Flip-Flopping Frist?

"I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception."
--Senator Bill Frist

I know that it's the weekend. And, we should probably be talking about lighter issues. I simply cannot bring myself to do it. I can promise this much, though, today's post is just an introduction to what I expect to be much more discussion about the value and sanctity of life in our culture.

Yesterday, Senator Bill Frist, staunchly pro-life Senate majority leader, said the following: "I believe embryonic stem-cell research should be encouraged and supported."

There are several issues at stake here:
1. The apparent contradiction between his conviction that life begins at birth and his support of using that life for research.
2. Both the research that exists (supporting the use of adult stem cell research) and that which does not exist (that is, the lack of evidence for embryonic stem cells).
3. Most important, the implications of classifying, qualifying human life and thereby justifying the experimentation and exploitation of life in the name of science and medicine. This is the dangerous slippery slope.

These are the issues I'll take on in the week(s) ahead. For now, I can only express grief at the Senator's statement. I have to admit that I wondered, as did my friend Michael, about whether this was a political move. As call for gentler, kinder, more "moderate" candidates pervades the land, there is obviously political pressure on Hillary to move to the right, and she has followed suit. Is Senator Frist, who is likely considering a bid for 2008, feeling the same pressure to move to the left?

Today, I simply express my disappointment and sadness over Senator Frist turning his back on the pro life cause. I believe that he is sincere in his apparent change of mind. I believe that he, like the rest of us, really wants to find a way to alleviate the suffering of those tormented by incurable diseases. But, I also believe that sometimes what appears good, right and even helpful (although embryonic stem cells have yet to be any of those things) can also be the most devastating for the life of a nation and a people for generations to come.

I fear for our nation's conscience. God forbid that we begin justifying the means by the hopeful end. I cannot help but recall Nazi Germany. Friends, you may consider this an extreme analogy. It's not. Once life--at any stage--is qualified, we open the door to sacrificing one form of it for the good of the rest of humanity. Who decides then? Under what conditions? At what point does a life cease to be qualified to exist and begin to be useful for "the common good"?

Well, I didn't want to get into all that today. I promise to write more this week.

We must pray and work, above all things, to preserve human life, at every stage. If we do not, I believe that history will judge us the way we now rightly judge Nazi Germany. God help us.

P.S. I do recommend some interesting and entertaining weekend reading over at my friend, Mark's blog. He takes a look at what he's identified as "Celiberals" (celebrity liberals). Check it out.


At 7/30/2005 05:37:00 PM, Anonymous KO said...

I do not understand why those who support embryonic stem cell use persist so greatly when research has shown that adult stem cells can sustain and thrive, whereas embryonic stem cells have shown to die or even deform when used in research.

There is nothing subtle about Sen. Bill Frist's contradiction: embryonic stem cells are used in the first place because they are what? HUMAN. That's what those cells develop into: human tissue, human cells. Everyone who supports their use is caught in the same contradiction, (only in a reverse argument for the very reason stated above), that the senator just made public for himself.

Maybe all those who want to use embryonic stem cells instead of adult stem cells, or rather those who persist so strongly in it when research does not support their viable use, are trying to find a way out of a guilty conscience. Sounds extreme, but what other conclusion can you draw?

At 7/30/2005 05:45:00 PM, Blogger Poison Pero said...

The way he handled the Judicial Confirmations the past year probably made it unlikely he's have a chance to run for president in 2008..........But this will kill him.

I don't see it as a flip-flop, I see it as a stab in the back.


I'm starting the campaign right now!

At 7/30/2005 06:30:00 PM, Blogger mlwhitt said...

First off brilliant posting by Lores as always. Thanks for the nod by the way.

KO: I was wondering the same thing as I too keep hearing that adult stem cells are just as good.

Poison: You are right about the confirmations deal, and I agree that if he does intend to run in '08 that this could kill his chances. Unlike the left, the right actually does remember what our candidates tell us when they first run. And as a whole I don't believe conservatives are very forgiving when such important issues appear to be flipflopped on.

As a former Tennessean I had previously thought that Frist would make a great candidate, but with this move I fear that my conscience will move me to think twice before pulling the lever by his name.

At 7/30/2005 08:14:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

KO, you're right. I know the Frist move will bring your point to the forefront. (I surely plan to talk about it!)

Pero, once again, you're on it. I wondered what the heck the Majority Leader's role was relative to the Gang of 14's sell out, oh i mean compromise.

mlwhitt, I have to agree. I considered him a relatively strong candidate until recently.

At 7/30/2005 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Poison Pero said...

So, we've beat on Frist a little, and looks like we all have reservations his him as Prez in 08.

Lets play a little what if:

Who would you vote for?

Back Stabbing Frist or Waffles McCain?

At 7/30/2005 08:58:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Lores, I posted a comment on a news story that I found a while back regarding a revolutionary breakthrough in stem cell research that the MSM seems to have completely ignored. Apparently Frist never heard about it either. You may find the post I speal of at:

And thanks for the linkage. Why didn't you leave a comment?

At 7/31/2005 01:11:00 AM, Blogger mlwhitt said...

pero.... Uh... How about neither.

At 7/31/2005 03:52:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Thanks Mark. Will check it out. I made it over and made a comment. :)

Pero, that's the million dollar question. Who do we have who can take Hillary on?! Hugh Hewitt seems to be a fan of Mit Romney.

I'm not convinced I see someone with both the leadership, consistent conservative values and who has the charisma that can compete with the Clinton mystique.

At 7/31/2005 03:29:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Condoleeza Rice and Sam Brownback (R) KS.

At 8/01/2005 05:29:00 AM, Blogger Rudolph A. Carrera said...

Boy, this saddens me to see Frist fall all over himself on this concession. He's just shot himself in the foot; if he thought he had any chance of the presidency, it's now gone.

At 8/01/2005 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Rudolph, yes. I do think it's over for Frist.

BTW, welcome! :)


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