Friday, January 9, 2009

Preaching to the choir

I get at least a dozen emails every day, somethimes 20 or more, not counting those which go directly to my junk file. Some come from like minded and very well meaning friends and acquaintance who send me information about something on which we agree. Most often, the information is already old, probably sent to me from another source days or even weeks ago. Sometimes it's nothing more that a news clip I've already seen somewhere myself.

Of course many of them are political, and lately many of them are issues about gun control and what's going to happen under the new US liberal government and the new NY state Democratic controlled government.

It's not fun to imagine how things can go, I've already got at least two copies of the pre-filed gun control bills, filed before the legislature was even in place if I understand the process correctly, and they're scarey, really scarey.

I used to get concerned more than I do now. First of all, I have to believe that God is in control, in spite of what appears to be a government which appears to be spinning out of control and gaining momentum as it goes. Also, I no longer look at the people proposing and supporting these laws as either inherently evil or just blithering fools, they are neither (hopefully), just out of touch with reality in that they only see what their narrow minds and their political cohorts want them to see.

Additionally, I've started to put gun control into perspective. Yes, it's been a tool of totalitarian governments in both recent (Germany and Russia come to mind) and not so recent (ancient Japan is good example) history. The human race has survived none the less, though there has been much suffering which might well have been averted had the populace not been disarmed. But gun control is not in and of itself evil. It can even be sold as a noble endeavor. If guns could be dis-invented I might even support it myself, but then would there be knife control (surely there would be), baseball bat licensing? Would we start to legislate control over anything that could be used to injure someone? A host of martial art weapons developed were nothing more than common tools pressed into service as effective weapons.

But I digress from the point. Gun control is not evil in itself. There are greater things out there which are truly evil in and of them selves. We have abortion. Though I don't have the stats in front of me, there is no denial that millions of babies are killed each year. Partial birth abortion is particularly disturbing as it kills--that's right KILLS a viable human being. And our taxes fund this horror! That's evil. When placed alongside gun control, gun control sort of pales by comparison, doesn't it.

And then there's euthanasia, the killing of the old and infirm. My dad is 89 years old. He's somewhat infirm, suffering from some dementia, and he drives my mom nuts with some of his behaviors. It's even tough for the family to be around him for extended periods of time. We used to take him and my mom out for lunch once a month or so, but his behavior is no longer acceptable in public, or at least so unpredictable we worry about it, so now we pick up good take out that he likes and we take them to lunch at their house.

There's a DNR order hanging on the refriderator in case he has another heart attack, with instructions to make him comfortable, but not to take any heroic actions to safe him. That is his wish, with the consent and advice of all his kids, myself included. However, the thought that he could call his doctor and say "I've had it, give me a shot and end this nonsense" is outlandish. Worse yet is the possibility that my siblings and I could say, "Dad is just a drain on everyone..." You can finish that for yourself. The same would be my mom saying "I've had it with Dad..." and you can finish that one yourself also.

Though the above scenarios seem ludicrous, we have assisted suicide laws in some states now, how soon will we have euthanasia by committee decision? Now THAT's evil. We still call that homicide here. I pray we always will.

All that said, I do understand suicide, and think it's generally a long term solution to a short term problem, as a good friend calls it. I understand it, but it's still wrong. People are taken to the end of their own resources, either physical, emotional, spiritual, or even financial, and see it as the only way out.

Taking a life is aways wrong. The Bible is clear on that. There are certain exceptions for society exacting the death penalty, for self defense, but that's about it. The willful, intentional taking of life is murder.

And in spite of all these things, and laws leading to allow them, God is still in control. If I could not trust that, maybe I'd be calling the doctor myself.

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