Category Archives: Religion

The Stem Cell, Commissions and neo-christians

Seems Harvard Stem Cells are more popular than US approved Cells…  meanwhile, Gov. Perdue’s appointees to the Georgia Cord Blood Commission have been announced.  Impressive list.  California research on stem cells continues to draw big money.

But, if Ralph Reed is elected, he promised in the debate to not allow any stem cell research in Georgia, unless it involves only cord blood cells.  So, Harvard and California can relax.

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Filed under biotech, Religion, Uncategorized

Worthy of investigation

Time Magazine has a book review of , The Language of God by Francis Collins.  The reviewer notes how Collins maps his arguments for a middle ground between atheists and neo-christian conservatives on the issue of evolution.

I think Collins’ approach is a way to reasonably engage in debate on the science and tech issues which neo-christians are attacking – the very issues which can decide who dominates economics and politics in the 21st century.

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Filed under LMI, Religion, stem cell, Uncategorized

Commandment No. Heh?

Last month, I asked what happened to the promised rate cut for malpractice insurance.  Today, AP asks the same question.  Guess what — in some cases, rates doubled.  The largest insurer, MAG, which promised the cut, froze rates but refuses to talk to the press.  Here is the quote of the day:

"I feel like I've been duped," Thrasher said. "(The debate) pitted doctors against lawyers because I think there's a natural rivalry, but a lot of my colleagues were hoodwinked."

Morally speaking, Political Insider hits the pandering nail on the head when they note a Republican who advocated the Ten Commandments display could not name more than 3.  I guess knowing the commandments is not as important as knowing where to find them, in a pinch.

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Stem Cells and Moral debates

John Leo, in this week's USNEWS, decrys a full page ad by DEFCON in the New York Times which names James Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson as America's most influential stem cell scientists.  Mr. Leo says the efforts by the Religious Right are about the moral debate on stem cells and not the voracity of the science (hmm.. does voracity and science constitute synonyms?). 

Having been on the front lines of the debate here in Georgia (See Down the Rabbit Hole Part 2) — I have to disagree with Mr. Leo's innocent defense of the trio.  Language placed in the proposed law regarding stem cell research had everything to do with science, or what the Religious Right wished the science to be as they defined life as beginning with a single cell, and denied scientists access to methods that could be used either for embryonic or adult stem cell research.  And, the tactics used by the Georgia Christian Coalition (Ms. Fields, et al), the Georgia Familiy Council, and other allied support groups were exactly what were used in the fights over evolution (which Mr. Leo agrees are attacks on science).

If this were truly a debate about the morals, and the treatment of embryos in general, then why was the debate disguised as a creation of an umbilical cord blood bank (which already existed) versus a complete discussion of how embryos are managed?  Why was discussion not allowed on what happens when embryos (or fertilized eggs) are discarded in fertility clinics?  The US Senate is considering a bill to liberalize the Bush doctrine on stem cell research – discussion of using normally discarded fertilized eggs is center stage in that debate.

Legislating morals is what legislatures do — no problem here.  But, defining science, and scientific methods is not a core competency of any elected (or unelected) legislative body.

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Filed under Religion, stem cell, Uncategorized

Pontification and Facts – The News Business cheats us

Lots of opinionating going on about the ruling by Judge Constance Russell on the single-sex marriage amendment.  Only one dared to print what the State Constitution says about amending the Constitution – Mr. McKee of Marietta.

Meanwhile, the Augusta Chronicle thinks it is an outrage that a judge should make us follow our own Constitutional rules for amending the Constitution… Of course, the editors in Augusta want you to think that this "activist" judge made up the reasons for her decision (At least Wooten understands), instead of actually doing the job a judge is supposed to do and applying the Constitution.

At least the Augusta Chronicle's sister publication, Savannah Morning News, (both owned by Morris Communications) gets it right:

Lawmakers should have broken it into two different pieces, which is what a few legislators (including State Rep. Tom Bordeaux, D-Savannah) suggested that year. Then Georgia voters who were split on these two issues would have had a choice. But more importantly, the state wouldn't have wound up on the losing end Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance Russell's courtroom.

