Last week, the Roman Catholic Church contributed $50,000 to a group opposing California's Proposition 71 initiative, which would amend the state's constitution and borrow $3 billion for embryonic stem cell research.

The state's bishops voted in April to oppose the initiative, according to the California Catholic Conference. "The Catholic Church does not object to scientific research on adult stem cells or blood cord cells—because the donor of the stem cells is not destroyed," the conference's August newsletter states. "The Church opposes the use of embryonic stem cells or cloned stem cells because the donor (embryo or clone) is destroyed by extracting the stem cells."

With their donation, the church joined Doctors, Patients and Taxpayers for Fiscal Responsibility in opposing the proposition, which they say would strain an already cash-strapped state. Combined with another $50,000 donation by Howard Ahmanson Jr., the opposition group has raised about $115,000, according to the Associated Press.

If Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, was right when he said, "In California if you have a big enough budget, you can basically buy a law," then the opposition group has its work cut out for it. Supporters of the proposition have about $12 million to spend thanks to donations from venture capitalist William Bowes Jr., Bill Gates, and the support of 22 Nobel laureates.

"Money isn't what we are about," said No on 71 campaign manager Wayne Johnson.

In a state where enough money can recall a governor, opponents are going to need more than cash if they are going to stop the California cloning amendment.

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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