Nov. 5 2008 12:00 AM

The Catholic Church obviously doesn’t need my money, what little I put into the collection basket every week at mass, anyway.

The Catholic Conference collectively had $5 million in spare change floating around to dump into a political campaign to protect from experimentation on otherwise destroyed human embryos.

These are embryos created at fertility clinics for couples wanting to create life. Technicians create many little embryos through this fertilization process. The best ones, the ones most likely to live, are injected into the mom. Hopefully, life is created.

The rest? In Michigan and only four other states, they automatically get washed down the sink. In the rest of the country, couples can donate what isn’t used to researchers. Maybe, years down the line, life is saved by this research.

Maybe not. But scientists have only been working with embryonic stem cell technology for 10 years. That’s nothing in the realm of research. (Adult stem cell research has created seven cures in 50 years).

To me, as a Catholic, Proposal 2, the stem-cell research initiative, was pro life. The argument works for Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who basically made this point in Grand Rapids last week when she said “to be pro-cure is to be pro-life.”

The Catholic Church thinks differently and Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea let her know it. “To imply that Proposal 2 is a valid expression of Catholic principles is shocking,” Boyea wrote. “Nothing could be further from the truth.

“While the Catholic Church strongly supports legitimate forms of stem cell research and all other proper forms of scientific inquiry, the church also teaches that it is always immoral to destroy a human embryo.”

So are fertility clinics immoral because they can’t save all of the embryos they create? Are couples anxious to create life immoral because they don’t use all of the embryos they produce? What is the message here? Destruction under the microscope.

Destruction in the municipal wastewater stream. Either way, the unused embryos are being discarded. Our bishop continued in his public chastisement of our governor.

“St. Paul reminds us that we must preach the Truth … . To be in favor of Proposal 2 is not to be pro-life. A wellformed Catholic conscience would never lead a person to support Proposal 2 as a Catholic.”

Well, I guess this Catholic mind is deformed because I don’t understand how, as Catholics, the Catholic Conference can give $5 million to a “2 Goes 2 Far” campaign whose definition of “the Truth” is debatable, at best. First, “2 Goes 2 Far” ran television ads insinuating Proposal 2 would allow taxpayer money to fund embryonic stem cell research. That’s not “the Truth.”

Next, “2 Goes 2 Far” ran television ads insinuating Proposal 2 opens the door for human cloning. That’s not “the Truth.” State law bans cloning.

Finally, “2 Goes 2 Far” went way too far when it compared embryonic stem cell research to the “Tuskegee experiments” in Alabama, where from 1932 to 1972, the U.S. Department of Public Health let 399 poor black men die of syphilis because scientists wanted to see what would happen if nothing was done. Putting “the Truth” aside for a minute, how are these two subjects even remotely related? Here’s the “truth” according to campaign finance records registered with the state: The “2 Goes 2 Far” campaign has raised $6.225 million as of Oct. 31. Counting another $25,000 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops kicked in, The Catholic Church is on the hook for 80 percent of this funding.

The Lutherans didn’t kick in any money. Neither did the Methodists or the Jews or the Christian Reformed Church. Outside of the First Baptist Church in St. Johns kicking in $250, no other church felt the need to blow one penny, let alone insane amounts of their resources, to this campaign.

Yet, here was the church I was born and raised with leaving stacks of “2 Goes 2 Far” handbills in my church’s gathering space.

I watched an offended parishioner hide them with scrap paper moments before church let out. Sorry, bishop. I did nothing to stop her. (Kyle Melinn is the editor at the MIRS newsletter. His column runs weekly. Email melinn@lansingcitypulse.com)