Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lucia Round one to the men of the cloth!

There's an amazing battle going on in the UK right now. It's the Roman Catholic Church vs Gordon Brown's Labour Government over an Embryo Bill. I've posted a couple of times on this now, but haven't given you all a blow by blow account of what is going down over there. I certainly have been keeping track of it, though.

A couple of days ago there was an article about the Church being a serious irritant to Gordon Brown. It mentioned the strength of the RCC as a lobby group given there are 5 million Catholics now in the UK.

Then an article appeared last night that talked about the Embryo Bill being blasted from Catholic pulpits over Easter and how annoying this was for a number of scientists who want the bill to pass.

And today it looks like there has been a strategic backdown, where the Catholic Labour MPs against the bill will be allowed a free-vote.

The amusing thing in light of all this is that the Dominion Post has not a peep about any of this, and instead runs with an article from the UK on how Muslims will outnumber church going Catholics by a couple of thousand in the year 2020! Duh, people!

Related Link: Church wins battle over embryo Bill

20 comment(s):

fugley said...

THE leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics was last night accused of “lying” in comments that he made about controversial embryo research legislation.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article3603020.ece

fugley said...

Colin Blakemore, a former head of the Medical Research Council (MRC), has invited Catholic church leaders who staged an Easter attack on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to an “open-minded discussion” with the research community and patient groups.

In a letter to The Times today, Professor Blakemore says that while he does not wish to question the right of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and other senior bishops to speak out on ethical issues, their criticisms are based on misconceptions.

“The Bill is not about creating monsters or mocking the sanctity of human life,” he writes. “Indeed, it will reduce the number of human eggs and embryos used in the production of stem cells for research.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3607660.ece?Submitted=true

fugley said...

Once again the RCC shows it will stop at nothing to halt human progress.

Here is an example of the sort of thing that happens when governments defer to Churches.

Instead of the promised psychiatric treatment and support, they were placed in the care of Bible studies students, most of them under 30 and some with psychological problems of their own. Counselling consisted of prayer readings, treatment entailed exorcisms and speaking in tongues, and the house was locked down most of the time, isolating residents from the outside world and sealing them in a humidicrib of pentecostal religion.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/they-prayed-to-cast-satan-from-my-body/2008/03/16/1205602195122.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

I will never again make a purchase from Gloria Jeans Coffee.

fugley said...

Leading charities have written to every MP urging them to support the controversial embryo research bill, the BBC has learned.
Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation are among more than 200 charities in favour of the creation of human-animal hybrids for research.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7310709.stm

fugley said...

"This is about using pre-embryonic cells to do research that has the potential to ease the suffering of millions of people in this country. The government has taken a view that this is a good thing."

Liberal Democrat Evan Harris, a member of the Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee, said he felt ethically obliged to allow scientists to carry out the research.

"From a religious point of view, it seems right that we should use God-given powers of science to create short-term entities that are microscopic that might be a way of showing us how to develop stem cells from embryos that might be used to treat people with terrible diseases," he said.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7309445.stm

I suspect the main opposition from the churches is not to do with "the sanctity of human life", but rather that they are afraid of the wrath of god when Men dare to find cures for god given diseases.

ZenTiger said...

Re your first comment: What's your point Fugley? If you are going to leave links, please at least make a comment about WHY you are doing it.

Your first quote is what is already in the post, so is redundant. Your link simply says that Professor Lord Robert Winston is calling the Cardinal a liar.

I note he doesn't quote from Cardinal in proof, he just makes the statement. He accuses the Cardinal of deliberately misleading the public, instead of say, having a deeply held opinion. One would expect some level of proof in the article for it to appear useful to anyone with a brain, who are used to MP's lying, twisting and spinning to manipulate the media.

Your second comment nicely contradicts your first. It seems that some people don't believe the Cardinal is lying and instead think that his opinion is based on misconceptions. You add a quote that shows why many scientists also have thought processes based on misconceptions:

“Indeed, it will reduce the number of human eggs and embryos used in the production of stem cells for research.

So the thing is, if a scientist wants to murder 1,000 people for medical experiments, and then declares that the resistance to this is based on misconceptions: "don't worry, our new technique means only 100 people die" then they certainly have a misconception about what is meant by the sanctity of life.

Your third comment tries to associate the RCC with a pentecostal group. All religions are not equal. Just like your opinions, actions and attitudes are not the same as mine on every score (and yet we will share some common opinions, even though we both are classed as humans).

Besides, that particular story has many different dimensions to it. You would do well to educate yourself to the full story. Want some links?

Finally, there is a solution to this problem. Alternate stem cell creation from non-embryonic sources seems to be advancing at a rapid rate of knots. The RCC are supportive of those options.

Anonymous said...

Fugley,

Leading charities have written to every MP urging them to support the controversial embryo research bill, the BBC has learned.

Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation are among more than 200 charities in favour of the creation of human-animal hybrids for research.


Um . . . who cares? If 200 charities said they wanted fox hunts and drive-to-work-in-your-SUV day, would that make them good ideas?

ZenTiger said...

Wow, 5 comments in quick succession. I can barely keep up. I hope they find a cure for you soon Fugley.

I suspect the main opposition from the churches is not to do with "the sanctity of human life", but rather that they are afraid of the wrath of god when Men dare to find cures for god given diseases.

I think you have issues Fugley. Anyway, it seems the opposite to me Fugley. The RCC is fairly consistent about being against murder of criminals, murder of pre-born babies, and respect for human life in general. This begins to explain their position on contraception, which makes sense when you see where they draw the line.

