Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Christians feels misrepresented by media over Embryology Bill

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly):

I've been off for a couple of weeks and I was pleased to see that while I was away religious attempts to restrict scientific progress and abortion rights failed as the controversial elements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill made it safely through the Commons.

Now a story from a Christian news source tells me that the Christian Broadcasting Council is concerned that the Christian viewpoint was misrepresented in the media during the debate over the matter.

Chairman Olave Snelling feels "Christians and pro-life campaigners are portrayed in the media as people who do not care about the cure of diseases, research and the plight of unwanted pregnancy" and that "the public and MPs were not adequately informed about the issues and the consequences of certain parts of the Bill, despite the best efforts of many Christian and pro-life groups who worked tirelessly with MPs."

Which isn't how I remember this debate. Think back to Easter weekend, when clergy from across the Christian spectrum were given ample (excessive) column inches and airtime when they chose to use their most holy day to "inform" the public on the perceived dangers of the bill. They were using their top guys (bishops, cardinals etc), so presumably this amounted to their "best efforts". Anyone seeking the news had little choice but to hear and read these views, but unfortunately for them their "best efforts" comprised some of the most stunningly ill-informed and ignorant opinions heard in recent public debate. If this sounds strong, let us recap for a moment:

Cardinal Keith O'Brien (Scotland's top Catholic): "This bill represents a monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life." Other descriptions of the bill included "monstrous", "grotesque", "hideous" and of "Frankenstein proportions".

Dr Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham (Anglican): "Gender-bending was so last century; we now do species bending".

Add to this failed attempts at debate by representatives of anti-abortion groups (see the BHA's Andrew Copson's demolition of Paul Tulley from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children live on BBC News) and it's difficult to argue that Christians weren't given a fair chance to make their points. They even had a free vote in Parliament play with. But ultimately they were wrong, and fortunately reason won the day.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you explain to us in your own words what the Catholic Church teaches on embryonic stem cell research. If you can correctly represent the teachings, then tell us why they are wrong. How is the church trying to restrict scientific research?(that is such an old bit) Cuz you know..all us Catholics have been anti-science throughout history. Give me a break. I'm sure a lot of ignorant people actually buy into that garbage.
Do you know that 'the church' has no problem with other forms of stem cell research? Can you articulate the reasoning behind what the Church teaches on embryonic stem cell research without twisting arguments or heaving on the propaganda? research?