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Voice: Religion should be left out of stem cell debate

August 18, 2001

This letter is in response to the letter written by April Loy published in the I.V. Press on Aug. 16.

April, you need to look at this situation with an open mind before deciding not what you believe should happen but what is the most plausible remedy. When I say with an open mind I am referring to the fact that you believe everyone follows the rules of the same God as you.

In your letter you quoted Jeremiah 1:5, which says "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."

When you say this you assume that every person whom stem cell research would benefit agrees with the Bible. It seems as if your argument is that because God created us a certain, pre-designed way, we should not attempt to use science to alter and/or cure incurable diseases.

I am a Christian also, but I tend to try to resolve worldly problems not with a solution that is based entirely on my faith. Rather I use ones that incorporate my personal beliefs, but that are also based on the fact that the world does not agree on many things, and imposing a law on society that is based on a certain religion's beliefs will almost never work.

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Because many of these individuals who are suffering from a disease such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are atheist, it would not be fair to end the federal funding of stem cell research because it conflicts with a certain group's religious beliefs.

Remember, we all pay taxes to our federal government and although we do not agree with everything that money is used for, we must accept the fact that some things will not go your way. Remember, it's generally for the good of your fellow man.

I believe abortion is wrong. I believe it is the murder of babies and should not be tolerated. However, I support stem cell research.

A contradiction, you may ask? Am I a hypocrite? I don't believe so. I realize we are not living in a Utopian society or anything even close to a perfect world. Therefore I know that it would be impossible to completely stop all kinds of abortion. This means there will continue to be fetuses that are just going to be thrown away; discarded.

As much as I suppose you believe this is literally the "throwing away of life," you have to try to gain anything positive from this horrendously negative situation. You can! Our scientists can use these fetuses to find cures for diseases that the living have, diseases that are taking away mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters prematurely, diseases that can and must be stopped.

As I said, April and all others who feel the same way as her, in no way am I attempting to say your religious views are wrong. I am simply saying that it is improbable and simply wrong to attempt to impose them on the whole of society. Religion is one of those sticky areas that is best left out of government.

DOMINIC SIGNOROTTI

El Centro

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