Thursday, 15 December 2016

Terrorism from within: euthanasia in Canada

Yesterday I talked about the opening verses of Nehemiah 6, which dealt with the threat posed by those feigning friendship in an effort to subvert from within.

Terror tactics and the enemy within

The next section of the text continues on that theme, with Nehemiah musing on the terror tactics being directed at his efforts to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and discovering that one of the people he had thought a friend has actually been corrupted, and become a traitor:
 It was but a conspiracy to frighten us; their thought was we would cease building, and bide our time; but I pressed on the harder.   
I went once to visit Semaias, son of Dalaias, son of Metabeel; he was then keeping his house. Nay, said he, let us go to the temple and there hold converse, there in the heart of the temple, behind shut doors. They are coming to murder thee; this very night they are coming to murder thee. What, I answered, I take flight? I am not the man to save my life by skulking in God’s house. The temple is not for me.   
And well I knew that his was no errand from God, though he spoke to me as one inspired to prophesy. It was Tobias and Sanaballat that had him in their pay; they had bribed him, hoping that through terror I would commit a fault, and they would have ill tales to spread about me. (Nehemiah 6:8-13, trans Knox)
St Bede points out that it has ever been thus:
 For the elect always have conflicts without and fears within, and not just the apostles but the prophets too lived a life fraught with dangers from the nation, with dangers from Gentiles, with dangers from false brethren. (On Ezra and Nehemiah, trans DeGregorio, pg 188).
The only response possible, he suggests, is to strengthen ourselves through good action relying on the divine assistance.

Euthanasia: the virtual schism in Canada

On that front, the euthanasia debate is once again hotting up in Australia, with legislation in Victoria rated as having a chance of passing next year.

In other places, of course, it has already passed, and in Canada the bishops have split on the subject, with one group of faithful pastors reminding us that suicide is a mortal sin; another saying that say that those planning suicide should be “accompanied with dialogue and compassionate prayerful support.”

Horrifying and terrifying stuff indeed.

**And for more in depth analyses of the two documents see Rod Dreher and Ed Peters.

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