Secularism and Stem-cells


John Wilkins writes a post about religion and society clashing down under_ <.p>

Clerical Catholic Imam, George Pell, has done it again. Proven why secularism is a necessity, that is.

He has threatened politicians who are Catholics with exclusion from communion, which is not quite excommunication but nevertheless still pretty drastic, if they vote in favour of a secular law permitting stem cell research.

He goes on to say_

Look, I don't give a shit if Catholics think stem cell research is genocide and leads to dancing. They have no right to impose that view on the rest of the community that think it is just a procedure that offers some benefits in medical knowledge, and so far as most of us can tell, has no downsides to anyone.

I replied thusly_

While I'm an atheist and certainly support stem cell research, I can't fault the Catholics here. From their perspective, this is a form of murder. Is that a ridiculous position? Absolutely. But given that they've taken that position, they believe that they have a moral obligation to try to prevent the murder. (Say what you want about the Catholics, but at least they're consistent)

As long as they don't use force or violence to achieve their goal, I don't give a shit how they campaign for it. In fact, I'm glad they're denying communion to supporters of stem-cell research. What they're doing here is undermining their own institution. When they start denying communion to formerly wheelchair bound patients, or to the blind who have regained sight, the PR will be atrocious. Some of those people who are at odds with their pastors on this issue will be driven away from the church and towards a more secular lifestyle.

In general, when a religion stakes out ridiculous positions like this, the reality-based movement wins. In my book, that's a good thing.

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