It’s a funny thing about elections; on the Friday eve, both sides issue a sentiment expressing something like “complete confidence in the innate good sense of the Australian people”. By Sunday morning, the loser is usually claiming “we wuz robbed!” amid claims that those same Australian people were dumb enough to be conned by the lies and dirty tricks of the other side. It was no different this time around, except that the complaints started on Saturday night during the election telecast. Ho hum; it was ever thus.
But this sort of knee-jerk reaction is no substitute for analysis and ignores an alarming development for political parties; that citizens are making up their own minds about important public issues in spite of – in another sense, one might even say because of – the ceaseless barrage of propaganda from both sides. The Australian electorate has always demonstrated considerable discernment in issues put to referendum and it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are applying the same skill at general elections. To that extent, traditional party lines based on class have had their day and it will be interesting to see how political parties adjust to that reality.
Seen from our perspective, the 2004 election saw the emergence of a public reaction against the excesses that began with the Whitlam Government in 1972. During the last thirty years, there has been a vast and deliberate re-working of the Australian social fabric, through the undermining of its widely-held values and their replacement with values and ideologies favoured by the “New Class” – self-anointed elitists who have come to dominate the social agenda.
They have achieved this by infiltrating Australia’s major social institutions – Universities, the Media, Parliaments, the Law, the Public Service and the Church – and converted their focus from serving the nation and its people by reflecting their values, to serving the narrow and alien elitist agenda. The heart of that agenda is prophesied of in Psalm 2:2-3:
“The kings of the earth stand together and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Christ; ‘Let us tear apart their bonds and cast away their yoke from us'”.
That was always the desire of the New Class – to rid our laws of the outdated Christians notions that constrained their self-indulgence. Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher, whose doctrines were embraced by the Nazi movement, the forerunner of the New Class, wrote that “Christianity, sprung from Jewish roots, represents the counter movement to any morality based on breeding, on race, on privilege. It is the anti-Aryan religion par excellence”. George Steiner wrote that “…by killing Jews, western culture would eradicate those who had “invented” God”.
The argument of the New Class is with God – they want to be free of Him and His moral laws; free to do as they wish. This hatred of God is the engine that has driven social change in this country during the last thirty years. The burning desire of the New Class has been to liquidate the Judeo/Christian worldview, to “tear apart the bonds of the Lord and His Christ and cast away their yoke from us”.
The post election debate on abortion must be seen as just one part of a reaction to the godless agenda imposed on the public without their approval, by New Class functionaries in both major political parties. Those favouring another look at the abortion industry have been demonised by the New Age gurus that infest our media and public institutions. It seems that abortion has become a sacred cow to the social engineers, an icon of those who have “torn apart the bonds of the Lord and His Christ”. Having once cast away their yoke, the New Class don’t want it brought back, even if the people do.
Abortion is very much like euthanasia, in that it involves the killing of one human being by another. When abortion became legal, it was inevitable that euthanasia would follow, since both follow the same train of thought – if it is all right to kill unborn babies for the convenience of the mother, it is a very simple step indeed to apply the same logic to old relatives who may be regarded as inconvenient nuisances. The rationalisation is the same, too – “they’re not really human are they?”
This was the rationale also applied by the Nazis during their extensive euthanasia programmes aimed at racially “inferior” types, such as Jews, gypsies and Slavs, as well as the aged and the handicapped.
Renewal of the battle over abortion may decide whether or not euthanasia becomes legal. If there are constraints introduced on the carrying out of abortions, this may act as a disincentive to the euthanasia lobby. On the other hand, if abortion is reinforced as the unchallengeable right of every woman for the sake of convenience, the push for euthanasia may gain momentum.
The term, “euthanasia”, is itself widely misunderstood and misused. It properly refers to the intentional hastening of a person’s death in order to relieve that person’s suffering. It does not include withholding life-sustaining treatment judged to be therapeutically useless or overly burdensome. Nor does it include providing treatment for the relief of symptoms of illness, when that treatment may have the indirect effect of hastening a person’s death.
The moral argument about euthanasia, and abortion, revolves around the notion of the inviolability of human life, which is a common morality of the great civilisations as expressed in the moral tenets of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and the great eastern religions, such as Confucianism. In the West, it is recognised in Common Law tradition, in international human rights instruments and in the mainstream tradition of health care as expressed in codes of medical and nursing ethics. So the objection to euthanasia derives from that moral outlook which is itself the fruit of a view about God and thus, it is now seen as one of those “bonds” that the God-haters desire to “tear apart”. Euthanasia is at the forefront of the battle to excise the Judeo/Christian worldview from Australian society.
The Christian then, besides having the spiritual conviction that euthanasia is opposed to the will of God, must also be armed with rational arguments to persuade those to whom spiritual convictions are odious. In Australia, for example, euthanasia is often put forward as the most compassionate way of dealing with terminal or chronic illness. Many people with painful memories of loved ones suffering are among the strongest advocates of legalising euthanasia. But we should be careful about allowing public policy to be directed by emotive and personal experiences. Rather we should be seeking more creative responses to illness, suffering and dying through access to palliative care which can relieve the pain and distress of terminal illness.
But, leaving God out of it, there are three reasons why euthanasia is a bad idea. Firstly, the experience of legalised euthanasia in Holland indicates that it is impossible to frame laws governing euthanasia that provide adequate safeguards against their abuse. Secondly, legalising euthanasia will put pressure on vulnerable people – the elderly, lonely, sick or distressed – to seek help to bring about their premature and unnatural death. We believe that the message society should be sending to its vulnerable and disadvantaged should be an assurance of love and support, not an invitation to seek untimely death. Thirdly, what message is the legalisation of euthanasia sending to our young people, at a time when our society is already characterised by a sense of hopelessness and discouragement. While society sheds crocodile tears over youth suicide, isn’t the legalisation of euthanasia really saying that when life gets too much for you, just pull the pin?