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July 21, 2006



One solitary democrat voted "nay." Thank God for Nelson from Nebraska.

California voters: Defeat Diane Feinstein in November. Vote for Richard "Dick" Mountjoy for US Senate on November 7, 2006.

Mountjoy For US Senate

Reagan Fan

Senate Majority Leader Frist voted "aye." I guess George Allen will be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2008, after all. I just hope the Republicans can hold the Congress until then.

Senator Allen's Position on Some Issues


With Hill and Chucky Cheese Shumer as my senators, I don't even have to look.


Barbara - I have Dodd and Lieberman. I don't either.

As a sidenote, new polls out show that Lieberman is probably going to lose the democratic nomination to a much more liberal opponent. Lieberman is going to run as an independent (if he loses the nomination) and will probably win the senate as one. There are some reputable people whispering in political circles that if Joe separates himself from the democratic political machine, he may begin to vote our way on some conservative life & family issues. A very interesting circle of events is begining to unfold in CT/US senate politics...


The vote was very disappointing. The only bright spot for me is that living in Alabama I have two very good senators.

Jamie Beu

Before anybody complains, I just have to ask - did you write to your Senators (on baby harvesting, as well as on cloning), or did you just vote some November in the past and hope they do a good job?

Satan's minions are activists - we cannot be passive in this world, and hope that everything turns out fine.

Dr. Eric

Good Ol' Missouri stands up for Life.

Dan E.

Virginia - One up, one down.
This is yet another chance for the US bishops to do something about the so-called Catholic senators and congressmen (Pelosi, Leahy, Kennedy, Kerry...) who consistently vote in favor of abortion. Someday the USCCB will do more than just talk. I won't hold my breath.

Nihil (Satan's minion)

While not directly related to the post, I was just sent this link and would like to hear what the pro-lifers think of it:


David B.

Thank You, Lord, for the two good Senators from my state. Please let the younger of the two beat out frist for the Pres. nomination.


Thank you, Jimmy. I was looking for this list.


South Dakota was also one up, one down. We (finally) rid ourselves of Tom Daschle. I think it's high time we do the same to Tim Johnson.

Dan E.

"...but I decided an abortion was the only realistic option. Thanks to Planned Parenthood counseling, I worked through some very tough conflicts within myself. I had to learn that my decision was a loving one. That 'my god' was actually a loving and supportive god."
Nihil, there is so much wrong with this thinking, I don't know where to begin! The quote above comes from the last letter on the website, written by a supposed Catholic. The letter is so absurd it appears to me to be fraudulent. It is filled with just about every cliche possible, from "I was born into a Catholic family", to "it was an agonizing decision, something I would never do," to the garbage I quoted above. "My decision (to have an abortion) was a loving one." What??!! Thank God my head was wrapped in duct tape when I read that because my head exploded!


Dan --

Women do write and think things like that. It's not about logic; it's about denial. Naturally, it does nothing to assuage the unbearable sadness and guilt, but it buries it and makes it more acceptable for a while.

The thing with abortion is that, almost always, it's not so much about a need for money or assistance (since those things can be found in many private and public organizations that would love to help). It's almost always about the girl being pressured by family and/or boyfriend, and/or the girl feeling depression and anger and fear towards herself and committing abortion instead of suicide. She has someone cut the baby out instead of cutting or poisoning herself. The rationalizations of getting rid of the baby are similar to those depressed people make about getting rid of themselves.

Nihil (and Dan), I think you should go to afterabortion.blogspot.com and read some of the stories there. You'll understand the dynamics a bit better.

Joe Attardi

Well, we aren't living in a Christian Theocracy; therefore when it comes to the issue of senators voting in "un-Catholic" ways, they're doing their job.

Just because something is viewed as immoral by one group of people does NOT mean it should be made into law. I am a Christian myself, but what about non-Christians? This isn't a theocracy and we can't just push things into law because it agrees with our moral standards.

It's too bad this was voted down; this research could have helped a lot of people with terrible diseases.

