April 6, 2005 | 12:57 p.m. ET

Homosexuality and the Catholic Church

One of the most sensitive and controversial issues confronting the next pope is the question of homosexuality. While the Catholic Church recognizes that some people are gay, the Church has called on homosexuals to lead a life of abstinence. Issues about sexuality in the clergy have come to forefront in the wake of the priest abuse scandals that rocked the American church. And recent polls show many are now saying its time to re-examine the churches stance on celibacy and homosexuality.

Your e-mails

I think one should be very careful with respect to homosexuality versus pedophilia.  The American Catholic church seems to have had recently many problems with priests having sexual relations with young boys.   Most gay persons do not have relations with young boys. —Randal

If you think homosexuality is "entirely natural" you're as sick as the rest of them.  In fact, you probably are one. —James B.

As I was coming to maturity, those friends of mine who were gay, found a place in Manhattan, a Catholic Church ministering to the needs of gays.  They have been very happy there.  The Catholic church, a church I was baptised into, does minister to the needs of its gay population but, it will never sanction acknowledging this population outright.   Just as, you can have all the renegade female religious on your program that you want, there will never be women priests...because married women and men like myself, when asked say...we like things the way they are and we quietly want to leave it that way.  The Catholic church is not required to mimic a society.  The society, in following Christ, should mimic the church. —Tommie, Long Island, New York

Let me make this simple and clear: Homosexuality is a sin. It is wrong. It is immoral. If you believe these things (and I do), then how can you expect me (or anyone else who feels as I do) to condone it via marriage or to sanction it in the Church? It is  NOT merely an "alternate" lifestyle" and yes, it DOES matter who you love and how you love.  —Rosemary E. Lloyd, Elberon, N.J.

I found it difficult to vote "yes" or "no" on the gay issues.  My heart feels for those who choose differently when they do not hurt others.  Spiritually, who am I to decide this issue? I cannot either condemn nor promote homosexuality. I do know that if my son or daughter were gay, I would love them no matter what. —Maria,
Wynnewood, Pa.

I just watched your interview with the Catholic priest and the nun. I want to sincerely compliment both of you on the way both of you handled that and all of your other interviews. Although you brought up differing points of view, you did it in a way that was courteous, respectful and mindful of your guests. These qualities that you both have stand out from the standard vitriolic cable shows where the host(s) attempt to devour their guests. The fact that the two guests were both respectful of each other made it even better. Congratulations to the two of you for conducting yourselves so professionally. —Greg, St. Louis, Mo. 

I'm gay, and if it isn't something I was born with, I would like somebody to tell me where it came from and how it can be treated. Please...Ask any homosexual person, we're not "choosing" to be gay so the world can hate us and have the churches condemn us to hell. Homosexuality is not a disease, and it is seen throughout nature, not just in humans. I think it is time for the world to wake up. —Bobby, Va.

On Jimmy Carter not being able to attend the pope's funeral

World leaders are now heading to Rome for the Friday morning funeral for Pope John Paul II.

President Bush will be the first sitting U.S. president to attend the funeral of a pope. The president and his delegation left for Rome early this morning. One prominent person was not included: Former President Jimmy Carter says he was told by the White House  that he could not be a part of the group because of “delegation size restrictions”  issued by the Vatican.

Your e-mails

I think it is a slap in the face that Jimmy Carter is not going to the pope's funeral. Former and present presidents have from day one had disagreements with other presidents but Jimmy  Carter has done a tremendous amount of good in this world since he was president or he would not have recieved the nobel Prize. He is a religious man though does not wear it on his sleeve and I think it is an insult that he was not asked to attend. —Mary, Ill.

Hard feelings and pettiness should not be the reason that President Carter was snubbed.  Take the example of the pope.  He forgave the man that tried to kill him.  What happened to family values? —Wilfred G.

Former Pres. Carter has been very disrespectful to Pres. Bush.   It has been common courtesy for a former president to show civility to the Office of the President.  Carter has been not only disrespectful to the president and the office of the president, but to our great nation while it is at war. I can not blame Pres. Bush for not asking this former president to go to the Pope's funeral.  He could have disagreed with Pres. Bush but not in the vitriolic manner which he did.  —L. Mollo

I also am a Clinton fan. I do believe that his latest photo-ops portray a kind of tired, need to rest, and thin Bill C.  I just had 2 major surgeries in 10 months and I understand what he went through. It seems that he has a very strong constitution, but I think President Carter should have been the one to go. Regardless, our nation needs to pray for the health and safety of our nation's leaders at all times! —MJ Memphis, Tenn.

