Stem Cells
 by FR. Mushroom

Have you ever felt, when ordering roses for St. Valentine’s Day, that you
are being sheered like…well, like an American at the gas pumps during a
GOP administration? Chances are, if you were getting flowers for your
beloved during the days before February 14, you were subject to "supply
and demand," a polite term for "price gouging." Now, I’ve got a plan for
all you love-sick flower givers that will save you a fortune next year…and
I have the GOP, the Idiot King, Jerry, Ralph and the fundies, and
Mother Church to thank for it.

Next St. Valentine’s Day, give a pack of rose seeds!

This epiphany hit me when I was reading in the local and national press
about the Idiot King’s "Solomon-like wisdom" (their quote, not mine) on
the issue of stem cell research. You see, according to the unholy alliance
of the Christian Right, the GOP, and the Catholic Church, a stem cell is a
person, should have the rights of a person, and using it to improve the
life of the already living is murder—oh, you’ve heard this before?
Okay, I’ll stop here then…but you get the point.

I used to refer to the Unholy Alliance as "the pro-fetus" crowd, for their
thinly veiled love of the fetus. Wade into a political chatroom sometime
(I used to visit AOL’s "The Podium"). You’ll find lots and lots of
pro-fetus people masquerading as pro-life people. They love fetuses—it’s
the poor, sick children of single mothers they can’t stand. Once you’re
out of the womb, you’re on your own, and Heaven forbid you should break
a law, because they are ready to give you "the juice."

I always found it odd that, once out of the womb, these people seem to
lose interest in you. They love you when you’re tucked away in the dark,
warm moistness, nursing happily through the umbilical cord. But once your
little head pops out, you’d better not need insurance, medical treatment,
Head Start, school lunch, etc…where do you think money comes from?
Go get a job, you bum!

But just when I thought I had them figured out, along comes this stem cell
business—the harvesting of the cellular basis for human life. Apparently,
the Unholy Alliance is going back even further, now to the cellular level
to show us how "precious" life is. Think of the carnage that occurs daily!
Think about when a woman menstrates! Or even worse, think about when a
high school lad disappears into his bedroom with a copy of Penthouse on a
Saturday afternoon and locks the door…oh, the humanity!

Which brings me back to the rose seeds. You see, stem cells, embryos,
fetuses are all potential persons. They are not persons with the ability
to reason, feel pain ("sentiency" must be present for this, and it is argued
that the earliest this could occur is in the third trimester of pregnancy),
or live on their own. But the Unholy Alliance says they’re "just as good"
as existing persons, like you and me…like the fellows they execute in
Texas by the dozens each year.

So, next St. Valentine’s Day, give a conservative you love a pack of rose
seeds. They’re the same as roses…aren’t they?

Fr. Mushroom is progressive Catholic theologian, cathecist and spiritual
advisor to dozens in the Twin Cities area, regardless of faith.

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