Letter to the Editor: People cling to life, fight to survive
Once again letter writer Gene Rigelon does Daily readers a disservice. His reference to Hemlock Society growth misses an obvious point. Dedicated to the right to die, Hemlock increases its membership by the addition of the living. An increase in those who believe people have an inherent right to die would seem to suggest there arenÂ”t many exercising that choice.
Of course, the default position for Rigelon and his sympathizers is to blame the right to life Christians, leaving the impression that believers take their position in order to deny him an un-exercised right. In fact, they honor Christ’Â’s command to care for the sick. Rigelon can freely disagree with Christian positions on abortion and suicide but to ignore the immeasurable good wrought by faithfulness to that command smacks of intolerance. A mere momentÂ”s reflection unveils numerous examples of how life passion has saved and relieved the suffering of millions.
Consider St. Jude ChildrenÂ”s Hospital founded by Catholic entertainer Danny Thomas, or the American Red Cross. DonÂ”t overlook World Vision, a Christian organization supported by millions of non-Christians because of the obvious good they do in helping the worldÂ”s poor. LetÂ”s also mention the doctors laying down their lives in Ebola-ravaged West Africa, many of whom are committed Christians.
Yet a larger issue than intolerance looms. Why is our culture increasingly bent on promoting causes for the cause sake? Why do we fight for a right that in most of the worldÂ”s history people have resisted? Humans in the most horrific circumstances cling to life, and fight to survive. People in gulagÂ’s and concentration camps then and those trapped in sex trafficking now aren’Â’t pleading for the right to die, they’Â’re pleading for the right to hope, to believe. The innate, internal will to survive is a good thing.
Perhaps the increase of membership in Hemlock-like groups rises not from the sense of a right denied but from overwhelming hopelessness.
A hopelessness aided by the message do the Â“rightÂ” thing — end it all. Surely a nation founded on the Â”right to lifeÂ’ can provide a better message.
William Shifflett, Edinburg
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