Needed – a sense of shared humanity

I once watched the boys from a local church school using a lad of the right age to hire a video displaying very explicit sex, for a lunchtime viewing. Their mums were presumably at work, saving up for that en suite. And that is something I cannot understand: why would modern Western man want a toilet right next to his bed? The world at large places the toilet where it belongs.

The influence of the churches about alcohol drinking times and places is finished. This, too, took a while. But contraception and abortion are still taboo, the latter unlawful, as with voluntary euthanasia. Yet the community feels otherwise, according to public surveys. In addition, I am aware, from personal contact with many young people, that young and old Australians pay little or no attention to strictures against contraception and abortion.

The definitive position taken by the churches to justify the illegitimate use (by some) of that emotive word ‘killing’ in relation to voluntary euthanasia bothers not the free man in the street and his woman. And there are lots of these about, and they are on the increase. Ironically, it is the less educated who, contrary to earlier generations, are ignoring such strictures. Religion used to be for the poor, but not anymore.

When it comes to voluntary euthanasia, the blinkered really start frothing at the mouth. Since euthanasia is first defined by them as killing, the word voluntary makes no difference. An editorial in a major newspaper, generally considered to be of a reasonably high standard, was recently guilty of this semantic and logical fault. More evidence of brainwashing?

However, a very, very large majority (more than seventy-five per cent) of Australians are reportedly in favour of voluntary euthanasia, according to recent surveys. Those of us who have sat by and watched someone close to us go through hell, without any hope whatsoever of surviving, and receiving inadequate relief from pain, and suffering the professional medical skills and high technology instrumentation being applied willy-nilly, will respond with compassion.

But not those willing to sit by the side of such sufferers, presumably chanting, “A life is a life, is a life, is a life” ad nauseam, and “Only God gives life, therefore only God takes life” ad nauseam, and then probably going home to a nice dinner. I cannot think of anything more offensive to God. It is also obscene. Has not the patient, in such a position, the right to decide that enough is enough; at minimum, why not let the patient die with dignity?

Ah, no, one cannot have that. Apparently, God gave some of these people the right to make vital decisions on our behalf; like the paramedic, who arrives twenty minutes after a man’s death, thumps his heart into activity, drops the patient into a hospital, and goes home to his dinner. But now we have a brain-dead vegetable in a hospital bed forever! God’s will? Did God authorise this paramedic to give life to a dead man? He had to try, said a friend to me. That’s also what a surgeon said to my wife when explaining why he kept cutting up her sister for week after week, when she was clearly dying. How do we protect ourselves from such people and their priests?

Fortunately, a sense of humanity, compassion rather than rules, and justice and fairness rather than strict law, have crept into the soul of the community; this was partly through our offspring wishing to think and act for themselves, partly because so many of us encouraged, indeed insisted upon, independent and clear thought and action by them, and partly through a sea-change in the community’s need for freedom from the chains of an illiberal, prejudiced, and fearful heritage.

(The above extracts from my first memoir ‘Destiny Will Out,’ raise some crucial questions about freedom from the religiosity of others, especially a minority of the population. By what right can they insist that dogma from their faith is binding upon all others in the nation? Isn’t this what some mullahs of Mohammed asking today in Australia?

More importantly, on what legal basis have our politicians imposed their religious values upon the whole population? Occasionally, a ‘conscience vote’ is permitted as a political safety valve; but that only permits politicians to vote their own personal religious beliefs, not that of their electors. They need to respond to the following questions.

Do circumcised Jews insist that all others be circumcised? Does a devout Muslim deny non-Muslims the right to eat pork? Have Hindus ever denied anyone the right to eat beef? How then can a Christian denied contraception by his church insist that non-Christians also be so denied? When about 82% of the Australians sampled seek voluntary euthanasia, by what authority can their so-called representative government then deny them that right? Do those elected parliamentary representatives responsible for this denial pray to a god who is different from the one and only universal Creator we accept as God?

This is one of the reasons I consider Western democracy to be a dud. Is there something better? Of course there is! The key lies in the word representation. Are not our politicians required to represent the views of voters, those who elected them? So, are we living in a concealed ‘command’ society like that of communist nations?)