CLAIM: President Bush’s veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act in July of 2006 was a proportional reaction to the expanding influence of conservative political ideology and religious fundamentalism throughout America.
VARIABLES: My independent variables are conservative political ideology and religious fundamentalism. My dependant variable is President Bush’s 2006 veto of the Stem Cell Enhancement Act, also known as the H.R. 810 Bill.
EXPECTATIONS: I expect to find overwhelming and convincing evidence to corroborate my assertion that the expanding influence of conservative political ideology and religious fundamentalism in America are the two most profound independent ...view middle of the document...
In May 2005, The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released the results of their public opinion poll on stem cell research. This poll consisted of 2000 people between the ages of 18 and 65. When asked about religious affiliation, roughly half (52%) of opponents to stem cell research said their religious beliefs were the biggest influence on their thinking. The Pew Poll continues to support my claim by stating, “Conservative Republican opponents are especially likely (70%) to cite religion as their main influence, as are evangelical Protestant opponents (69%). (2)
In August 2001, President Bush passed legislation that allowed for limited federal funding for stem cell research. This funding was contingent on the appropriate origin, strain, and date of collection. Bush’s new policy was very frustrating and discouraging to those in the medical and scientific communities. In support of the conservative ideology variable, The Cornell University Survey Research Institute conducted a poll in 2005 and concluded that 34% of individuals polled considered stem cell research unethical and immoral, while 21% were opposed to the use of their tax dollars on this issue, and 18% were opposed to retrieving stem cells from aborted fetuses. (3) The 21% directly supports my conservative hypothesis.
In the July, 2006 issue of The Guardian, Karen Armstrong’s article titled, “Bush’s Fondness for Fundamentalism is Courting Disaster at Home and Abroad,” offers support for the political ideology and religiosity claim. She writes. “The struggle continues… fundamentalists want to win the battle for God; liberals and secularist are fighting for truth and rationality. The same passions are likely to be aroused by President Bush’s decision last week to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act… Is there a connection between a religiously motivated mistrust of science and glaring social injustice? Bush and his administration espouse many of the ideals of the Christian right and rely on its support. “(4)
The most compelling evidence that supports my claim is the words of George Bush himself. In a letter to the House of Representatives following his veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Bush is wrote, “In 2001, I set forth a new policy on stem cell research that struck a balance between the needs of science and the demands of conscience.” (5) When Bush introduces “the demands of conscience,” He is presenting irrefutable evidence that the growing influence of religious fundamentalism was a crucial factor in his decision. Bush goes on to write, “H.R. 810 would overturn my Administration’s balanced policy on embryonic stem cell research, If this bill were to become law, American taxpayers for the first time in our history would be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos. Crossing this line would be a grave mistake and would needlessly encourage a conflict between science and ethics that can only harm our nation as...