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“Embryos are Humans” Says U.S. Government Report on Stem Cell Research

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By John Jalsevac

  WASHINGTON, D.C., January 10, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new report by the United States governments’ Domestic Policy Council admits that embryos are human beings; the only differences between embryos and other human beings, says the report, are accidental differences in levels of development.

“Embryos are humans in their earliest developmental stage,” writes the Council.

“We do not have to think that human embryos are exactly the same in all ways as older humans to believe that they are entitled to respect and protection. Each of us originated as a single-celled embryo, and from that moment have developed along a continuous biological trajectory throughout our existence. To speak of ‘an embryo’ is to designate a human being at a particular stage.”

  The Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House, and which is under the direction of President Bush, made these unequivocal statements about the human embryo in its report on stem-cell research entitled, “Advancing Stem Cell Science without Destroying Human Life.”

  The report, released earlier today, condemns the destruction of human embryos for the purpose of stem-cell research, and instead advocates alternative sources of stem-cells, including cells derived from amniotic fluid and adult stem-cells.

  Research on these sources of stem-cells, says the report, hold much more promise on a purely scientific basis of producing results than the ethically condemnatory and scientifically uncertain research on embryonic stem-cells.

“In sum,” reads the Executive Summary, “it increasingly appears that the qualities researchers value in embryonic cells may also exist in other stem cells that are easier to procure, more stable to grow, safer to use in therapies, and free of the ethical violations of embryo destruction.”

  Therefore, “There is no reason to sacrifice longstanding moral concerns in a shortsighted rush for therapeutic payoffs.”

“We must make certain we don’t force ourselves into a false choice between science and ethics—because we need both. And there is good reason, and growing scientific evidence, to believe that we can have both.”

  Nevertheless, while defending the humanity of the embryo with a clarity that is rarely, if ever, encountered in government reports, the document has significant areas that will undoubtedly be areas of concern in the eyes of many pro-life advocates.

  The Domestic Policy Council goes to some length in its report to console President Bush’s opponents on matters pertaining to stem-cell research by pointing out that there is no Presidential ban on embryonic stem cell research. The report instead boasts about the large sums of federal dollars that have been given towards embryonic stem cell research under President Bush’s policy of permitting federal funding for research performed on pre-existing lines of embryos.

  Furthermore, while admitting that embryos are human beings, and therefore (presumably) deserving of the same rights as all other human beings and U.S. citizens, the report does not indicate that any action will be taken in the future towards what might seem as the logical conclusion of the admitted humanity of the embryo—that is, a federal ban not only on the funding of, but on the performance of all embryonic stem-cell research, including that which is privately-funded.

“Private-sector human embryonic stem cell research has been and continues to be permissible without restriction in the U.S.,” boasts the report. “Contrary to common misperceptions, there is no Presidential ban on human embryonic stem cell research…In fact, funding by individual states is expected to add up to several billion dollars in the next few years.”

  The report also presents the possibility that so-called adult “pluripotent” cells—that is, adult cells that are “reprogrammed” to act like embryonic cells—may hold some promise as an ethical source of stem-cells. However, while avoiding making a definitive statement about the ethicality of the use of these unique pluripotent cells, neither does the report delve in any noteworthy depth into the serious concerns that numerous renowned ethicists and pro-life advocates have brought up about the procedure.

  According to some prominent ethicists, the destruction of these “pluripotent” cells derived from adult cells may be no different than the destruction of embryos, since the pluripotent cells are essentially no different than human embryos. 

  The report concludes saying, “there has been tremendous scientific progress of late in exploring methods of deriving pluripotent stem cells without destroying embryos…With continued support for non-destructive alternatives, new developments will continue to unfold in this field in the years to come, holding the potential for innovative progress toward new medical cures, while at the same time upholding human dignity and the sanctity of innocent life.”

  Read “Advancing Stem Cell Science Without Destroying Human Life” by the Domestic Policy Council:
  http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthcare/ stemcell_010907.pdf

  See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

  American Life League Statement - Problems with Santorum-Specter Bill S. 2754
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jul/060714a.html      

  Catholic Church NOT Opposed to Stem Cell Research: Catholic Bioethicist
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jul/06072709.html

  UK Researcher: Embryonic Stem Cells Have Never Been Used to Treat Anyone and no Plans Exist to do so
  Part I: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/aug/06081804.html
  Part II: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/aug/06082401.html  



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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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News,

Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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