Wingnutty Beliefs Aren't Supposed to Make Sense
This post originally appeared at Booman Tribune. Steve Benen:
I've long looked for consistency -- intellectual, moral, ethical -- among opponents of stem-cell research, and I've never found any. If someone believes a fertilized egg that has grown to a few dozen cells is a full-fledged human being, deserving of the full protection of the law, then IVF would constitute nightmarish science. Conservatives would be compelled to protest at fertility clinics, and condemn families that try to have babies through the procedure. After all, the IVF process is designed to include discarded embryos.But no one is making that argument. There's a high degree of comfort level with discarding embryos at fertility clinics, but intense conservative opposition to medical research involving embryos that offer the promise of life-saving science. I've never understood this.Of course it doesn't make sense. These people are religious whackadoodles. When a religious argument is tremendously unpopular politically, what happens is that the politicians bend the religious principles. That's why, for wingnuts, it's murder to have an abortion unless the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Logically, it would still be murder, but that's not politically viable. Likewise, if destroying an embryo is murder when you use it for research, it is also murder when you don't implant it in a womb and throw it in a hazardous waste bin. But no political party wants to ban fertility treatments, so you get this kind of nonsense. The religious conservatives hold absolutist views on complex moral issues that are rendered absurd when cast in a politically viable context.