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Ice Bucket Challenge

For the past couple of weeks I have watched the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge move through my circle of Facebook friends, and like many people, I wondered when the day would come for me to be nominated. When your Facebook newsfeed is filled each day with Ice Bucket Challenge videos, and each video nominates 3 more people -it is really just a matter of time…

So I began to wonder how I would respond, if nominated.

At first, I thought to myself: it seems strange that people are challenged to either make a donation OR pour a bucket of ice water over their head. Why wouldn’t people just write a check for $100 to support a great cause (finding a cure for ALS would definitely be a great thing!)

In my mind, giving $100 is a way better option on all fronts. So why bother to get cold and wet?

Then I realized that there is no shortage of donations being made. To date there have been an estimated $41 million dollars in donations as a result of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It appears that many people are getting wet AND donating.

That led me to researching the ALS Foundation, and like many others, I was less than excited about what I found. The research shows that the ALS Foundation is using embryonic stem cells in their search for a cure. In short, that means that supporting the ALS Foundation is also supporting abortion and the use of embryonic stem cells.

Suddenly pouring ice water on my head INSTEAD of donating seemed like a better response to the challenge… Well, either ice water or ashes.

And now I have officially received the challenge. I have been officially nominated and am currently within the 24 hour period. How then shall I respond?

On one hand, if George W. Bush, Michael Jordan, Mitt Romney, LeBron James, and Kermit the Frog have done it -how bad could it be?! Many of my friends have participated… Shouldn’t I join in on the fun? It is obviously for a good cause, namely, to find a cure for a terrible disease for which there is currently no known cure.

On the other hand, there is a clear moral dilemma at stake. The ends (in my mind, at least) certainly do not justify the means. And to be completely honest, ALS is pretty far down the list on the things that I am personally passionate about. (That may sound really heartless, but honestly how many of the millions of Ice Bucket Challenge partakers ever even though about ALS one month before this social media phenomenon took place? And how many will think about it one month after this fad goes away? My guess is less than 10%.)

So do I really want to get swept up in a good cause that pales in comparison to the greatest cause?!

In other words, for me, I am wondering if I really want to get involved with a trendy good cause that aims to save the body when the passion of my heart is to simply join Jesus in the greatest cause of saving souls?

That is a worthy question.

Where is the Ice Bucket Challenge for helping the persecuted Christians in Iraq or the Ice Bucket Challenge for helping to end human trafficking around the world? Where is the Ice Bucket Challenge for getting clean water and food to the millions who are currently starving or suffering from lack of clean water? I’m sure any of those causes could use $41 million dollars and celebrity endorsements…

In the end, this is where I have landed:

I am not afraid of a little water… No matter how cold it is.

I enjoy a good challenge.

I am thankful that ALS is getting attention and I would love to see a cure, but not by unbiblical and unethical means.

I am not going to donate to the ALS Foundation because of the moral dilemma, and I am not going to nominate any others to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because I don’t want to put anyone else in a moral dilemma (and I would actually kind of like to see the Ice Bucket Challenge just go away).

But I accept the challenge and am thankful for having been issued the challenge so that I could have the opportunity to work out my thoughts on the subject and know for sure where I stand.

In lieu of an ALS donation, I will be making a donation to a Christian Missions agency working in Iraq, and I’ll be praying that the cure for this world’s worst disease will be received by the millions who are suffering and dying on a daily basis as a result.

This terrible disease: sin, and we are all infected.

The cure: Jesus, the only source of true and abundant life.

Who wants to join me in that cause? No ice buckets required.

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4 thoughts on “Ice Bucket Challenge Leave a comment

  1. Jeff I would like to invite you to our house to spend a little time with us, we live in Fredericksburg so we are practically neighbors. My husband has ALS. Please come see what a person with ALS has to go through for just the basic necessities of life. Maybe if you seen someone with ALS you would be a little more understanding, and not believe everything that you have heard. I would like to know JUST how much REAL research did you did before you made the grandiose decision to thumb your noise up at the ALS Association and this blessing called the ice bucket challenge that has given us our first BIG attention and hope for funding that will result in a cure. Also if feels you have also thumbed your noise, quiet frankly, at those who have ALS and their friends and family who suffer with them. Just for the record the national ALS Association does NOT FUND stem cell research with general donations. There is ONE study being done WITH ONE and ONLY ONE PERSON’S PRIVATE DONATION. This money is being used for this research PER THE DONOR’S REQUEST and that research is being done with cord blood cells from the placenta’s of healthy children. So please make sure your facts are correct before IN THE NAME OF JESUS YOU Thumb your noise at your neighbors who are trying to get through something that is more terrible than I can say, with as much grace and dignity as possible. Until you have walked in my shoes, don’t say someone else burdens do not deserve the attention and HOPE for a cure because you don’t understand……..or again quiet frankly don’t care what they are going through.

