Unless you’ve been out of country or living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, even if you don’t facebook. I’ve seen and heard about some amazing creativity. My son gleefully poured a feed bucket full over his sister’s head. Her youth pastor crawled in a baptistry full of ice water and the senior pastor “baptized” him! Yes, it’s a Baptist church.

My hat goes off to the marketing manager who thought this up. Social media genius! I’m sure there are other foundations and cause wishing they’d done this. Hope the ALS Foundation gave him or her a big bonus.

The challenge has brought up another conversation and sparked debate in Christian circles regarding embryotic stem cell research. I am staunchly pro life and firmly believe life begins at conception. I also firmly believe that life is precious till the very last breath regardless of the “quality”.

The ALS Foundation conducts many research trials in their efforts to combat the disease, some of which use embryotic stem cell (ecs). Giving to the foundation can be designated for other studies, however, some folks feel they should not support the ALS foundation at all because it would be tacit agreement with ecs and by default abortion. I understand their position and why they feel that way.

So??? I am pleading for some civility and understanding between camps. I have become fed up with the name calling and grandstanding on both sides. People are not haters if they stand on their convictions regarding ecs studies. Neither are those who choose to participate blind or ignorant to the studies or agreeing with them. You can be pro life and participate. There are options, including giving to Catholic organizations that do not use ecs at all.

Money still talks folks, and if you really want the ALS foundation to reconsider their position on ecs studies I suggest giving a donation to another place and letting the foundation know in writing how much you gave and why you gave it elsewhere.

My biggest concern is that in standing against ecs research, most of the folks on facebook aren’t drawing attention to that issue, but rather coming across as narrow minded and unfeeling towards the terrible plight ALS patients suffer. Also, we are attacking ourselves and thereby sullying the name of Christ. “They will know we are Christians by our love” – not our political agendas! Now, to clarify, I believe Christians should absolutely be involved in the political arena, but this ain’t it folks.

My challenge to my fellow brothers and sisters is this: let’s start a separate, civil, well documented and sourced discussion about Embryotic Stem Cell Research and the viable alternative Adult Stem Cell Research. Let’s stop pointing fingers at each other, expecting everyone to fit the same mold to be truly following Christ (talk about political correctness!), and extend love both to the preborn embryos and the ALS patients. It can be done so let’s do it. Extend grace, like the Good Samaritan, to every life you touch as much as possible. Quit throwing buckets of cold water on each other and on those who are suffering.

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