love”, “nurture”, “protection”, all these words and more come to mind. How do we recognize God, if not primarily in His creation.
Many think themselves, their thought and policies, humane, yet act in a way that can only be characterized as “sub-humane” toward the image of God in the womb. Where are we in our Western thought and society? Can we recognize Crisis when confronted with it. Do we even care?
Perhaps, God is confined to the box with such as the Sunday morning sermon, forgotten as we get back to “the real world.” God, the Creator of All, a matter of indifference!? His life and image in the flesh and substance of every innocent human procreation goes unrecognized in our law and land. Where the sublime humanity of this age?
There is a great deal of confusion in our society about stem-cell research. An important distinction must be made about embryonic stem-cell research that kills innocent human life and adult stem-cell research that doesn\’t.
The Catholic Church opposes embryonic stem-cell research but strongly supports adult stem-cell research. Opponents of the Church have branded us as being opposed to science and indifferent to those who suffer from illnesses. But we support ethically responsible scientific research and are very committed to searching for cures, as long as it doesn\’t kill human life.
This is indeed a pro-life issue. We believe that there are strong ethical issues involved here. Even a small embryo is a human being. We all started out as embryonic stem cells. To harvest embryonic stem cells — even to help human life — is wrong because it kills the embryo. It means in effect using tiny human body parts for scientific purposes.
The end does not justify the means.
We know that the genetic package is really complete when conception takes place and sonar pictures of the living infant in the womb clearly show human life as it grows and develops.
Human-life issues are the bedrock of our faith. Respect for life is central to Catholicism, and thus we defend every life where it is threatened — from conception to natural death. We are committed to a consistent ethic of life. Hence, we oppose abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia and capital punishment. As a religious leader I have a serious obligation to share this teaching with others. I am aware that some will not agree.
Some will say that human embryos are in frozen storage and ultimately will be discarded anyway so why is it wrong to try and get some good out of them? Well, in the end we will all die anyway, but that gives no one the right to kill us.
These embryos will not die because they are inherently unable to survive, but rather because others are choosing to hand them over for destructive research instead of letting them implant in their mother\’s womb. The idea of experimenting on human beings because they may die anyway also imposes a grave threat to convicted prisoners, terminally ill patients and others.
We can all support many kinds of exciting and forward-looking avenues of stem-cell research, like umbilical cord and adult stem-cell research, with a clear conscience. These treatments have been a great help to people with Parkinson\’s disease, spinal cord injury, sickle cell anemia, heart damage, corneal damage and dozens of other conditions. There are scholars and experts who would say there is much more hope to develop cures from adult stem-cell research than from embryonic stem cells.
Embryonic stem-cell research will certainly lead to the creation of cloned human embryos — which also raises serious ethical problems.
During a recent MSNBC show on abortion, talking head Melissa Harris-Perry made a comment that will surely make people wonder whether she has any grasp on the science behind fetal development.
During the rest of her talk she “accidentally” breaks a model of a fertilized egg, claims there is no science supporting the notion that unborn children are human beings, and dismissively refers to babies.
Transcript: Oh, no. That might be bad. I seemed to have popped open the fertilized egg. We’ll put that back together. But the very idea that this would constitute a person, right? And that some set of constitutional rights should come to this. Look, I get that that is a particular kind of faith claim. It’s not associated with science. But the reality is that if this turns into a person, right, there are economic consequences, right? The cost to raise a child, $10,000 a year up to $20,000 a year. When you’re talking about what it actually costs to have this thing turn into a human, why not allow women to make the best choices that
We are willing to discard the person for the part.
“We’ve made great strides”, “…a long way, Baby.”
You and Your creation shall serve us.
Yes, that is our “Way”.
It makes perfect sense to us.
After all, You are invisible,
As invisible as a child within the womb,
That is, until the flesh is torn away.
We have the technology.
See, no cringing here. “Just do it!”
We’re tough as nails.
You are familiar with nails?
Yes, tough as nails.
In this world you have to be!
Hello. Knock, knock. Are You there?
…. See, He doesn’t care.
You hold Your anger, so we say,
“Where is this God of yours?”.
Our world crumbles,
Chaos all around.
Evidence of Your absence or Your ire?
It doesn’t matter.
You are the Past. We are Now!
If I pull Your beard, will You awaken.
Are You like us?
Will You take a poll
Or turn Your blind eyes?
In Your retirement or death,
We’ve found our voice. We’ve found our fist!
Not to worry.
We’ve come a long way.
Crowned ourselves God!
©2010 Joann Nelander