Thursday, June 9, 2005

Small Victory

Reading the second page of Salon's latest article deriding those who believe embryos are human life, I was delighted to find this ad smack in the middle of the page:

For a cogent take on embryonic stem-cell research minus Salon-style condescension, read Deroy Murdock's well-researched piece in National Review Online.
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The above-mentioned Salon piece slams President Bush for endorsing embryo adoption while failing to take a position against in vitro fertilization, which routinely results in the destruction of embryos (as detailed in an article in last week's Baltimore Sun).

Left-wingers have come to rely on the divide-and-conquer tactic, and the embryonic stem-cell lobby doesn't miss an opportunity to use it with regard to Bush's position. These relativists are hoping that conservatives will be so stung by the moral relation between the embryo issues—stem cells and IVF—that they will become paralyzed, unable to support Bush on one while disagreeing on another.

Pope John Paul II foresaw this situation when he wrote Evangelium Vitae. If one substitutes "embryonic stem-cell research" for "abortion," his words would seem to exonerate the president of criticism that he cannot attempt to protect embryos in one instance and not the other:
A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations—particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation—there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negativeconsequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.