Jimmy Carter is part of a political wind storm happening today. This is not the time for politics, this is a time when everyone should come together and honor Pope John Paul II.  I'm not a Catholic but I do see that this pope brought hope to many of thousands of people in this troubled world.  No matter what your political beliefs or your religious convictions are, the door should be open for anyone, including all past presidents to go to Rome and honor this man.  We, as a nation, should be ashamed of this continuing political battle storm. —Carol J., Federal Way, Wa.

Debating the Patriot Act

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will continue testifying today  before the Senate Judiciary Committee— hoping to convince congress to fully renew the USA Patriot Act.

For Monica, it’s a crucial and critical move if the United States is to continue tracking and capturing Al-Qaeda operatives both at home and abroad.

Ron quickly points out that the original bill was signed almost immediately after September 11th. “We’ve learned a lot since then—and we’ve had a chance to see this act in action. And let’s face it, there are some civil liberty issues at play here.”

What do you think?

I live in South Florida, recently in Palm Beach County the federal government raided several smoke shops in the name of the Patriot Act. Now this is a total abuse of power because the last time I checked terrorists were not selling bongs and I don't recall smoking pot being an act of terror. —Brad C., Fla.

Regarding the sneak and peek provision, isn't the major issue here the fact that they search your property and never tell you? Regular procedure for a search warrant is to not tell you until the police are at the front door. I've never heard of the police telling you they had a warrant. Let's focus on the issue here. —D. Morrison, Boston Mass.

If the government has not used the law then why have it?  It is way too intrusive in the lives of U S citizens.  —Merle

The implementation of the Patriot Act and it's possible continuation is the biggest terrorist victory ever. They hate our freedom and civil liberties - the act limits both! —Donna Boutwell, S.C.

I for one am not comfortable with someone with a badge having access to my medical and/or library records. Monica mentioned the provisions of Patriot Act section 215 had not been used since its inception.  If that's the case, maybe we don't need it.  — Jack Currie, Andersonville, Tenn.

Regarding the sneak and peek provision, isnt the major issue the fact that they search your property AND NEVER TELL YOU? Regular procedure for a search warrant is to not tell you until they police are at the front door. Ive never heard of the police telling you they had a warrant. Let's focus the issue here. —D. Morrison, Boston, Mass.

April 5, 2005 | 6:01 p.m. ET

Redefining the priesthood

The death of Pope John Paul II is forcing Catholics to talk about many of the issues that the next pope will have to tackle— one being that since 1980, the number of Catholic priests has dropped by 15,000. Many American churches have to “share” priests because of the shortage.

How best to deal with this?

American Catholics have their opinions, though it’s probably not what the Vatican wants to hear. When an Associated Press poll asked if the next pope should allow female priests, a majority of American Catholics say yes.   Asked if the next pope should change church policy to allow priests to marry, 60 percent say "yes," and 36 percent say "no."

And our own unscientific MSNBC survey today found similar results: When we asked if the next pope should allow priests to marry, 64 percent of you responding said yes, and 36 percent said no.

Your thoughts

The rule of celibacy for priests wasn't instituted by Jesus - that came about hundreds of years later when it became necessary to prevent priests, bishops, etc. from passing on church owned property to their children - thus the celibacy rule.  As far as Jesus not having any female disciples, it was typical of that time - no women were "working outside the home,"  in the time that Jesus was teaching, and female disciples wouldn't have been accepted in that culture.  Times have changed!   Let's have an honest re-evalution of these rules, perpetuated by men who would rather see this beautiful religion destroyed by perverted pedophiles than explore the solutions that are right in front of our faces. —Rita W.

From what I've read about having married & women priests, it is mostly an American "agenda". I think it hearkens back to the old mantra, "I'm an American and I want it my way." Just my opinion.  —Richard Gosche, Georgetown, Ohio

Regarding the issue of women becoming priests, I believe the idea of a Pope "changing" specific doctrines at the whim of the Amreican public can only be described as a religion of "humanism". The individual who believes he/she can sway particular doctrines smacks of humanism--the idea that we are responsible for the creation of our own particular belief system.  That is why we have the problem of "cafeteria Catholics"--picking and choosing what we like and negating what we don't.  God calls us to follow Him.  He hasn't called us to create conditions in order to follow Him--just follow Him.  Faith calls us to believe even when we may not understand.  —Michael, Berkeley Springs, W.V.

