Michael Smerconish, noted columnist and political analyst, recounted in his June 5 column, “A meeting with Dr. Kevorkian,” the last hour of “Buddy” Miley’s life in a Michigan motel room with physician Jack Kevorkian.
Buddy Miley, a quadriplegic, had suffered a broken neck in a tragic high school football accident 23 1/2 years earlier, and his family had secretly arranged the meeting to enable him to terminate his life with Kevorkian’s assistance.
Smerconish remarked that “Too bad our laws didn’t and still would not, permit Buddy Miley that level of dignity, [i.e., to hasten his own death], instead of a roadside hotel in the company of strangers.”
Daniel Zamos, in his May 21 letter, “Abortion has been good for us,” applauded Terry Munson’s earlier letter, “The illogic of abortion foes,” adding further that government research demonstrated “a correlation between the advent of abortion and a reduction in crime.” Munson’s thesis was that an omnipotent God wills evil for his failing to prevent rapes, especially ending in pregnancies.
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The May edition of New York magazine contained Michael Wolff’s article, “A Life Worth Ending,” wherein he recounts the misery that he and his family underwent caring for their 84-year-old mother slowly deteriorating with dementia, and lamented, “how death panels ever got such a bad name.” He concluded that, “And it seems all the more savage because there is such a simple fix. Give us the right to make provisions for when we want to go. Give families the ability to make a fair case of enough being enough, of the end’s, de facto, having come.”
These writers propose eliminating evils, moral and those of the natural order, by terminating human life: abortion, suicide, euthanasia, “simple fixes” all, the hallmarks of a culture of death.
Scripture tells us that God created man in his own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26), endowing him with the capacity to know and to love. Man by his very nature then has the ability and obligation to make choices, to act, to say yes to that which he finds (at times mistakenly) to be good and desirable for him as well as for others, or no, to reject (often mistakenly, as well) that which he considers to be detrimental. In other words, man, by his nature, must make moral judgments, and bear the responsibility for those choices and their consequences, the good as well as those that are detrimental.
Evil exists, but not because God wills it. But rather because man often freely chooses to act in a way that is contrary to his own best interests and the well-being of others. A rapist chooses to act immorally, an evil act that may result in an unwanted pregnancy, the conception of a totally innocent human being, made in the image and likeness of a good and loving God. The terminally ill, the physically and mentally incapacitated, young and old, still retain that indelible image and likeness of God which no ailments can ever alter or erase.
If we lived in a perfect world there would be no evil of any kind. But such is not the case, nor will it ever be in this life. Consequently, at times we find it necessary to make moral decisions in circumstances that call upon our God-given capacity to love, even heroically.
The writer lives in Carolina Shores, N.C.