Monday, February 23, 2009

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

I've got to stop reading the blogs.

And the news sites and the newspaper.

While I'm at it, I also need to blow up my TV.

"WHY?" YOU ASK? It's because I can't stand being reminded -- reminded every day that God in Heaven sends -- just how much of a bunch of f***ing Nazis we have become.

Find some neighbors on the wrong side of the political divide? Demonize them.

Discover that most people are suckers for one thing or another? Cheat 'em.

Somebody standing between you and your heart's desire? Roll over 'em. Repeat if necessary.

Enjoying the sex but wigged out by the baby in your tummy? Abort it.

Enjoying the sex but wigged out by the baby in your girlfriend's tummy? See above.

Disturbed by the prospect of human suffering? Ask Phil.

Phil left a comment on a Crunchy Con post about euthanizing suffering animals, and how that can get to a body. He wants to know why we shouldn't extend the concept to a higher order of animal.

As in Homo sapiens.

In the world of Phil -- which, sadly, is increasingly the way of the world around us -- we're all a sick chick, a suffering cat or Spot on his last legs:

If putting an animal out of its misery when it's suffering is okay, then why not humans who want to be put out of their misery? Euthanasia should be for more than just animals. There are worst things than death. Living in pain or living without dignity are worst than death.
I'LL SAY HERE what I told Phil in the Crunchy Con comments. To wit:

Why not euthanize people? Because we are not mere animals.

Human suffering has meaning, however much it might escape us as we're in its midst or as we watch others suffer.

If it didn't have any meaning -- if it didn't in a real way unite us with a suffering Christ, or if the Ten Commandments alternatively told us "Thou shalt not kill, except. . . ." -- well, a compassionate arbiter of the greater good would put a pillow over every newborn's face and smother him on humanitarian grounds the second the kid emerged from the womb.

I don't know, maybe you've led a charmed existence and haven't truly known suffering. Or maybe you've been suffering horribly for a very long time now, but you hold on to hope for reasons known only to yourself.

But this I do know: When we say it's permissible to put people "out of their misery," what we are saying is twofold -- there is no hope, and there is no meaning in people's misery.

No sanctification, no contemplation, no fostering of compassion, no inspiration, no nothing. Nada. Nil.

NIHILISM, I think is the word.

We humans are an odd lot. We're the only species that consciously and "rationally" concludes that the solution to almost every damned thing is death.

Me, I'm like Rod's father . . . "I can't stand killin' anymore."

Funny, Phil, how you can speak so much more blithely about killing suffering humans than I can bring myself to talk about putting down suffering animals.

I've always owned dogs. In our going on 26 years of marriage, my wife and I have had four. Two, we've had to put down when they were old, terminally ill and suffering.

Both times, I gave the vet consent. Both times, I held them and comforted them as they died. You don't get used to it, and it gets harder -- not easier -- each time.

I can't even write about it without my eyes filling with tears.

Yes, I know they were animals, not humans. Yes, I know it was the "right" thing to do, that letting them suffer truly would have been pointless. I know all this intellectually . . . rationally.

But in my heart, I know that they trusted me, depended on me and were more loving and loyal than most humans. And you can't help but feel you let them down, and it haunts you.

That's how I feel about my dogs.

I'm sorry, Phil, that you can feel so much more sanguine about "putting down" human beings, individuals each created in the image of their Creator.

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