on Saturday, 15 September 2007 at 7.04 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
The full interview, by Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson is available here: ‘Is our society broken? Yes, I think it is’.
News report: Archbishop: Pushy parents damaging children
Leader: A commonsense cleric
I agree with Rowan that abortions should not be considered one of many suitable forms of contraception. While some women might feel the need to abort, it should be seen as an act of desperation, not a routine medical practice. That desperation might come about through unsolicited non-consenting unprotected sex or dire unexpected health complications. But it is a life, and there should be grief and regret. Similarly, I agree with Rowan about “pushy” parents. I’m not sure it is the best word, but I can’t think of a better one. My observations of many children with problems are that… Read more »
“I refuse to watch shows such as Big Brother or Survivor as a core aim is to cause souls to “crack” so that observers can gloat.” The irony about ‘Survivor’ is that in real life survival situations, those who cooperate and help each other have the better chance to survive. This I learned from listening to a friend’s father. He spent most of the Korean War in a Chinese POW camp – they had a high rate of survival because they did NOT ‘vote people off the island.’ “Big Brother’ and the others simply appeal to the voyeuristic in us.… Read more »
I disagree with him about euthanasia. I recall a conversation between David Jenkins and Ludovic Kennedy on TV where both were in favour of it being available. A point in life can arrive where it is nothing but pain and a lack of life in order to nullify it towards an inevitable death. At such a stage people have the right to arrange a peaceful end and carry it through with assistance.
Even if one does not go as far as advocating assisted pass over, there is still the thing about allowing souls dignity and grace as their time comes.
For example, both the previous Pope and the best man from my previous marriage refused intenstive life support at the end. They knew their time was coming and they were happy to both pass over. Both passed consciously and were at peace within themselves as it happened.
If ABC can weather (or prevent) the departure of Nigeria and friends, he may become the most important Christian leader of our time: discouraging but not prohibiting abortion, opposing euthanasia, encouraging stem cell research, bringing common sense and kindness to public life (not only in the UK), offering a spiritual and intelligent reading of the Gospel message, using his formidable intelligence and scholarship. It does not matter if he is scruffy as long as he is good. And his friend is now finally demanding intervention against the evil in Zimbabwe. For all the silly contentions over sex in the Communion,… Read more »
All right. Now that secularist and atheist societies are on the rise in reaction to fundamentalism, the ABC decides to become more narrow on abortion rights, stem cell research, free speech (television), gambling, and ecumenism (the involvement of all faiths in the Coronation).
Doesn’t he have this backwards? Now seems to be the time to stress the love, compassion, hope, acceptance, and inclusiveness of Jesus the Christ, not rule-bound, Religion (with a capital R) that most folks perceive is typical religious expression. People need to see non-violent, loving, inclusive Christians, not more sectarian wars and meddling with unessentials.
How do you know the afterlife is painless? That’s my problem with euthanasia–how do you know you aren’t making the pain worse? How do you know you aren’t sending someone into a more painful Purgatory? If God sends us suffering as discipline to aid in our salvation, how do you know that the attempt to reject God’s discipline will not result in worse suffering? Or, a Buddhist might say, you can’t outrun karma. I would like to know what proof you have that euthanasia actually ends suffering.
James There is no proof that euthanasia ends suffering in the context that you describe. Apply the converse, prove that euthananasia prolongs suffering. Can you prove that the afterlife exists, can you prove that purgatory exists? Can you prove that we feel things after death? While I might not agree with assisted euthanasia, I do believe there is a place for “God’s Will be done”. Souls who have come to their time, are at peace with their passing over, and able to communicate that to friends and family remaining behind have the most beautiful deaths. The worst deaths I have… Read more »
“How do you know the afterlife is painless? That’s my problem with euthanasia–how do you know you aren’t making the pain worse? How do you know you aren’t sending someone into a more painful Purgatory?”
Ah, Hamlet’s dilemma. Trouble is, the modifying of humane compassion by means of reference to dogma is a scoundrels’ charter.
