Last week in an interview with ABC News, Michael J. Fox reversed his long-time defense of embryonic stem cell research as the best solution to Parkinson’s disease. He admitted freely that he now believes treatments other than stem cells will hold the answer to fighting Parkinson’s and other diseases. In short, “the other avenues of research have grown and multiplied and become as much or more promising. So, an answer may come from stem cell research, but it is more than likely to come from another area.” This is a dramatic reversal for the activist who has been an outspoken advocate and a multi-million dollar fundraiser for stem cell research since his diagnosis with Parkinson’s in 1991.
His enduring support of stem cell research, says Mr. Fox, is as much about defending experimentation from being shut down “for ideological reasons” as it is finding the answer for diseases like Parkinson’s. Widely quoted in 2009 for his support of “getting politics out of science,” it seems Mr. Fox still overlooks the irony that his own position is itself a highly political and ideological one. He also seems to forget the inherent dangers of research without legitimate debate and ethical accountability.
Not only is political and ideological discourse acceptable in science, it is absolutely necessary! How else but through God’s guidance would we know what is acceptable and what is off limits? Since they serve the Creator of the universe, it is only natural for Christians to bring their views on right and wrong into everything they do, including science. The idea that some areas of life are “religious” and others “secular” stems from the world’s desire to keep those of faith from having a voice in debates just like this one. That there is constant conflict between the two is a myth. To quote Abraham Kuyper, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”
Science is God’s realm, no matter what worldly wise men like Mr. Fox say. Because of this truth, Christians can take bold and forthright positions, even when contradicting the latest “scientific” wisdom. That’s why Concerned Women for America (CWA) had confidence to educate its members and lobby against embryonic stem cell research as early as 2000, even when many other conservative groups did not speak up.
It should come as no surprise that the scientific community is finally coming around to realize what many Christians have known by faith from the very beginning — violating the sanctity of any life through embryonic stem cell research is not the answer. Though previously thought impossible by many scientists, it appears the Lord has indeed provided other ways to cure diseases like Parkinson’s that do not involve the destruction of life.