Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Science and Moral Values

A little over a month ago, President Obama overturned former President Bush's ban on government funding of abortion overseas.

In a similar vein, he has now overturned Bush's ban on government funding for embryonic stem cell research. He said:
"In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research -- and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."
A lot to process here. Let's start with the theology, because (I can't repeat often enough), theology determines everything...
"As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering"
I talk a lot about what is "faith". Here Obama gives us some insight into what his faith is. As a Christian, our faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross - to pay the fair and just price for sin (to appease God's wrath). I'm not sure I ever read about the apostles proclaiming to sinners to "care for each other" or "ease human suffering".

We do these things as Christians, because of Galatians 6:2-3 (among others):
"Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself."
We recognize ourselves as sinners, same as everyone else. We deserve only God's wrath. When we find ourselves instead receiving God's grace, we turn and bestow that good on others.

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