During the twelfth century there are records of the Christian church forbidding the practice of medicine. People who attempted to comfort the sick and the dying were often proclaimed witches or heretics and tortured and killed. Though opiates were available they were forbidden for the relief of pain for the seriously injured. It was felt that pain was God given and to interfere with it was heresy. Priest often administered treatment by touching the infirmed with the bone of a saint, and with prayer.
This was the teaching drawn from a book that was written by a primitive desert people who considered a wheelbarrow cutting edge technology.
In 1998 biologist James Thomson at the
cultivated the first line of human embryonic stem cells. The work was revolutionary and offered
potential cures for cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinson, HIV; as well as the ability
to grow and replace damaged organs and tissue.
But this curative research required the destruction of human embryos. University of Wisconsin
When our President George W. Bush, supported by the fundamentalist ignorant still clinging to two thousand year old religious dogma, restricted the use of human embryonic stem cells the genetic advancement in the treatment of human infirmity screeched to a stop.
In the years since, numerous biologists have attempted to create compatible stem cells by regressing adult human cells back to an embryonic stage. In every case when these regressed cells were tested they were attacked by the human immune system and destroyed.
The misconception promulgated by the religious right has been that stem cells would be procured from aborted fetuses and that women would become pregnant in order at sell their fertilized eggs for money; again, stirring up the female phobia of the Republican base. In actuality the cells would have been produced in a Petri Dish that would never have advanced to a fetus.
The fetus obsession and scientific ignorance of the Republican base has retarded our medical research and condemned the suffering and dying to new decades without relief.
But after all, suffering is God’s design, and all advancements of science must be held suspect – or denied if it doesn’t mesh with the teachings of the Primitive Age Tome that should rule all our lives.