John E

Our Colorado senators were split -- Allard defending the unborn, and Salazar, yet another CINO politician, voting for harvesting. There's just something extra despicable about a Catholic contributing to the culture of death.

What also bothers me is the media's use of the term "stem cell research" -- so-and-so is for stem cell research and whats-his-name is against it. I just want to scream, "It's about the embryo, stupid!" The controversy isn't stem cell research. The controversy is EMBRYONIC stem cell research. Can we get a little honesty here?!


Have embrionic stem sells, er, cells been used to treat disease one? No.
Have adult cells? Yes.
As a tax payer, why support my money being thrown down another big hole?

francis 03

Joe may not be high, but he might have missed that what's being complained about here is Catholic senators' lack of adherence to their faith. Joe, I don't know much about the texture of your personal beliefs, but don't you concede that if you were a Senator, there would be at least some things that as a matter of faith or morals you'd have to vote against (e.g., a constitutional amendment outlawing Christianity or requiring desecration of the Bible)? If so, then why are you telling Catholics what they can and can't expect their co-religionist representatives to do?

Joe Attardi

Dean, I am not high, but thanks for asking. Very Christian of you.
Why haven't embryonic stem cells been used to treat any disease? I'll let you think about it for a second.


Because people like Jimmy here and a lot of his readers are so up in arms that they refuse to allow research to be done, labeling those who would do such research as 'baby harvesters'.

So many so-called Christians I see are more worried about politics and everybody else rather than themselves.

Joe Attardi


I see your point, where you're coming from. However, the original post is referring to all the senators who made the vote for or against, not just Catholic senators.

However, it's not always quite so black-and-white as that. There is a lot of gray area - do you vote as how a Catholic would vote, using your faith as a basis for your decision, or do you vote for what you think is best for the country as a whole (which includes non-Catholics) and maintains the mandated separation of church and state?


I wonder how many of those Republican politicans who voted against support abortion in some form?


"It's too bad this was voted down; this research could have helped a lot of people with terrible diseases." Have you had this ability to predict the future for very long?

"Because people like Jimmy here and a lot of his readers are so up in arms that they refuse to allow research to be done..." I think you may be overestimating their power.


There are just some things that are wrong no matter what your faith is. Murder is one of them. Killing babies so that you can experiment with their cells is someone that everyone should be opposed to.

I also do not think that you can blame "People Like Jimmy..." for the reason as to why embryonic stem cells are not curing disease. There are already 60 exisitng stem cell lines that are getting research funding....yet nothing came of them? AND now they are corrupt so we need to harvest more??

I also think it is sad that a different bill that was passed by the senate that would offer incentive to use alternative research methods was stopped in the house. I hope they get that one moving again.

Dave Mueller

Well, that definitively rules out McCain and Frist from getting my support for the 2008 Presidential nomination, not that I liked either of them anyway.

I'd like Allen, though my (probably unrealistic) dream candidate is Brownback.

Joe Attardi

"Have you had this ability to predict the future for very long?"
You fail at reading comprehension! "Could have" means maybe there would have been some progress, or maybe not. If I was 'predicting the future' I would have made a statement like: "This research would have helped a lot of people with terrible diseases." Nice try, though.

DaveJ, bill912:
I take back the "People like Jimmy" wording. That wasn't how I meant it. I mostly mean, people who expect Senators to vote purely on church views/doctrine/opinion/whatever, instead of trying to think of the broader picture.

Dave Mueller: Of course, it makes perfect sense to competely write off a candidate because of one thing they voted on. Yay!


Right. It was my fault I read "could have" when that's what you wrote, though you meant "might have". I failed, but not at reading comprehension; I failed at telepathy.

Joe Attardi

Wrong again, Bill. Let's break it down:
could = past tense of 'can' = "Used to indicate possibility or probability: I wonder if my long lost neighbor can still be alive. Such things can and do happen."
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/could, definition 2.a.)

might = past tense of 'might' = "Used to indicate a certain measure of likelihood or possibility: It may rain this afternoon."
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/might, definition 2.)

