I grew up in one of those Judeo-Christian homes that apparently strike terror in the hearts of the likes of Betty Friedan, Alan Grayson and Kathryn Joyce. My parents never had sex until they got married to each other. Theirs is an enduring...

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Something to Live For

Famed explorer Ernest T. Shackleton was in his element as he shepherded twenty-seven men through two years of uncertainty, sleeping on ice flows, rowing long boats through treacherous ice pack, and finally camping on a wind-battered rock, after the sinking of the Endurance.

He spent the rest of his life looking for what he had during those two years- even attempting a return trip to Antarctica hoping to find it. Yet he couldn't put a finger on what exactly it was he wanted, and died of a heart attack in route.

For two years, there were twenty-seven men whose very lives depended on (among other things), Shackleton's selfless leadership. Shackleton had something to live for. People needed him. Shackleton had as his occupation, the sweet task of sustaining life.

I doubt there is any job on earth as satisfying as an act of sustaining life. When you sustain life, you are finally doing something really important, something that matters. You are needed.

If a person is needed, they have a well-defined purpose. If they are not needed, they become listless.

It's painful to see the number of Christian young people who feel listless. They have school, and friends, sports and music, and whatever else they can come up with to occupy their time- but without the richness of someone to care for, someone to give life to, they are just passing time.

A solution lies in the three areas the modern family finds burdensome: the elderly, the disabled, and the young.

While America has begun to open her arms toward the disabled, she routinely shelves her elderly, and tries to prevent the young before they come into existence. God designed for each of these groups to be an integral part of somebody's life, to need someone, to count on someone for their daily care, providing fulfillment, purpose, and an opportunity for responsibility and maturity.

For some teenagers, the person who should be needing them may be a lifeline. That sweet nurse at the assisted living center does not need another elderly parent to care for. The nurse has lots of people to care for. Who do our young people have, to care for?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

You might appreciate the testimony of Diane Coleman, of Not Dead Yet, as she appeals before Congress, for the lives of America's disabled. Ms. Coleman, who uses a motorized wheelchair, and regularly uses breathing assistance, has some insider's insight on how low our nation has stooped- as low as deliberately scaring disabled people away from necessary life-sustaining and non-invasive procedures- in our efforts to rid ourselves of any of the burdens associated with caring for our fellow man. This aspect of Diane's testimony should sweep cyberspace like wildfire. Maybe we would realize American disabled are being treated as something less than American citizens. But she made some other points that I had to disagree with.

Ms. Coleman accused the far-right of attempting to rid the nation of disabled slowly, killing them by neglecting to provide health care and services for them. Pardon me, but there's a vast difference between ordering an armed guard to prevent anyone from bringing water to a disabled woman until she dies of a court-ordered thirst, and insisting that the woman's own family, or local charitable community pay for the water. If disabled people are dying because they cannot afford basic and necessary care- that is the fault of their families, their local churches and charitable organizations, and the money-lust of the industries selling care. And each of these entities is already hurting, under the constant drain of the spending habits of Congress.

Don't accuse Congress of not spending enough! Think. Where do they get their money? They take it from the families of the disabled people, from those who would like to donate to charities, and from the industries that provide health care. (And then after it's stripped from the rightful earners and spenders, it's spread thin over an abundance of trivial enterprises, such as research on the effects of bovine flatulence on the ozone layer.)

The other point I take issue with, is the first action that she recommended to Congress- that a high standard be established, for determining whether or not a disabled person actually wanted to refuse care. Now, if "care" is referring to open-heart surgery, or a brain transplant, I understand the importance of the disabled person's desire. But if "care" is referring to being allowed to live- if care is something that, like food, and water, air, or hygiene, denying it would kill anyone, then why would it help to know if the disabled person wanted to refuse it?

In offering the disabled person a choice in this, we would be offering something that cannot justly be given. We would be offering the person assistance in deliberately ending his life (which is not really assistance at all). We would be offering to commit murder, with consent of the victim.

Suicide may be impossible for the law to prosecute, but it is still murder- the murder of ones self. The moment a suicide requires assistance though, prosecution is possible, and necessary. The willful ending of ones own life cannot be conisdered legal if it requires the action or inaction of another human being. The law can never rightly require a person to contribute to the taking of a life.

Other than that, it was a great speech.

If those who came together to support Terri Schiavo's life, wear themselves out rushing one at a time to clamor for one more threatened life, their energy will dwindle and their cause will loose interest. Until our government recognizes that there is no place in our law for the slaughter of innocents, there will only be new cases to protest. If we are going to fight this war, we may as well intend to win it.