August 24th, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Judge stops federal funding of embryonic stem cell research

Last year, the Obama administration issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Washington (CNN) - A U.S. district judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that he said destroys embryos, ruling it went against the will of Congress.

The ruling by Judge Royce C. Lamberth was a blow to the Obama administration, which last year issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Lamberth's ruling said all embryonic stem cell research involves destroying embryos, which violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment included in federal spending bills.

Read the full article here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Church • Culture & Science • Politics

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. CatholicMom

    ....so......they are just calling them as they see them. How many do they see?

    As I have mentioned....I see God with my heart and there is only Him I see.

    August 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • NL

      Calling them as they see them, as in baseball umpires calling plays in an unbiased, honest fashion. I don't see any gods, or pixies, or elves, or any other supernatural beings. All I see is the natural world. I don't get spooked and I can watch a horror movie without actually getting frightened. In short, I'm not superstitious.

      Get a group of Christians together and have one of them tell a story about something they found miraculous, like finding an extra donut in the dozen they ordered from the coffee shop, and all of them will automatically agree that, yessiree, that was certainly proof positive that the Lord Jesus is active in the lives of His followers.

      To me, for every extra donut found there was some other shop left one out. People remember the happy coincidences, and the rare times when what they pray for just happens to be what actually comes to pass. Chances are that was likely to happen some time throughout your life if you are told to pray several times a day. That's just random dumb luck, and not proof that prayers always get answered.

      I have no doubt that you have emotional reactions that you feel in "your heart" and you believe these feelings somehow indicate the existence of God, but these feelings can more easily be explained as biological reactions to what you are experiencing at the time.

      August 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • NL

      It appears that I need to answer this again, but if my last comment resurfaces please ignore any repetition.

      Like a baseball umpire we atheists tend to call things just as we see them: Honestly and without bias. If I were to walk into a room full of Christians sharing "testimony" what would I see happening? Each of them would get around to relating something they have personally witnessed that they consider proof of God. Someone would have survived breast cancer, another would have beaten an addiction and some others would have experienced something else equally important to their individual lives, but also equally as easily understood as either just random good luck, or an example of the individual choosing to motivate themselves out of a bind. All will agree, however, that these signs MUST and can only indicate a personal intervention of Jesus into their lives, but then there might be somebody who relates a story that is just way out there. Maybe he found Jesus as a five year old after he prayed that he wouldn't have any cavities, and then the dentist miraculously didn't find any... until he was seven, but by that time he was already "saved" so it didn't matter.

      Point is, I doubt that any of these Christians would ever dare to criticize his reasons for believing, at least to his face. He may feel that God is in his heart just as you do. Me, I'm skeptical because I can easily see where peer pressure forces folks to come up with their best story when it comes to share time. I was raised Catholic too, and when I was young you never needed a "testimony" story to justify your faith, but I'm starting to see it now amongst my family. Problem is, everyone has at least one good luck story in their personal lives or, more accurately, everyone can remember the best thing that has ever happened to them, relatively speaking. Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, Wiccans, everyone, and they will all choose to interpret that good luck through their own particular belief filter. I just see it as random good luck because that's what the evidence suggests, and it makes the best sense to me.

      August 30, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  2. Chris

    Keith, Adult stem cells can not grow heart muscle tissue. How many people need hearts?

    August 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Quite a few seem heartless, don't they?

      August 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
    • NL

      How ironic would it be if the mother of the key researcher in stem cell treatments once considered aborting her pregnancy only to be convinced by someone like you that their child could be chosen by God to bring some medical miracle into the world?

      August 26, 2010 at 12:50 am |
    • CatholicMom

      That would be a blessing that could affect the whole world, brought about by the workings of the Holy Spirit and the mother who chose to let her ears be open to hear and her eyes to be open to see.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • NL

      Perhaps we should check the moms of all stem cell researchers to be sure before passing judgment on their work? They may be God's gift to us, right?

      August 26, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Devoting research on adult stem cells may be where the answers will be found...and by the babies that were not aborted! Yes! Surely there are some doing just that right now!

      August 27, 2010 at 9:50 am |
    • NL

      But many places are still using abortion material, which is a richer source of stem cells, so they will likely develop the technology way ahead of America. So, all this is doing is keeping the technology out of our control, and we will pay for that down the road. Years from now your loved ones will still be getting treatments developed using stem cells obtained from abortion material.

