Weekly religion news with items on the latest poll on stem cell research, “Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims” by Rev. Daniel R. Hyde, John Wesley and more.
Americans overwhelmingly support embryonic stem cell research, and that backing stretches across a broad range of demographic groups, including Republicans, Catholics and born-again Christians, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.
Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of the adults surveyed believe that scientists should be allowed to use embryonic stem cells left over from in vitro fertilization procedures to search for potential treatments or ways to prevent diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and other conditions.
Only 12 percent oppose using stem cells for biomedical research, numbers that are similar to a poll conducted in 2005.
"There is now overwhelming public support for using embryonic stem cells in biomedical research," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive. "Even among Catholics and born-again Christians, relatively few people believe that stem cell research should be forbidden because it is unethical or immoral."
Paul Sanberg, distinguished professor of neurosurgery and director of the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa, said, "This [poll] shows that the public still believes that stem cells could lead to important therapeutics."
The poll was conducted online from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30 and surveyed 2,113 adults aged 18 and older.
Among the latest poll's results:73 percent (compared with 72 percent in 2005) of Americans believe that stem cell research should be allowed "as long as the parents of the embryo give their permission, and the embryo would otherwise be destroyed." 58 percent of Republicans think stem cell research is acceptable (24 percent oppose it), as do 69 percent of Catholics and 58 percent of born-again Christians; 16 percent of Catholics and 22 percent of born-again Christians oppose it. Two-thirds of the respondents agreed that, "If most scientists believe that stem cell research will greatly increase our ability to prevent or treat serious diseases, we should trust them and let them do it." 20 percent think embryonic stem cell research "comes too close to allowing scientists to play God." Almost two-thirds (62 percent) said they do not agree that "allowing any medical research using stem cells from human embryos should be forbidden because it is unethical and immoral." 28 percent of those polled agreed with the following statement: "I don't believe that we should put the interests of medical science ahead of the preservation of human life, which includes human embryos."
Week in Religion
- Oct. 12, 1285, 180 Jews refuse baptism in Munich, Germany; they are set on fire.
- Oct. 14, 530, Discorus ends his reign as Catholic Pope.
- Oct. 15, 1827, Charles Darwin reaches Christ's Counsel, Cambridge.
Polls conducted by the Pew Research Center this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so last year. In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42 percent favor same-sex marriage while 48 percent are opposed. In polls conducted in 2009, 37 percent favored same-sex marriage and 54 percent were opposed.
“Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims” by Rev. Daniel R. Hyde
Rev. Daniel R. Hyde, a pastor of a reformed church, recognized that many people are on the outside looking in, just as he once was, and he wrote this book to explain what the reformed church believes and why they worship as they do.
In layman’s terms, Rev. Hyde sketches the historical roots of the reformed churches, their scriptural and confessional basis, their key beliefs and the ways in which those beliefs are put into practice. The result is a roadmap for those encountering the reformed world for the first time and a primer for those who want to know more about their reformed heritage.
Get to Know …
John Wesley (1703 – 1791), along with his brother, Charles Wesley, founded the Methodist movement, which now has about 70 million members worldwide.
While attending Christ Church in Oxford, the two brothers led a group of young men interested in spiritual growth, and they called themselves the Methodists. Starting in 1739, John Wesley traveled, preached and set up Methodist societies throughout Europe.
Gaia: 1) The Greek goddess of Earth. 2) A belief that the Earth is a living entity who adapts the environment to promote life.
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Germany
Protestant: 34 percent
Roman Catholic: 34 percent
Muslim: 3.7 percent
Unaffiliated or other: 28.3 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service