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2013

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May The President Appropriately Invoke God? Evaluating The Embryonic Stem Cell Vetoes, Samuel W. Calhoun Jan 2013

May The President Appropriately Invoke God? Evaluating The Embryonic Stem Cell Vetoes, Samuel W. Calhoun

Samuel W. Calhoun

President George W. Bush twice vetoed measures to provide federal funds for embryonic stem cell research requiring the destruction of human embryos. Each veto was premised in part upon his religious beliefs. President Bush’s reliance upon his faith provoked a strong negative reaction. This essay argues that this criticism is baseless. The essay demonstrates that important political leaders spanning three centuries— including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr.—have invoked religious beliefs in explaining their positions. The principle of “separation of church and state,” properly understood, is not a persuasive basis for criticizing this religious heritage. President Bush, …