A Winsome Christian Approach to Assisted Suicide

A Winsome Christian Approach to Assisted Suicide May 2, 2022

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[Note: What follows is satire. Let the reader understand.]

Church, we have a problem. A unity problem. I mean, just look around you. We can’t seem to agree on anything, and it’s tearing us apart. This is not helpful or winsome. The world is watching, remember?

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to gospel issues, a little division might be a good thing. Take the diagnosis and treatment of systemic racism. I mean, if you can’t even agree with my specific preferred policy on something that transparently uncomplicated, it’s probably worth a little ostracism and fellowship breaking. But debatable political questions where reasonable Christians can have the same morals while preferring different legal approaches? Whole different story.

Be honest, have you ever thought about why we codify things like murder and rape prohibitions into law while not making other sins illegal, like idolatry? Actually, don’t answer that question, I already know you haven’t. I mean, you’re a Protestant, right? And an evangelical Protestant at that. So yeah, these aren’t the kinds of penetrating original questions you guys have ever really thought about in your spare time, while you weren’t eating Chick-fil-A or boycotting Disney or whatever it is Protestants have historically spent all their time doing. Let me put it this way, have you heard of Bailie? Gillespie? Rutherford? Morons.

Where was I? Oh, right, talking exactly which bad things to codify into law. It’s a tricky one, this. Lots of sophisticated resources here. I could quote some of them for you, but like I said, it probably wouldn’t register. (I do have a reading list, come see me after class if interested.) For now, let’s just consider a couple of MORAL (notice how I put that in ALL CAPS, which means I want you to PAY ATTENTION, so I’m making this EASIER for you), to repeat, MORAL norms from the Ten Commandments: 1) do not covet, and 2) do not murder. Both sins, right? Now if you asked a typical evangelical whether coveting should be illegal, he would say no. But if you asked him whether, say, bumping off your sick suicidal mom in a mainline church building should be illegal, he would say yes. Now why would he say that? Why make the first thing legal and NEVER talk about it while insisting the second thing should be illegal and also just, I don’t know, kind of a big deal in general? The Bible says that coveting my neighbor’s Ferrari, bumping off my sick suicidal mom, and yelling at the schmuck who’s going slow in the fast lane are all sins. But it doesn’t tell us HOW we are to apply these norms to a pluralistic democracy. I know bumping off my mom is a sin, but the Bible doesn’t tell me the best policy to decrease or end assisted suicides in this country, nor which political or legal policies are most effective to that end. Each party has their arguments for why they’re more compassionate and humane and moral, but we are allowed to debate that and so our churches should not have disunity over debatable political differences!

Oh for crying out loud. Sigh. So apparently the sick suicidal mom triggered a bunch of evangelicals here on Twitter. People focusing on that one example and saying that because you would be physically harming your innocent sick mom, as in, like, dumping a lethal dose of poison into her body, that’s the kind of thing the government should be paying attention to, probably. Totally missing the point. I’m sorry I brought her up, okay? I left her out of it when I did this on Facebook and we had a much better conversation. Anyway, to reiterate, assisted suicide was just an example, and I’m talking about a principle here. Focus, people. Let’s go over the Big Principle again, more slowly: There are lots of bad things that you could do. Some of those bad things could be legal. Some of them could be not legal. Related, evangelicals are really dumb. Are you with me so far? Are we good?

As I said: There is so much room for reasonable variation of opinion among Christians on so many different things—taxes, immigration, gay marriage, the legality of bumping off your sick suicidal mom. Christians who agree on the MORAL principles (like yes, it is bad to kill your sick suicidal mom), can have healthy disagreement on the best POLITICAL application of those principles. Because, like, okay, if people’s sick moms are really seriously suicidal then they are going to find a way, so you COULD argue that refusing to make the whole process comfortable and legal for them isn’t going to help anything and would just punish desperate friends and family while increasing the number of back-alley suicides, not that that’s what I’M saying because as I already said this is JUST AN EXAMPLE, but I’m just saying, a good moral Christian COULD say that while not being a complete idiot, is all I’m saying. I mean Stephen Colbert would probably say something like that, right? Love that guy. Great witness. Faithful presence. Anyway, point is, folks, this is not something to divide over. No matter how much we yell at each other.

Yes, thank you, smart not-evangelical reply guy who actually read and understood my thread! I see you. You are seen. And you are absolutely right, my purpose with all this is twofold: to show that rational Christians can disagree over politics, and to show that evangelicals are not rational. 100%. Many don’t want to have this convo, it seems. Also, THANK YOU for noticing that I have NOT TAKEN A POSITION on whether it should be legal to bump off your sick suicidal mom. Exactly! Yes! Literally, that’s the whole point of this whole thing. The not taking a position in public, I mean. You really caught the vision here. Thanks so much for that. All those triggered evangelical replies though…big oof. I mean you don’t want to punch down, but, like, it’s hard to not. You know? You get me, don’t you, smart not-evangelical reply guy?

Anyway. People just proving my point at this point, so I guess my work here is done. The take-home: Church, don’t be divisive. Respect everyone. Except evangelical Protestants. Sorry, I meant everyone else. And remember: The world is watching.

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