The nature of sin was crystallized for me some time ago when I was reading Father Elijah, and the title character said that all sin was the same at its root: the act of taking a luminous being, beloved by God, and turning it into an object.
This is what has been done to Terry Schiavo. Her husband and the courts have said that sheís not a person, but an unfeeling lump of flesh, and so it is better to kill her. It saddens me, but I recognize it as part of the process of killing someone. Anyone who deliberately kills anyone, whether a prosecutor calling for the death penalty, a criminal commiting murder, or a government calling for genocide, has to convince themselves that what theyíre killing isnít a person.
I donít want to debate her husbandís behavior, or that of the judge. Iím more interested in the way our society is handling it.
On the one hand, we are less and less willing to impose the death penalty. It seems wrong to us, for the state to kill people when it outlaws that behavior for everyone else.
On the other, we are ever more tolerant of killing for our convenience. The Nationalist Socialist eugenics program was not merely race-based. They also sought to eliminate the mentally retarded, homosexuals, and the physically deformed and handicapped. About one abortion in a hundred is performed for the safety of the mother. And Dr. Jack Kevorkian believes we are better off without the terminally ill.
It is this trend, this continually increasing acceptance of the idea that the inconvenient are better off dead, which upsets and revolts me. This is evil. I really donít see any other way to say or see it.
Why are we tolerating this point of view? How can we? Many commentators will say it is because we have dismissed all concepts of good and evil as irrelevant and arbitrary. But they are neither. Good and evil are what they are because our society functions better when we behave in a good manner, and the more evil that is done, the worse things get. Their effect upon society makes them relevant and the empirical evidence of it shows that they are not arbitrary.
But some will say that we donít really know anything at all and that each individualís experience is unique and not applicable to anyone elseís. But if thatís the case, why do we even have newspapers? How can we have any sort of society, if we canít even have anything in common?
But I digress, and perhaps even ramble. We should -- MUST -- have a society which protects life at every turn, instead of one that seeks only to keep the ones we like.