Monday, 24 February 2014

Beware of the Compassionate

From Crisis magazine: “In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness.  And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.”  — Flannery O’Connor
Beware of the compassionate. Catholic author Flannery O’Connor wrote shocking stories. Each tale climaxed at “a moment of grace” when the main character, jolted by the sudden realization of their false “compassionate,” self-serving life, was forced to choose—or reject—truth.  Modern Western cultures have had a jolt. On February 13, the Belgian parliament voted 86 to 44 in favor of a bill that permits euthanasia for very young children.  We can no longer pin a wig over the bald truth of the culture of death... Among few others, Flemish Christian Democratic senator, Els Van Hoof fought the bill.  “They [children] can’t drink before they’re 16. They can’t smoke before they’re 16. They can’t vote before they’re 18. They can’t marry before they’re 18. They can’t be punished because they don’t have the competence. But when they talk about life and death, they can decide? It’s not coherent.”" Read more here.
Pic: Holbein, The Dance of Death

3 comments:

Recovering Lutheran said...

Whatever chain of events led to this vote by the Belgian parliament I don't think I would label it as governing by tenderness. I don't know about the members of parliament who voted for this, but if they are anything like many of America's secular-minded elites they believe themselves to be gods. As gods they claim they have authority over life and death: hence the bill that allows euthanasia for young children and the outright worship of abortion so widespread in the dying democracies of the Western world.

And as gods the secular elite are intolerant of any threat (real or imagined) to their godhood. It is no accident they view Christians as enemies of the State, since Christians hold God's word to be supreme above mere human authority.

Acroamaticus said...

Thanks RL.
The secular elites frame the debate in terms of "compassion" (i.e. O'Connor's "tenderness") and rebuke Christians for lacking same. The irony which O'Connor would point out is that the path of "compassion" actually leads to a less compassionate society as the sick, the aged and the mentally ill are increasingly prevailed upon to opt for death in order not to be a drain on economic resources (especially so in countries with nationalised health care). Thus in countries like the Netherlands and Belgium the elderly fear going in to hospital lest some "compassionate" doctor, blessed by an ethics committee and the family, for whom looking after grandma is such a burden (sarc!), kills them.

Acroamaticus said...

If we were governed by faith, in contrast to our self-serving "compassion", and the fear and love of God guided our ethical decisions, the sick, the aged and the mentally ill would be cared for no matter what the cost. It is not by accident that the first hospitals and hospices were established by Christians.