I haven't really got into a habit of posting links to random blog articles I happen to find by surfing, but I'm making an exception for this comment on the death of Christopher Reeve. I wanted to say something about this sad news (particularly as a few people have asked me for reactions) but found I couldn't form words into the shape I wanted. Happily someone else (a total stranger who happens to be a few degrees of separation from my blogroll) speaks for me extremely well.
I wasn't particularly looking for writing about Reeve's death; there's a lot of it which is easy to stumble upon without actively seeking it. I think really huge numbers of people admired him and felt his loss personally. And there are a lot of things to be said about him, but there was one particular thing that I wanted to say, and it happened to be Camassia who said it for me.
I noticed the piece coments that Reeves' support for stem-cell reasearch didn't endear him to many. That's actually the first place I've heard even a suggestion of a negative response. Not many people I know expressed a problem with that support. Would it really be any more than a minority who opposed such a standpoint? [Asks genuinely, is genuinely a bit surprised]
The blog where I happened to find that article is Christian in flavour and seems to be part of a community of specifically Christian blogs. So I guess that comment was along the lines of 'Some of my regular readers have religious views against stem cell research'.
Also, it's American; America seems to be much more polarized on the issue than we are over here. It's seen as part of the pro-choice / pro-life split, which I think is an inappropriate view of the technology, myself; in my opinion, it's perfectly consistent to be rabidly pro-life and still support stem-cell research. However, several American churches and of course the Vatican seem to have taken the line that doing anything with embryonic stem cells either actually is abortion or encourages abortion.
The Bush administration is violently opposed to this kind of research; that's part of what Reeve had to campaign against so loudly. I'm sure your circle is much like mine in regarding Bush and the current Republican party as anywhere from incompetent to evil, but you have to remember that somewhere in the region of half the US population do favour Bush. And I get the impression that a good proportion of die-hard Republicans take that position precisely because of pro-life issues.
I agree, it's hard to imagine living in a country where a significant proportion of the population are morally opposed to major areas of medical research, but that does seem to be the case in the US right now. And the US is still a major world influence, so in the last few years we've seen increasingly prohibitive legislation almost world-wide regarding the stem-cell issue. The exceptions seem to be China (who are big enough not to care what the US thinks), the Czech Republic (who are small enough ditto), and the UK, for some reason I don't understand but am rather grateful for. The climate in the EU and the rest of the first world isn't so bad as in the States, but it's definitely headed that way.
I think simply the fact it was American made that make sense instantly. Ah, sorry for over-explaining then. It sounded as if you'd never come across the whole anti stem-cell movement, which would be perfectly possible for someone who lives in a relatively sane country, isn't a scientist and doesn't have a personal interest in this area. Also, I babbled because it's something I feel very strongly about it.
Appreciate the link. You're correct about the reasons for mentioning that some would be opposed to stem-cell research -- nearly all of my readers are Christian and many of them are Catholic, so I assume at least some of them have qualms about it (though it hasn't come up that much in discussions, actually).