Hmm, it would appear "could have" and "might have" mean the same thing!!!! A synonym, if you will!

"Could have" == "Might have" == "Possibly would have"
DOES NOT equal "Would have".


"It's too bad this was voted down; this research could have helped a lot of people with terrible diseases."

*One day* this research may very well prove useful to treat diseases. In much the same vein, the research the Chinese do on prisoners also proves useful. As did the research done in Auschwitz.

The question isn't, will this research prove useful - rather, is this research ethical?

francis 03


1. Nobody is "refusing to allow" research-- or at least no law has been passed to that effect. People like Jimmy (and me) are objecting to our tax dollards being used to fund it. I guess you disagree with that substantively, but there's still tons of privately-funded research going on.

2. So on the politicians issue, there are two parallel things going on here. First, people are wanting to vote their consciences on an issue that's very important to them, and they're gathering information to do so. Democracy in action. Second, people are lamenting the fact that those politicians who share their faith aren't acting the way the faith tells them to. Perfectly understandable.

As to your "separation of church and state" argument, I fail to see what it establishes. First, laws have always been passed to enact morality. Laws against murder, rape, bigamy, stealing, and perjury all have religious roots. If you want to say that lawmakers can't even think about their religion when making law, what would you substitute? Even our own Declaration of Independence states that we enjoy the rights we do because God gave them to us. I fail to see how any alternative system could produce the same level of broad societal agreement about what rights individals enjoy.

Second, even if you could propose an individual system, who's to say that THAT system wouldn't prohibit killing embryos to get their cells? Presumably any desirable system would preserve the right to human life. Are you saying that there's no secular principle by which we can say that embryos have a right to life? That seems pretty preposterous to me.

francis 03

typo: in the last paragraph above, "individual system" should read "alternative basis for legislation."

Joe Attardi


You didn't just compare embryonic stem cell research to the Nazis' experimentation at concentration camps. Did you?

Oh crap, you did. Here's an apple and an orange; would you like to compare them? By the way, you lose the discussion. (See Godwin's law.)

Joe Attardi


You made some very good points in your post.
I don't really mean that they shouldn't be allowed to think about their religious beliefs when voting on laws; of course they should. I didn't mean for it to come across that way.

Keep in mind though that these embryos were gathered in a very uncontroversial manner, and many of them will be eventually destroyed anyway. Where's the outrage about that?

This is a tough issue; it's not so black-and-white ,there's a lot of gray area. But a lot of people are acting as if it's a completely black-and-white issue, and it's not so simple.


Regarding the argument: 'they're just going to be destroyed anyway.' Can someome help uncover this heinous justification.

1. There is no reason why they should be destroyed. We use tax dollars to kill babies; here's an idea, how about we use tax dollars to save them. Against taxes all together? I know multiple people trying to adopt babies.

2. Even if there is nothing we can do to help prevent the embryos from being destroyed, does that mean we should contribute to the injustice.

Frank Sheed's book entitled society and sanity is very relevant to this discussion. His thesis pivots around the idea that Man--both genders implied--is special primarily because he is made in the likeness of God. It is not because of what he can do, or what he has, it is simply because of his creation as such. We have lost this one significant understanding of man, hence, with no hesitation we can sacrifice the most vulnerable for "progress". It is sad.

Joe Attardi

Yes, let's keep using misleading words. We're harvesting frozen babies to take their cells! The injustice!

This is a baby:

This is an early-stage embryo, from which embryonic stem cells are taken (called a blastocyst, which is an embryo that is between 50 to 150 cells):

Big difference. But if we call them babies, more people will be horrified! Maybe do a little research on the topic first..

Dan E.

Joe Attardi - This is not a complicated issue when it comes to being Catholic and a politician. Simply put, a Catholic legislator may not create or vote to create a law which sanctions the destruction of innocent human life, whether by embryonic stem cell research, abortion or any other way. The bishops of these politicians must call them on it.

Dan E.

"But if we call them babies, more people will be horrified!"
Maybe if we lie about the true point of when a HUMAN life begins, people won't be horrified when we end it.

