There are five issues in this campaign that will affect our country's future more profoundly than any other, including taxes, jobs, education, and even the war. They are:
The libertarian position on all five of these is basically, "whatever". Don't let government decide; people should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't hurt another person in a direct and obvious way.
A utilitarian point of view would apply a cost-benefit calculation to each, and if the supposed benefits outweigh the perceived costs, then go ahead. So, in this calculation, if scientists think there might be some future benefits from harvesting fetal stem cells, then they should be allowed to do so.
But for all of these issues, there is a different point of view, one that takes the sanctity of human life into account, and one that recognizes far more fully the true costs of violating natural law. The Catholic Church is the only entity with a consistent, meaningful, and coherent position on all these issues. All of her moral reasoning is based on a belief in a loving Creator God, who is our Heavenly Father.
The Church teaches that abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem-cell research, cloning, and same-sex marriage are not compassionate solutions to human problems, even though proponents would have us think so. Abortion masks itself as a reasonable choice for a woman in a tough spot, but it kills her child and strips the woman of her dignity. Euthanasia is presented as "merciful", but it makes human life cheap and human suffering nothing more than animal pain. Embryo's are created for spare parts; human beings are cloned just because we can; frozen embryos languish in freezers -- all of this shows a frightening callousness about the sanctity of human life.
Finally, same-sex marriage: In a culture that values tolerance more than anything else, it's hard to see what could be wrong with letting people be happy together, no matter what their lifestyle. But the Catholic Church knows that calling sinful behavior just another "choice" will never lead to lasting happiness. We are all sinners. Calling a weed a flower won't change how it looks or the way it chokes out other plants; it just makes us less likely to pull it up by the roots. So no matter what our sin, sexual or otherwise, we need to ask for forgiveness and then change our ways, remembering that we are called to hate the sin, but always, always, love the sinner.
For more information about the Five Issues, click here. For more information on the Church's truly compassionate answer to those who struggle with homosexuality, go to the Courage website.