What happened to Michael J. Fox is a tragedy — but tragedy is not a good basis for deciding broad-reaching moral issues, such as stem cell research. Much more useful is actual information, such as Mary Davenport’s accessible science writing explaining why stem cell research has so far failed completely to fulfill its promise, and why it’s unlikely that it will ever fulfill its promise.
Still, if the personal approach appeals to you, be sure to watch this:
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin
UPDATE: Here’s a little more help from Ryan T. Anderson to explain just how dishonest those ads are, and why they’re nothing more than demagoguery and pandering. The fact that the electorate seems to be responding to them should reflect disgracefully on a dishonest party, and should not be seen as a cause for celebrating a scientifically bankrupt idea. (By the way, the title of Anderson’s article “Spin City,” reminds us that Fox’s last role was a comedy that did manage tentative jokes at the expense of this type of spin — but that forgive it as long as the spin was for a politically correct cause.)
MICHAEL J. FOX is making a splash on television sets across Missouri, appearing in a stem cell commercial attacking Senator Jim Talent during Game 1 of the World Series. According to Fox, “Senator Jim Talent opposes expanding stem cell research. Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope.” Of course Senator Talent has been a consistent supporter of increased funding for stem cell research that doesn’t involve the destruction of human embryos and has only sought to criminalize human cloning, but one needn’t let the facts get in the way. (And it is worth mention that Missouri has a bill on the State ballot that would allow the cloning of human beings and then require their destruction prior to gestation.)
Fox has also just released a similar ad attacking Michael Steele in his race for the vacant Senate seat in Maryland. The reality, however, is that the only person in that race to have voted against stem cell research is Steele’s opponent, Ben Cardin.
In four other states, ads are attacking congressional Republicans who voted against federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The ads, paid for by the Democratic group Majority Action, attack Representatives Chris Chocola, Thelma Drake, Don Sherwood, and James Walsh. They all follow the same format: three healthy citizens tell of impending medical doom and how only embryonic stem cell research will save them. They conclude with these startling words: “Stem cell
research could save lives, maybe yours or your family’s, someone you love. Only Congressman Walsh said no. How come he thinks he gets to decide who lives and who dies; who’s he?” (Apparently the irony of those who favor embryo-destruction accusing others of deciding “who lives and who dies” was lost on the ad’s producers.)
These ads are repulsive. They play on the hopes and fears of million of Americans who are suffering from debilitating diseases, are caring for loved ones, and yearn for something, anything, to hold onto. They manipulate the public’s emotions in the worst imaginable ways, promising them cures that are, in fact, quite uncertain, and pressuring them to forgo their own ethical convictions.
When emotions have subsided and right reasoning returns, one readily grasps three solid reasons to reject appeals for governmental funding of current methods of embryonic stem cell research: First, current methods are unethical as they destroy human beings in the embryonic stage of development. Second, embryonic stem cell research–contrary to all the hype claiming otherwise–doesn’t show any signs of success in the near term, while adult stem cell research is curing diseases now. And third, methods of embryonic stem cell research may soon be available that will not require any human embryo destruction. That is, embryo destruction isn’t only unethical: it’s likely unnecessary.
You can read the rest of Anderson’s article here.