DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘church’

DOES GOD WANT ME TO HEAL?

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

To Heal jesus

ARE ADULT STEM CELLS, GOD’S HEALING POWER?

VERBOSE AND RANDOM MUSINGS ON GOD, RELIGION, STEM CELLS, HEALTH & THE INEVITABLE

(A 1/4 baked secular and slightly irreverent but meaning no disrespect hypothesis of what God wants us to do when we get sick)

—————————————————-

A religious friend questions her activity in a group on Longevity:
“I really don’t know why I’m in this. Aging is a natural thing. We are all meant to die when god chooses.. anything we do or say will never change that. Life goes how it wants to, and no research is going to change that.”

I responded:

You bring up an interesting question.  I respect your opinion and share my own. For the sake of this exploration, let’s assume God exists and we all agree on how to define him…

You wrote, “We die when God chooses.”

If God brings us into life and chooses our death then I would guess you are presuming that God is omniscient and omnipotent.  If that’s the case, then your entire life too is pre-destined and you have no choice in any of your decisions.  This is fatalism.  In fact, this is absolute fatalism when you give it all up and allow God to take responsibility for everything that happens to you.  This takes all responsibility out of our hands.

The next are controversial hot buttons no doubt but we can only assess the value in a philosophy or “ism” if we push ourselves and them to the extreme.  So, with an omniscient and omnipotent God and a fatalist interpretation, everything happens as it was fated.  The woman gets an abortion only as she was fated to do.  The serial murderer kills again only as he was fated to do.  The Uncle rapes the niece as it was fated.  And we can all just sit back and take no responsibility for anything that happens to us or around us.  That can’t be right.

Perhaps you feel you can interpret God’s intentions and make decisions on behalf of his intentions for yourself.  On the one hand you have no say, on the other you can not only see the pattern in God’s mysterious works but also interpret them and affect change in your life based on your interpretations of them.  So you feel you can analyze and understand the intentions of an omniscient and omnipotent being?  Do you know how limited our vision is, figuratively and literally?  DO you know that we see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.  In fact, we see only about 0.00018% of it in our limited visible spectrum.  The rest of our senses are equally pathetic. SO we are “aware” of an infinitesimal amount of what is really going on. We are completely unprepared and incapable.  For sure, God works in mysterious ways because we only see a trillionth of a fraction of  what he does in the universe.  Einstein said: “trying to understand the universe is like trying to understand an entire deck of cards when you can only see one.”  He understood the folly of that hubris-tic exercise and he was pretty smart by any standards. The narcissism inherent in this is mind boggling. So that can’t be right.

Should we accept our fates or should we try to change them?  Fatalism is a philosophical construct that fails when applied to practical living.  Will you lie down in traffic, secure in your knowledge that if God intended you get run over by a bus, you will get run over by a bus?  Conversely, if God’s intent is for you to live, no number of buses running over you will cause your demise?  No?  Then you are already choosing to abandon fatalism and partaking in actions which hedge your bets against God’s intended destiny for you or fate.  So that can’t be right.

Are you so special that God spends his time on deciding your fate?  Is it the big stuff, like life or death with a big empty space in the middle or does he decide every single event, like if you get a dust mote in your eye or an uncomfortable wedgie from sitting on the bus too long?  Has God put that pimple on your nose before Church?  Don’t use make up, your are covering God’s intent.  So that can’t be right.

“Life goes how it wants to.”

Do you mean God created your life which proceeds according to his plan?  You are giving up all free choice and we are back to the fatalism argument.  Did God intend for a child to be born with a disease or contract a disease and if so, should we allow that to proceed without intervening.  Should a simple infection from a splinter be allowed to spread, become gangrenous and cause death.  The next time you trip, should you keep your hands at your sides and take that concrete curb full in the teeth?  No.  You can’t.  Your survival instincts kick in, as God intended, one might surmise.  We intervene at every level of every day.  God brought you to this group with it’s interests in Longevity.  Was that not his intention?  Does he intend for you to survive only instinctively or also with forethought and planning and the utilization of that grey matter in your head? I’m thinking the latter.

You remind me of a story:

A man lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’

The waters rose up. A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, ‘Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’

A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, ‘Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.

Well… the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?’

God said, ‘I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?

