By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
I've certainly criticized President Obama enough since he's taken office and even more when he was a presidential candidate. But I don't hesitate to applaud him when he does something right. One of his advisers told a Sunday television talk show that the president is on the precipice of overturning yet another Bush administration policy that pushed us back. George W. Bush's stem cell policy pushed us so far back, in fact, that when the Clinton administration ended in 2000, we felt like a country moving forward. When Mr. Bush left office last month, he'd pushed the country back to the 1950s.
"In 2001, Bush limited federal funding for stem cell research only to human embryonic stem cell lines that already existed. It was a gesture to his conservative Christian supporters who regard embryonic stem cell research as destroying potential life, because the cells must be extracted from human embryos. Embryonic stem cells are the most basic human cells which can develop into any type of cell in the body. Scientists believe the research could eventually produce cures for a variety of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease and spinal cord injuries."
President Bush's kowtowing to the religious right pushed us so far back in terms of social policy, it felt as if the United States had somehow morphed into Afghanistan during the Taliban's reign. Many of us felt repressed by the government, because of both the injection of religion and morality into law and the feeling that Big Brother was watching our every move for no good reason.
Note the verbiage used in the Reuters article above, which says that the Christian right opposed stem cell research because its members see use of embryonic stem cells as destruction or murder of "potential life." These people need to get a life. They care more about potential life than actual living, breathing, grown-up human beings. They are costing lives while pretending to campaign as pro-lifers.
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