Monday, March 9, 2009

Finally FANTASTIC News!!!

I am thrilled today to see the end of a dark age of scientific discovery in this country that occurred just as there were some amazing possibilities for real advances in areas of health and human suffering that haven't been seen since the discovery of vaccines and antibiotics. Today's total reversal of not only the ban on embryonic stem cell research which was far more reaching than even those who may have supported it realize but also changing a philosophy of mistrust of science and it's discoveries as somehow being against the world of faith in God and something beyond the bonds of this life. I do not believe that scientific discovery is disproving a faith in God but rather is proof of it. Every amazing discovery to me not only proves the greatness of God who with one breath created such an amazingly beautiful, diverse and complex living world but also brings a discovery of so much more that we do not understand. (Continued below video)

I believe that this dark age will be viewed in a historical sense the same as other periods of great discovery when people of faith truly held beliefs against medical advances from blood transfusions to open heart surgery to antibiotics which were held out as anti-Christian and even as something inherently evil. I have many friends and family who feel this to be the case about embryonic stem cell research and I have great respect for their beliefs but I do not share their interpretation of the Bible. I even contend the Biblical basis of their argument is thin at best and the primary Bible verse used in opposition to embryonic stem cell research can easily be interpreted differently. As I stated earlier I can understand the basic opposition to federal funding of this controversial research but as I also stated the ban had a much more restrictive consequence. As with many arguments made against this research, the opposition frequently stated that the ban did not prevent privately funded research which was disingenuous at best. The reality has been that the ban prevented all research since the research facilities had to totally separate the privately funded lab research from any federally funded research. This eliminated nearly all universities from doing research and most companies since they received some level of funding making the ban a virtual total ban on the research. This encroaches on my right as a supporter of the research and imposes a minority belief on the majorities belief. This is a dangerous precedent which would grind our country to a halt. I feel those of you who believe this research and any resulting treatment is wrong have every right to not receive the treatment and you should withhold your financial support from any organization which does support it but in the United States you do not have a right to impose your beliefs on me which are counter to my beliefs.

As I sit here as a disabled person who's a quadriplegic on a ventilator due to the effects of ALS, I have more hope today by this reversed. I realize I may not live to see the reversal of my condition but today was a major hurdle eliminated for the possible reality that I may one day walk, dance and hug the friends and family who I love by shedding the physical bondage and enslavement of my disability. Long ago I shed any chains on my mind and spirit to find a wonderfully fulfilling life but today the hope I feel liberates me a little more. It is through hope and faith that ANYTHING becomes possible and then a reality because to me nothing is more powerful than having them in your life. I am living proof of their power with the hurdles these two words have helped me overcome in my life which is why I know all of us together can overcome the difficulties we have had thrust on us recently with the economic crisis if we just have HOPE AND FAITH that better days are on the horizon of our lives!!!

Jeff Lester

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