I am a seminary student in an epsicopal seminary and will be ordained as a deacon in June and to the priesthood in aprox. another 6 months.I am appalled by the arrogance and  isrepresentation of the male role in the priesthood. The truth is that within the context of ancient times, it was certainly understandable that God would take the form of a male in gender to have an effective ministry within that culture. Ditto for the apostles. Today's context however is very different. If one believes that we are all made in God's image then it is perfectly appropriate that God would call all of us regardless of gender to function in particular ways, including as ordained priests. —Claudia Smith

If the reason women can't be priests is because the apostles were men,  then why are Black, Latino & Asian men allowed to be priests? —Paul Collins

I do not think women belong as priests nor do I believe in marriage for priests. God designed the Church and it is not for us to redesign it! —Eleanor Senus, Westfield, N.J.

April 5, 2005 | 5:31 p.m. ET

What's happening in Iraq? (Monica Crowley)

The death of Pope John Paul II and other big news stories have shifted some of the focus lately off what's been happening in Iraq. Yet because you haven't been hearing much about it doesn't mean important developments haven't been taking place.

Iraq's historic transition of power continues full speed ahead. And fewer American soldiers are dying. Still, there have been attacks like the one on Abu Ghraib over the weekend.

Just today in Baghdad, an abandoned taxi exploded near a U.S. patrol, killing a U.S. soldier, and wounding four others. Another explosion, this one in the western Anbar province took the life of a Marine.

This afternoon, President Bush was asked if he believes the insurgents are changing their strategy.

“Their strategy hasn't really changed, their strategy has been one to kill as many innocent people as they possibly can in the hopes that it shakes our confidence and shakes our will; and equally importantly shakes the will and confidence of those brave souls who are helping lead this new democracy.”

President Bush says Americans should take heart that the United States is finding more allies in the Iraqis.

And just take a look at these numbers: Last month, 36 American troops were killed, the lowest toll since February 2004. And for past three months, American deaths have consistently dropped—from 107 in January, down to 58 in February, and 36 in March.

More e-mails:

Please do not try to gloss the one over or claim it is getting better in Iraq. The media is simply reporting on other things. The truth is that it is getting worse in Iraq but the media is not reporting it. —David

Just because less soldiers are being murdered dosen't mean things are going well.  If the Bush regime had told the truth and taken the time to check the intelligence they would all be alive.  The responsibilities for thier murders, and those of the Iraqi citizens belongs to Bush, and in time he will have to answer for his crimes. —Toni B.,  S.C.

It's little comfort to loved ones that the number of dying are coming down. —Roman Urbanczyk

The fact that the WMD info was bogus and the fact that we went to war on this info is embarassing. What  really bothers me though is that we have investigated this now twice and nobody is being held responsible. What a great country, huh?—Roman Urbanczyk 

April 5, 2005 | 12:55 p.m. ET

On the pre-war intelligence report that said the U.S. was "dead wrong" (Ron Reagan)

It was last Thursday that a bi-partisan commission found that America's pre-war intelligence was “worthless,” “misleading,” and “dead wrong.”

Remember, that was the same intelligence used by the administration to justify the ongoing military offensive in Iraq.

In March 17, 2003, President Bush said,  “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. “

But two years later, we now know there were no WMDs. This report blames the intelligence communities and their  “inability to collect good information about Iraq's WMD programs, serious errors in analyzing what information it could gather and a failure to make clear just how much of its analysis was based on assumptions rather than good evidence.”

But in this report, the president isn't completely off the hook.  The commission also contends the White House was not aggressive enough in demanding additional proof of the agencies' WMD contentions.

Last week, President Bush side-stepped any personal responsibility: “America's intelligence community needs fundamental change to enable us to successfully confront the threats of the 21st century.”

Your e-mails so far

The White House got the answer on Iraq that they wanted so why should they have looked further? Maybe they did drop big hints as to what they wanted, maybe not. —Leland Lay
Carson City, Nev.

Our Nation still tries to be delusional regarding Iraq. Us aside, the whole world knows that we went there for the oil and that the Administration manipulated the facts and the CIA for their own agenda that was planned years before.By the way, if the U.N. had inspectors in Iraq it is because everybody -but us- was SKEPTICAL about the CIA reports. —bbblue

Well as far as the Blame of the pre-war intelligence, Saddam and his sons are to Blame.  I was over in Iraq in 1990-91. We had the ability and the resolve to finish the job, but were restrained by the political powers to only go as far as needed to appease the multi national community. Mrs. Crowley, I Thank You for your words of the History of the U.S. trying Peace. Please remember, "It's the Politician that Talks Peace but Prays for War, and it's the Soldier that Trains for War, but Prays for Peace!"  — David Adkins, Henderson, Nev

It's progress that our intelligence powers-that-be are admitting their failures with respect to Iraq and the "Axis of Evil".  Yes, other nations, like Great Britain, seem to have had similar failures with respect to Iraq. But, I would like the US intel experts to explain three things:  how the much maligned UN weapons inspectors were right; how French intelligence that said there were no WMDs was right, and our much vaunted American system was wrong? Yes, kids, the French make great wine, great cheese, and, it appears, better spies. —Lisa, Lucas, Tex.

