Assisted Suicide (a letter sent to CT State Senator Ed Meyer)

March 22, 2013

February 12, 2013

Senator Ed Meyer
Legislative Office Building
Room 3200
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Dear Senator Meyer,

I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirit.  I write to raise a matter of concern regarding a piece of legislation you are promoting that would legalize assisted suicide.

Personally, both here and in Australia, I have worked closely with the dying for over 30 years.  It is through this direct experience with patients and their families that I find the intent, and the loose, open-ended language of Proposed Bill No. 48 incredibly mystifying and profoundly disturbing.

Fundamentally different from Living Wills, the practice of assisted suicide definitively sets in stone a moment that is better left to emerge on its own.  This is not an endeavor that our government should initiate, endorse or enable.  Indeed, death has its own built-in inertia, and suicide is not something for which we should actively offer assistance.

Professionally, I can attest, seeing time and time again, that the dynamics and processes incumbent in dying consistently crystallize the beauty of living, especially for those who remain.  I’ve watched as parents have imparted definitively enduring blessing upon their children, and children have received defining empowerment for life.  Similarly crucial engagements also occur with wider family, friends, acquaintances and care-givers.

Introducing undefined notions of suffering, ostensibly sustaining measures like yours, in concert with the common suggestion that people’s objections are primarily religious, are approaches based in fundamental ignorance — relying upon that same lack of awareness to gain broader support.  They set up false impressions and premises that are far afield of the truth.  Proposed Bill No. 48 is a sad societal mistake, at best, whether or not it is religiously sound.

As predominantly displayed daily, in hospitals and in hospice, apart from incompetence, the dying need not suffer at all, or perish without dignity.  Therefore, assisted suicide simply suspends natural courses as it curtails compassion, only sparing people breath and life.  The government legislatively permitting such an approach, while expedient in saving some money, squanders our decency.

Surely we should be about protecting the dying and enabling the living.  Such engagement will keep us all abundantly busy, and may well produce results likely to honor the elemental actuality of death, specifically because it enhances the healthy pursuit of life.

Sincerely,

Rev. Bill Keane

(note to the reader:  Proposed Bill No. 48 is now House Bill 6645, even more chilling in full expression.  And, I never received a response from the good Senator…)


God & Evil

March 11, 2013

It is perhaps a little disconcerting to come to the awareness that God allows evil.  For some, this is completely surprising, revolting and repulsive!

Yet, for Christians familiar with the Passion accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it is plainly obvious that very bad people successfully conspire to put the Holy and Eternal Son of God to a painful, horrible death.  While Jesus saw this coming, and perfectly predicted this eventuality, when confronted with this reality, his apostles vehemently protested.  Then, as Calvary crystallized on the horizon, they completely absconded and quickly extricated themselves from any connection with the Christ and His Cross.

Sometimes, in the journey of life, when history unfolds, we too occupy the pews, and say the prayers, but are no more reliable on the path.  When the darkness seems to blot out our neighborhood perception of the light, we preserve our triumphalist vision of faith, either at the expense of victims, or hastily making curious excuses for God that wind up creating more questions than supplying sufficient answers.

The fact is that free human beings can do some truly inhuman things.  They can, they have, they do, and they will.  We can credit Satan, but this just kicks the can of blame down the road.  All things happen under the power of God, and within His passive will, sin is clearly allowed.

Yet, in weakness and yes, even in death, a death on a Cross, sin is redeemed.  That too is a fact, and it is the sum total of the Christian belief.  Alas, the Cross is the Creed.

God made no one do anything on Good Friday.  Whether inspired by evil or not, people enacted depravity of the worst order, as all of Jesus’ disciples must have felt salvation of any kind was an impossibly decomposed concept and an incredibly cruel dream.

Still, the story goes, that when God came to his people, and his own progeny put him to an excruciating end, it turned out to be a whole new beginning, for God had intended all along to allow this tragedy, and use it to establish eternal life.

Mull it over.  That, my friends, is power.

It is also the Gospel, whether broadly and boldly understood or proximately and painfully encountered.  It is the Good News, repugnant when innocent people suffer, but permanently redemptive when those who suffer unto death are the first to be fully saved, unto eternal life.


Hugo is gone

March 6, 2013

As a Venezuelan born United States citizen, I took a tad more special note on the news that Hugo Chavez is dead.

The man plundered the country as he set the impoverished against the wealthy, turning oil-rich Venezuela into the latest emerging 3rd world nation.

Still, for some, when it comes to inflicted Socialism, any and all abuses of power are OK.

Chavez was a real genius, for sure!  By lowering the standards of everyone in the country, he made all people more equal.

Except himself.

Filthy rich as they are, while it’s not totally amazing, it is completely informative that the likes of Oliver Stone and Sean Penn still sing Hugo’s praise.

You see, they are above the masses.  They make films and therefore know what’s best for others, even though they would scarcely tolerate massive, maniacal and mandatory mediocrity enforced upon themselves.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/05/3268749/the-plundering-legacy-of-hugo.html