“If God sends us suffering as discipline to aid in our salvation,”
Rather big ‘if’ there, I’d say! Who says God sends us any kind of suffering? Or, if He does, who says it’s to aid in our salvation? Suffering is a result of the Fall, itself the consequence of our actions. Suffering is the consequence of living in a fallen Creation, that’s all. Unless you want to claim that God sends us the consequences of the Fall. I rather think he rescues us FROM those consequences, not FORCES us to endure them “for our own good” or otherwise.
Suffering is present and now and all too real, and what, because the person is assisted that some deity will come along, like the one who finds the car park slot, and extend the suffering after death as a kind of vicious compensation against the victim? What a compassionate God this isn’t. Well obviously consciousness may defeat present understanding of it, including its dependence on a material brain, but, even if this dependence is wrong, this consciousness and its pain, and its nullifying, is in its awful condition because it is attached to the body. The body is going to… Read more »
People need to see non-violent, loving, inclusive Christians, not more sectarian wars and meddling with unessentials.
Posted by: sheila on Sunday, 16 September 2007 at 11:08pm BST
This brief quote says it all. Thank you
Re: euthanasia and ‘the will of God’ stuff – wasn’t that an argument used C19 against anaesthesia in childbirth?
3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
1 Peter 4:13
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
James Those experience applies whether or not there is euthenasia. I had an uncle who died last June by suicide after attempting to murder his wife (he failed). Because of the gifts of his family he appeared and apologised to several relatives within a few short days. He was forgiven because he said he wasn’t in control of himself at the time. Someone close to my family told us that stroke victims often lose control over their rational elements and their grandfather had to be partially lobotomised as he kept attempting to murder his wife. The strokes killed him and… Read more »
“we also rejoice in our sufferings” Yes, WE rejoice in OUR sufferings. Should I ever be called to, I hope I do not give in to dispair. One important part of Christianity is its perception of the dignity of the human being simply because of being a human being. For people to kill themselves in the face of unremitting pain from which there is no release other than death might seem to be an adverse judgement, and opposed to the Gospel, on the value of the human experience. Thus, euthansia concerns me. All the same, what right do we have… Read more »
What’s all this about Rowan Williams presiding at a secret communion for lesbian and gay clergy?
According to the journalist Ruth Gledhill, it implies he has given up on trying to prevent a schism and returned to his own beliefs. I think this is an assumption, but it seems he is doing something that suggests that he indeed did not recant earlier views as he said he had not.
“All the same, what right do we have to force our beliefs on others? If someone is not depressed, is suffering a terminal illness with incredible pain, and is not a Christian, what right do we have to force them to conform to out understanding of things?”
[Sarcasm mode on] Because we’re unquestionably, infallibly right, Ford. Don’t you get that? Our understanding of God’s will is handed down to us directly from the Almighty himself, and we are all of sufficient intellect to grasp the ineffable plan of God without error.
“If someone is not depressed, is suffering a terminal illness with incredible pain, and is not a Christian, what right do we have to force them to conform to out understanding of things?” Hi Ford. One of my concerns about active euthanasia is that it has a tendency to take on an active dynamic. For example, if euthanasia becomes acceptable then it is okay for the husband to end his wife’s suffering (as one uncle attempted last June), or a father remove his children from this horrible existence, or the state end the misery of the unwanted outcaste. Euthanasia, like… Read more »
I don’t think that euthanasia is like abortion. Of course it is regrettable, but then the state of pain in a terminal condition is regrettable too – such indeed is life. Pope John Paul made himself an example of dying with dignity, but that was his position and, have to say it, choice. It it is not possible to have stringent safeguards, then euthanasia may not be possible, but otherwise it should be available, including to Christians.
“it has a tendency to take on an active dynamic.” That’s it for me, too Cheryl. Who decides? Clearly the person whose life we are talking about. But chronic illness often brings about depression, and how stringent are the measures we would take to ensure that the person is not making the decision under the influence of such emotional debilitation? How can we be sure it is not someone who has been manipulated into the decision by others? There’s too many opportunities for abuse, for killing of people who don’t want to die. All the same, forcing someone to live… Read more »