Most of the people in the world probably say they live in the greatest county on earth. Exceptions would be the obvious: people who live in poverty or oppression. But mostly I think the French think they are number one, the Finnish think they are number one, the Belch think they are number one, and so on. (Am I using that right? If people from France are French then people from Belgium are Belch, right?)
I was thinking about nations and ideologies today after reading an article about two deaf brothers who, when faced with blindness, were allowed to legally end their lives. This happened recently in Belgium, and seemed to me to be reasonable and compassionate.
But I know the prevailing sentiment in America regards this as immensely immoral, made particularly obvious by the miserable treatment of Jack Kevorkian and his efforts to facilitate this kind of mercy in the United States.
From the news article: In 2010 and 2011, a total of 2,086 people died by euthanasia in Belgium, according to the country’s Euthanasia Commission. Belgium is now looking at introducing a legal amendment that would allow children and those with dementia the option of seeking permission to die. If passed later this year, the option of euthanasia will be extended to minors affected by an incurable illness, or suffering that cannot be alleviated.
In my eyes, enlightenment and mercy. In the eyes of most Americans, murder.
In many ways this kind of one-dimentional thinking keeps us locked in a primitive paradigm, and the way that Americans are so overbearing and inflexible makes us genuinely less free than many nations whose people aren’t afraid to think openly. Leading this paradigm is the control and manipulation of Christianity, whose essential message is that you are free to do as you please as long as it is what Christianity pleases. In my experience, many Christians in America think, if not out loud then at least whispered, that you and I should only be allowed to be Christians. America is a “Christian nation.”
If anyone else is amused by how closely this mirrors radical Islam, please raise your hand.
But as I am want to do, I am getting off-message, which is this: a truly free society respects the rights of individuals to maintain their own lives as they see fit. America is not that society.