With people of principle, such lines are immutable. When you choose "pragmatism" then the lines move too easily.

Suddenly, its ok to tear the limbs off a baby that is 36 weeks old (partial-birth abortions) and could survive quite happily apart from direct intervention which results in, unbfortunately, murder.

The RCC are pro the alternative technology that uses stem cell research without the need to use embryos, so it's not a technology issue, and its not a "men curing people" issue. The RCC are not anti-medicine and its laughable you effectively attempt to propose that.

Anonymous said...

That's all very nutty Zen but this debate isn't about human stem cells. That's actually the whole point...

ZenTiger said...

Well, I'm pleased there is a debate. Far better than legislation of this sort just pass quietly in the night without considering all views, and taking the time to learn of the finer details.

This is not a time to react by Fugley's church bashing, but one that recognizes the value of listening to different views on issues such as these. After all, that's the supposed benefit of living in this society. On one side we have deeply held concern, on the other misdirected outrage.

In any event, the debate is hardly inflammatory. You should hear some Green "Scientists" go on about the end of the world within a few years. (I also welcome that debate).

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's ever a time to react by church bashing but equally it's hardly a time for 'men of the cloth' to go on about 'Frankenstein experiments' and such emotive rubbish.

I think if most people actually took the time to understand the research being proposed they'd be for it. That was certainly the result when the NZ Bioethics council consulted with interest groups about the use of human genes in other organisms. The initial reaction of most people amounted to "Yuck!" but when you've had time to talk about it, and explain that, for instance, many diabetics take insulin grown up in bacterial cells, then people get behind it.

So, yes, less have a debate but please lets make it an informed one.(And let's not have a group of elected officials from a western democracy making their votes based on orders from Rome)

ZenTiger said...

That's all fine and good, but isn't an embryo a "prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development"?

And wasn't this said by one of the scientists:

“Indeed, it will reduce the number of human eggs and embryos used in the production of stem cells for research.

So they want to use human embryos in various experiments to produce stem cells?

Isn't this simply one side saying "nothing wrong with this, and anyway, the ends justifies the means" and the other saying "using fertilized eggs and embryos is bad, and we don't agree with this branch of investigation."

What am I missing here?

Lucia Maria said...

Zen, I don't think you are missing anything. It's the other side that have the defunct morality braincells.

fugley said...

Zen, its not church bashing to point out the dead ends religion leads people in to.

Here is another one:

WESTON, Wis. — An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said Madeline Neumann died Sunday.

"She got sicker and sicker until she was dead," he said.

Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.


Sounds like this poor girl would have sufferred an very painful and frightening death.

And the worst bit? The girl's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to "apparently they didn't have enough faith," the police chief said.

They believed the key to healing "was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray," he said.

The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,341574,00.html

Anonymous said...

No Zen. One side is saying that taking the nucleus (that contains very nearly all the DNA) from an animal cell then inserting the nuclues from a human cheek cell and growing it up for 6 days before disaggregating a ball of cells is 'gortesque' and 'monstrous' procedure.

I believe it's true that the bill will also allow research that allows the destruction of human embryos and even *gasp* allows same sex couple to have rights as parents. Call me cynical but tt seems to me at least that the professed outrage is more about PR. Turn people off this bill because it's easy to gross people out if you you can mislead them about what this procedure involves. That way the priests get what they want (a ban on embryonic research but, oddly, not IVF...) and no regonition for same sex couples even though most people support these ideas.

Lucia Maria said...

Fugley,

Your last example of the girl who died because of "lack of faith" is an example of the errant beliefs of some Christians. I have to stress some because that part is particularly important.

Now you were brought up Catholic, were you not? Did you ever come across such a belief among the people you grew up with? My guess is that the answer is no, because such a belief is not Catholic. And the majority of Christians are Catholic.

That is not to say that some Catholics don't have strange beliefs that are not supported by Church doctrine such as contraception being ok.

But to say that religion leads to dead ends, using a non-Catholic example on a thread about what the RCC Church is doing in Britain to defend life, is to be guilty of extremely simplistic thinking. It's not many steps away from saying "people lead others into dead ends therefore all people should die".

The next time you spam one of my posts with this many irrelevant comments, I will delete them.

Make a point, do it in one comment with links only and a summary of what you are trying to say, and I will be more lenient.

Do this again and I will not.

ZenTiger said...

Yes it is Fugley, when you make such sweeping generalisations, and then prop it up with similar logic. Are you trying to suggest I would not take my children to see a Doctor?

Local David: The quote I saw more a pandora box theme: The Scottish Catholic leader, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, said the Bill would lead to the endorsement of experiments of "Frankenstein proportions".

I noticed the recent "new sins" articles all misquoted from each other until their spin was accepted as fact. I suspect the media have been playing the same game.

Psycho Milt said...

Local David: The quote I saw more a pandora box theme: The Scottish Catholic leader, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, said the Bill would lead to the endorsement of experiments of "Frankenstein proportions".

In other words, these dumb-ass mofos are opposing perfectly ordinary stuff because they don't like some other, superficially similar but not in fact comparable at all, stuff. We've had experience of it here in the last 12 months with the idea that allowing parents to smack children leads to the endorsement of child abuse. It was a stupid argument then, and this latest version isn't an improvement. I hope Gordon Brown takes the opportunity to f*ck these clerics' sh*t up big-time.

ZenTiger said...

Have a nice break PM?

Psycho Milt said...

Wonderful - beautiful weather, swimming, spending too much money etc. Didn't make me any less grumpy though, as you can see...

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