“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Church of England supports killing the innocent as long as it is "with manifest reluctance"

The headline states,
Outrage as Church backs calls for severely disabled babies to be killed at birth

The article begins...
The Church of England has broken with tradition dogma by calling for doctors to be allowed to let sick newborn babies die.

Some other quotes from the article...
And the Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler, who is the vice chair of the Church of England's Mission and Public Affairs Council, has also argued that the high financial cost of keeping desperately ill babies alive should be a factor in life or death decisions.
Morality is a financial decision.
In the Church of England's contribution to the inquiry, Bishop Butler wrote: "It may in some circumstances be right to choose to withold or withdraw treatment, knowing it will possibly, probably, or even certainly result in death."
The church stressed that it was not saying some lives were not worth living, but said there were "strong proportionate reasons" for "overriding the presupposition that life should be maintained".
The bishop's submission continued: "There may be occasions where, for a Christian, compassion will override the 'rule' that life should inevitably be preserved.

So now we are advocating taking the lives of babies who were able to survive prenatal diagnosis and abortion out of Christian compassion. But we are not saying that their lives are not worth living. This only condemns us further as we are taking lives that are worth living. Why would we as Christians even want to enter into an argument as to whether or not lives are worth protecting, are worth living? We are not going to convince the detractors, and entering into the argument only justifies the argument on some level.
The church said it would support the potentially fatal withdrawal of treatment only if all alternatives had been considered, "so that the possibly lethal act would only be performed with manifest reluctance."
So as my life is being taken, I can smile knowing that those who are killing me are doing so with "manifest reluctance." You see they really don't want to kill me, but their Christian compassion informs them that they are forced to do so, ostensibly because the Spirit of the Lord is whispering in their ear, "Kill the baby. Kill the baby."
The submission says: "The principle of humility asks that members of the medical profession restrain themselves from claiming greater powers to heal than they can deliver.
So saving lives or attempting to do so shows a lack of humility. Using their argument, it is prideful, therefore it is sin to attempt to save the life of a disabled newborn.

There are those in the United States who aspire to be Europe in so many ways, not the least of which is the post-Christian culture there. Now the remnants of the Church are making determinations on the quality of life of disabled newborns. To whom do they think they are appealing with such pronouncements? Will people now begin coming back to the Church of England because of its stand on euthanasia? "I go to that Christian church because they kill the disabled babies!" "That's the kind of Lord that I want to serve!"

We have a choice to make as Christians about people who are experiencing disabilities. To date, we haven't been the greatest advocates for them, for their lives, for their inclusion in fellowship with us. Will we follow the Church of England and take the final step of preventing their lives? Killing disabled newborns is only the tip of the iceberg, and would most definately place us on the proverbial slippery slope. Will the church now come out in favor of physician assisted suicide? After all, it is expensive to support people who experience depression, and wouldn't Christian compassion call for the taking of the lives of the depressed as long as we evidence manifest reluctance. "Manifest reluctance." What a morally sinister phrase that is.

Who will be left to protect the fragile, the devalued, the vulnerable if not the Church of Jesus Christ? Once the Church of Jesus Christ goes over to the side of death, death will come unrestrained to any and all. It will justifiably come to us. Christians themselves will be the target of death. It is not like Christians have not been the target of death in the past. We play into the hands of our adversary, the evil one, when we become what Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger refers to as "deathmakers." Particularly when we kill the innocent, and claim we are killing reluctantly out of Christian compassion.

This is desperately evil and a horrible disgrace.



Becki S said...

I think that the Church is trying so hard to “fit in” and appeal with the world that they lost track of following God’s word. We have gay priests, people that are pro-choice, and many people living together before marriage in the church. Aren’t we supposed to be different from the world? Jesus told us in John 15:19, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” We are not here to please the world or fit in with the world’s standards. We are here to be a light to the world and spread God’s love. People that fit in with the world’s standards are not followers of Jesus.
The Bible warns of many teachers that pretend to be followers of Christ, and I think that this is one. The Bible clearly states in the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not murder.” In fact, Jesus took the commandments even further and stated that thinking about going against the commandments is also a sin. Therefore, this person truly is not a follower of Christ. Jesus wants us to love everyone, and we can not show love through “reluctance” murder. Jesus went out of his way to heal, preach, and love the disabled, and this is what the Church should be doing. The church needs to stop trying to please people and start pleasing God.

Mark said...

This is a horrifying idea. You are exactly right to state that the churches position here is the peak of an extremely slippery slope, a drop off into the abyss, more likely. When we equate end of life issues with financial concerns we make decisions that are not ours to make.
Sorry Gramma', we love you, but...

JESSIELUV2004 said...

I think that this type of thinking is the very thing that is destroying our society. Just recently during an in class discussion one of my students suggested that society euthanize all individuals who are disabled. He based his idea on the theory that individual with disabilities would live nothing more than a life of suffering. I explained to him that each person is special and that every life is important. I was very upset that a person so young (16) would have an idea like that. Obviously these ideas are not isolated and it alarms me that a church would advocate the destruction of one of the worlds most pure and innocent populations: babies. The interesting thing about the student who made the comment is that he is considered disabled, and for that reason is in special education. He did not realize that he would be part of the population that would be euthanized. I did not point it out, but it goes to show that many not just some will be affected by the endorsement of such a non-Christian idea.

impossibleape said...

It is a bitterly hard world,
one that is difficult to reconcile with our theology of God's goodness and power

suffering must be purposeful but it is not a welcome guest in any house

it comes unbidden and stays even when commanded to leave

I have known families whose children were born in agony, lived to wail in apparent torment for a few days or weeks and then die.

I suppose most such infants are anthestized in some way but many(particularity in poor countries will not be.)

