The EFM Feature

For the last several years, the debate over stem cells has been dominated by the spectacle of individuals suffering from terrible and debilitating illnesses pleading with Congress and the public to fund their “cures.” Not only are their pleas heartbreaking, they are also horribly distorting. Told by bio-tech lobbies, abortion advocates, and well-meaning doctors that stem cells can offer relief and hope, desperate individuals lash out at seemingly unfeeling and inflexible pro-life advocates. Never mind that fetal stem cells have cured nothing, and that experimentation on human embryos has given even some secular, pro-abortion medical ethicists pause, the quest for cures overrides all else.
And that is completely understandable. I know that when I suffered from a serious illness slightly more than a decade ago, I thought of little other than myself and my condition. I was desperate for relief. When my son was born prematurely and his lungs collapsed right after birth, he was all I thought about. If you had asked me, for example, if Tompkins County, New York, (where Austin was born) should invest in a full neo-natal intensive care unit, I would have not only said “yes” but also declared that anyone who thought otherwise was an absolute monster. Given time, distance, and perspective, I know that perhaps other communities might be better suited (and have greater need) for such facilities.
It takes a person of rare character to look beyond themselves in a time of intense suffering, and that is exactly why Ann Romney’s story is so encouraging and inspiring. As the story shows, it’s not like she takes MS lightly or that the disease isn’t terribly frightening. She also knows that other people matter–even unborn people she may never meet or know. But what makes this extraordinary is that she takes this intellectual and moral conviction, and translates it into action–supporting a husband who opposes a form of medical experimentation that could conceivably relieve her own suffering.
And why does Ann have such strength of character? Why is she able to deny herself and seek what is right and true at (potentially) great personal cost? Is it because she has a faith that places other values over the self? Is it because she serves a God and Savior that gives her eternal hope–that comforts her with the knowledge that the world we see is not all there is?
As the debate swirls over whether America is somehow “ready” for a Mormon president and First Lady or whether Mitt and Ann are Christians or members of a cult, I would just like to show the video below again and again–and then remind their detractors of a declaration in a book that both evangelicals and Mormons hold dear: “By their fruits you shall know them.”

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