The world is officially losing its mind. At least we are here in the United States of America (and probably most other Western cultures as well).
California became the fifth State this week to pass a Right To Die law. For some reason there are those that seem rather gleeful about this. This law supposedly gives those that are terminally ill the choice to end their own lives through doctor supplied drugs.
What it does, in reality, is cheapens life. Forty-three years ago there were those here in the U.S.A. that decried the legalization of abortion predicting that it would lead to new forms of legalized, state sponsored deaths. And here we have their predictions coming true.
Rush Limbaugh made this very case in his1992 book The Way Things Ought To Be. Rush writes:
“But I am also pro-life because I am a human being who feels a sense of duty to civilization. I think it is incumbent upon us all to be concerned about the values we transfer to succeeding generations. When we take actions that cheapen life, we are contributing to the overall decline in society’s moral values.”
(Limbaugh, Rush, “The Way Things Ought To Be“, New York, Pocket Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-671-75145-X, pg. 50)
Rush goes on to write:
“It’s not just abortion that is eroding our respect for human life. There’s also death at the other end of the spectrum. Look at the right-to-die movement. They’re not calling for a right to die, they’re mostly calling for a right to kill.”
(Limbaugh, Rush, “The Way Things Ought To Be“, New York, Pocket Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-671-75145-X, pg. 59)
At the time Rush wrote those words, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was practicing his physician assisted suicides in Michigan. Rush addresses his work in the chapter of his book I have referenced. Dr. Kevorkian actually was convicted in 1999 of Second Degree Homicide and served 8 years in prison for that conviction.
It is amazing that just 16 short years ago, States were prosecuting and convicting those engaged in this type of behavior and yet today they are signing that very behavior into law. How quickly a society can change.
These laws presume to offer you a right (definition #19). A right to die. My first question would be: Why in the world would you want such a right? I have never wanted a right to die. I want a right to live. And to live free with the pursuit of happiness. To be all that God has made me to be. It used to be that we made SciFi movies about people who were terminally ill and how they would freeze themselves or have their bodies put into some type of stasis so that years into the future when medicine had advanced they could be revived and cured. Today we simply tell them they have the right to take some life ending drugs.
But my second question is: Where in the world did this right come from? I’ve talked about rights on this Blog in the past (see my posts on: Where Do YOUR Rights Come From? as well as: Chasing After Rights). Rights come from somewhere. That is they are granted by some entity. The founding fathers of this country believed there were certain inalienable rights that were granted by God. And among those were Life. I don’t think that God, who has granted each and every human an inalienable right to life, has suddenly granted everyone a right to die. So where did this right come from, if not from God?
And the only possible answer is it came from society. It came from us. And if society is in the business of granting rights, we have gone down a very slippery slope indeed. Why do those in physical pain and suffering get to be granted a special right and those in emotional pain and suffering do not? I’m going to cry foul here and tell you all about my anguish over the financial disparity between myself and Bill Gates. I demand the right of financial equality. It is germane to my sanity and good health. But there is no such right. Because God never granted it, and society could never achieve it even if it wanted to grant it.
The people that “granted” this (so-called) right never had the authority to grant such a right to begin with. They are playing god and are only feeding their own warped egotistical existence.
My biggest problem with the (so-called) Right To Die is the same thing Rush Limbaugh identified 23 years ago. It cheapens life. And this is because I actually do have a Theology (something most of the world lacks).
If you are a Creationist, then you have to believe that life was created. Depending on your particular theology, you might even go so far as to say that life is a gift from God.
My particular religion teaches that God intended for life to be abundant and joyful. However because sin entered into the world it brought death and destruction. Death as a consequence of sin, is the very antithesis of life. The former is a gift, the latter is a curse.
Because of my Theology, I actually cringe whenever I encounter any type of mercy killing or humane killing. Even with animals or pets. My problem is that even putting an animal out of its suffering (as if that animal doesn’t want to live) is a hardening of our hearts. It is a practice that makes it easier for us to then see our way to extending the same practice to our fellow humans.
This is not going to sit well with most of you (actually the vast majority of the world) – but the pain and suffering of death actually AMPLIFIES the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made upon the Cross. It is because I abhor death with such great disdain that I appreciate the Cross all the more. It is because I understand the great sin curse of death that I come to understand Grace all the more. It is in the pain and suffering that we learn just how much as been overcome.
“Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!”
Paul of Tarsus understood this when he wrote:
“54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” (1 Corinthians 15″54-56)
Paul understood the sting of death. And Paul understood the great price that had been paid. He understood death was the consequence of sin and that Jesus Christ had defeated it once and for all and had walked out of the grave victorious in Life!
So do you have a right to die? I sincerely hope not. I hope you have a hope to live! And I trust that hope is found in the one who was victorious over the grave. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.