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A common debate in ethics these days concerns the matter of
euthanasia. Our liberal thinkers are sure that some of us are not
worth keeping alive. They base this judgment on a number of things;
here's a small sample:
think that mirror age itself should qualify you for euthanasia.
After all, you've been on this planet for 70 years; you're using up
its natural resources, and are taking up space that could be
occupied by other people. Just being old is grounds for a death
more commonly some think that sickness should determine death. This
presumes, of course, that the doctors know in advance who's going to
make it and who's not. The idea here is that we prevent old people
from squandering money on medical care that does very little to
lengthen their lives. (You knew the money was going to come into
this, didn't you?)
insidious might be this: you are no longer useful. If you can't hold
down gainful employment, what good are you?
It should come as no surprise to you that the Christian view is
entirely opposed to this. We may take these reasons and answer
Remember when you were a little kid and you do, "red and yellow,
black and white, they are precious in his sight?" Are you ever too
old to be precious in his sight?
sick? Do we really have the privilege, morally, to determine the
date and time of our own death? The practical difficulty exists here
too; just who gets to decide that you are too sick? Your doctor? The
man from the insurance agency?
longer useful? Useful as what: computer programmer or grandmother?
The root of the problem is our view of human nature. Good liberals
see human beings as just a smarter ape. We see the body as the
Temple of the Holy Spirit. From that perspective we may raise some
objections to euthanasia:
of the deathbed conversion experience? Would you deprive a human
being of the opportunity to go to heaven because you are in a hurry
to have him die?
Indeed, do we dare to deprive death of its meaning? Is it not to
part of the human experience? It is appointed unto man once to die,
then the judgment. Death is often a fertile experience in mending
relations and bringing forth forgiveness.
The example is clear to the Christian: it is the death of Christ.
He did not seek an easy way out; he did not seek to avoid death or
to meet it on his own terms. He participated on the terms of a
common human being.
As we celebrate communion today we need to remember what our Lord
taught us these symbols are to mean. The bread represents his body
nailed to the cross; the wine his blood shed for us. Our Lord
embraced death to the fullest. He did this so that we might live.