Joe Attardi

Except the bishops, cardinals, and even the Pope himself are all politicians as well. You'd be blind to think otherwise!

"...a Catholic legislator may not create or vote to create a law..."
I'm sorry you think so. A Catholic legislator may do whatever he or she wishes, one of the benefits of a free society.

Why do people think that lawmakers need to act as if we were in a theocracy? Senators and Representatives are elected by the people that they represent. Not all of the people they represent are Catholic, Christian, or even religious at all. You cannot expect them to all vote across lines that the Catholic church thinks is acceptable, because they are alienating all the other people that they represent.

Joe Attardi

Dan E:

We're talking about a clump of cells here. You destroy more than that every time you cut your hair!!

OK, that's not the best analogy, but it's the best I can do


Joe: It matters not if it is "just a cluster of cells", it is still human life.

The analogy of cutting your hair is specious: cutting your hair does not involve killing human life, the ends of your hair are dead anyway.

Joe Attardi

"The analogy of cutting your hair is specious: cutting your hair does not involve killing human life, the ends of your hair are dead anyway."

As I said, that probably was a lousy analogy.

You are nothing more than a clump of cells, if you want to get (inaccurate and non-Christian) technical.

An embryo is as much a human being as you are. And you are as much a clump of cells as he is.

John E

"So many so-called Christians I see are more worried about politics and everybody else rather than themselves."

Genuine concern for others, especially those most vulnerable to exploitation, and putting others before ourselves is a huge part of what it means to be Christian.

"This is a tough issue; it's not so black-and-white ,there's a lot of gray area. But a lot of people are acting as if it's a completely black-and-white issue, and it's not so simple."

Embryonic stem cell research intentionally kills innocent human beings. If you want to give your life for research, go for it. But taking others' lives is wrong. Black and white.

francis 03

Joe, I don't know whether you're married or have children. But most people who do start referring to "the baby" and "our baby" as soon as they find out they're pregnant. In fact, even "popular-guide-to-pregnancy" books do it. So I submit that in ordinary English usage, a tiny embryo is both "a clump and cells" AND "a baby."

Besides-- you recognize that at least a clump of cells dies when an embryo is destroyed. I'm sure you also recognize that this clump of cells gets half of its genome from its father, and half from its mother. This means you recognize that the tissue genetically does not belong to the mother. But at the same time, it IS human tissue. So-- whose tissue is it? Any pregnant couple can tell you: it's "the baby's!"

As to Catholic politicians not voting like they're Catholics-- of course they're legally free to do so; nobody disputes that. You seem to have a problem with Catholics WANTING them to vote like Catholics. You say that to ask them to do that is to ask them to alienate everyone else they represent. But by this same rationale, you should NEVER expect a politician to do ANYTHING for you, because doing so would alienate some other people he/she represents! This is nonsense. Democracy depends on people voting for representatives whose laws will please them, and on people complaining when the laws passed by the representatives don't please them. Although you acknowledged that this is a "good point" when I brought it up earlier, you didn't address it. If you don't intend to do so, I hope you'll lay off the folks around here who are exercising their rights to free speech and participation in the political process.


At least the senator that I voted for (Senator Ensign) voted against this bill. He darn well better have! He sends a letter to our annual Pro-Life rally on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I'm glad to see that he's more pro-life than a lot of others.

David B.


You are mistaking natural law as an artical of faith. All people, regardless of faith, are obliged to respect natural law. It is against natural law to kill innocent people for our own gain. Secondly, just because someone may be planning to destroy embryos doesn't give you the right to kill the embryo first so some secondary good can come from its death.


Have embrionic stem sells, er, cells been used to treat disease one? No.
Have adult cells? Yes.
As a tax payer, why support my money being thrown down another big hole?

Not to jump into the fray here, but I'd like to clarify a few things about research and ESC research in particular.

First, ASCs are not nearly as curative as ESCR opponents make out. The main reason for this is that they are basically organ transplants and one has to contend with histocompatability issues. So, yes, ASCs have been used to treat disease but they haven't actually treated all that many people. But that's all really beside the point.

