“We all end up dead, it’s just a question of how and why” – William Wallace, Braveheart
We noted a story a while back about Joseph Maraachli, the thirteen month old terminally ill Canadian boy whose parents were trying desperately to prolong the child’s life and allow him to die at home surrounded by friends and family. Unfortunately, the death panels in Canada’s socialist medical system had deemed that the child’s life was not worth saving, and that the child’s feeding tube was to be removed so he could starve to death (actually choke to death given his inability to swallow).
In a ray of hope, an American group called Priests for Life joined the fight and paid to have the child transferred to a St. Louis hospital (story here). Well done, brothers, well done.
Will you be free today?
Are you free to get up in the morning and go to work, to produce something? (Note that I didn’t ask if you “have a job” – just whether you are free to go out and produce.) Are you free to consume what you have produced? Are you free to barter your production with that of others? Are you free to store the things you have made but neither consumed nor bartered – to consume them later? Are you free to use this freedom to benefit someone other than yourself?
In America, we still have this freedom – for now. We still have the freedom to reach into our pockets and pull out money to extend the life of another person, regardless of the value ascribed to it by the death panels – for now.
The collectivist, progressive mindset views this all as a cost-benefit analysis (and perhaps we do too – but our definition of benefit differs). Is this life worth saving? That depends. Is death imminent? Is there a chance that this life will be productive in the future? (Even using a broad definition of “productive” to possibly include “sharing wisdom”?) If the answer to these is “no” the collectivist wonders why should we spend everybody’s production to save what cannot return the favor. (Perhaps they shouldn’t be deciding how to spend everyone’s productive capacities in the first place – we are still free, right?)
The Christian view is far different. Life is precious, it is valuable, and its value is inherent. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights” – is life a gift from God? Is your life valuable? “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” – Genesis 1:27. The Bible says man was created in God’s image – think that is a life with value?
We defend life because it has value. We defend life out of respect for its gift. We defend life to honor and worship our Maker. That is why we defend life.
We don’t force others to join our fight – we respect their freedom as well. If others choose to rebel against the will of God, so be it – we respect His authority and reservation of judgment to Himself. We will not intervene beyond our words of caution and our demonstration of His love. “choose you this day whom ye will serve” – Joshua 24:15 (KJV).
As for the diagnosis – it is always the same. People die. There’s no way around it. (“It’s just a question of how and why.”) Joseph Maraachli will die. Joseph Maraachli, who was born for a wondrous and awesome purpose that none of us here are able to comprehend, will die. So will the rest of us.
What will we choose to do with the days given? Will we worship our Creator, trust in Him, keep faith with His promises and his majestic gospel? Will we look to a city “whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:10)?
And what of the call to “open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov 31:9)? The Priests for Life have chosen that road quite well; and to them we say again, well done, brothers, well done.