Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The popularization of euthanasia

The amount of Terri Schiavo-like euthanasia cases is growing. The media is giving spotlight attention and rave reviews to the "courageous" and "agonizing" decisions parents, doctors, courts, children, guardians, caregivers and others are making to murder these disabled or terminally ill individuals. Another case was brought to my attention today, and it is truly heartbreaking: the case of Dylan, a 5-year old child with severe Cerebral Palsy from a stroke that he suffered since before his birth. The article was careful not to mention his age, but only the amount of time he was "one this earth." The article was also careful to dehumanize him throughout his life simply based on his physical disabilities. The only point of humanizing the situation was highlighting the conflicting emotions of his parents while the decided to starve him to death, which the story claimed as "discontinuing life support."

Another point that should be made about the article is the way it highlights the "spiritual battle" that the parents suffered in deciding to starve their child. They even met with their pastor, Pastor Buddy, in order to discuss the situation, and Pastor Buddy proceeded to bless their lethal decision. This is eerily similar to the tactics used by the birth control movement as they sought to gain widespread acceptance of birth control use: they targeted religious leadership in all denominations seeking their divine blessing for their sin in order to better market it to the "Average Joe."

In the beginning of the birth control movement in the 1920s, Margaret Sanger and her allies sought with fervor the endorsement of birth control by religious leaders. And it worked, with the exception to the Catholic Church. In the mist of the raging battles over the legitimacy or illegitimacy of birth control, Pope Pius XI wrote for his landmark encyclical Casti Connubii. Sanger, of course went so far as to criticize Pope Pius under the public urgings of several major media outlets. In her response, she wrote:

The Pope made it perfectly plain that Catholics are expected to give up health, happiness and life itself while making every other conceivable sacrifice rather than to have dominion over nature's process of procreation. His letter denies any claims of poverty, sickness or other hindrances to proper child rearing that are valid reasons for the scientific limitation of offspring. As for the breeding of criminal, diseased, feeble-minded and insane classes, the Pope opposes every method of control except that of suggesting to these unfortunate people to please do not do it any more…

On must deplore the fact that Pope Puis should have chosen this tie of the world's distress from unemployment, poverty and economic maladjustment to advertise doctrines and advise conduct which can only tend to aggravate that distress…

Assume for the sake of argument that God does not want an increasing number of worshipers of the Catholic faith, does he want the throng to include an increasing number of feeble-minded, insane, criminal and diseased worshipers?

Sanger also condemned the use of periodic abstinence (under which NFP falls) as not being a method of birth control. She purports that because birth control is not abortion (chemical abortifacients were not developed at this time, 1931), then the Pope ought not compare the two. (It is also noteworthy to mention that Sanger was baptized and raised Catholic before she abandoned the Church to embark on her birth control crusade.)

She has quite some audacity to criticize the Pope! All movements of persistent sin, especially sexual sin and sins surrounding the value of human life strive to decriminalize the sins in the eyes of the Church and believers in order to spread their agenda. Most people are not wiling to persist in sin, but with the blessing of a church or religious leader, these sins create cataracts over the eyes of people, causing them to be blind to their own grievous faults.

And thus the euthanasia movement teamed up with the mainstream media continue to persist in winning the hearts and minds of the "Average Joe" to the euthanasia cause by highlighting renegade spiritual leaders and denominations.

The above quote from Margaret Sanger is taken from Blessed are the Barren by Robert Marshall and Charles Donovan. This book is available from Ignatius Press and was published in 1991. Please see page 136 for the quoted text. That entire chapter, chapter five, highlights "Planned Parenthood competing with religion."

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