Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why the "Ice Bucket" & other challenges can do more harm than good

We've all heard of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" - the fun gimmick recently launched to raise awareness and funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) -- the debilitating and progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. So far the campaign has raised about $55 million. That's a great testament to American generosity and concern for their fellow humans. But two things concern me: 1) the organization receiving the funds from the Ice Bucket Challenge uses some of its funds to support embryonic stem cell research, and 2) a copy-cat group is calling for similar challenges to raise funds to help pay for abortions. The bottom line is, anything that supports destroying human life does not deserve financial support - period.

Christians are often accused of being "anti-science" because we believe in God - which accusers say is incompatible with science - and because we supposedly oppose stem cell research. But the accusers are wrong. First, such accusers should learn their history. They would be surprised to learn that some of the most famous and important scientists -- including Copernicus, Galilei, Marconi, Mendel, and Pasteur - were Catholic. Second, the accusation that Christians oppose stem cell research is not an adequate description of the issue. Conservative Christians fully support adult stem cell research which is ethical, destroys no human life, and has shown extraordinary promise in remedying or advancing cures for many health ailments.

Embryonic stem cell research, in contrast, requires the destruction (murder) or an already conceived human embryo in order to dismember it for parts and research. That alone is the reason we "anti-science" Christians don't support embryonic stem cell research. However, nobody who wants to see cures to disease, paralysis and other afflictions should support embryonic stem cell research for the simple fact that it has not produced even one positive outcome. 

In fact, there are studies, such as one from the University of Rochester Medical Center, that show patients developing tumors and other maladies after being injected with stem cells from embryos or aborted fetuses. On the other hand, even if embryonic stem cells did produce positive results like adult stem cells have done, it is inherently unethical to sacrifice one human life for another, as is necessary in embryonic stem cell research.

Sadly, the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" - in addition to indirectly raising funds for the destruction of human life - has also spurred a copy-cat fundraiser campaign which, in this case, is directly raising funds for ending human life.

The pro-abortion blog RH Reality Check is asking supporters to mimic the "Ice Bucket Challenge" by engaging in what they call the "Taco or Beer Challenge." Basically, they're asking their readers to enjoy a taco or a beer and then donate money to help pay for others' abortions.

With all the killings in the world lately - especially of Christians at the hands of radical Islam terrorist groups -- not to mention the 55+ million lives lost here in America alone due to the horror of abortion -- how can anyone encourage people to have a tasty, fun meal for the purpose of helping to slaughter an unborn baby?

How did we get to this point? That's not entirely a rhetorical question, because the most likely answer resides in the fact that for decades our culture has moved farther and farther away from God -- and when you overthrow God's Law and replace it with man's law, you get godless things.

I propose a new challenge. Rather than support funds that directly or indirectly end human life, why not support those that value human life?  Go to places like the Stem for Life Foundation or the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. You don't even need to eat a taco or dump a bucket on anyone. Just visit the sites to learn more about ethical medical research and life affirming attitudes - and if you care to, donate. I bet you'll find the positive purposes of these organizations a lot more refreshing than having ice water poured on your head.

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