The real point is that ESCR falls under the rubric of basic research, which is research that is generally several degrees removed from immediate applicability. This confuses many people. Why am I paying taxes for research that isn't curing anybody? Well, we really don't know much about development. We know that ASCs are older than ESCs, and that they are further along in the differentiation pathway. We don't know how they get there. We'd like to study the steps before they get destined to becomes, say, a blood cell. So we look at ESCs to try to figure that out. The real potential to cure disease from ESCR is not necessarily the actual use of the ESCs in treatment regimens, but from treatments that arise because we have a better understanding of cell differentiation and development.

It isn't throwing your tax dollars down a big hole. It's just that many people don't grasp the idea of basic research so it merely appears that way. For example, your tax dollars (and lots of them) went to developing gigantic machines with big magnets to help chemists study the intimate details of small molecules, which is pretty esoteric. And guess what came from that seemingly trivial piece of research? MRIs. Which are invaluable to the medical community.

Which brings us to federal funding. ESCR is basic research, which is funded primarily by the federal government for several reasons. One, the NIH is the largest grant-making organization and it is properly prepared (unlike smaller, private NGOs) to fund the most promising research, so much less money gets wasted. Two, for-profit funding is, well, for profit. Basic research is too many steps removed from a sellable product. All the earliest steps in research are funded by the government because it is considered a public good.

But all of this is completely irrelevent. If killing embryos is bad, killing embryos is bad, regardless of whether or not its your tax dollars or if ASCs have more immediate clinical relevence. If it were the other way around, and ESCs had demonstrated more promise than ASCs, would that magically justify killing embryos? No.

I guess my point is this: when properly informed about ESCR and when it is put in the context of the reality of biological research, ESCR is emminently justifiable as valid research we should be spending money on. The question is, how powerful would it have to be justify the destruction of embryos?


I see -one- Democrat Senator that doesn't have to be hung by the neck until dead according to the Nuremburg Code.


"This is a tough issue; it's not so black-and-white ,there's a lot of gray area. But a lot of people are acting as if it's a completely black-and-white issue, and it's not so simple."

This sounds like rhetoric straight from the mouth of satan.

Yea! Oklahoma voted correctly!



You believe you are invoking a "middle ground" when in fact you siding in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

Laws define moral boundaries. They are not friendly suggestions on what you should do. That is the nature of law.

To suggest a Christian dispense with his beliefs as a lawmaker is well, to ask them to perform a moral lobotomy.

By requiring political leaders to do this, you are in fact, placing an unconstitutional restriction on the free practice of religion as well advocating a thought-police standard for how people can vote.

In your view of how government should work, a Muslim senator and would be forced to vote like all the other Secularist senators because to let his supernatural understanding of the universe sway his vote would be, in your eyes, impermissible.

Funny how when you think you have toppled dogma, you get, yet more dogma.

If you want Secularist government where the sanctity of human life is not an issue, please move to China -- where abortions are mandatory and embryonic stem cell research is all rage.

Ni shi wo de zui hao tongzhi ah!


(See Godwin's law.)

Godwin's law is a childish ad hominem attack used to evade an obvious counter-example to an argument. (Always, not just here.)

And claiming it's apples and oranges doesn't prove it.




"And claiming it's apples and oranges doesn't prove it."

Yes, watching a Secularist Relativist try to use logic and build working arguments is a lot like watching a child play-pretend adult by putting on their parents clothes.



1st of all, Joe, my are you high comment was out of line. My apologies.

2nd, Michael, thank you for the information. Although I work in a field where I am exposed to MRI's and other spin off technologies.

This said,I do equate embrionic stem cell research with Nazi crimes against humanity.
The embrio is a human being. If he or she is not granted the right to exist, no other right exists either.


A further thought on Catholic politicians who don't vote Catholic.