It is not an easy question. I have no easy answer.

When all is done in Love then we must leave judgement to God.

'There is no mystery so great as misery.'
The Happy Prince

Anonymous said...

This is a horrible thing the church is doing. Killing babies with disabilities is murder. Only God knows when it's our time to be called home. In England, the church kills disabled babies. Here in this country, when a women gets pregnant over the age of 35 or higher, there is a test that is taken called anmiocenteous. This test detects deformities in the fetus. This test is given in between 15-18weeks. This is the time frame because 15 weeks the baby is strong enough to survive the test and if deformities are detected, it is enough time for the mohter or couple to decide to abort or not. This is not done by the church but sin is sin. I had this test done only because my husband and I wanted to know what we were in for if defects were detected. Abortion was never an option. So in a way, the same thing is happening here. It's being done before the baby is born. Sin is Sin. Murder is Murder. We can not compromise the word of God. We can change what his word says. We all will have to answer to God one day. What will those people say? What will you say?

Anonymous said...

Well, my initial thoughts were of anger and, well, outrage. My thoughts come from my religious beliefs which are appropriate because the article referred to other members of my religion. Having calmed down now, I see that the article used the words sick and disabled interchangeably.

First of all, 'sick'- how sick? Is it a case that the child is so sick that he/she will die anyway and medical treatment will only cause undue suffering?

Or is it that the child is very sick but would benefit from treatment? Or is it the case that the child is very sick and would benefit from treatment but have severe disabilities?

Or is it that the child is simply born with severe disabilities?

I know there are disagreements on when life begins. I believe it is at conception, others feel it is at or near birth. Either way, whenever it begins, life is sacred, as we were created in the image of God.

Therefore, allowing a child to die is serious. More than that, it is murder. Whether the child is very sick or has severe disabilities, God knew what He was doing in allowing this child to be born. Who are we to judge that because he or she is sick or has disabilities that he or she will have a poor quality of life. Afterall, does Jesus not say that God causes all things work for good for those who are in Him?

Even if she/he were to have a poor quality of life, would it not be more appropriate to improve her/his life rather than take it? At a recent conference I attended, Joni Earikson Tada commented about how the Church is so afraid of suffering, but the Bible promises that we will suffer. She further stated that fear and hatred of suffering leads to fear and hatred of those who suffer.

Perhaps, the only exception that there may be was the first example, that the child is so sick that he/she will die whatever is done and treatment would only prolong undue suffering. Then, it should be the parents' decision, after prayerful consideration, as God put that child in their hands, not the doctors', whether or not to allow treatment.

Furthermore, the idea that the Bishop interviewed would consider cost an issue- that's outrageous. There was a mandate on the Hebrews to care for the poor and the widowed and the foreigners in the Old Testament's time. Jesus further expanded on this to include those with disabilities.

In Luke 14, He talks about humility and how not to put yourself in the seat of honor. He instructs us, the Church, to go out into the streets and gather the poor and the crippled and the lame. We are to include them at the table.

Never in the Bible does God condone nor order the killing of infants born with disabilities or deformaties, though the cultures around Hebresws in Bible times were doing so. In fact there is a story of a judge or someone important in Israel taking in a child who had been abandoned and left to die because he was born with a disability.

The Bible only talks about comforting, caring for, and including those who are sick and disabled. I Thessalonians 5:14 says, "...comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient with all men."

We in modern times like to create our own ethics based on human logic and thought and debates, as well as our fallible ideas of what compassion and pity really are. The Church of England appears to have gotten caught up in the world's debate. I think they are being deceived.

-Julie R.
Oklahoma City, OK

Anonymous said...

This worldview is a frightening example of disregarding the sixth commandment of God; you must not commit murder. This commandment is regarded on a daily basis by many, but for the church to give
reluctant permission to terminate life is appalling.

Fortunately or maybe not so fortunely, is that God is a God who allows choices for us to make. Many problems arise within our own life, or within the church, when we try to solve the problems by our own means and capabilities, without focusing on what God's Will is.

God is the beginning and the end. He creates life, He knows us in our mother's womb; and He knows our last day on earth. It is God who desigs a child to be born with disability, or for a person in their later life to develop one.
These disabilities were formed so that God's glory could be revealed.
I would think that the church understands this, but according to the article it does not.

God knows the future events of the church and of each individual's life. The best reaction we have as sincere followers of Christ, is to pray earnestly for God's Will to be done throughout the earth and remain commited to seeking and improving our own personal relationship with him.

Anonymous said...

I think it is appalling that any church would come out and say that they condone the killing of innocent lives because they might end up costing the state too much money. What is our world coming to? You would think that the church would try to be a moral beacon in a debase society. We need to have some light in our darkness. I thought that the church was charged with protecting life and making God the decider in who lives and who dies. I think that it is sad that our society today thinks so much more about money than about human life. That is what this is truly coming down to. It is no more a question or right or wrong, but of dollars and cents. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened to my little preemie nephew who only weighed 2lbs 3oz. at birth. His parents where told that he could have developmental and physical disabilities. Would they have deemed him too expensive to save? My brother calls him their million dollar baby. So, they probably would have decided that it was with “manifest reluctance” that his life be ended. He is now a healthy, happy 2 year old boy who has no physical disabilities and is developmentally ahead of children his age. So, who are we to decide? We need to step back from playing God and let God be God.

Anonymous said...

I agree, who is the church to decide who is worthy of life? What next the "Ugly" people, or how about those with the "fat" gene. Do they deserve to live? What about people of different colors or faiths? Does your family have a problem with drugs? Maybe we should end your blood line. I believe the only person capable of making these decisions is the God that made us. The fact that it was suggusted by the church makes is disgraceful.