The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is discouraging its employees from taking the ice bucket challenge for the ALS Association over the group’s embrace of embryonic stem cell research. Instead, would-be bucketeers should send donations to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. Here’s a snippet from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s story:
“We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in this,” Andriacco said. “But it’s a well established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit.”
An embryo must be destroyed to harvest its stem cells, Andriacco said. Many Catholics relate that to abortion.
The Archdiocese asks that any money raised is sent instead to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa, where the research is only conducted using adult stem cells.
Rigg and Tom Otten, principal of Elder High School, plan to take the ice-bucket challenge — for the research institute — Thursday morning at Elder, Andriacco said.
The idea behind this campaign is rather brilliant. Appeal first to the vanity of celebrities to get the ball rolling and than the vanity of others as they post their own YouTube videos of this. This is selfie charity.
So much for not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, since that can never go viral. Add a bit of shaming to get others to follow and you have a nicely crafted campaign that so far has raised over 40 million dollars. Even if the ALS Association supported totally ethical research, selfie charity is still unfortunate. The mixture of imposed penance, doing something good, broadcasting your penance for the cause, and then the chain-letter aspect of getting others to join in is perfect in a Madison Avenue sense, but otherwise unfortunate. Just wonder how this will escalate with other charitable causes? We have already seen the Fire Challenge, what’s next?
On the funny side of this:
- Ironic Catholic with “Boiling Bucket” Challenge Fails To Raise Funds For Mission Trip
Barren, Minnesota: Inspired by a viral charity challenge that involves achieving a monetary goal and ice buckets, the St. Bartholomew youth group issued a “boiling bucket of glop” challenge: donate or collect donations of $100 to their Fall mission trip to Appalachia, and one of the youth group members will get dunked with a boiling bucket of glop. They earned $3.27. …
- Eye of the Tiber with USCCB Sword Swallowing Challenge Raising Little Money, Causing Terrible Injuries
You’ve seen all the USCCB Sword Swallowing Challenge videos by now. Everyone from Catholic celebrities like The Curt Jester writer Jeff Miller, Fr. Robert Barron, and Jeff Cavins, to your friends have posted videos of themselves slowly dropping swords down their throats to help raise money for the USCCB. …
Thanks Eye of the Tiber, if I am a Catholic celebrity I am suddenly being tempted towards selfie charity. Where is my web cam and YouTube account?