Should Pro-Life Christians Boycott the Ice Bucket Challenge?

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS organization conducts embryonic stem cell research, so should Christians participate in the popular Ice-Bucket Challenge? (David D/Flicker/Creative Commons)

Many Christians have objected to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the moral grounds that the ALS Association conducts embryonic stem-cell research.

Here's the dilemma with that boycott rationale: Any time you buy a drink at Starbucks, use your American Express card, use a Microsoft product, eat a Kraft food, drive a Chevy, bank at Bank of America, use your AT&T cell provider, and millions of other products, some of your money is being funneled to Planned Parenthood to fund abortions. So if you are going to boycott the ALS organization because they do embryonic stem cell research, then you should also stop using all of these products and services, just to be ethically consistent.

As an evangelical, pro-life pastor, I did the Ice Bucket Challenge and nominated my whole pastoral staff and they also completed it. We had a blast doing it and we raised money to help people in need. It was a win-win. I personally chose to make my donation to John Paul II Medical Research Institute, a Catholic pro-life research institute in Iowa. They conduct adult stem cell research, not embryonic stem cell research.

However, if people want to donate directly the ALS Association, they can indicate they don't want any of their funds to go to embryonic stem cell research. There are many other things they do to help ALS patients. And remember, the whole Ice Bucket Challenge, silly as it may be, is about raising awareness for the people suffering from this debilitating and cruel disease. Those are the people who need our prayers and support.

Brian Alarid is the founder and lead pastor of Passion Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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