Wednesday, October 13, 2010

California Stem Cell Agency Contest Mocks Eucharist

From the "You Cannot Make this Stuff Up" file, a poetry contest hosted by The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine  (CIRM) has created some controversy.   The stated purpose of CIRM, a state agency, is to "...support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine ... to relieve human suffering from chronic disease and injury." In other words it gives out millions and millions of dollars in the State of California to those who are researching and using stem cells for medical treatment, including those stem cells derived from human embryos.

In order to commemorate "Stem Cell Awareness Day" which was last Wednesday (who knew?) CIRM decided that a poetry contest was in order.  Thus the Institute solicited contestants to send in poems "on the provenance and promise of stem cells."   Doesn't that topic just start you thinking of poetry?

One of the two winning entries was a poem entitled "Stem C."  The poem, which praises the generous embryo who donated his or her stem cells, begins with the following line:

"This is my body /which is given for you"
and ends with
"Take this/ in remembrance of me"
Sound familiar?

I'm not sure if I believe this, but evidently these words were not familiar to the folks at the Institute.  Or at least that's what they claimed.  It took public objections from the California Family Council  before CIRM "realized" that the language might be offensive to Christians.  The text of the poem was then pulled from the website and they apologized "for any offense the poem may have caused."

But, don't worry, even though his appropriated prose will no longer be displayed online, the winner of the contest will still be able to collect his prize ... a framed stem cell image of  his choice from the Institute's Flickr gallery.


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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
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