    • Janie, thank you for the comment and for the invitation. I’m sorry to hear that your husband has ALS. I am not unfamiliar with the disease so I certainly do not feel the need to observe someone with ALS just to gain more understanding. As a matter of fact, I have actually made contributions to organizations that are fighting ALS in the past -and for the record this was prior to the Ice Bucket Challenge. A couple of months ago I spent quite a bit of money on a guitar effects pedal called the “Drive for a Cure” pedal by Keeley Electronics. All of the money from the purchase of that pedal go towards Project ALS, and that is the only reason that I bought the pedal. I actually have not even taken the pedal out of the box, but I am hoping that when I do plug it in I will find that it has a cool sound. If not, no loss… I didn’t buy it for the sound, I bought it for the cause.

      I am sorry that my post came across as offensive. That was certainly not my intention. In fact, in re-reading the post, I’m not sure how it came across as offensive other than the fact that this is obviously a very personal issue for you -and understandably so.

      The fact that the ALS Association has done ANY research using embryonic stem cells is troubling to me. To point out that there is only one study being done is, to me, like saying, “They’ve only murdered ONE person.” I am in no way against stem cell research on adults or umbilical chord research, but everything that I have read says that obtaining stem cells from a living human embryo invariably causes death of the embryo. Even the ALSA acknowledges that there are relevant ethical concerns surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells, which they HAVE USED in the search for a cure. So whether it is one study, or four million studies using unethical means to find a much-needed cure -I simply cannot support that. (It should also be noted that by their own words the ALSA has not ruled out the prospect of funding Embryonic Stem Cells in future research, and I will be curious to find out how they allocate the significant budget increase as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge).

      Now, I once again want to say that I am sorry for any offense that you felt from my blog, but I assure you that no offense was intentionally given. If you re-read the blog, which you may or may not do, I think you will find that I issued no false facts in the blog (I actually offered very few facts in the midst of my blogged opinions). My intention was to essentially journal my thought-process as I decided whether or not to participate in the challenge. I only blogged about this BECAUSE I was challenged. In other words, I did not go looking for a fight on the subject, I was simply sharing my response to being challenged in a public forum. This is no different from the millions who have poured ice water over their head AND made a donation to ALSA. The only difference is that my opinion and the conclusion of my thinking was very different from yours. We do that, don’t we? We cheer for people who think like us, and we write angry responses on the blogs that we disagree with…

      If you re-read my blog carefully, I think you will see the phrase, “I am thankful that ALS is getting attention and I would love to see a cure, but not by unbiblical and unethical means.” I stand by that statement and I am very sorry if it is offensive to you.

      My intention was certainly not to thumb my nose (I assume you meant nose and not noise) at ALS, but as a passionate follower of Christ, I will admit that I am far more concerned about the billions around the world who are dying without Jesus than I am about the estimated 30,000 Americans who are living with ALS. I apologize if that comes across as heartless. Both are terrible situations… but one is eternally terrible.

  2. Jeff I wasn’t angry when I wrote the response last night, I was and still am concerned about people like yourself that keeps encouraging others to NOT donate to ALS, and that is what your words are doing. So I would like to say to you “Jeff, you are not listening. ALS ASSOCIATION is not using Embryonic stem cells. They are using Cord Blood.”
    You say “The only difference is that my opinion and the conclusion of my thinking was very different from yours. We do that, don’t we? We cheer for people who think like us, and we write angry responses on the blogs that we disagree with…” So Jeff, are you saying you put your thoughts out there into the great wild world web so others know what Jeff thinks but others should not respond unless it is to pat you on the back and say “That a boy!” You also say, “I will admit that I am far more concerned about the billions around the world who are dying without Jesus than I am about the estimated 30,000 Americans who are living with ALS” All I can say about that, it is true we as an individual can not be emotionally supportive to everyone with every disease or concern but to not show COMPANSION is unthinkable….as a Christian or not. “As far as I am concerned You are the worst kind of “band wagon person” You only care about it if it gets you noticed and in the spot light. So great that you bought a guitar petal in order to support the cause…..but it was also something that you might be able to use as you get on stage and sing about the love of Jesus……..and enjoy the applause as you take your bows. That’s great, but I will be here fighting for the one who can’t speak, can’t walk and have NEVER asked for a pat on the back or around of applause. And Yes Jeff one day all to soon I fear this position as wife and care giver will be over…..and then I will take on the role of activist for the 30,000 AMERICANS that are losing the battle because their condition doesn’t have the numbers to be a money maker for big companies to get their name in the paper. Because people like you won’t get their share of “At a boys” I only hope and pray (yes Jeff I to am a Christian and pray all through out the day) that one day one of the 30, 000 isn’t someone you love. You see it was only 24 months ago my husband was strong, healthy. Not one health issue, then one day his foot stared to give way a little, then it started to drag, and then slowly inch by inch it was gone, and soon his life here will be over. So I will then use My god given talents to make a joyful noise for the approximate 30,000 who can’t. You and your “thoughts” all though not intentional hurt me and my family and approximately 30000 others. So go with the numbers I’m sure you need the “at a boy” pats to the back.

    • Janie, i think your reading into this the wrong way. I have an Uncle who died last year from ALS. Its a terrible thing to see a person go through, especially a relative. I personally stand with Jeff and understand what he’s saying in his blog. I didnt donate directly to ALS through the Ice bucket Challenge because of my concern of how they do research. It dosent mean i dont care about ALS patients. I care greatly for them, along with all the other diseases that people are suffering through. But like i said, you seem to be taking this blog entirely the wrong way.

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