 ——————————————————————————

I don’t think we should assume everything is pre-destined

I don’t think we should assume we know God’s plan

I don’t think we should assume we should hand over responsibility for our lives

I don’t think we should assume we should hand over responsibility for the manner in which we die

I don’t think we should assume we are so important as to warrant divine intervention

I don’t think we should take a pass on what God has put before us

Perhaps God’s intent was for us to do everything in our power to live well and to live long.  When a child is struck ill with a deadly disease , it is “God’s will.”  Then, when a child is healed from a deadly disease, it is a miracle.  Is it less of a miracle if a motorcycle accident donates the heart needed or a new treatment cures the previously incurable?  Should we not partake of those things because God has a plan?  Shall we make no effort to assist in the extension of a healthy lifestyle?

Adult stem cells are the body’s natural healing system, presumable put there by God.  Shouldn’t we use them?

Doesn’t God want us to live and prosper? He did give us the equipment for it.  A body that heals and a mind that reasons, a world full of healing plants and doctors and scientists who were put here, also by God.  Is it not God’s intent for you to utilize all of the resources at our disposal, including perhaps, the 76,000,000 hits when you google “God” and “healing.”  The Vatican has given their full throated support to adult stem cells and they know a thing or two about God.  Is it not God’s intent for you to eat, to breath, to love, to connect, to perpetuate the species and to live as best as we can for as long as we can, if for no other reason, then to share and illuminate the word and beauty of God to as many as we can for as long as possible.

So this is your radio report, your row boat  and your helicopter.  If you embrace God, you must embrace food, embrace breathing, embrace health, embrace healing, embrace science and embrace longevity.  They are all put here by God for you to enjoy and benefit from.  To ignore them or turn away is as to turn your back on a gift from God.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Advertisements

VATICAN SUPPORTS STEM CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm
https://i2.wp.com/www.stemforlife.org/SFL_WebBanner_V2.jpg
Vatican Conference Hopes to Promote Truth on Adult Stem Cell Therapy

Thu, 11 Apr, 2013 09:32 AM PDT
During today’s first session of the Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference, scientists, doctors and patients had an opportunity to share not only the advances in adult stem cell research, but also the potential it has to transform modern day health ca…

Continue reading

A Necessary Union Between Science and Faith

Thu, 11 Apr, 2013 07:01 AM PDT
A three day conference on adult stem cell research began today at the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City. The conference was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture, as well as NeoStem, one of the leading developers in the field of cellular therapy.

Continue reading

BI-STEM CELL SCIENTISTS and BLACK VATICAN EYES

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

“Bi-Stem Cell” describes a researcher who goes both ways; delving into the areas of both Adult and Embryonic…or maybe even iPSC if they are really open minded.  I did a quick check on the internet and I do believe I’ve coined this term.

 

Background: 

  1. The Vatican is pro-Adult stem cells first for religious reasons (based on the controversy associated with  Embryonic stem cells) and secondly because Adult stem cell treatments work and Embryonic do not (see Stem Cells 101).
  2. The Vatican publicizes a stem cell conference and invites two speakers who happen to research both Adult AND Embryonic stem cells.
  3. How should the Vatican handle these “bi-stem cell” speakers?

Now that we’re up to speed:

The Vatican  asked the two “bi-stem cell” speakers to only speak about Adult stem cells and they agreed. 

Imagine, you bring in speakers who ‘go both ways’ and get them to talk only about the benefits of going…one of the ways.  Their very silence on the subject of Embryonic stem cells is an indictment of Embryonic and an endorsement of Adult stem cells.  Not a bad plan if it works; but then…it all went sideways.  Apparently, the prelates raised concerns about how bi-stem cell scientists would confuse the masses, the conference was ultimately cancelled and now the Vatican public relations stem cell endeavor is tripping over its own feet. 

Conclusion:

Can science and religion peacefully co-exist? I don’t know…

but while this new ‘Black Vatican Eye’ is unfortunate, the real damage is to the millions of people who look to the Vatican for guidance in life and death decisions and will not see these two scientists extolling the proven virtues of the safety and therapeutic benefits of Adult stem cells. The ramification of this fumble effects not only the eternal souls of the churches members but also the extension of their health, longevity and quality of life AND the potential postponement of their deaths.

-David Granovsky

Canceled Stem Cell Conference is Another Black Eye for the Vatican

Vatican

Vatican (Photo credit: tejvanphotos)

I think the ghost of Teilhard de Chardin haunts the Vatican.