Imagine a candidate runs on a pro-NASA platform, canvases to people that favor NASA. Says, "Hey, I'm one of you. I'm part of your culture."
After election, this person consistantly cuts NASA's budget , generally makes statements that are from the Flat-earth Society home page and says "I'm personnally in favor of gravity but..."

Would the people who were swayed to vote for him be a triffle upset?


Hey.... the guy who said that embrio research isn't the same as what the Nazis did is right.

The Nazis took prisoners and did immoral research.
The folks that want to the embrio research are talking about growing thousands of their own and doing immoral research.

Much larger pool of possible victims, and I find it much more horrifying to create someone specifically so you can tear them to bits.

Joe - you're too funny. Thanks for jumping to your infallible conclusion. Discussions must become much simpler for you when you don't have to think too much...

But no, I wasn't actually comparing this research to the Nazis, I was pointing out what should be obvious to any person of conscience, or any person for that matter - that harvesting babies for research is not ethical, even if that research produces good results.

If you still need me to explain further I'd be more than happy to.


That last post was mine, BTW.


The end doesn't justify the means. No matter how much "good" is expected to come from it.


I'm from the corrupt state of IL where two flaming liberals are in the Senate (Durbin and Obama), and Mark Kirk, my Republican rep. who I generally like was proud to have helped usher this bill through the House, and I live in a community where the biggest uproar over a life issue centered on culling the deer population. And the Chicago Tribune went for the utilitarian argument. And our governor showed his testicular virilty (his phrase, I'm NOT making that up!) but doing an end run around the General Assembly and signed an executive order committing $5 mil of money the state doesn't have toward embryonic stem cell research.

Congrats to those who graciously reminded Joe he, too, once was and still is a clump of cells.


I think Joe A. is trying to misapply Godwin's Law to his own advantage. According to Wikipedia:
The law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that hyperbolic overuse...should be avoided...

What would he have hidden behind if the commenter had used the Japanese prison camps of WWII as an analogy? I don't think there's a Japanese corollary to Godwin's law, and I believe either way the comparison stands on its own and was not used gratuitously.

BTW, I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Chinese ESCR research programs have had some pretty spectacular failures of late--by 'spectacular,' I mean, 'unimaginably tragic and horrific for the poor patients who were chosen for the clinical trials.' Anybody know any more about this matter?



Since everyone on the planet began as this "insignificant" clump of cells, I would be carefull about dismissing their worth in such a cavalier manner. When Bush announced his veto, the prescious children behind him began as rescued blastocysts. Obviously they werent summarily destroyed. Maybe you could tell them that research is more important than their lives? Maybe since you too began as this cell clump you hold in contempt, you could fill your organ donor card requirement early. After all, it's in the name of curing diseases.

Kathy Haas

How about if the rest of us pray for Joe?


Amen to that, Kathy Haas.

Joe Attardi

I've missed a few posts over the weekend I see!

First off let me apologize for something. I did not mean to sound like a troll when I first sounded off in this argument. It wasn't the best approach, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone with the way I phrased my remarks.

That being said, a few points:

(1) Hey Joseph, since you put 'insignificant' in quotation marks before my reference to a 'clump of cells' you seem to be adding that word to my quotation. I never said it was insignificant.

(2) Again Joseph, I never said anything about feeling contempt for embryos. Hang on, let me re-read the thread to make sure. Nope, I didn't. So I'd appreciate if you would stop embellishing the things I said.

(3) As for the reference to Godwin's Law - I realize now re-reading everything that it was made out of context and I am willing to retract that. However, I don't appreciate people saying I'm "hiding" behind it and such. Why is it that several of the responses to things I've said have been modified to be more inflammatory?

(4) Kathy: Do you normally pray for people simply because they disagree with you?

So, in short: Several people have been embellishing the things I said when quoting them to demonize me, then suggest that everyone pray for me. I don't appreciate my words being twisted in this way.

I was not trying to say that an embryo was insignificant, or otherwise expendable. I guess I was mostly trying to get people to just at least consider the other side before passing judgment on me because I don't agree with the agreed-upon stance here.