      August 27, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • CatholicMom

      and we will be paying for it in more ways than one. See what I wrote to Frogist above, please, as this is what I am talking about.

      August 27, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • NL

      How can you have a personal relationship with a character in a book?

      August 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Just because you cannot see our Lord, our God and Father, does not mean you cannot have a relationship with Him.

      Do blind people have relationships with persons they cannot see? Yes, and they get married, too.

      Do people have relationships with persons separated by great distances where they may never be together and see each other? Yes, and they plan their weddings without ever having met!

      So you see, love is something you cannot see. Love is another name for God. You can reject love [but why?]. You can have a personal relationship with God if you want one. Trust and love Him; read His Word; go to a Catholic Church where you can hear His Word spoken to you.

      Or you can remain as you are….it is your choice.

      August 28, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • NL

      Yes, blind people can have relationships with people they cannot see, but any blind person claiming to have a relationship with someone that nobody else can see would be called delusional, right? That's like a child with an invisible friend.

      Your argument is also like telling a child in an orphanage that they actually do have a parent that loves them despite the fact that there is zero actual evidence that this parent actually exists. It's like Little Orphan Annie telling all the other girls that someday her father will rescue her from this place. Christians also want their invisible father to rescue them too. It's just sad. Time to pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps and make the most of the lives we do have.

      August 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      The thing is….Catholics know Christ by the grace of God and we see Him in His creation and in His Sacraments bestowed upon us by His Church. He is very real. Others who say ‘They cannot see’, do not have eyes to see. The things of the heart are very real and this ‘heart’ has eyes to see and ears to hear!

      I have read on these blogs that atheists say a heart is just a muscle…yes, we all have one like that, too, but the heart that matters most is what keeps us in ‘being’ with our Creator. Our hope is to see Him as He Is and remain with Him for all of eternity.

      We will all see Him, that is for sure, but whether or not we have life-everlasting with Him will be decided by us now and with Him when we see Him as we pass from this life into the next. He will either say, ‘Hello! Or Good-Bye….’ some time soon. [Soon because even if you live to be 100, this life will be gone in a flash and the one that ‘counts’ is the ‘forever’ one.]

      Orphans do have their Father in Heaven who loves them. We all are children of God even if we insist as perhaps a wayward child might during a tantrum say to his parent… ‘I hate you; you aren’t my parent’. That can’t change the Truth.

      Some never get over their tantrums; why is that?

      August 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • NL

      You can look at the world like some kind of giant Rorschach test and answer that every blot is a picture of God, but we all know that they're just ink stains. To somebody else they may be pictures of bunnies, or blood stains just at the sun looked like Ra's solar barge to the Egyptians and Apollo's chariot to the Greeks. Such views, including your seeing God everywhere, are completely subjective no matter how much you insist that they are not. An atheist not believing in an invisible god is not being defiant; they are just calling them as they see them. I don't see Thor or any of the other gods either. Do you?

      August 29, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  3. Chris

    Keep the religion out of science and state affairs.

    August 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Amy J

    Your god has a plan for every of its living beings, correct? When a child unexpectedly dies, it's religion's belief that they have served god's purpose on Earth, and it's their time to return home. Embryos are alive in the same sense that yogurt is alive, which god has put here for us to eat. Why can't religion accept that it's embryonic stem cells' purpose to offer cures for humanity's maladies?

    August 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Because Amy J – Fundies do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.

      It will be okay. Just keep supporting pro-choice issues and vote for the Dems. Cheers!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Amy J,

      I get the feeling that because your egg is so tiny and a sperm is so tiny that when they unite and become an embryo, you think because it is so tiny it can’t be human. Well, look at you, all grown up, and that is how you got your start….you are human!