Honestly, did anyone expect that the Bush administration or the President himself would take responsiblity for his actions, taking America to war on lies? Bush has never been held responsible for any of his mistakes, why should he start now? America will pay the price around the world for generations to come, Bush will one day be held accountable by the people of this great country. —Adena Wheeles, Anchorage, Ala.

America is no longer trusted by it's allies. I lay this at the feet of the Bush administration. Iraq was a war that Bush wanted, and he mislead the American people, and used our fear after we were attacked on 9/11 to connect the two. One lie after another, America deserves better, and our military deserves a leader that will be honest and respect their service. —Adena Wheeles, Anchorage, Ala.

Either the intelligence service got in wrong or were steered in the wrong direction.  Either way they are a laughing stock.  The U.S. government convinced other countries to believe the "evidence" and then protested that other governments also got it wrong!  Good luck the next time they try to sell a story to the world. —Kelly

April 4, 2005 | 5:50 p.m. ET

Emotion and centuries-old tradition

The images out of Rome so far have been quite remarkable, and the rest of the week promises even more emotion and centuries-old tradition as we remember the life of Pope John Paul II.

As Catholic Church leaders gather in Rome to grieve together over the death of the pope, they must also look toward the time when they will formally begin to choose his successor.  And the next pope will inherit a church facing serious challenges.

Video: Reagan and the pope From issues such as scientific advances that directly challenge church doctrine— to a shift in global dynamics,  the Catholic Church will be facing a number of urgent concerns in the years ahead.

Over the next few days here on “Connected Coast to Coast,” we'll be taking a closer look at these issues and we'll be hearing from a few of the people directly affected by them. 

E-mails you've sent 'Connected' so far:

May it's because I am not  Catholic, or maybe it was and is my age, but I have become memerized by the coverage of the life and death of Pope John Paul II. I have found his message and mission to be the most honorable and most memorable of the all leaders that has graced this earth.  I have learned alot about the life and times of Pope John Paul, and just wish I had practiced my religious faith under his wing.  He will be sorely missed and remembered. —Tonya H., Spring City, Pa.

Blessed were we as a people to have this man, Pope John Paul II, with us at this time.  Whether Catholic, Jew, Muslim or no affiliation many people admired this man.  He was of the people and for the people.  His presence stirred the Spirit of God in many who were in his presence.  eaven is surely rejoicing with the world for his life.  I pray that his successor follows his example of faith and hope. —M.Handlir, Md.

[The pope]  was a great man and would speak his mind on what ever was going on.I remember that when he talked people listened and took to heart what he said. —John Eveland, Anaconda, Mo.

April 2, 2005 | 7:15 p.m. ET

Pope John Paul II , who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history's most-traveled pope, died on Saturday evening , the Vatican said in a statement.

April 1, 2005 | 7:31 p.m. ET

Vatican: Pope's condition has worsened

As we continue to monitor the Pope's health, we will begin to celebrate and discuss this man's life and impact on the world.  He hit like a meteor, affecting change in every corner of the world.

Your e-mails so far:

I find it ironic that the Pope is dying from a disease that stem cell research has a good chance of preventing. —Windy, Waupaca, Wis.

As a Muslim, I pray for the pope. the Islam religion reffers to popes as God's  great worshipers. and for me the pope is the only one leader who always looked for peace, love and happiness  for and between everybody. May God bless him. —Anonymous

The virtues of the Pope at this time has not been universally admired for all of his actions.  His inexplicably harsh and intolerant views of homosexuality abruptly reversed the Catholic Church's previous. —Anonymous

The last time the Pope came to his window to speak to the world, his last words were a warning to America - and he , like Terri, fought hard to the very last breath ! —Carrie Taranova, Lakeland, Fla.

The Pope is such a great role model he lived a life showing everybody not only to stand for what they believe but also compassion and humility.  May God be with him and his sweet soul to shine forever. —Ana Zel, Los Angeles, Calif.

