Friday, July 21, 2006

Rev. Timothy Simpson, Promoting Propaganda by Proxy

I’ve noticed a lot of action from the “Progressive” Christian community on the internet and in the streets lately. I’ve seen billboards that say “Would Jesus discriminate?” popping up around the city, put there by self-proclaimed “progressive Christians” who apparently believe recognizing sin as sin is the same thing as “discriminating.”

Now I find in my mail a piece written by Reverend Timothy F. Simpson from the Christian Alliance for Progress,
http://www.christianalliance.org/, titled, “The President Turns a Blind Eye to the Suffering and Death of Americans.”

Well, if LYING can be considered progress, the “progressive Christians” are certainly progressing!

Rev. Simpson suggests that by vetoing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, the President will cause “…the early deaths and unnecessary suffering of millions of Americans.” He further opines that the President’s decision was “irrational” and evidence that “America is under the sway of theocrats whose obsession for ideological purity outweighs their concern for America's, and the world's, sick and dying.”

Let’s look at the reality of this issue. EMBRYONIC (I must emphasize that adjective as the “Progressives,” like the good Rev. Simpson, conveniently leave this very important qualifier out of their propag….er, arguments) stem cells have not cured one disease. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch. In fact, EMBRYONIC stem cells, in the treatment of animals, have either done nothing for the malady which researchers were attempting to treat, or worse, it made the lab animals receiving them DEAD.

EMBRYONIC stem cells are attractive to researchers because they’re thought to be “pluripotent”, which means, in essence, that the cells have not made up their little minds what kind of specialized cell they’d like to be when they grow up. This, theoretically, opens the path for researchers to train them to become whatever kind of specialized cell a researcher could want. This hasn’t happened. EMBRYONIC stem cells, instead of being told to grow up specializing in this or that by researchers, have a mind of their own….forming bone inside recipients’ brains, or tumors, oftentimes fatal, wherever they please. EMBRYONIC stem cells don’t take instruction well at all.

ADULT stem cells, however, DO.

ADULT and CORD BLOOD (very important adjectives, setting these cells apart from embryonic stem cells in that they are not harvested by killing human embryos, and denoting the fact that different kinds of stem cells exist, something “progressives” conveniently overlook) stem cells possess more pluripotent properties, like those thought to be possessed by EMBRYONIC stem cells, than researchers ever thought possible. They can grow into specialized cells apart from that in which they’ve already specialized. Treatment with these stem cells is much less risky than treatment with the unruly EMBRYONIC stem cells, cells which can only be obtained by killing a human embryo, a.k.a. a baby.

Further, ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cells are currently being used to treat more than 70 different diseases. We are treating cancer, cardiovascular diseases, auto-immune diseases, neurological diseases, blood diseases and conditions, various injuries, including spinal, wounds, and a whole host of other debilitating diseases and conditions with ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cells. Unlike EMBRYONIC stem cells, treatment with ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cells has shown real progress for real people with real diseases. Unlike EMBRYONIC stem cells, treatments with ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cells have proven effective.

To recap:

EMBRYONIC stem cells have not cured one disease and have caused the death of many test animals upon the administration of these stem cells.

ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cells are currently being used to treat 72 different diseases and conditions, with approximately 300 trials showing promise for treatment of other diseases and conditions currently underway.

The scorecard for EMBRYONIC v. ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cells is:

    EMBRYONIC – 0
    ADULT/CORD BLOOD - 72

See the difference?

The good Reverend Timothy F. Simpson hopes you don’t.

Taking this reality into account, it makes perfect sense that President Bush would veto federal funding for research that has, thus far, proven to be a failure. The hype of the past decade regarding EMBRYONIC stem cell research was just that….hype…..hype which overshadowed the miraculous breakthroughs and progress in the fields of ADULT and CORD BLOOD stem cell research, the research fields most deserving of federal funds. Even so, EMBRYONIC stem cell research continues, just not with federal funds beyond that which was previously allowed on existing lines. The President's veto did not put an end to all EMBRYONIC stem cell research as the good Reverend would have you believe.

