Everyone has seen video after video (on social media) of friends, family, and colleagues taking the #IceBucketChallenge for the ALS Association research foundation.
The goal of which has been stated to find a cure for those suffering with neurological breakdown through diseases like ALS.
For any who have witnessed such struggle in those we love, the sincere and desperate hope for a cure seems like a big payoff for a bit of ice cold water being dumped on the head!
The only problem here is that--unknowingly--this very challenge is contributing to the on going destruction of human life--intentionally.
The ALS association is actively now funding embryonic stem cell research and admitting that they likely will continue to do so in the future. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/08/whats-wrong-with-the-als-bucket-challenge-plenty/)
The funding of embryonic stem cell research means that children are created and at their earliest stages of life they are destroyed so that the stem cells (from usually the base of the brain) can be harvested to perform tests with.
Embryonic stem cell research has proven zero percent effective in combating diseases like ALS and other neurological degenerative diseases.
Adult stem cells--which can be harvested from living humans without them being killed--have on the other hand--proven vastly effective in making progress towards slowing down and in some cases seeing remission or reversal of degenerative defects.
ALSA states that they view the funding of both types of research as important towards finding cures. They continue to say this while recognizing the moral conflict of taking innocent human life.
Which for me isn't good enough. There should be no forced taking of any innocent person's life just so that another may live longer.
That is in essence philosophical cannibalism and moral persons should have no part in it.
Others have pointed out other criticisms of the #IceBucketChallenge. Be it that millions around the world die from a lack of clean water, while millions of Americans have now poured out tens of millions of gallons of it. Or the idea that ALS takes approximately 1.6 lives per 100,000 deaths, while hunger amongst orphans is taking the life of a child every 90 seconds with roughly 60 million orphans globally.
But those criticisms seem benign compared to the reality that millions of dollars raised through this specific challenge may be used to create a child only to kill it for what amounts to fruitless experimentation.
I wish to see the suffering of those with neurological degeneration ended. Be it ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Dementia, and others less known. And I would feel fine supporting the truly effective research using adult stem cells.
But the myth that the undefined cells of the tiniest children among us are necessary for those cures seems to be a fool's folly and I pray and believe that God would not send us a cure that damages the innocent among us!
We can do better for the least of these!