Friday, October 17, 2003

Listening to local talk radio the other day, I heard someone call up and complain that those who would "force" Terri Schiavo to remain alive aren't taking into account her "quality of life" and whether she could "ever be a productive member of society."

Words like that should send a chill down one's spine. This came not from some creepy government apparatchik, but from Joe Sixpack on his cellphone. We have become so inured to legalized murder in this country that such sentiments seem almost commonplace.

In case you are one of those who wonders what all the fuss is about, my fellow St. Louisan Bill Federer (a great guy who nearly unseated the evil Dick Gephardt from his congressional seat a couple of years ago) writes an outstanding column today wherein he delineates the crucial difference between those who are concerned with "sanctity of life" and those primarily concerned with mere "quality of life." The former is a view of life which has caused Western civilization to flourish, while the latter has historically been the viewpoint of Nazis and other would-be cleansers of society.

Federer writes of the Third Reich in 1930's Germany:
...the concept that the elderly and terminally ill should have the right to die was promoted in books, newspapers, literature and even entertainment films, the most popular of which were entitled Ich klage an (I accuse) and Mentally Ill. One euthanasia movie, based on a novel by a National Socialist doctor, actually won a prize at the world-famous Venice Film Festival! Extreme hardship cases were cited which increasingly convinced the public to morally approve of euthanasia. The medical profession gradually grew accustomed to administering death to patients who, for whatever reasons, felt their low "quality of life" rendered their lives not worth living, or as it was put, liebensunwerten Lebens, (life unworthy of life).

In an Associated Press release, published in the New York Times, October 10, 1933, entitled "Nazi Plan to Kill Incurables to End Pain; German Religious Groups Oppose Move," it was stated: "The Ministry of Justice, in a detailed memorandum explaining the Nazi aims regarding the German penal code, today announced its intentions to authorize physicians to end the sufferings of the incurable patient. The memorandum...proposed that it shall be possible for physicians to end the tortures of incurable patients, upon request, in the interest of true humanity. This proposed legal recognition of euthanasia - the act of providing a painless and peaceful death - raised a number of fundamental problems of a religious, scientific, and legal nature. The Catholic newspaper Germania hastened to observe: 'The Catholic faith binds the conscience of its followers not to accept this method'...In Lutheran circles, too, life is regarded as something that God alone can take.... Euthanasia... has become a widely discussed word in the Reich.... No life still valuable to the State will be wantonly destroyed."
Is it merely guilt by association to compare the euthanizers with Nazis, such as the Left engages in when it moronically refers to President Bush as a "Nazi"? No. The view of life promulgated by the Third Reich was integral to Hitler's being able to carry out his twisted policies. The same view which made genocide easy for Hitler is growing like a cancer in our own country.

I can't urge you strongly enough to read Federer's column. Print it. Cut it out. Hang it on your refrigerator. Send it to your friends. This is what's at stake in the sanctity of life debate.

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