I do have this to add to the discussion, too: Why aren't you opposed to in vitro fertilization in general? Many embryos die in the process to attempt to get one inside the mother to attach and grow?

I'm simply saying this: A lot of these embryos will die/not survive anyway. And, I doubt that tax dollars will be spent to preserve them frozen, indefinitely.

I can totally understand you being opposed to it, and that's fine. What I took issue with even at the beginning was that the comments here seemed more intended to demonize those who voted in favor of, or support, this research, instead of talking about the issue itself.

Hopefully this post came across less inflammatory than some of my others. Thanks for listening.

Joe Attardi

Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention. This is for Joseph again. Since you suggested that I "could fill your organ donor card requirement early", are you suggesting that I kill myself, or be killed? How very Christian of you. Maybe I should pray for you, having such hateful feelings towards another person.

I do have this to add to the discussion, too: Why aren't you opposed to in vitro fertilization in general? Many embryos die in the process to attempt to get one inside the mother to attach and grow?

In vitro fertilization is against Catholic teaching.

francis 03


I am often uncomfortable with what I feel is the mean-spiritedness and piling-on that occurs around here. I feel that some posters are rather poor ambassadors for Christ and his Church.

To respond to a question you just asked, Catholics do oppose in vitro fertilization. The moral issues you raise with regard to what to do with frozen IVF embryos are significant, and need to be wrestled with. I think-- and maybe someone can corroborate this-- that a big part of the problem people have with this research is that in addition to using embryos that "are going to die anyway," it also involves creating lots of new embryos specifically to kill them and do research on their cells. This seems to me to be one of the more heinous acts I can think of.

Joe Attardi

"In vitro fertilization is against Catholic teaching."

Oh, OK. I didn't know that. I won't ask why; that's likely to open up a whole new flame war, which none of us want.

Joe Attardi


I see it a lot. Especially on other sites with message boards that I frequent, most Christians I see are usually caught up in judging and condemning the people who don't agree with them, or with the doctrine passed down by the folks in Rome.

Jamie Beu

I have a theory about why the vote was so much more slanted against babies than most abortion-related votes have recently been.

At least with abortion, women are usually claiming (truthfully or otherwise) that it is a difficult decision to make, or that they were "forced" into it, due to their circumstances ("I'm still in school" or "My baby and I would have to live in poverty our entire lives"). With ESCR, though, nobody's even pretending this is a difficult moral decision to make - instead, it is treated as "for me, for my benefit, for my family's health" or even better, "for the technological future of our country." God forbid our country fall behind in the dangerous, immoral technology sector. We need to do this for me! Besides, the damage has already been done (fertilized ovum from IVF) - time to reap the spoils of war, er... I mean, science.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is promoted by groups like campusprogess.org - they are stressing the potential, possible benefits, ignoring all the horrible failures so far, as well as ignoring the numerous (and expanding) successes of more http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10743>ethical means of stem cell research.

Colleges without a strong base in faith are fortresses of the "science above all" kind of thinking. They are taught that science and utilitarianism trumps any and all personal concerns. They treat the human being as a means to an end, rather than as an end in and of themselves. (I've posted more about this at http://jamiebeu.spaces.msn.com/blog/cns!6E0753BD56367285!485.entry>my blog

"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' ... for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?" Luke 23:28-31

Joe Attardi

Are you familiar with the massacre of the Cathars at Montsegur? The Catholic Church hasn't always been so unflinchingly in support of the preservation of all life...

Joe Attardi

From http://www.ordotempli.org/the_cathars.htm:

Arnold Aimery, the Papal Legate at the siege of Beziers, ordered his men: "Show mercy neither to order, nor to age, nor to sex....Cathar or Catholic, Kill them all... God will know his own....".

David B.

Joe Attardi,

Though there have been many bad Catholics, I am sure you will never find any official Church teachings telling anyone to commit murder. The Church herself never condones any sin, even when her own children (including the Popes)are the ones doing evil.

Joe Attardi


I am merely trying to point out that over a long enough timeline, nobody is perfect and can judge others.