I truly believe there are several debates that could arise from The Popes health crisis. One is the need for stem cell research. Second is the need to preserve life and not starving or denying those access to water and food. Third is the need for more human compassion for the sick and elderly. Fourth is to work together to advance human empathy and work to provide idividuals rights toward autonomy. I am both a conservative politically and socially, however, an open respectful debate is always worthy to examine ones personal values and be willing to embrace an other view point. Great show gang, keep it up. —Carl Gillig, Cookeville Tenn.

Ron brought a good question when he asked if the Pope chose to stay home and not receive any more medical treatment. I believe the Pope did this so he could die on his own terms, with dignity, and to avoid prolonging the suffering. If that's the case I smell a double standard here, and so why was it unacceptable to let Terri Schiavo die with dignity also?  The Christian conservatives who protested, and tried to change the laws in congress, and our President, will all be OK with the Popes choice, but yet they want to tell Terri Schiavo, and her husband when she can and can't die. This is more hypocrisy by the Christian conservatives trying to run our lives! —Jimmy, Chicago

I'm an rational atheist, but I can't help admiring the dedication and consistancy of the popes words and actions.  No one could have watched this man for the last 26 years and not respect him.  Our world has lost a legitmate model of humanity. —Toni Boutwell, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In these last hours we should all pray for the soul of the Holy Father. May his passing be as painless as possible, and may God welcome him into the heavenly kingdom. Truely if God placed any man on earth to wear the Shoes of Peter the Fisherman, truely it was this man. —CrisN

Keep writing us at Connected@MSNBC.com.

March 31, 2005 | 1:08 p.m. ET

Terri Schiavo has passed

The news was not unexpected— and yet it was difficult to hear. Nearly two weeks after her feeding tube was removed,  Terri Schiavo died in her Pinellas Park hospice this morning.

There was an emotional reaction among the people gathered in support of Terri Schiavo's parents and relatives outside that Florida hospice.

There has always been a certain inevitability in the story of Terri Schiavo, as there is with each one of us. Eventually—we will die. But her situation has raised so many questions.

Your e-mails:

How sad it is that Terri had to die the way she did. Her death wasn't in vain though. The issues surrounding her death have obviously brought "we as a society" to question our own mortality and how we should be prepared with living-wills and written instructions as to what we would want. My heart goes out to the Schindler family.  May Terri now rest in peace... —Dawn Morris, Indianapolis, Ind.

The sad truth is that Terri Schiavo died when her higher brain functionings stopped years ago.  Only her body has been kept alive since then.  As a Catholic, I believe that her soul has finally been released from limbo, and that she can now join with God. —Joe Costa, San Diego, Calif.

What right does her husband (in name only) have dictating what she wanted if he started another life of his own. He reneged on his vows and has no right to the title of husband. Why didn't our moral courts appoint someone else to be her guardian. Its amazing how this country loves to tell other countries what to do, but, what kind of an example do we make to them? —Marlene, N.Y.

Thank God Terri is now in heaven.  It is too bad she wasn't allowed to go there years ago. Michael Schiavo did everything he could for years, until he finally had to come to grips with the fact that Terri's condition was hopeless. I commend Michael.  If I were in Terri's condition, I would want my spouse to be as compassionate. —Brenda Oliver, Minneapolis, Minn.

I was part of the Not-Dead-Yet action outside of Woodside Hospice a few days ago. This issue of food and water being considered medical treatment is central to society devaluing and dehumanizing people with disabilities to a point where it's okay for us to be mistreated; and in way that animals and even murderers, rapists, pedophiles like John Couley are protected from. They'll enforce lethal injection for him when he has committed three of the most grievous acts one human can do to another but okay forced starvation and dehydration of fluids for us. I guarantee you that this case is not just about people in P.V.S. (Persistent Vegetative State) or people with feeding tubes. It's about people with disabilities and societal cultural perspectives which place us at the bottom of the worth list, below criminals and animals, tied with bugs whom even the Buddhists don't harm. When I acquired Quadriplegia, I too was nourished by a feeding tube, in too much pain and too doped up to eat; it sustained me for about a month saving my life making it possible for me to have a second chance.  —Zen G.

In one final act of inhumanity, Terri Schiavo's husband excludes her immediate family from her bedside at her death. Are we to believe that through some great prescience, Michael decided this was also Terri's wish? How sad. —Muriel Steadman, Marion, Iowa

Instead of getting involved in a citizen's personal, private affairs, congress would do well to protect ordinary citizens from the extremist right to life groups.  Their outrageous rhetoric in the Terri Schiavo situation is appalling.  If I am ever in the situation Terri was in, I hope I have an advocate as resolute as Michael Schiavo to stand up for me. —Barbara, St. Louis, Mo.

