ALS, Stem Cells, & The Soul by Richard Bateman

Note: The short form of this article was posted once before on my personal blog over on

First off, what you are about to read must in no way, shape, or form, be construed or confused to be an advocacy for abortion and I will adamantly oppose any attempt to misquote or cherry pick these statements for that end.

I am a religious individual, specifically, Mormon. These words are, however, my sole responsibility and are not the policies or doctrines of my church. These thoughts are solely and wholly mine, and I alone am to be judged for them, both by my God and by those who will invariably and inevitably take it upon themselves to act as God and pass judgment on me for them.

I recently saw an article, written by a staunchly religious man, (Catholic, I think), wherein he stated that if you participate in the ALS bucket challenge, then you might as well be dumping dead babies over your head, because ALS requires stem cell research, which in turn requires a fetus. And that, if you support the curing of ALS, then you advocate infanticide. Naturally, I had to challenge that.

On the topic of ALS research and support for it being tantamount to condoning infanticide, clearly from the comments here, life is only worthy of preservation if we deem it so.

To hell with sufferers of a crippling and ultimately fatal disease if it has anything at all to do with our precious fertilized eggs. I mean it isn’t like the growing of stem cells is not currently done using harvested adult cells and grown artificially.

To hell with curing diseases that take lives prematurely if it means harvesting cells from our precious fetuses. Let’s not even discuss that science is five steps ahead of you on that objection ready by finding alternate harvesting and manufacturing of stem cells.

No, no. Let’s just make this about a half-assed pro-life stance that is just as misguided as the half-assed conclusions drawn by pro-abortionists to excuse infanticide. Never is there talk of compromise… for instance, the donating of cells from fetuses already slated for abortion.

Nope. One side is about flushing it all down a sink and the other side is all about never doing anything but saving every part. Then what? Let them die of whatever disease takes them from there?

The first argument is that such a compromise would establish an industry of profit from abortion. Said industry already exists. They already turn a profit from the killing of fetuses for convenience.

The remedy for such things is a law, the likes of which was already passed by Bush and changed by Obama. The law mandated that stem cell research be conducted in a way in which the cells are not harvested from new sources. Yes, that law did exist, and yes, it was chained by Obama. Once again, the fight is with Obama and liberals.

The compromise is to pass legislation mandating that the cells be from adults, the already dying, or manufactured. If the issue really is about living fetal cells, that is. If the real issue for the staunchly religious is the preservation of the fetus, then it opens a series of questions that the religious, or at least this religious man, are not prepared to tackle.

I propose that the manufacturing if cells does not create a life and that life begins when the soul enters the body. Not before. This in turn, opens several other questions.

I believe that the soul is the life, not the egg and sperm. The egg and sperm merely contain the base components to replicate life. An artificially manufactured cellular composition cannot, therefor, contain a soul and thus is not a life.

You see both sides have it wrong, in my opinion. It is not a life until God imbues it with a soul. And this is reserved for the naturally gestated. Clones may only possess full life if they are complete AND God grants them a soul. Thus, a manufactured stem cell is no more than that.

NEXT OBJECTION: “But this logic allows for warehouse full of clones living a nightmarish existence. WHY NOT JUST HAVE ENTIRE BODIES LYING AROUND WAITING FOR YOU TO BE PUT IN THEM?”

No.. it is what would allow the cloning of single cells. Why do you believe that the regulations and standards of well established science suddenly vanish because we are speaking of the manufacturing of a human cell as opposed to the hundreds of living organisms manufactured every day to replicate living organisms? Because we are talking about replication of human cells instead of animal cells and viruses?

How is the manufacturing of a single cell at all different from one living animal to another? Viruses are replicated in entirety every day. They too, according to the medical qualification of what constitutes life, are living creatures. But do they possess a soul? (I will return to this.)

Do we end all research of any kind that might require replication of a living cell? If so, we go back to a state before most of our now cured diseases had viable treatment. The curing of a great many diseases which have plagued mankind, has required the replication and manipulation of the cells or bacteria that cause the disease. Is this not the exact same science which replicates DNA or stem cells?

What if a way was discovered to replicate the stem cell without creating an entire fetus or harvesting from a living host? What if the cells could be harvested without taking the life of the fetus or infant? What if these cells could simply be replicated in a lab? (A series of solutions already being explored.) Would our zombie novel objections remain? Is it really about life?

Or just like the left and their insistence on fetal harvesting: is it really about social control? Because, again, I’m not hearing either side reach for a compromise that offers the saving of both the fetus and the person dying for lack of the needed cells.

To continue reading, head over to Richard Bateman’s blog.


Wayne Dupree

Wayne Dupree is owner and founder of He was named to the 2017 Newsmax’s 50 Most Influential African-American Republicans. He served in the USAF between 1987-1995. He saw time in Operation Desert Storm/Shield and is the father of three. He is the host of the Wayne Dupree Show.

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