In light of this, it seems the only one obsessed with ideological purity and theocracy is Reverend Timothy F. Simpson. He obfuscates the debate by blending ALL stem cell research into one category, pretending that lack of federal funding for EMBRYONIC stem cell research will cause death and suffering, as though it has been useful in preventing those things previously (it has not); by ignoring the fact that EMBRYONIC stem cells haven't successfully treated one disease, condition or ailment; and, further, he wants the federal government to fund the killing of human embryos even though it is against the morals of many taxpayers. To him, and those like him, religion and morals are good so long as they are THEIR morals and THEIR religion. Anything else is deserving of demonization and lies.

Reverend Simpson bemoaning another’s obsession with ideological purity is like the KKK’s Grand Kleagle lamenting the racists in his midst.

Showing concern for the world's sick and dying does not entail what the good Reverend gives us - slickness and lying.

7 comments:

Angel said...

For some reason your font type is extremely small. I had to read your post in Bloglines to be able to read it.

Also, I thought you might be interested in these two articles: Adult Stem Cell Talking-Point Demolished and Clash Over Stem Cell Research Heats Up.

Momma Twoop said...

Thanks for your input, Angel, and for the links. Something curious about the article "Adult Stem Cell Talking-Point Demolished," is that they READILY admit that ASCs are being used to treat diseases and conditions NOW. Not "potentially, hopefully, at some point in the future," but now. The same cannot be said for ESCs, which have not cured, helped, or alleviated any illness known to man.

Further, the author points to only those treatments "approved" by the FDA, which means very little in the context of whether or not those treatments exist and are being used. IMO, if the author of this letter seeks to prove that 72 different maladies have not been cured and/or improved by ASCs, he has fallen far short of that goal. Simply pointing out that they do not have FDA approval is not sufficient to prove these treatments aren't in use here and around the world, as they most assuredly are. But, even if we were to limit the tally to those ASC treatments approved by the FDA, the scorecard is:

ESCs - 0
ASCs - 9

ASC's are, and have been, more efficient and helpful in treating diseases and conditions in humans, with more than 1,700 known human trials, while ESCs cannot even be used in human trials at this time because they keep killing the lab animals.

In reality, the news accounts and testimonies of those helped by ASCs, either harvested from their own bodies or another's, and cord blood stem cells is there for public consumption. No, the FDA hasn't approved all the ASC treatments discussed, but that doesn't mean they didn't take place and help those patients receiving them.

The article also states, "...Prentice and those who repeat his claims mislead laypeople and cruelly deceive patients." What do they think is being done when they pretend that ESC research has been anything but a failure? When researchers and supporters say, "You're killing people by not providing federal funding for this because we know it will cure all kinds of diseases," particularly when NO ONE has EVER been helped by it and there is NOT one shred of supporting evidence for their statements, that is being INTENTIONALLY deceptive and cruel to patients...the very thing they're deriding David Prentice for, when there is, in fact, much more evidence supporting Prentice's claims than there is supporting theirs.

They didn't demolish anything but a little more of the ESC proponents' credibility, IMO.

I haven't read the second link yet, but will post the comments here if anything jumps out at me from that one, k?

Thanks again for your comments, Angel. Take care.

Momma Twoop said...

I have to clear up a misstatement I made in my response to Angel. I said, "with more than 1,700 human trials known" or something to that effect. My fingers were typing so fast, my brain didn't keep up! I should have said that there were more than 1,170 CLINICAL trials, which means the numbers of humans receiving ASCs would, most likely, far exceed 1,700.

Sorry for the slip up!

DocLarry said...

Very difficult to believe any of your stated "facts" without supporting links. These are nothing more than anti-stem cell research talking points and just as fictitious as you claim pro-stem cell research arguments to be. Your post adds nothing to the debate and resolves no issues.

