Missouri voters endorsed sound health care policy when they voted for a state initiative to allow embryonic stem research.
The measure was consistent with Christian ethics and was endorsed by a wide array of clergy (including many of my former seminary colleagues and professors from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis).
The Stem Cell Initiative will prevent Missouri politicians from banning stem cell research and cures in our state.
It will make it clear in our state constitution that all Missouri citizens have the right to have their diseases and injuries cured with any stem cell treatments that are allowed in our country and available to other Americans.
It ensures that Missouri medical institutions can provide and help find new stem cell cures.
It establishes responsible boundaries and guidelines to ensure that stem cell research is conducted ethically and safely. And, it strictly bans any attempt to clone a human being.
Christians can and do come to different conclusions on issues such as this one but it is notable that in a state so populated by Roman Catholic and evangelical Christians that voters determined that stem cell research was morally valid.
Missouri has sent a message to the nation. President Bush opposes the research but bi-partisan leaders in Congress - including prominent "pro-life" leaders" - agree that federal funding should be made available to move this research forward. The benefits could be amazing.
Congress should pass legislation on this issue ASAP and the president should sign it. If he won't, this will be one issue the American people will want to judge presidential candidates against in 2008.