Let me repeat this in blunter terms.
Here is what President Bush said yesterday in defense of his veto of Rep. Mike Castle's bill allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research:
This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it. …
Embryonic stem cells come from human embryos that are destroyed for their cells. Each of these human embryos is a unique human life with inherent dignity and matchless value. …
This is nonsense.
1. Countless thousands of frozen human embryos are regularly destroyed at fertility clinics.
2. President Bush claims to believe that these embryos are human lives "with inherent dignity and matchless value."
3. Therefore, President Bush has vetoed a bill that would have allowed the federal government to fund research that would use some few of these thousands of frozen embryos for research, instead of their being destroyed along with the many other thousands of embryos.
4. If No. 2 above were true, No. 3 would be an obscenely modest response. No one who genuinely believed what President Bush claims to believe could possibly be satisfied with such a response.
5. Therefore, President Bush is lying, or he does not fully understand the inescapable moral obligation demanded by his position, or he does not care about the inescapable moral obligation demanded by his position. He is a liar, a fool or a casual bystander whose inaction implicitly endorses what he believes is mass murder.
"There is no ban on embryonic stem cell research," President Bush said yesterday.
Why not? Why is he not actively, tirelessly campaigning for just such a ban?
If he truly believed that such research involved "the taking of innocent human life," then he would be obligated to stop it using every means at his disposal. "I won't fund it, but it's fine if others do," doesn't cut it. All such funding, all such research, would have to be outlawed — with severe criminal penalties for the mass-murdering Mengeles who violated this ban. The fertility clinics, also, would have to be shut down. The innocent human lives imprisoned in their liquid-nitrogen charnel houses would have to be made wards of the state until such time as they could all — in their many thousands — be placed into snowflake foster care.
I am not suggesting that this is what President Bush's position implies taken to its logical extreme. This is what it demands as a bare minimum response. It is not possible, in any meaningful way, to believe that embryonic stem cell research is "the taking of innocent human life" unless you also advocate all of these steps.
President Bush does not advocate any of these steps. If he is not a liar then he is a fool or a monster. There is no fourth option.