liz gunnBy Liz Gunn  ||  The Catholic Church has spoken out this week against the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  An archdiocese in Ohio has warned schools to stop donating to this organization immediately.  The largest Christian religion in the world with arguably the most money to give – will not accept your challenge.

Its beef? Stem cell research.

The Catholic Church doesn’t want its flock giving any money to an organization that “could” be utilizing stem cell research.  According to the American Medical Association (AMA), “current studies are researching how stem cells may be used to prevent or cure diseases and injuries such as Parkinson’s disease, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury, Duchene’s muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, burns, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, vision, and hearing loss.”

Stem cell research is also currently providing life-saving treatments for people with certain types of cancer or other blood disorders.

So is the Catholic Church against all of these charities?  What exactly is left?

I understand there is a lot of scrutiny surrounding stem cell research, as there should be.  But when done responsibly and ethically it’s hard for me to see how anyone could be so firmly against it.

Stem cells provide immeasurable potential for medical advancement.

Regardless of your stance on the issue, abortion is still legal in this country.  There are a staggering number (1.2 million) of fetuses aborted in the U.S. each year.  If you are pro-life, couldn’t stem cell research be the silver lining to abortion?  At least the loss of one life could potentially help save another.

ALS said that it does fund one research project using embryonic stem cells, but stated that donors can request their money not go towards this study.  It’s a shame the Catholic Church would try and put a stop to a campaign that has generated such awareness for the crippling disease.  But do you really think that was their intent?

Or could it be that their motive is actually just to bring their own anti-stem cell research crusade back into the limelight?

Well played, Francis.

Liz Gunn is a wife, mom, author, businesswoman, travel enthusiast, food snob, fashionista, lover of great wine and the No. 1 Gamecock football fan … ever.  A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.