Whatever merits Pope Benedict deserves as a theologian, his papacy seems to be marked by one public relations debacle after another.

The latest black eye comes with the report this past Friday that the Pontifical Academy for Life is canceling a much publicized stem cell conference that was to take place next month, featuring (among many others) speakers like Douglas Melton and George Daley, leading researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

The Third International Congress on Responsible Stem Cell Research was going to commence  at the Vatican on April 25th, for three days of presentations and discussion and to conclude with an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

According to David Kerr’s report, one member of the Academy, who did not wish to be identified, had this to say: “I am infinitely relieved that the Church has avoided a major blunder which would have confused the faithful for decades to come.”

He then added, implausibly, “The Holy Spirit has certainly shown to be present through those faithful members who drew attention to the ambiguity of the choice of speakers. I hope and pray that a review will be affected of the basis on which these congresses are planned.”

As is well known, the Catholic Church is opposed to embryonic stem cell research, judging it as unethical because it involves the willful destruction of human embryos.

Melton and Daley conduct research using both embryonic and adult stem cells, but their agreement was to discuss only the latter at the conference…

Canceled Stem Cell Conference is Another Black Eye for the Vatican – Forbes.

Will The Catholic Church sponsor a CP patient’s Medical Treatment?

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on November 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm
Will The Catholic Church sponsor a CP patient’s Medical Treatment?

The Catholic Church has taken notice of the challenging life of a young
29 year old man with cerebral palsy. The Catholic Churches recent
endorsement of adult stem cells is a true blessing for Neil Barron of Phenix
City, AL. Neil has Mixed Cerebral Palsy, he is a quadriplegic destined to live
out his deteriorating life in a wheelchair.

The recent advancements in medical therapies using adult stem cells has shown
significant improvements in the quality of life of several cerebral palsy patients
treated in China. Neil has been accepted for adult stem cell therapies in China
so he has been desperately seeking financial support.

Neil’s constant prayers and reaching out for help was answered by the Catholic
Church. Reverend Thomas Weise splits his time between two Roman Catholic
Churches, St. Patrick’s Church and the Mother Mary Parrish, both of Phenix City,
AL. Reverend Thomas Weise, a theologian with four degrees, is dedicated to
helping his community. After meeting Neil and introducing him to the church
community Reverend Weise is heading the fund raising for Neil’s adult stem cell
therapies in China. Neil’s treatments are scheduled for next month, December 28, 2010.

Our Sincere thanks to Reverend Thomas Weise and the church community of Phenix City,
Alabama.

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=8217d5dacc&view=att&th=12c606ab71302f67&attid=0.1&disp=inline&zw

God Bless!

Carol Petersen
Stem Cell Advocate
Awareness Program Coordinator
Ph: 1-941-235-0088
Fx: 1-941-624-6133
Email: carolptrsn@msn.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/carolptrsn
http://stemcellsadvct.weebly.com
http://www.cameronsmiraclofsight.com
http://www.stemcellsforhope.org
http://www.stemcellaware.com

Obama, pope meet at Vatican- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on August 9, 2010 at 12:49 am

Obama, pope meet at Vatican – Published: Saturday, July 11, 2009

https://i2.wp.com/blog.cleveland.com/world_impact/2009/07/large_obama-pope.jpg

…The president, who isn’t a member of any church, has had a sometimes-controversial relationship with some prominent Catholics, thanks in large part to his support for abortion rights and medical research using embryonic stem cells, both of which the church opposes.

His recent graduation speech at Notre Dame University drew protests. However, Obama won a majority of the Catholic vote, has had cordial relations with many church leaders and lauds the church’s teachings on social justice and help for the poor.

While opposing the president’s stand on abortion rights and stem cell research, the pope and the Vatican have been open to him.

The pope called Obama shortly after he was elected. The daily Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, ran a front-page editorial marking the president’s first 100 days in office with positive words and a statement that he hadn’t turned out as “radical” as feared on ethical questions.

via Obama, pope meet at Vatican- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

Catholic Church announces adult stem cell venture with Neostem :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on May 26, 2010 at 3:16 am

.- The Vatican issued a communique on Tuesday announcing a joint initiative with an international bio-pharmaceutical company to raise awareness and expand research of adult stem cell therapy.