Want to convince me? Point me to the empirical research supporting your claims.

Dismissing FDA approval as meaningless is a sad commentary on the Bush administration's dismantelling of this important government agency.

Momma Twoop said...

Well, Doc, help yourself at www.clinicaltrials.gov. You will find approximately 560 clinical trials for adult stem cell research actively searching for patients of the HUMAN variety. You will also find approx. 1,170 clinical trials which are underway and are no longer in search of HUMAN patient volunteers as that requirement has been met. While you're there, you might as well do a search with "embryonic stem cells" typed in the "Treatment" line, and see what you find. Heck, I can't wait. I'll go ahead and tell you what you'll find.....NOT ONE clinical trial for ESC research on humans. In fact, not one clinical trial using ESCs for humans at all, FDA approved or otherwise.

I didn't "dismiss" FDA approval as meaningless. It just so happens that adult stem cells are considered neither food nor drug. As such, FDA approval is not required for their use, just as the FDA never approved bone marrow transplants in the treatment of certain cancers, a treatment that has been in use and is effective much of the time for decades. It is still used to this day WITHOUT "FDA approval." According to the author of the letter I was addressing, this highly effective, long-used and viable treatment wouldn't count as a success for ASCs because the FDA hasn't given it the blessing no one sought.

If anyone "dismissed" anything, it was the author of the letter. He dismissed the need for an informed debate by setting up phony parameters (FDA approval) for the success of ASC treatments. One has to wonder why he would willingly misrepresent (a.k.a. Lie) the reality of it all.

And if you're interested further, you can find some interesting reading, albeit dry reading, here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14968299&dopt=Abstract

This tells how ESCs which were used in treatment of diabetes in lab animals did not reverse diabetes, since the proper kind of insulin producing cell did not form, but instead caused the growth of tumors.

At the link below, on the one known occasion of using ESCs to treat a human patient with Parkinson's, you'll find he died suddently because of the formation of bone, hair and skin in the middle of his brain. OUCH! http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/46/5/1219

Meanwhile, a man with Parkinson's has seen 80% improvement after treatment with ASCs from his own body:

http://www.wchstv.com/newsroom/healthyforlife/1901.shtml

Here's a link for a PBS story detailing how people with spinal injuries are being helped - REMARKABLY - by using ASCs from their own nasal passages.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/innovation/transcript_episode6.html

Diabetes? Check out this link. Patients are being helped with islets (ASCs) http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/dynapage.taf?file=/labinvest/journal/v84/n5/abs/3700074a.html

Kids with juvenile diabetes have been receiving effective treatment with adult islet cells gathered from cadavers for quite a while in Canada. D. Wahlberg, “New islet cells put into liver,” The Atlanta Journal- Constitution, June 1, 2003, at www.ajc.com/health/content/health/special/0603/01exdiabetic_sidebar.html.

In fact, some of the kids receiving ASC transplants from cadavers have been able to throw away their hypodermic needles, never requiring insulin injections again. Isn't that cool?!

You'd probably know more about this stuff if you chose to research it instead of spending your time blaming Bush for allegedly dismantling the FDA, an organization that has absolutely no say in what research does or does not take place using stem cells of any stripe.

Thanks for your comments.

Momma Twoop said...

P.S. Doc...

I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I would suggest you research it yourself prior to determining who is right or wrong. It seems, though, that you've already made your mind up....facts be damned. If that is true, nothing I say, nor any facts presented to you, will change your mind.

Jacke M. said...

You might have touched on this M. Twoop, but if so it bears reminding. ASC and CBSC have no problem with receiving funding because they have shown such promise, because ESC has shown LITTLE promise there has been little private investment into it. That is why they are asking for government funding for ESC research. If ESC research showed the same promise that ASC and CBSC research had shown at early stages then they would have no problem funding their research without calling on the American tax payer to be FORCED to fund it, even though many disagree with it ethically or question whether it is morally ethical or not.