Saturday, October 31, 2009

Speaking of Faith's Krista Tippett Softballs Embryonic Researcher

Folks, I confess I enjoy - or have until now - listening to Krista Tippett's weekly "Speaking of Faith" interview show for NPR (APM).

Tippett has interviewed some interesting characters throughout the years, and I can safely say her program has helped give me a broader view of the American religious landscape.

This week, Tippett interviewed an embryonic stem cell researcher, Dr. Doris Taylor of the University of Minnesota.

The only connection to religion, to faith, seemed to be Tippett's ridiculously softball question, "So do you find that 'religious people' [read: religiously committed pro-lifers, i.e. Catholics, mostly] have an adequate understanding of what it is you are actually doing?" - or words to that effect.

So I was not exactly surprised to learn that the professional research scientist did not think the average laymen she interviewed in the Church parking lot had a very clear idea of what she does.

Tippett actually summarized Taylor's position by saying something very close to, "Taylor believes a change in vocabulary would help avoid some of the moral sensitivities surrounding her research."

Sorry, but that is not going to cut it.

In fairness, Taylor did make it sound as though she is not creating embryos for the purpose of conducting destructive research. She and her team are merely getting everything they can out of embryos that were slated for destruction, anyway.

Somehow, according to Taylor, that makes it OK.

I'll come back to this...


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