As many of you know, the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” has gone viral. Folks all over the world are dumping ice water on their heads to raise awareness and money to fight Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This is a neurodegenerative disease of unknown cause that leads to progressive muscle paralysis. The bucket-dumpers are donating money (or avoiding it), and posting their videos on YouTube and challenging others to do the same.
And it’s working – the Ice Bucket Challenge is fun, millions have participated, and it has greatly raised awareness of the disease. More importantly, the ALS Association has seen a huge uptick in donations, resulting in more than 40 million dollars in new funding.
Hmm, but there are a few caveats. Some people are just shooting a video to get noticed, and have no intention of giving any money. As a pastor friend of mine recently blogged, “if you say you are ‘raising awareness’ of ALS and not giving money to fight it, you are just starring in your own video.” Of greater concern is the fact that ALSA helps to fund at least one research project that destroys human embryos for their stem cells in the search to find a cure. And destroying human embryos destroys human lives made in God’s image. It is the moral equivalent of murder, and our money should not support it.
Yes, but that just adds another dimension to the problem. It seems to me that a lot of pro-life Christians are going to see this as a convenient excuse to do nothing. They may hypocritically choose to keep their wallets closed, all the time sanctimoniously claiming they are defending human life.
So here is my own Ice Bucket Challenge: I am giving $100.00 to the ALS Association, but I will specify that my money not be used for research that destroys human embryos. And I would love for you to do the same: Get involved and give sacrificially to the research cause of your choice. The American Heart Association could use your help, or perhaps the Parkinson Foundation, or the American Diabetes Association. When you do, specify that your donation not be used for immoral research that destroys human embryos.
All of us are suffering under the effects of the fall of Adam. That’s why we all need a Savior. So let’s show our Christian compassion for one another, and defend the sanctity of life at the same time. That seems like a “win-win” situation to me.
Please watch the video – and see whom I call on to join me in the challenge!