      Perhaps you would have liked it better if God had made your eggs the size of watermelons; sperm, too. Think about THAT for a second…. maybe now you will be happy with things the way they are and agree God knows best.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  5. Frogist

    Here's the thing... I understand people are debating when "life" begins... But you can't deny that anyone outside of the womb is alive. So why are we denying the research into potentially life-saving techniques to be used on those obviously alive to preserve something that we don't know is alive? How am I less important than a something that exists inside me? I personally think that the only way to solve the riddle of is it "alive" is by science anyway. Do the research and while it is being done we will discover the data. We will never find anything out by not searching for it. I understand the need for philosophical debate. But that debate will always be in a vaccuum without hard scientific proof to back it up.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Guest

      Scientifically speaking, can you explain to us how "alive" you are, then (if you still have time) how do you "cherish" your own life more than someone else "cherishes" theirs? Do you need a lot of pride and prejudice to begin with?

      Notes and References- would also be appreciated, and thank you in advance,

      August 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Frogist, You said, ‘How am I less important than a something that exists inside me?’

      You are not less important than the life inside you. And the life inside you is not less important than you.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Frogist,….you said on an older blog,…. “ I've always hated that phrase "know Christ personally"... what does that mean?”

      I hope you do not mind me answering here as you are more apt to be on this newer site now. Plus, it isn’t ever out of line to remind ourselves of the Truth and how it can pertain to a variety of situations. If we followed Jesus’ commandments we would think twice about killing an embryo.

      John 15:12-16
      Jesus said to his disciples:
      “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
      No one has greater love than this,
      to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
      You are my friends if you do what I command you.
      I no longer call you slaves,
      because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
      I have called you friends,
      because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
      It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
      and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
      so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”

      Jesus said we are his friend IF we do what He commands of us. This is more a kind of friendship a child has with his parent….not a friendship of two equal buddies who watch the football game together.

      How does a child love his parent? With undying trust and love and the parent loves the child with a love that guides and guards the child from all harm. A child who knows no discipline in life learns life’s lessons the hard way. A parent does not want their child to have to suffer ‘consequences’ due to disobedience.

      Do protestants think of God as a buddy rather than the Father? Maybe this is why that phase grates on you, Frogist.

      'Go and bear fruit that will remain'......

      August 27, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  6. TheRationale

    It seems to me that all of the people making decisions against stem cell research are the ones who don't need it.

    August 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      Hmmm... I'm against destroying embryos. Even if it meant me staving off the family curse of Alzheimer's. Of course that's hypothetical at this point. See what I think in 20 years.

      August 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      It seems to me that all the people making decisions FOR stem cell research are the ones who don’t value the life of the baby at any point before its birth.

      August 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  7. Keith

    If there has been no advances using embryonic stem cells then why continue to use them? Adult stem cells have yielded good results, so why not use what works?

    August 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • crywaterbaby

      The fact is the first clinical trials using hESCs have only been permitted by the NIH since last month, July 2010, which makes the argument that there is no proof of the benefits or lack thereof ridiculous. The fact that there is no data to analyze cannot be interpreted to mean it doesn’t work. The truth is until the clinical trials have been completed no determination can be made one way or the other.

      August 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I answered your comments on the other web page.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  8. crywaterbaby

    I have no problem donating my embryos for research especially if it can lead to a cure for Parkinson’s Disease which runs in my family or any other cure or treatment that can benefit others. I understand this is not the view of some but that doesn’t negate what I believe is my right to have the option to donate them if I choose to.
    No person’s belief should not be allowed to interfere with my belief any more than my belief should interfere with theirs especially when it comes to such personal issues as this.

    August 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Bless you! You have my total respect. You Go Girl!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      What does your husband have to say about it...that embryo is his, too.

      August 26, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  9. Reality

    To my knowledge, there have been no embryonic-stem cell- based cures even though global research labs have spent billions trying. Research scientists make wild promises in too many situations putting money ahead of good science and ethics.

    And if we are to harvest the smallest of humans, why not harvest the organs and cells of the terminally ill, those suffering from Altzheimers or those mentally-challenged humans occupying nursing homes and insane asylums???

    August 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You are right, Reality,

      And then if they do not find they have enough of those people….will it be an age pool, or a blue/brown eye color pool….?

      August 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God


      Reality and Catholic Mom agreeing? What twighligh zone did I just step in?

      (interestingly–I agree with them both! who knew?)

      August 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Reality @CatholicMom & @ One whos name means beloved of god

      Yeah..... This is certainly interesting to see Reality and CM in some kind of agreement.

      I will give you both credit..... there is, in my opinion, 'some' validity to your assertions.

