25 August 2010

The Christian Right strikes again

The Christian Right has just won a major, if perhaps temporary, victory in its fight to obstruct life-saving medical research and drive it overseas. A federal district judge, ruling in support of a suit by miscellaneous religious crackpots, issued a temporary injunction which will restrict federal funding of embryonic stem- cell research even more severely than the Bush administration did. Think Progress looks at the background of this judge and of the three-judge panel which ruled that the plaintiffs had standing.

One of the groups represented in the suit consisted of researchers working with adult stem cells who argued that they were being "irreparably harmed" by having to compete for federal funding with scientists who were not bound by Christian-Right embryo-fetishism. Perhaps there should be a counter-suit by the millions of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, macular degeneration, spinal-cord injuries, and the many other conditions for which embryonic stem-cell research has already shown promising results in animal testing -- who are certainly being "irreparably harmed" by the prospect of further delays in developing and implementing cures.

Scientists in the field are outraged and frustrated, as work which they began after Obama's executive order last year is once again plunged into a confusing legal limbo based on medieval taboos.

The Justice Department has announced that it will appeal the ruling. But make no mistake -- if this latest roadblock can't be cleared away in a reasonable time, the most skilled and talented scientists may well decide that the research environment in the United States is hopelessly insecure even under a Democratic administration, and take their work elsewhere. Ideological interference with science could cause our country to fall far behind in one of the critical technologies of the coming decade -- just as Stalin's support for Lysenko crippled the Soviet Union in the field of genetic science.


Blogger One Fly said...

Reaching back to the Dark Ages. Just what's needed.

25 August, 2010 04:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it the Ultimate in Hypocracy that 'Dumb fool' christians block research on a little tiny bits of cells, and yet back with ferocity, the sending live humans to die in useless wars.

25 August, 2010 05:22  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

Religion, once again, intrudes where it has no business intruding. Maybe it is time for others to start intruding into the business of religion.

25 August, 2010 08:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

One Fly: Next up will be laws restricting birth-control options to stork repellant.

Anon: I'm beginning to think hypocrisy is one of those Ten Commandments they're always on about.

Jerry: Good idea. The tax-exempt status of churches that meddle in politics would be a good place to start.

25 August, 2010 08:09  
Blogger boomer bob said...

I just read about this this morning. Infuriating. It appears that we have a few judges still living in the Dark Ages, halting stem cell research, gay marriages.

The Christian Right just refuses to advance beyond dumb.

25 August, 2010 08:10  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the informative posting on this Mr.Infidel. Actually I been following this closely as far as opinion's from expert's in this field as well as the excuses from well suited/ tailored, with gift of gab, undercover fundamoralist's who try to make sensible arguement's by twisting fact's as well. It's a dirty rotten shame ... and of all people, especially them claiming another falsehood of being about "pro-life","humanitarian", and other related horseshit, one would figure they would have some shame or at least decency to respect life, but obviously through these stunt's as well as their insurance/ pharma stunt's, they dont. Ask many in the medical research field's what they are feeling? The beneficial part of this research was how fast breakthrough's that otherwise may take decade's can come, on saving so many folk's across the board on various illnesses, ailment's, and you name it ... but maybe some of those thing's would cut into profit's of big money insurer's, who know's? Of course my question was the same as your thought's about how many folk's in this research may decide soon to take their talent's and such elsewhere's? It's sad, but a reality. Enough said ....

25 August, 2010 09:40  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Also if I may Infidel, in regard to Anon's comment here ... that is the clever arguement's they try to twist exactly, even on abortion vs. the death penalty for instance ... saying that the death penalty offender is NOT an INNOCENT life, while the fetal stage's, even the sperm/egg's for that matter ARE INNOCENT. In this case the STEM CELL they would call innocent "life" ... and for instance the war is to preserve/ spread, freedom/ democracy. But it get's so deep in way's you can twist this and that, it is all part of the same hypocrisy. Those special interest's behind much of the war's as well as defense contractor's, dont really care about human life whatsoever, with the exception of trying to force mass breeding to make larger armies, more worker competition to keep wage's low,and worker's struggling and owing/ debt, and mass consumerism, as far as for the love and respect of human life ... most dont have any, period. And that is what they are so twisted and hypocritical about it being the very mega group's and movement's they support. Whether they realize it or not, their nothing more than a commodity, blind as to how those in power think. You dont think they got power by loving everyone? Same with their Vatican allies, they all work together .. they say that they dont approve of birth control in some poverty stricken African nation or such, that may have something like an HIV epedemic, because promoting birth mean's more money and power to rule. I will shut the Hell up now, because I can rattle about their scam's and shit till the cow's drop dead of old age.

