Another proud moment for Christians

Imagine that human civilization is the Little Engine That Could, chugging along up the hill chanting “I think I can, I think I can” as it struggles to reach the zenith of a fair and just society that minimizes human suffering and maximizes human happiness.

Now imagine someone drops a giant boulder in the middle of the track and says “No you fucking can’t!”

Boulder, thy name be religion:

U.S. regulations expanding stem cell research have temporarily been blocked by a U.S. judge. A non-profit group, Nightlight Christian Adoptions, contends that new guidelines on stem cells drafted by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration will reduce how many human embryos are available for adoption.

I’ll wait for you to extricate your face from your palms before I start in on this. Do it slowly, you might have fractured something.

Okay, ready? Good.

First off, nobody adopts an embryo. It is possible to bring an embryo to term and act as a surrogate birth mother, then claim the child as your own. Unless something dramatic has happened to the number of women who are willing to pursue this option, or unless in-vitro fertilization has stopped, there will always be far more unwanted embryos than willing wombs.

Second, there are lots of live babies and children waiting for adoption. Stem cell research will do absolutely nothing to diminish this supply, and stopping stem cell research in the name of ensuring a sufficient number of adoptees doesn’t diminish it either; on the contrary, it may actually increase the size of this population by reducing the number of potential adoptive parents.

Finally, embryonic stem cell research requires the consent of the genetic parents. There are lots of people who pursue IVF who aren’t comfortable destroying their genetic material, ensuring that there will always be a renewable supply of embryos for those women hell-bent on getting pregnant with someone else’s child.

There is literally zero merit to their argument, but a federal judge decided to grant it anyway because it’s not as though delaying the progress of science is going to cause any suffering. Well, except those people with Parkinson’s, Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, ALS… the list goes on.

This is why secular humanism is a better model for stable and progressive government than theocracy – it is less sympathetic to the capricious whims of a shrieking horde that enters a battle with no evidence and spurious argument. I anticipate that this ban will be overturned by a higher court, but it’s a solid reminder that in the battle between happiness and suffering, American Christianity is on the side of suffering.

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  1. says

    As the mothers of 14 adopted children, 6 of which were exposed to drugs in utero, 1 domestic special needs, 4 born in a 3rd world country, and 3 adopted as embryos, we would like to invite you and your readers to visit our blog:

    Also, please visit

    Hopefully you will choose to educate yourselves about embryo adoption and realize there are far more “willing wombs” than embryos available.

    I would also like to encourage you and your readers to google the advances in stem cell research for “Adult Stem Cells” verses “Embryonic Stem Cells”. It is my understanding that Adult Stem Cell research, which does not involve destroying embryos has been a lot more successful.

    Blessings to you and your readers!!!

  2. says

    The site you link to suggests that there are 400,000 embryos available for adoption in the United States. A quick Google search revealed that approximately 127,000 children were adopted in the United States in the 2000/2001 year. While it’s possible a lot has changed in the past 10 years, the statistics have remained roughly the same since 1987, so I doubt that a sudden three-fold jump in those rates has occurred. Those numbers are for all adoptions, not merely embryonic.

    While I am not unsympathetic to your personal story, it does not persuade me that there are so many mothers waiting to adopt embryos that using some for research would somehow drastically diminish the number available for adoption, which is the argument that was made.

    I’m not a cell biologist, and it does seem that there is real potential to use adult stem cells, but the arguments against embryonic stem cell research are ideological, not pragmatic.

  3. says

    Did you take a moment to look at all of the potential adoptive parents hoping and praying to be blessed with embryos @

    Clearly, you will realize that their are many more recipients than donors in the US at this moment…

    I’m just requesting that you educate yourself with the “facts” of embryo adoption/donation and adult/embryo stem cell research VS the pragmatics…

    Just a thought…

    Blessings to you and yours!!!

  4. says

    As I said, I did look at that site. While testimonials are emotionally powerful, they are not useful in terms of determining what the actual need is. That’s why I went to the numbers. I think it’s interesting that you put the word “facts” in quotations. As I said, I’m perfectly willing to admit that adult stem cells might be just as useful or more useful than embryonic cells. However, that’s not the argument that this Christian group is making – they’re saying that the cells being used for research are taking away people’s opportunity to adopt, which is not supported by either the numbers or basic logic.

  5. Joanaroo says

    And not only that, the Christians have their panties in a bunch down here doing their fearmongering best trying to convince people that scientists want to clone people with stem-cell research instead of helping people with neurologic and spinal cord problems. Nothing like Facism with a Bible in one hand and an American flag in the other!

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