Neostem Inc. and the Pontifical Council for Culture will combine the efforts of their respective foundations, the Stem for Life Foundation and STOQ (Science Theology and the Ontological Quest) Foundation, to advance research and explore the use of adult stem cells in regenerative medicine.

Fr. Tomasz Trafny from the Council for Culture remarked in a May 19 press release, “Considering the potential implication of scientific investigation, medical applicability and the cultural impact of research on adult stem cells, we view the collaboration with NeoStem as a critical effort.”

“Through educational initiatives with NeoStem and sponsorship of scientific research programs involving cutting edge adult stem cell science which does not hurt human life, we come one step closer to a breakthrough that can relieve needless human suffering,” he said.

The pontifical council is particularly excited about the company’s VSEL technology, which utilizes adult stem cells that behave like embryonic stem cells in their ability to regenerate and repair. Fr. Trafny said the technology could receive a significant financial investment from the Church.

“For over 40 years, physicians have been using adult stem cells to treat various blood cancers, but only recently has the promise of using adult stem cells to treat a significant number of other diseases begun to be realized. There are tremendous clinical and economic advantages to autologous stem cell transplantation (receiving your own stem cells) as there are no issues with immune rejection. Engraftment with your own stem cells is faster, safer and much less costly than receiving someone else’s stem cells (allogeneic),” said Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem.

The initiative will also explore the cultural relevance and theological impact of adult stem cell therapy.

“As part of the collaboration, NeoStem and the pontifical council will make efforts to develop educational programs, publications and academic courses with an interdisciplinary approach for theological and philosophical faculties, including those of bioethics, around the world,” said Tuesday’s Vatican communique.

“One of the initiatives,”  the statement added, “will be a three-day international conference at the Vatican on adult stem cell research, including VSEL technology (which uses very small embryonic-like stem cells), that will focus on medical research presentations and theological and philosophical considerations and implications of scientific achievements.”

via Catholic Church announces adult stem cell venture with Neostem :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Vatican to finance adult stem cell research

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Cardinal Renato Martino gestures during a meeting at Rome’s National Institute of Health, Friday, April 23, 2010. The Vatican is pushing for research of adult stem cells as an alternative to the use of embryonic stem cells, which the Catholic Church opposes because it maintains that the destruction of the embryo amounts to the killing of human life. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

By ALESSANDRA RIZZO | Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 4:43 pm | buy this photo

The Vatican is pushing for research of adult stem cells as an alternative to the use of embryonic stem cells, which the Catholic Church opposes because it maintains that the destruction of the embryo amounts to the killing of human life.

On Friday, the Catholic Church threw its support and resources behind the study of intestinal adult stem cells by a group of experts led by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The group wants to explore the potential use of those cells in the treatment of intestinal and possibly other diseases, and is seeking an initial euro2 million ($2.7 million) to get the project going, officials said.

“This research protects life,” Cardinal Renato Martino said during a meeting with Italian and American scientists and health officials to outline the project. “I want to stress that it doesn’t involve embryonic stem cells, where one helps oneself and then throws the embryo away and kills a human life.”

The church is opposed to embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of embryos, but it supports the use of adult stem cells, which are found in the bodies of all humans…

Still, adult stem cells could be easier to use if they are taken from patients themselves, because the replacement tissue would have less chance of being rejected.

Martino, a powerful cardinal and retired head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told The Associated Press after the meeting that he had “no doubt” that the Vatican would help finance the project through its Rome hospital, Bambin Gesu, and other funding. The exact amount and modalities will be worked out in future meetings with the University of Maryland and other scientists involved in the project.

https://i0.wp.com/mrhiggins.net/algebra2/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/vatican.jpg

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic Church can encourage somatic stem cell research _ also known as adult stem cell research _ “because of the favorable results obtained through these alternative methods,” and more importantly because it respects “the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence.”

During a meeting with President Barack Obama last year at the Vatican, Benedict underscored his beliefs about stem cells by giving the U.S. leader a copy of a Vatican document on bioethics that hardened the church’s opposition to using embryos for stem cell research, cloning and in-vitro fertilization.

Obama has lifted restrictions, imposed by his predecessor President George W. Bush, on federal funding of research using human embryonic stem cells.

The Vatican has drawn criticism for its opposition to embryonic stem cell research. But it insists there are scientifically viable alternatives and that the efforts of the scientific community should go in that direction.

Supporting this university project is part of those efforts.