25 August, 2010 11:59  
Blogger tnlib said...

boomer: Interesting that you should bring up the judges. My first thought was, "another judge has been bought off."

I'm glad you posted this, Infidel. I was thinking about doing something but I'm so livid I don't think I could treat it very diplomatically. I wonder what Nancy thinks of her husbands appointee.

25 August, 2010 17:56  
Anonymous Tim said...

Amazing, we can't just tell the Religious assholes to shut the hell up and go away. Why are we letting religion in politics in the first place. I'm so disgusted. The mere mention of any Religion gets me Ill.

25 August, 2010 18:22  
Blogger boomer bob said...

Just like everything else, it's about the bucks and research will follow it around just like the Big Pharmas do.

25 August, 2010 23:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

BB: Don't forget that the Dark Ages is what we call the time when religion was really in charge. The hard-core fanatics would like to take us back to those days.

RC: Microscopic embryos are "persons" to them in the abstract sense. Actual persons have nervous systems and are capable of suffering, which brings out all the masochistic / sadistic impulses and fetish for the "ennobling" effects of suffering, which make hard-line religion so repulsive. The world is full of suffering and death which God obviously allows, so the religious have had centuries to develop arguments for why suffering is actually good (this is part of what is called "theodicy").

TN Lib: Actually, I wish more bloggers would post about this -- I've seen very little mention of it.

Tim: Jefferson and the Constitution told them that, but judges have fallen into lax habits about enforcing it. At least in some cases, like Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas, religious prejudice does get expelled from the domain of secular law.

BB: Unfortunately cases like this really are about religion -- it's not just a cover for some other motivation like money (more on that here). If anything, those plaintiffs who claim they are harmed by having to compete with ESC researchers for funding are using a money argument as a cover for what's really a religious motive, because they know the judge can more easily rule in their favor on the basis of a claim about money.

26 August, 2010 03:20  
Blogger boomer bob said...

Very good point Infidel. Perhaps we are in fact still in the Dark Ages and we were just fooling ourselves into thinking we'd evolved. :-)

26 August, 2010 09:16  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I think were all incorrect folk's! After reading so many of these blog's and media's ... I have come to the conclusion that ALL religion's are about only, love, sharing/ caring, eternal happiness, humanitarianism, and all other thing's called "good", and would never do anything to obstruct helping fellow humankind. I mean ... that is all I seem to read and hear out of pro religious folk's .. what should I think? :)

26 August, 2010 09:35  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RC: Would you be interested in buying a bridge in Brooklyn? I can get you a good price on it.:-)

26 August, 2010 10:14  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the offer Infidel, but I already put a downpayment on one in Queens at least a year ago ... I'm just still waiting for my contract's in the mail and receipt for my payment! :)

26 August, 2010 10:30  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

What should you think, RC? How about you should just think! :)

26 August, 2010 10:32  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the advice Mr.Critter ... I will give that a try, while thinkin bout it. :)

26 August, 2010 11:51  
Blogger longhorn believer said...

Ranch Chimp cracks me up! I could go on reading your comments till the cows come home and die of old age! ROFLMAO!

26 August, 2010 20:41  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

LB: You think the cows are ever gonna come home when they know he's waiting?:-) Check out his blog too if you haven't already..

27 August, 2010 06:08  
Blogger Silverfiddle said...

Government funding of research is around 36% of the total, so this doesn't end anything.

Private funding will continue.

If you don't like this law, you don't ignore it and rule by decree, you strike it from the books. Obama and the democrats have all the power, they could easily do this today.

27 August, 2010 06:35  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

BTW Ms.LB and Mr.Infidel ... In my defense I will add, that I love cow's actually ... I have alway's had a thing for Gal's in leather! :)

27 August, 2010 07:18  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

SF: If you look at the links, the scientists themselves say that the ruling will be seriously disruptive if it stands. A lot of research has mixed funding or is associated with other reserach that has mixed funding. More to the point, there is simply no reason for funding of research in a modern nation to be influenced by moronic, ignorant religious taboos.

27 August, 2010 10:23  

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