      Peace to the both of you.... and you too..... One Whose Name Means Beloved of God...

      August 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
    • Noble9

      Stem cell research was only begun in human clinical trials within the last 10 years. Typically it takes 10 – 15 years to get a new drug to market, so we're still a few years away from seeing any benefits.

      Research takes time and research that involves humans takes even more. Just because Time magazine ran an article about the benefits of stem cell research doesn't mean you're going to see treatments available next month.

      August 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • Noble9

      Research scientists are among the most conservative people you're likely to meet. Making "wild promises" is the department of salesman types trying to drum up investors. With the amount of regulation in the drug market, the FDA does not allow bad science when making decisions.

      August 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  10. Nora Machmer

    My daughter Christina is 27 years old, is the single mother of three small girls, 12, 6, and 4. Christina was involved in a severe car crash on March 13, 2008, leaving her paralized as a C-5 Quad. My grandaughter Kylee is four now she hasn't known what it's like for her mother to pick her up and hold her since she was two. My daughter is confined to a bed and isolated from ther world and her life due to her accident. It's only people that have not been affected by such a tragedy and the families that also are forever changed when a loved one is tramatically injured in just a blink of an eye, that can make the calls of saying no stem cell research.
    There are thousands of young people out there that have their lives changed every day from sporting accidents, car accidents. What is the difference in donating life saving blood to someone in need, when stem cells could also be a life saving miracle to someone in need. This is something that could happen to anyone of us , anyday. Thank You Nora Machmer ....

    August 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Nothing is sadder than children who are hurt or sick.

      If god could stop the suffering but won't, he is not all good. If he wants to stop the suffering but can't, he is not all powerful.

      How would the world look different if there were no god? Ans. It would look just like it does.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Guest

      Your right David Johnson! It would look just like it does, and we wouldn't have any atheists either.....

      August 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      God is all powerful and being so, He has the ability to give us our freewill as His creatures. He has willed it so but this does not limit His power for it is exactly as He willed it through His power. So our choosing this way or that way of living is still our free choice and thus is not diminishing His power in the least for it is as He willed it.

      Likewise, He is all knowing which is part of His Power. He knows everything for He is in all and all is in Him. Without His grace nothing is. However, through His power He allows us our freewill and supplies us plentitude of grace to be saved. But we can reject His grace by our freewill which is from Him to do with as we please.

      August 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Lori

      Christina is and was a dear friend of mine all through middle school. I heard of her passing, and this Judge should be ashamed. God please be with you and your family Mrs. Machmer. Christina was amazing.. and I wish I wouldn't have lost touch with her over the years after middle school, I enjoyed many sleepovers at her grandmothers house across from the church. I'm sure her daughters are beautiful and you are one proud grandmother. God Bless!

      November 16, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  11. unknown

    This is complicated subject, but some must know that if scientists were to study animal cells, animals would still be killed and it would NOT have the same results as a human. Plus, one little life could save 100's more, which in the long run, can mean a lot more than people tend to think

    August 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      “No commitment to a hoped-for ‘greater-good’ can erase or diminish the wrong of taking innocent human lives here and now.” [USCCB statement]

      The Catholic Church has donated millions of dollars for adult stem cell research and it appears cures are advancing without killing embryos.

      Who’s 'little life' are you willing to kill....one of your own or someone else's?

      August 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • JaniceM

      Who said anything about killing? The case is about embryos. What about "stillborn" embryos at any stage of development?
      If you say it's "God's" will that these embryos were "unviable", then why wouldn't "he" allow an autopsy or other scientific research to be done?

      August 25, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  12. Sue Hunt

    re: embryonic stem cell research. What if the persons whose embryos are being stored "withdraw them" and give them to facilities who are doing research on stem cell research? Is this a possibility, even tho there is now an injunction? Or do the facilities now "own" the cells?

    August 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  13. Colin

    So, because the Christian Taliban have a Bronze Age superstition that a small collection of cells has a soul, thousands with MS, Parkinson's and other potentially curable diseases will suffer needlessly and die.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  14. ThThite

    Great idea, save 'embryos' and lets let all the disabled people go without any cure.

    When you're unborn, you sure are important. Soon as you pop out, you're on your own.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.