This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Plan B, Stem Cells and the Catholic Church

Last week was a big one for issues of reproduction. The Washington Post reported on Friday on the FDA's decision to allow over the counter sales of Plan B birth control.

The vocal opponents of this decision couch their objections in respect for life and women's health terms. It is rather obvious, however, that the biggest objection they have is on sexual morality. The fact of the matter is, human life cannot begin before gastrulation, when stem cells differentiate after implantation, interspecies cross-breeds die whether caused by beastiality or invitro, twinning can no longer occur and the fathers DNA is an equal partner to the mothers in development.

It is not up to the FDA to consider the impact of birth control on sexual ethics - that is a job for churches - although I hardly trust my own church with its celibate clergy in this area either - since this celibacy came about because the aesthetics convinced everyone else that it was wrong to receive communion the day after or of having sex. Yes, that is right boys and girls, that is the core belief which is no longer held except for a few real wackos who have obviously never had to deal with a two year old that is the responsible for the entire dysfunctional system called Catholic sexual morality.

Speaking of the Church, the Post reported on the following day that the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops are decrying the study published last week that shows that you can take a stem cell away from a blastocyst without killing it. They oppose the research because it shows that before gastrulation, a blastocyst is only potential human life. It is not that they are anti-science, it is that if they are wrong on stem cells they are wrong on birth control too. And since they have called these issues part of their infallible Magisterium which as far as I can tell is merely the assembled letters of the popes which have not even been said to be ex cathedra - their obvious error on birth control causes their whole house of cards to fall. Their problem is that they are trying to have it both ways - they state that they are teaching natural law but that they are doing it authoritatively. The only problem is, natural law must stand on evidence alone. Once you start claiming a position of authority than you have abandonned natural reasoning.

I have a web page that addresses both of these issues at


Blogger Progressive Christian said...

To my mind, statements on sexual ethics are about control. I have no beef with certain elements of (general) Christian sexual ethics; like the rest of life, sexuality should be subject to discipline and the understanding that sex is a gift from a good God. The problem with Plan B, from a Catholic perspective, is that it artificially interrupts the natural result of sexual intercourse - human reporduction. Protestant sexual ethics, unlike Catholic, are a maze of contradictions, so I won't venture a guess as to their understanding (even though I am Untied Methodist, I do not believe, beyond our rather bland "fidelity in marriage, celibacy in singlehood" statement, plus our rather vague anti-abortion positioin, how we as a Church feel about Plan B, etc.)
As for stem cell research, it is, again, anti-abortion logic taken to such an extreme that all sense is lost. As close to half of fertilized eggs never implant and are passed out of the woman's uterus during menstruation, I sumply don't buy the argument that a fertilized blastocyst that has yet to implant is a potential human life.

5:30 PM

Anonymous Rudicus said...

I agree with PC, this is all about control and power. It's also about the desperate clinging to an outdated or irrelevant or fabricated morality code because to let go of it would ruin the case of absolute morals.

I think that Plan B over the counter is a socially responsible and useful tool to help people not only make decisions about their healthcare but to allow people to take precautions against accidental slip ups or profylactic acts of God.

Don't worry they'll find something else to bellyache about next week.

1:49 PM


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