The Jewish Journalism of Joel Shurkin

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bush looses an ally as Orthodox bail out of the stem cell debate

Wait a minute, didn’t I have some Jews behind me?—One of more interesting political alliances of the time is that between observant (mostly Orthodox) Jews, President Bush and the evangelical wing of the Republican party on many social issues. Since Jews are supposed to be all liberals, that intrigues people, but the right wing of the American Jewish population is socially conservative. On the issue of stem cells, however, they are taking a walk. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the umbrella group for the most conservative (that is a small c), which sides with the Christian right on Terry Schiavo, same sex marriages and federal support for religious activities, has broken ranks, applauding the U.S. House of Representative bill that Bush threatens to veto. The "potential to save and heal human lives is an integral part of valuing human life," it said. "Moreover, the traditional Jewish perspective does not accord an embryo outside of the womb the full status of humanhood and its attendant protections." Liberal Jewish groups, the vast majority in the U.S., agree completely, and that unanimity is rare. Stem cells are a unique issue.


  • At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This debate may be, practically speaking, moot. Embryonic stem cells may be developed without embryos.
    See this link:




Post a Comment

<< Home