But, don't literally interpret the word activist — Ms. Fields will define it for you.

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Filed under Government, Religion, Uncategorized

Reason # 1 for a special session

This morning's editorial in the Macon Telegraph unveils the not-so-secret strategy for this fall:

A similar same-sex amendment in Louisiana, which also has a single-subject requirement, had already been struck down by a state court prior to Georgia's vote. So, why didn't the governor and Legislature fix the amendment? Simple politics.

The effort to ban same-sex marriages, though already illegal in Georgia, was part of a nationwide political strategy to energize the conservative base of the Republican Party. In 2004, 11 states overwhelmingly passed same-sex marriage bans.

Perdue is right in one respect, the people of Georgia did know what they were doing when they voted to ban same-sex marriages. It was their elected officials who knowingly messed up the process and are now going to add insult by needlessly appealing the judge's decision.

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Theocracy — that is her goal

Ms. Sadie Fields is expressing her unrighteous indignation over a Judge's ruling that the amendment to the Georgia Constitution (adopted with more than 76% approval in 2004) was improperly framed.

Two quotes are worth reviewing:

“We're looking to Thurbert Baker to do the right thing and vigorously defend what the legislature has done and the will of the people — 77 percent voting that we want marriage defined as one man, one woman, period,” said Fields. WXIA

"We will be back, and we will ensure that marriage in the state of Georgia is defined biblically as being between a man and a woman." AJC

As to the first quote, I imagine she thinks Al Gore should be president today.  If it weren't for the activist judges on the US Supreme Court, he would be.

And, a majority of Georgians voted for the Constitution which sets the rules for how ballot issues should be managed.  Those in charge failed to follow the will of the people in designing the ballot issue, a strategy which the Judge faulted in her reasoning.  So, who is failing to follow the will of the people – the legislature, sworn to protect the Constitution, or the judge, also sworn to protect and uphold the Constitution?

As to the second, well, that says it all.  Any government using the Bible as its supreme document for governance is a theocracy for all practical purposes — something our founding fathers struggled to avoid.  But, a theocracy is precisely what Ms. Fields wants.

BTW, amendments were offered to fix this problem BEFORE the amendment appeared on the 2004 ballot.  Republicans defeated the amendments as unnecessary.  Now, if this were a business, I'd be severely questioning the decisions of managers that have caused such consternation amongst a majority of the customers.  But, perhaps that was the plan all along….

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SB 425 – Questions being asked

A heated exchange took place between the lobbyist for Unspam and the chair of the subcommittee hearing SB 425.  The conversation can be summed up by stating that the lobbyist accused the chair of being beholden to big business and the pornography industry.

The lobbyist is a member of the Christian Coalition.  SB 425 is a bill being promoted in multiple states across the country.  If you are against the bill, you are for pornographers.  Funny thing, if you limit the bill to controlling access to pornography, which is what the subcommittee chair was attempting to do, then the supporters don't want the bill.  Could it be that the business supporting SB 425 is more interested in increasing profits than protecting children?  That question was precisely the charge the subcommittee chair returned to the lobbyist.

Continue reading

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Filed under legislation, Religion, Uncategorized

Oft used phrase

From the AJC article today on the passage of the Bible Bill (BTW — AJC should tell you the bill number so you can read it yourself… it is  SB 79)

 "We cannot live in fear of possible lawsuits every time we pass a piece of legislation." Senate Majority Leader Tommy Williams

That phrase has been repeated in almost word for word fashion in hearings on the Immigration bill, email filtering, regulation of Internet content, etc.

More on this later.  An important essay topic here

But, if newspaper editors feel that "Tailgating" is more important than "good legislation", why bother?

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SB 425 – Email Tax

Is going to be heard in Room 133 of the Capitol shortly. The Christian Coalition is making a strong push to get the bill moving again.
Records and documents from the service aren’t subject to open records… cute , you can’t audit  the services  to see if they are doing what they are supposed to do.

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Filed under Neutral Net, Religion, Uncategorized