The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge caught up with me today. You’ve probably heard about it or perhaps you’ve been “nominated” as I have.
Here’s the way this remarkably successful fundraising campaign works: A friend challenges another friend to have a bucket full of ice water dumped on their head. If the challenge is not met within 24 hours and documented with a video posted on a social media site, the nominee is to make a $100 donation to ALS Association. If the nominee submits to the dousing, their financial contribution is only $10. The nominee also earns the right to challenge someone else. (If all this seems like an odd way to raise funds, visit YouTube.com and search on “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Maybe that will help.)
Politicians, musicians, actors, TV personalities, business leaders and thousands of others have taken the good-natured challenge on behalf of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association, a non-profit organization fighting what is commonly called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS Association has reportedly raised over $100 million just since July 29.
If you are not familiar with the disease, ALS is a fatal, progressive neurological disease. The cause is unknown, and at this time there is no cure. So, you might be inclined to celebrate the Ice Bucket Challenge success.
But there is a problem, at least for those of us who are convinced that the Scripture teaches that life is sacred and begins at conception. You see, the ALS Association gives some of its money to embryonic stem cell research, and such research involves the destruction of human life in the embryonic state. We’re talking about research that involves harvesting cells from aborted babies or embryos those that go unused in in-vitro fertilization.
Thankfully, there is medical research that only uses ethical stem cell sources. For the names of such life-affirming charities, follow this link.
In the meantime, here’s an article from the October 2004 issue of AFA Journal in which I attempted to understand and then explain the problems of embryonic stem cell research.