Anti-abortionists scuttle poem contest

Anti-abortionists scuttle poem contest October 14, 2010

I think that I shall never see a poem as offensive as ‘Stem C’.

That’s what an anti-abortion organisation said on Tuesday about a poem that received an award from the San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
According to this report, the taxpayer-funded research centre held a poetry contest to commemorate Stem Cell Awareness Day last week. First prize was awarded to a poet who compared a scientific procedure that takes cells from a human embryo to the Christian ceremony of communion.
The poem “Stem C.” by Tampa-based Tyson Anderson begins, “This is my body/which is given for you,” and ends with, “Take this/in remembrance of me.”
After the poem ran in national publications and on the research organisation’s website, the Life Legal Defense Foundation lashed out and accused the agency of “rewarding blasphemy.”
A statement issued by the group declared:

The choice of this poem for a prize represents the deliberate pilfering of the holiest of voluntary, sacrificial acts in the history of humanity.

The stem cell agency has since apologised and pulled all of the poems off its website, according to Communications Manager Don Gibbons, who also served as one of three judges on the panel that picked the winners. He noted that one of the other judges, Margaret Hermes, is a devout Catholic and didn’t think the reference was at all belittling to her faith.

They found that use of religious language is artistically appropriate. But in the end, the poems were pulled because as a public agency we felt a responsibility to take them down if it caused offense.

Gibbons added:

We didn’t want it to be a distraction.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has been sparring with the Life Legal Defense Fund since the publicly funded agency was approved by voters with Proposition 71 in 2004.
The religious group challenged the constitutionality of a $3 billion public agency funding human embryonic stem cell research but lost in an appeal. The group’s president, Dana Cody, noted that while the group lost the lawsuit, the agency has since been held to much stricter public scrutiny
Thanks to Life Legal Defense Foundation, Anderson’s “offensive” poem, reproduced below, is all over the interweb, and being read by millions more people than would ever have seen it had the insane Christian group kept their bloody mouths shut. They never learn, do they?

This is my body
which is given for you.
But I am not great.
I have neither wealth,
nor fame, nor grace.
I cannot comfort with words,
nor inspire to march.
I am small and simple,
so leave me this.
Let me heal you.
This is my body
which is given for you.
Take this
in remembrance of me.

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  • barriejohn

    Oh, dear; “causing offence” again!

  • Mike

    “Strike me down, and I will go stronger than you can ever imagine.”
    -Obi Wan Kanobi.

  • Broadsword

    “A fuss you make, draw attention you will.”

  • Lucy

    I am deeply grateful to the idiots for drawing my attention to the rather interesting little poem.
    I am profoundly depressed at the organisation for collapsing at the first sign of protest.

  • Groover

    Please ignore these willfully ignorant fools. When they or their loved ones are struck down with disease that stem cell research/donation can cure do you think they will turn it down? Yeah right.
    Do something really cool. Join a donor list (NHS or Anthony Nolan), you can be tissue typed with just a saliva sample and if you match can save a dying person easily. They take blood from your arm, extract the stem cells and put the blood back. Two hours, virtually painless.
    I think all the opponents of this proceedure should be made to watch a child die for the sake of their indoctrinated beliefs. They are ignorant or evil.

  • Broga

    For these sick christian scum it is never enough for them to behave as they wish and allow others to do the same. They always have to shove their perverted bigotry down everyone’s throats. Which leads me to a depressing, and unacceptable comment, I heard from a UK government representative: it may be 10 years before the unelected bishops are removed from the House of Lords. On this basis it might be the same before we get fair reporting from the BBC on religion, instead of shameless propaganda?
    What the secular forces, now often described by christians as “being on the march” and “the rising tide of aggressive secularism” must do is keep marching and encourage the rising tide. The more they need to warn against us and preach about “the dangers” we embody, the happier and more optimistic I feel.

  • barriejohn

    A poem what I wrote:
    What is this life, so full of shit;
    Religion the root of much of it?

  • tony e

    I’ve always been bemused at the religidiots and their superstitious level of fear over science, especially medicine.
    However, when one of them becomes ill, they cannot wait to embrace it. The best example was that wrinkled old charlatan Mother Theresa. Whilst denying morphine to the terminally ill, as their pain ‘brought them closer to jesus’ she was not adverse to booking herself into the best clinics. But we have come to accept that level of hypocrisy from these twats.

  • Broga

    tony e
    Sanctimonious hypocrisy is the very oxygen of what passes for their life. How could they live without it? They live in palaces or bishops’ residences while preaching poverty; they strut the stage of publicity and ache for TV appearances to lecture on humility; they dress in their fancy dresses while embracing the virtues of modesty; they talk about the need to “suffer little children” while raping them and protecting the rapists; they curse abortion from the pulpit while – an actual example this – forcing their mistress to have an abortion; they lie, cheat and connive while whining about honesty and truth; and they select from their holy book what suits them while ignoring what doesn’t.

  • Har Davids

    All we have to do to placate these people, is to roll over and play or be dead, so they can turn the clock back several centuries or even a millennium. If you’re into stem cell research there’s no need to apologize to religious morons, as the fact that you exist at all is inexcusable. No medical treatments for the religious, let them pray!! If they don’t get well, they probably pissed off their god.

