Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Attitude of Life

I have been disappointed a lot this year about how many evangelicals have an ingrained wrong attitude about life. South Dakota this year voted down an abortion ban partly because it did not have exceptions for rape and incest. As if the answer to being raped is murdering an innocent, many evangelicals went to the polls and voted against the ban. A local pastor wrote an article encouraging people to vote against the ban. She thought it was a roll back of human rights. Protecting life has now become a rolling back of rights. Embryonic stem cell research is another subject where the attitude seems to be in favor of death rather than life. Some polls suggest as many as two-thirds of Americans support Embryonic stem cell research. I like Michael J. Fox, and I think his acting is great. I also wish he did not suffer from his illness, but what he is advocating is extraordinarily selfish. He is asking the Federal government (that is you and me when it comes to paying bills) to murder hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people so that he might live a little longer and a little better, and maybe make another TV show or two. That is not an attitude of life, yet considering the polls and the election in Missouri some professing believers share his strange vision of the world. But let us not just talk of abortion, the attitude is worse in treatment of senior citizens. How many times do professing believers make the decision to stop medical treatment of their elderly parents? After all why bother getting a doctor’s opinion or assessment when the person is 89! So the elderly parent gets a cold or some other disease that can be treated with penicillin and fluid, and they slowly die because medical treatment is withheld. This is especially true in those who suffered strokes or have Alzheimers because they are ‘suffering so much.’ People in Terri Schiavo’s condition do not have a chance because why bother treating someone who needs food and water to live. It happens disturbingly often. Have we become so influenced by the culture of death that we no longer have a biblical view of life? The oft-quoted verse ‘to live is Christ and to die is gain’ is misused. This is not saying we should end our lives so we can gain. Not at all! This verse is also saying to us, ‘to live is Christ.’ Did Christ live a life free from pain and suffering? No! Our life then we can expect to have suffering and pain and trials and temptations and all sorts of non-pleasant things. Does this make our life worthless because we suffer more at 89 than we do at 29? I would hope all would answer no. It is the same soul, the same person, the same image of God. So why do we sit back and let men and women die from diseases at 89 that we would treat with a shot and rest at 29? The only answer I can come up with is that we do not have an attitude of life. May God send one on me, His church, and this nation.


angelsinger64 said...

Let me just state something Lee, You've never gone through anything like what Michael J Fox is going through, and you've never had to watch one of your loved ones go through it either. You're whole perspective changes, trust me. I watched my father regress all of my life, I had to start caring for him when I was 14, and had to fully take care of him when I was 15. Let me tell you it's so hard to watch someone you love so much suffer so greatly. By the time he died, he maybe weighed 70 lbs, you could see every bone in his body...So tell me, if you saw your mom or dad, or even your wife going through something like that, what would you do? You would try all the snake oils and such at first, grasping at all hope, and then when you see it not working, you wish for them to die. To "stop suffering" as you so sarcastically put it.
You don't even know how hard it was for me the day he died not to call 911, to just wait for 30 minutes, being alone with him, trying to decide what to do. Finally calling my mom, calling the coroner, the police, etc.
Would you not agree in Terry Schaivo's case, that granting her heaven is so much better than keeping her trapped here on this earth?
I seriously don't understand how you can sit there and judge these people when you've never even been close to what they feel on a daily basis! I really wish you never have to

Lee said...

You are right that I have never gone through anything like Michael J. Fox has. On that one point you are right. But, hopefully our experiences are not the final judge of our beliefs.
As for your father, I am sorry. I do not know all the details, so I will not commment on it. I do want to point out that I am not saying that people must be kept alive no matter what. I am not saying that. There is also a time when God sends death, medical treatments have been exhausted, no hope for recovery exists, and death should be accepted. What I am saying is that too many people today think old age is something from which we should be 'released'.
I do not agree that Terry Schaivo was trapped on earth and that death was good option for her. All she needed to live was food and water. Food and water. That is not asking a lot. It took her 13 days to dehydrate. 13 is a long time.
I would point out a verse in Job 2. After Job has become penniless, childless, and is suffering for boils over his entire body that keeps him in pain all day his wife suggests death as a release for him. He replies, "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" This is the attitude I pray for in my life.

angelsinger64 said...

you're right in the fact that people do see older adults as "expendible" and it is a very sad thing to see. I personally think that we should take care of our elders as they once took care of us...
We'll just have to agree to disagree on the Terri Schaivo case because in all honesty, we both don't know the whole story.

...and there is no need for you to apologize about my father. I was just using it as an example, not trying to gain sympathy, but thank you anyway. However, you never did answer me about the Kavorkian thing.