It is reported today, see The Herald, that President Obama has overturned a ban on stem cell research. I'm not posting about stem cell research, but about what the President has said in making this decision.
'In lifting the ban, the president stated yesterday that he would make scientific decisions "based on facts, not ideology" from now on.' Facts, not ideology. But later in this article the President is further quoted:
"As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research - and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."
To believe that we are called to care for each other is not a fact, it is a belief position, an ideology if you like. As humans we function as believing creatures, we act upon points, articles of faith. This is how we have been made. Even to deny that ideology, or faith, has any place in government decision making is a faith, or ideological position.
But more importantly, we cannot deny that many if not all of the decisions made by our governments involve moral choices. There is a choice to be made between moral values and scientific enquiry. This is why we should have our scientists governed by those with moral authority, or at least a moral responsibility to protect the vulnerable and weak.
President Obama has fallen into the false position of claiming to be a person of faith, yet acting independently of his faith. I for one don't want the leaders of our nations to divorce their faith from their decision making.