Politics and the Church – The Politics of God [Part 5]

Last week we took a quick glimpse at how politics has permitted the taking of innocent, helpless life for convenience purposes.  I may be wrong, but I believe that we are all creations of God designed to do God’s will on earth but with the gift of self choice.  Some of us were gifted to do great things and others to bring out the good we were ‘wired’ to do.  Some are strong and healthy while others are weak and helpless, but all with a purpose that only God knows.  There is a plan for our lives from conception to natural death.  Unfortunately some of us use our gift of choice to disappoint not only God but our family and friends…and ourselves.  Today our society too easily gives up on those with a mission we cannot understand and through politics eliminates those ‘unknown factors’…casting aside ‘God’s politics’.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans with no religious attachment identify themselves as ‘pro-choice’ rather than ‘pro-life’ by a 68% to 19% margin.  [Lydia Saad,”In U.S., Nonreligious, Postgrads Are Highly ‘Pro-Choice'”, Gallup, May 29, 2012].  This represents the strongest propensity toward the pro-choice position of any major US demographic group.  At the other end of the life spectrum we see a similar propensity to devalue life through a worldwide acceptance and legalization…politics…of assisted suicides and involuntary euthanasia…yes, I said ‘involuntary’.  Here are just a few examples:

–     The use of euthanasia and assisted suicide to prematurely end the life of an adult with a terminal illness is now routine across the globe.  (Personal observation…it is beyond me how someone could take the life of anyone even if the taking is requested.)

–   Euthanasia is increasingly being used on those who are mentally ill.

–   Since euthanasia was legalized in the Netherlands in 2002, its use has risen 73%, with some twenty-five thousand people killed. “Mobile euthanasia teams” now routinely kill approximately 1,000 people per year in their homes. [Alex Schadenberg,”Euthanasia Rate in Netherlands Has Increased 73% Since 2003″, Life News, July 31, 2012].

–   In Belgium and the Netherlands, people can choose to die if they have a terminal illness, depression, or are just feeling that their lives are ‘incomplete’.  In Holland a forty-one year old man was euthanized with the assistance of a physician because he couldn’t stop drinking. [Bradford Richardson,”Mark Langedijk, Dutch Man, Euthanized Over Alcoholism”, Washington Times, November 30, 2016].

–   Euthanasia is increasingly being used on children who are terminally ill. It is legal…politics…for physicians to euthanize children at the age of twelve in the Netherlands and minors of all ages in Belgium.  [Chandrika Narayan,”First Child Dies by Euthanasia in Belgium”, CNN, September 17, 2016].

–   Recently a family in the Netherlands was cleared of any wrongdoing for holding down an elderly woman who struggled desperately against a doctor’s efforts to euthanize her.  Her crime, it seems, was wandering around her nursing home at night and exhibiting signs of dementia. [“Panel Clears Dutch Doctor Who Asked Family Members to Hold Patient Down as She Carried Out Euthanasia Procedure”, Telegraph, January 28, 2017].

–   In the United States, the ‘right-to-die’ movement has grown increasingly more powerful.  Six states currently permit euthanasia, and many other states are considering it as well…politics. Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont, Colorado, and Montana currently have laws…politics…permitting assisted suicide. [Angela Chen,”Assisted Suicide Is Now Legal in Colorado”, The Verge, November 8, 2016].

–   The favored method of ‘mercy killing’…nice sounding name…is the involuntary removal of sustenance from patients.  Recall the drawn-out, court-ordered death by starvation and dehydration of Terri Schiavo?  Terri’s brother recalls “I saw it in my sister’s case and I see it in the stories from the families who call us.  And one of the most pathetic lies out there is that killing someone by denying them food and water is a ‘peaceful’ and ‘painless’ experience, as is the patently absurd notion that it is ‘death with dignity’. [Bobby Schindler,”I Will Never Forget the Look of Horror on My Sister Terri Schiavo’s Face the Day She Died”, Life News, March 30, 2015].

–   In states where euthanasia is legal…politics, it is increasingly being encouraged.  Stories abound of people whose own physicians recommend against assisted suicide, only to have other ‘doctors’, who know little of the patients’ histories, write fatal prescriptions for them.  In at least one case in Oregon, a woman’s insurance would not pay for her to continue her fight against lung cancer, but ‘helpfully’ noted it would pay for assisted suicide.  Another man in Oregon was denied a life-extending drug, but was notified that the state health plan would pay to kill him. [Susan Donaldson James,”Death Drugs Cause Uproar in Oregon”, ABC News, August 6, 2008].

No matter where you stand on the issue of euthanasia, there can be no question that these are frightening and dangerous times for anyone who is hospitalized or seriously sick.  How can we make sense of the ‘godless society’s’ preference for death over love, acceptance, and sacrifice?  Certainly this is not in line with the politics of God.  Next week we will take a look at the strains of ‘godless’ thought used to justify such a thought process.

– Bob Munsey

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