  • Freeminder

    Maybe an in-depth study of the ‘stupid religiot’ gene is required?

  • Angela_K

    So many of these xtian retards still believe the male impregnates the female with a miniature human that then grows into a bigger human before birth. The religious idiots use this astounding ignorance and stupidity to oppose life saving research and abortion.
    Anti-abortionists want the foetus to be born and grow up so he/she could possibly become an abortion Doctor – that the antis can murder

  • The Woggler

    Q. How do you make an agressive atheist?
    A. Just let groups like Life Legal Defense Foundation keep getting away with their crap.

  • Broadsword

    Science teaches critical thinking skills that enables people to question faith. Each little advance takes us further away from the medieval superstition to which religiots doggedly cling. Their opposition is often based as much on ignorance-based fear as it is from hard-line religious dogma. Their frustrated leaders try vainly to halt progress but it’s not so easy nowadays to denounce someone as a witch and throw them to the pitchfork-wielding mob. Can you imagine Rowan Williams’ crazed expression as he points at a scientist and screams “He’s in league with Lucifer!”

  • Broadsword

    I’m grateful to earlier posters for mentioning how xians should be denied medical treatments they opposed until becoming ill. I’ve been keeping this clip that reveals how the power of prayer can cure all ills. Their numbers would soon decline if they trusted in The Lord. The charlatan performing here should be exposed as a fraud and thrown to his already assembled pitchfork-wielding mob:

  • Lucy

    Anyone know the source of this?
    The battle between science and religion was all over bar the shouting, once churches started putting lightening conductors on their spires…

  • L.Long

    A religion whose holey buyBull has multiple stories of massive, g0d approved, numbers of forced abortions and also gives detailed instruction on how to get an abortion, objects to research that MAY POSSIBLY use an early aborted bundle of cells.
    The irony and hypocrisy is so massive it should be blinding obvious.
    As for the silly cartoon, its not even aware and would be an atheist if it was. I thought they did not get a soul until after it is born?

  • barriejohn

    Regarding healing, etc: When I was younger, a regular visitor to the Elim (Assemblies of God) Church in Swindon was Rev Melvin Banks, billed as the pastor of the church that had never seen a death or a burial(!), and I am amazed to see that he is still active today, preaching his lies and deception. I wouldn’t have attended such meetings myself, but I was amazed at the number of Christians in the town who saw nothing wrong in associating with such people, on the basis that they were “obedient to the light that they had received”, and that “God wouldn’t bless them if they were not being faithful to Him”! Just have a quick look at the baloney on his website for yourself – though I take no responsibilty if you suffer from high blood pressure!!

  • What scumbags. Not just the Christians: the bloody institute. They didn’t want to offend. Aw! So what about the next thing that someone chooses to be offended by? It could be anything. The logical corollary is that nothing, ever, will ever be published, anywhere. Prats!

  • Daz

    I think Isaac Asimov wrote a history of science essay to that effect. If I can find the book it’s in I’ll post the title.

  • Stonyground

    The utter stupidity of that cartoon really makes me want to nut the wall until my head bleeds. I suspect that the person who drew it is a liar rather than an idiot but it is evidently idiots that it is aimed at. People so phenominally stupid and ignorant that they would believe that a minute cluster of cells contains a fully formed baby with the ability to think.
    The point about these people making use of any medical treatments that result from stem cell research is well made. The evidence exists already in all the anti-science types who make full use of all available modern technology just like the rest of us.

  • Marcus

    In 100 years time, I have no doubt that people will look back on this kind of madness and wonder at the stupidity of their uncultured predecessors.
    Come to think of it, these lunatics are the modern-day equivalent of the Ludites. Hmmm, I sense a competition coming on!
    Should they be called ‘Stem Cellulites’, for example?

  • Broadsword

    Perhaps they’ll be known as The Mindsweepers?

  • I think I lost several brain cells reading that tripe.

  • David Anderson

    Sorry Lucy, can´t find who said that but I´ve heard it before. Here´s another you might like.
    And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.
    Alcuin c732-804 (adviser to the emperor Charlemagne, born in York).
    By the way, why can´t the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine have that cartoon taken down as it is clearly inaccurate and misleading as no stem cells would be taken from a fetus of that stage of development?

  • My deeply-held atheist convictions have been grossly insulted by this. I want an apology now from every single religious person on the planet who offended my atheism, and I want it now. How dare they offend me? My atheist faith is deeply-held and to offend it is a racist slur and all militant Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus (and so on for the next fifty pages) should apologize unreservedly at once.

  • As an ex-Catholic, I guess I can see where they’re coming from with their offense. That said, I also think that a lot of liberal Catholics would see it as honoring their tradition and completely fitting into their religious world view (which allows for stem cell research). Thank you for posting it and continuing the Streisand effect!
    I also, however, think it ought’ve won (as it did). It is beautiful, succinct, and fills me with exactly the right kind of emotions to make me want to give money to stem-cell research).