I was at my mom's deathbed at her moment of death when she was taken off the respirator and although it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do there was no place else on earth I would rather have been.  I don't know what I would do if I were not allowed to be with my child at the moment of her death.  For all the things that have happened in this battle I find Michael Schiavo's not allowing Terry's parents to be with her to be extremely cruel and heartless.  —Kathie, Ontario, Canada 

I am so sorry for Terri's family. Michael Schiavo is obviously a dispicable, deeply troubled person to use Terri's passing as a way to hurt her own family regardless of what conflicts they had. How could the courts allow such a heartless person to make life/death decisions for a person he obviously no longer cares for. —Marian, Houston, Texas

Is is true that Terry Schiavo's spirit left her body many years ago? Is it true that the only thing that died today was a shell of a human being. If all the parts of her brain that made her Terry Schiavo was gone, why is it that we think that she was still present in that body? —John Hooker, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.

Will the taxpayers be able to bring suit to recover the extra expenses caused by the right wing media circus?  Between the frivelous lawsuits in our courts, the diverted school children, the disrupted lives of the others in the hospice and the extra police time this is a big expenses. —Toni Boutwell, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The intelligence report on Iraq's WMD was released today. This should be the top story not Terri Schiavo. —Debra Ayers

Re:  choosing a spouse, Ron. Yes, but spouses often unchoose one another.  Michael Schiavo already chose someone else. Parents are parents forever. —Sharon Milford, Mich.

March 30, 2005 | 5:49 p.m. ET

Stem cell debate (Ron Reagan)

The stem cell research controversy picked up steam in Massachusetts with the launch of a radio ad by Governor Mitt Romney in the days leading up to today's vote. Hoping to increase political pressure on undecided lawmakers, Romney took to the airwaves, and called for the bill's defeat. He said:

“I support legislation that will permit scientists to obtain stem cells from embryos donated from fertility clinics. These embryos would otherwise be destroyed. But there are some legislators who aren't satisfied with using these surplus embryos: instead, they want to clone entirely new human embryos for research."

The debate in Massachusetts is the latest in a long-running battle over  embryonic stem cell research.  Those who support stem cell research argue it could lead to the treatment and cure of diseases— from diabetes to Parkinsons. Those who oppose it say the research is dependent on the creation and destruction of human embryos.

Your e-mails

If we listened to the right wing religious lobby, we would still be living on a flat planet, earth would still be considered the center of the universe. —John, Grand Forks, N.D.

Embryonic stem cell research has shown no evidence of curing anything.  The libs want us to think that George Bush has somehow outlawed the research.  The research can be done with private money.  So, it seems to reason that if it was so successful that private money would be coming in by " the truck load."  The financial gains from finding a cure for Alzheimer's would be astronomical.  Federal funding should never be used to destroy life.  The truth is private money will not come in either because the evidence that it will work is just not there.  Only the immoral do not think it is a moral issue — Kirk Ripplinger, Jamestown, N.D.

I am in favor of embryonic stem cell research, but I can understand the moral and ethical viewpoints made by "life" advocates.  In my opinion, I good way to bring everyone together is to fund research in adult stem cells. —Rick Ruggieri, State College, Pa.

I'm sick of these idiots hijacking events to promote their agendas. My 10 year old son is a Type 1 diabetic, by definition a terminal condition. What about his "right to life". Stem cell research is the best hope that he, and many others have. Where is the outrage over withholding my son's feeding tube. —RColeman

The logic of an egg prior to fertilization is human life then we should be harvesting all the eggs from pre menopausal women before menopause so that as the right to life folks say the eggs are "killed." —Mike, Seattle

The opponents of embryonic stem cell research have only one argument and that is a religion-based argument. They believe that their "god" would not like mankind dabbling in the creation of human life. The religious have held back science at every turn. We would be 1500 years ahead scientifically if it wasn't for the meddling of the religious fundamentalists. 30 million U.S. citizens don't believe in their god! It would be nice if they would dtop forcing their religious morals down the our throats. —Bob Warrington, Bristol, Vt.

Stem cell research holds so much promise.  It should definately move ahead full speed. Anyone who disapproves of it would have a choice to refuse any treatment benefits that resulted from such research if they choose to; why penalize other people who want the advances that can result? —Bob Oliver


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