McCain on stem-cell research

One of John McCain’s lapses, according to us pro-lifers and as commenter Organshoes reminds us, is his support of embryonic stem cell research. He has indeed, like other ostensible pro-lifers in Congress, voted to use “discarded” embryos from fertility clinics for their stem cells. But here is his position now, from his  official website:

 Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases – hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes.To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.

Does this position have holes? Probably. But how does it compare to what the Democrats are calling for?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • kerner

    Apparently McCain’s position wasn’t good enough for James Dobson, who has endoesed Huckaby. But it IS good enough for Gary Bauer, who just endorsed McCain.

  • kerner

    Apparently McCain’s position wasn’t good enough for James Dobson, who has endoesed Huckaby. But it IS good enough for Gary Bauer, who just endorsed McCain.

  • organshoes

    Your last question, Dr. Veith, defines this dilemma: we are consigning ourselves to voting for the lesser evil, and not for the best choice.
    Never mind how it compares with the Democrat position: how does it compare to the conservative, pro-life position?
    And how would anyone know, anyways? The statement is as clear as mud.
    I believe that sometime last spring, McCain voted for extending federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Brownback (remember him? He was a candidate at that time) voted against it.
    So are we to believe that President McCain would no longer accept such legislation on its face?
    So then, is he the new flip-flopper, now that Romney’s out? Or is he something of an obfuscator? I believe the latter.

  • organshoes

    Your last question, Dr. Veith, defines this dilemma: we are consigning ourselves to voting for the lesser evil, and not for the best choice.
    Never mind how it compares with the Democrat position: how does it compare to the conservative, pro-life position?
    And how would anyone know, anyways? The statement is as clear as mud.
    I believe that sometime last spring, McCain voted for extending federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Brownback (remember him? He was a candidate at that time) voted against it.
    So are we to believe that President McCain would no longer accept such legislation on its face?
    So then, is he the new flip-flopper, now that Romney’s out? Or is he something of an obfuscator? I believe the latter.

  • organshoes

    What I’m saying is that McCain has no history of being the friend of conservative causes. He’s picked and chosen those causes he would embrace; those he could not embrace he’s elbowed out of his way.
    Now he wants–and many erstwhile conservatives want–the rock-ribbed conservative to come to the aid of the party.
    If it were only the war–and the war is very important–then I’d say he had my vote unequivocally, just like Rudy could’ve had my vote.
    But I sense it’s more than the war with the semi- and erstwhile conservatives; their slogan might as well be, ‘It’s the election, stupid.’
    Winning it, that is.
    Well what profiteth a man, etc.?
    My conservative soul says one lie is not superior to another lie, nor lesser than. One obfuscation is not better, by virtue of its craft, than a clumsier one.
    No, the real craft going on here is McCain convincing (apparently) conservatives not just that he can win, but that he can win by being a true conservative, and offering well-crafted statements as Dr. Veith cited above as proof.
    So, rather than be left comparing McCain to the Democrat, I’d rather exercise my conservative prerogative by comparing McCain’s statement to my own clear conscience–much clearer, I might add, than anything that statements purports to say.
    It’s as if the (slightly) growing, and evermore defensive and accusatory McCain-wing of the party is saying, ‘This is not your grandfather’s conservatism.’
    Does that not offer a warning to Lutherans alone?
    Furthermore, suppose I vote for him–suppose conservatives vote for him in droves, and he’s elected in Nov. What are we to do then–how deep is our allegiance to this new conservatism supposed to run–when he considers signing laws granting all sorts of rights to illegal immigrants? How far will I be expected to go, when Democrats propose deeper sanctions on political speech? How about when he proposes further taxation on fossil fuels and further limits to their use, to alleviate global warming? Will I still be a victim of McCain Derangement Syndrome when I oppose these things, or will I get to be just a concerned, even defiant conservative citizen once again?

  • organshoes

    What I’m saying is that McCain has no history of being the friend of conservative causes. He’s picked and chosen those causes he would embrace; those he could not embrace he’s elbowed out of his way.
    Now he wants–and many erstwhile conservatives want–the rock-ribbed conservative to come to the aid of the party.
    If it were only the war–and the war is very important–then I’d say he had my vote unequivocally, just like Rudy could’ve had my vote.
    But I sense it’s more than the war with the semi- and erstwhile conservatives; their slogan might as well be, ‘It’s the election, stupid.’
    Winning it, that is.
    Well what profiteth a man, etc.?
    My conservative soul says one lie is not superior to another lie, nor lesser than. One obfuscation is not better, by virtue of its craft, than a clumsier one.
    No, the real craft going on here is McCain convincing (apparently) conservatives not just that he can win, but that he can win by being a true conservative, and offering well-crafted statements as Dr. Veith cited above as proof.
    So, rather than be left comparing McCain to the Democrat, I’d rather exercise my conservative prerogative by comparing McCain’s statement to my own clear conscience–much clearer, I might add, than anything that statements purports to say.
    It’s as if the (slightly) growing, and evermore defensive and accusatory McCain-wing of the party is saying, ‘This is not your grandfather’s conservatism.’
    Does that not offer a warning to Lutherans alone?
    Furthermore, suppose I vote for him–suppose conservatives vote for him in droves, and he’s elected in Nov. What are we to do then–how deep is our allegiance to this new conservatism supposed to run–when he considers signing laws granting all sorts of rights to illegal immigrants? How far will I be expected to go, when Democrats propose deeper sanctions on political speech? How about when he proposes further taxation on fossil fuels and further limits to their use, to alleviate global warming? Will I still be a victim of McCain Derangement Syndrome when I oppose these things, or will I get to be just a concerned, even defiant conservative citizen once again?

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