“Ethically, the rules the Catholic Church promotes are really very simple: That all research be respectful of human life,” said Father Bob Gahl, an American professor of Moral Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. “Nobody should be killed in the process of doing medical research. So this new project falls exactly within the Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines.”

Dr. George Daley, a stem cell expert at Children’s Hospital in Boston and past president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, said both adult and embryonic stem cells may prove useful for treating different diseases.

“I applaud the Vatican for being interested in supporting biomedical research,” Daley said Friday, “but I can’t help but think there’s an agenda.”

He called intestinal stem cells “a very exciting area of basic research” but said therapeutic uses are only speculative at this point.

Researchers involved in the Vatican-backed project are convinced that intestinal stem cells _ a relatively new field _hold promise and want to assess their potential for therapeutic use.http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/pope_obama_jul_10_09_1.jpg

“We want to harvest them, we want to isolate them, we want to make them grow outside our body,” and transform them into cells of any kind, said Alessio Fasano, the scientist leading the project and the director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research.

“If we reach that phase, if we are able to achieve that goal, then our next step is to eventually move to clinical application,” Fasano told the AP before Friday’s announcement.

Intestinal stem cells have certain features that make them appealing for this kind of research, Fasano said.

They are very active cells _ the intestine replenishes all its cells every few days _ and they are intrinsically flexible _ already programmed to generate all the various kinds of cells such as mucus cells or epithelial cells present in the highly complex organ. Furthermore, harvesting them can be done through a routine medical procedure, Fasano noted.

Fasano said his team hopes to decide about the feasibility of the project within the next two to three years. He said the network of experts, expected to be around 40 people, would work at their respective facilities, sharing information and the workload to speed up the process.

___

AP Medical Writer Maria Cheng in London and AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter in New York contributed to this report.

Eds: CORRECTS to say meeting between pope and Obama took place at the Vatican in graf 10.

via Vatican to finance adult stem cell research.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – CHURCH & STATE

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 12, 2009 at 12:19 am

barack_obama_church_state_poster

President Barack Obama treads fine line on church, state By Eric Gorski, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. President Barack Obama, signalling early in his administration that religion belongs in the public discourse, has promised to open a big tent to voices from across the spectrum of belief without crossing boundaries separating church and state. The Democrat’s inaugural pomp was steeped in prayer, and one of his first proclamations included a shout out to “an awesome God.”

Last week, Obama used the platform of the National Prayer Breakfast to unveil a new-look White House Office on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that features a team of policy advisers from both religious and secular social service circles. Most are ideological allies, but not all. The question is whether such moves will amount to symbolic window dressing or progress finding common ground on moral issues without stepping on traditional culture-war land mines. Analysts say the first weeks of the Obama era show there’s little question that both major political parties believe religion should be a significant factor in shaping policy.

That’s disappointing to those on the left who advocate strict church-state separation and unconvincing to Obama’s religious critics on the right who believe the president will plow ahead with a liberal agenda regardless of who is advising him. “There’s clearly not going to be any kind of dropping off the cliff in terms of the importance of faith and politics,” said David Domke, a University of Washington communications professor who studies religion and politics. “There was some sense (President George W.) Bush was going to be this high water mark – or low water mark. With Obama, faith is going to have an important role, but with a much broader breadth to it.

” Obama’s retooling of the faith-based office, plagued in the Bush years by accusations that it was underfunded and too political, upset some Obama supporters who hoped it would go away. Its executive director is Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old former Pentecostal pastor who headed religious outreach for Obama’s Senate office and his presidential campaign. “This is not a religious office or a religious administration,” DuBois said in an interview. “We are going to try to find ways to work with faith-based and community organizations that are secular in nature, and don’t cross the boundaries between church and state. “We understand it is a fine line. But it’s a line we’re comfortable walking.”

Several battles with religious story lines loom ahead. Obama has signalled he would overturn Bush prohibitions on embryonic stem cell research, and Supreme Court vacancies are also possible. James Dunn, former head of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which advocates church-state separation, said Obama is striving for an elusive middle ground as his presidency begins. “I welcome some ambivalence,” Dunn said. “Obama’s ambivalence is evidence that he doesn’t think everything is just right or wrong, black and white, like we’ve had the last eight years. He’s also willing to listen. I think the challenge is, if he’s willing to listen, we ought to be willing to talk.”

Full article:

%d bloggers like this: