The very good, sensible, socially conscious, and profitable $372 investment.
I give this post a 50% chance of getting past the censors. But if it gets deleted, I think it should be deleted together with another related post which I won't mention, but most of you know which post I have in mind.
America has a very diverse population. And among that diverse population there is one vocal group of very strange people. These are the people who like to cry over stem cells.
These professional Christians will not spend much effort to address the numerous problems that we all face in this sinful world, or, if they do, then their efforts are clearly too negligible to make any real difference. But when given a chance to defend the rights of sperm cells and eggs, they will fight the "immoral liberal ideas" tooth and nail. They will devote so much energy to this campaign that we would not need solar power if we could only convert that energy into useful work.
They say that every "sperm cell + egg" pair is sacred because every such pair is as good as a human being, and as a human being it is, or course, created in God's image. This is a clever replacement of one concept - the one that is relevant - by another, which is something totally different. Just because such as pair has a potential to develop into a human, does not mean that is already a human being. We all have a potential to win a Nobel Prize. Does this mean we are all entitled to receive it here and now? Or that we should all be given $40 Billion because each of us, under right conditions, could become a Warren Buffett? If you take this religious line of thought still further, then any large combination of molecules should be considered sacred because if you wait a couple of billion years, they could potentially recombine to form sentient creatures.
As to "God's own image", this is one of those claims that are hard to disprove but even harder to take seriously. I have no idea what God looks like. I haven't seen his photographs or read verbal descriptions of his appearance by the people who claimed to have seen him. Maybe he will some day open a Facebook profile or even condescend to descend on Earth and take a stroll down Broadway. But as of now, nobody really has any idea. The Bible does provide a hint, but it's not the one I would want to pursue. I doubt that the thought that God has to brush his teeth in the morning, shave himself, take a shower, and flush the water after using the toilet would sound very pious, and when I think about God's spiritual life (reading, entertainment, romance, etc), my reconstruction of his everyday life becomes even less pious. But at any rate, even if we were created in his image, this would also be very strange because how does one keep track of 6 billion different images? For me, having just two images would already be troublesome. I can see how a bottle of good vodka could help one manage two different images, but 6 billion and growing? This could become too hard on one's liver, and besides, the visualization of God shuffling through the 6+ billion images of himself again sound very impious. And the professional Christians are of little help. If anything, they are making his job even more difficult by pushing us to create a few more billions of additional images.
How about giving the poor fellow a break?
All the more so that there is plenty of other ways to keep professional Christians busy. We have at least a couple million "images" who cease their earthly existence every year due to such prosaic reasons as lack of yellow metal to purchase expensive medications. And we have professional Christians who are stubbornly pro-life. Can't you see the synergy? Let us have those Christians campaign to revoke patent protection from brand-name medications and fill the market with cheap generics. Last time I checked, most of them (not all, but certainly a sizable majority) were campaigning for the rights of Big Pharma to keep competition out and sell their medications at the highest price the market will bear. But I am sure it was just some misunderstanding. Once these professional Christians realize what God expects from them, I have no doubt they will stop picketing abortion clinics and start picketing corporate headquarters of PFE, MRK, JNJ, LLY, and other pillars of the stock market. Once they succeed in that we will still have other venues that give them a chance to practice their pro-life beliefs. We could, for example, have them campaign to stop a war in the Gulf that was launched by one former president (a new-born Christian, no less!) to win access to cheap oil.
There are plenty of other "home assignments" for them, but even these 2 should be sufficient.
Here is my suggestion. Let us make these two a necessary prerequisite. A person who has established a track record campaigning against the military lobby and against the Big Pharma will thus have earned his right to campaign against abortion. And I will be most curious to see what percentage of professional pro-lifers will remain after this little litmus test. Who knows, maybe defense of the rights of sperm cells will then emerge as an issue of the same critical importance in the national debate as protection of endangered species of termites in the Congo basin.