His actions are based on strong religious beliefs on the part of some conservative Christians, and presumably the president himself. Such convictions deserve respect, but it is wrong to impose them on this pluralistic nation.Although I'm about as opposed to the President on this particular policy issue as it's possible to be, I think that the Times's criticism is dead wrong. The problem isn't that the President is imposing moral views that are outside the American mainstream (although of course he is). The problem is that he's imposing moral views that are short-sighted, confused, and just plain wrong. As I've focused on recently, the President's position is either inconsistent or grossly morally irresponsible (or both). And it's also just implausible -- the Times editorial got this part right:
The president's policy is based on the belief that all embryos, even the days-old, microscopic form used to derive stem cells in a laboratory dish, should be treated as emerging human life and protected from harm. This seems an extreme way to view tiny laboratory entities that are no larger than the period at the end of this sentence and are routinely flushed from the body by Mother Nature when created naturally. These blastocysts, as they are called, bear none of the attributes we associate with humanity and, sitting outside the womb, have no chance of developing into babies.If the President's moral view were correct -- or maybe even if it were merely justified -- then his opposition to this medical research might be understandable, forgivable, appropriate, or morally required. Even if the view were out of the mainstream. We must put the criticism in the correct place.