Stem Sell Job by Gilbert Meilaender

Stem Sell Job

Gilbert Meilaender on Why The Christian Century Is Wrong About “Spare” Embryos

More than any other strand of Christian denominational existence in America, mainline Protestant churches have sought to shape public life. The will to do that still remains, though the energy may be diminishing. But more important than either the will or the energy is the question of what wisdom, if any, these churches have to offer us on controverted issues in our public life. The answer to that question can sometimes be rather disappointing, and I offer here a brief example.

In its June 28, 2005 issue, The Christian Century ran a (rather brisk) editorial, “Lives of the embryo,” in which it commented on the public debate about whether it would be right to destroy (so-called) spare embryos in order to procure stem-cell lines for scientific research. President Bush, the editorial suggested, “has chosen an odd place to draw a line against stem cell research.”

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Gilbert Meilaender is the Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University. His books include Neither Beast nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person (Encounter Books) and Should We Live Forever?: The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging (Eerdmans). He is a Lutheran.

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