There were no teachings, I know, but the fact is that there was a time where the upper echelons of the Catholic Church were not above murder to stamp out heresy.

I know this strays a bit from the stem cell discussion, I apologize. But I did want to mention it.


No argument, Joe A. The Church is full of sinners (as I'm reminded every time I shave). Her worst enemies have always been those within rather than those without. (Cardinal Richlieu comes to mind).

Joe Attardi


As someone who frequently cuts himself shaving, I hear you on that remark. :-)

David B.

"nobody is perfect and can judge others."

Agreed. But the Church IS perfect, and has authority on Faith and morals, and uses that authority in condemning ESCR.

Joe Attardi

"Agreed. But the Church IS perfect, and has authority on Faith and morals, and uses that authority in condemning ESCR."

Maybe I am completely ignorant, and if so I apologize, but isn't that authority within the Church held by ... men? The Pope, cardinals, bishops, and such?


More than the sum of the parts.

However, I disagree with the basic statement-- you don't have to be perfect to judge, or society would fall. If only those who have never had a dark mark against anything they've been involved in can judge, society can't go on.

Joe Attardi


So you think hypocrisy is OK, then?

Joe Attardi

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment that you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

David B.


What's your point? Men are sinners, but when the Pope or the bishops base their condemnation of ESCR on Church teaching, it is the truth, and not their fallible opinions.

Joe Attardi


My point is only that they don't always base their actions on the teachings of the "perfect" Church, unless in the case I mentioned earlier you think the Church teachings told the Pope et al. to exterminate the heretics?


The Church is the Body of Christ, with Him as the Head of His Body, and we the parts. The Head is perfect, the parts are not. But He is making us perfect. Eventually, the parts will be perfect.

Christ has given the Church His Authority, and guaranteed that, through the Holy Spirit, she will never, in her official teachings, never teach in error on matters of Faith and Morals. But He never guaranteed that His Church's leaders would always speak those teachings when they should, nor did He gurantee impeccability. Every pope can echo the words of St. Peter: "I am a weak and sinful man."

David B.


The Pope can sin if he wants to, but he will never find any teachings of the church to back him up. He has the authority to speak on ESCR, but that doesn't mean that he also has Carte Blanche to order people to sin.

Joe Attardi

David B:

OK, I understand what you mean about the Pope now. Thanks for clearing it up, I wasn't sure what you meant in some of your earlier posts.

David B.

I'm glad we cleared that up.

Joe Attardi

I'm going to stop posting in this thread now; I think by this point we have successfully beat this dead horse many times over, and the discussion has (often by my own fault) strayed far from the original post about being upset by Catholic lawmakers voting in what has been demonstrated here as very un-Catholic ways. Which is understandable, given from what you all have said.

I still maintain that the stem cell debate is not as simply black and white that a lot of you are making it out to be; whether you choose to agree with me or not (and I am guessing you will opt for the "not" there)

In sum, I'm glad that as a non-Catholic I can make my own opinion on it based on the available facts out there, instead of inheriting what is handed down as how I should feel about it from a bunch of guys in Rome.

I'm sure now there will be more inflammatory posts to me after my exit, "Oooh I'll pray for him because he is so hateful, blah , blah" etc. That's fine, because I won't be here to read it!

Flame on!

//proud to be Protestant, and form my own opinions.

David B.

Well Joe,

Let's agree to disagree (I hate line). I hope you haven't found my comments to be rude.

Joe Attardi

OK, I lied, one last post.

David B: Sounds good to me. That's the most civil thing I've heard yet on here. :) Agree to disagree, agreed!

Ok, now I'm gone.

/Flame on!



Brother in Christ, thanks for dialoguing with us. Wish more Prot's would do so,

--former Prot


Too bad Joe is gone. I was going to discuss "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." I love this line, as much as it's misused. You see, it DOESN'T say that I can't take a log out of my brother's eye when I have a speck in mine. That's probably why the best counsellors for alcoholics have been alcoholics themselves. And why Catholic politicians might be swayed by their Catholic constituents, no?

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