Author's Note: I still believe in a compassionate God.
Stem Cell Research: A Question of Faith?
The ban on stem cell research has been overturned and I am left to ponder what this means. Being someone who is of good standing faith, a catholic who is supposed to believe that this is morally wrong, I'm not so sure I agree with my church. I am also someone who has had embryos frozen and knows that indeed a frozen embryo can give life, a precious child you so desperately want, so I do see the moral dilemma here that many people are struggling with today.
However, let me say, that my church also condemned me for having my child the "way" I did. As I stood in a Newark church, a church that was known for a statue that if prayed at this church by this statue it would help you conceive, I was asked by a priest how I was conceiving this child. I stumbled a bit (and yes lied to a priest) and told him what he wanted to hear so he would give me a special blessing. Because he had doubts of my sincerity, he gave me the speech of how God wants me to conceive a child, and let me say, it wasn't the route I was headed.
On the way home that day from the church in the pouring rain, I cried my eyes out. I was completely torn inside and questioned my moral judgment. I was tortured thinking that if I was able to conceive I would have a child that would be eternally condemned. After days of soul searching, I came to the conclusion one night that I believed in a God that wanted me to have happiness that wanted me to give life whatever way that may be. I didn't believe in a God that because I couldn't have a baby the traditional way I shouldn't have one and I should be left to suffer. My God is a compassionate God.
So here I sit today pondering another moral question, should stem cell research be allowed? Maybe a year ago I might have felt differently but I doubt it. You see, a year ago my father was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. My Father's life has changed for ever and everyone around him -- a man so full of life and energy, a man so fiercely independent that a worse disease couldn't have been given to him even if asked. At this time, he is struggling with giving up a little bit of his independence and letting the one's who love him take care of him. I admire my Dad for his strength, courage and wisdom but it breaks my heart to see him so angry and frustrated so often. I also see what it has done to my Mom and see my usually tough as nails Mother be reduced to tears so often too.
As I sat in church on Sunday and listened to all the reasons, why not. I could only think of the reason why - I saw a cure to the pain. I thought of all those frozen embryos that would never give life that would just be discarded and what type of good moral decision is that? I thought if I had one frozen embryo left from all my cycles that I never planned on implanting, I would give it to some brilliant scientist looking for the cure for PD in a heartbeat.
What I came to is this, for me, using a frozen embryo is not destroying life -- it is just the opposite -- it is giving life back to someone. Maybe I am taking the easy way out and bending the rules to suit me? Maybe I am not a good catholic? However, I keep coming back to my belief that my God is a compassionate God. And for me, coming to that conclusion, let's me sleep soundly and gives me hope that we will find a cure to PD and many other diseases giving life back to those who so desperately want it.
The Young Girl and the Sea
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