Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We support options at the end of life,

Rick Warren Speaks Out as a Pastor and Father Against California Bill Allowing Terminally Ill People to End Their Lives

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and other faith groups have spoken out against California Senate Bill 128, which if passed, would give terminally ill people in the state the right to end their lives. Warren said that he opposes the bill both as a theologian and as the father of a son who died by suicide due to mental illness.

"I oppose this law as a theologian and as the father of a son who took his life after struggling with mental illness for 27 years," Warren said at a conference on Saturday, referring to his son, Matthew, who took his own life on April 5, 2013.
"The prospect of dying can be frightening," he added while speaking at a panel, the OC Register reported. "But we belong to God, and death and life are in God's hands. ... We need to make a radical commitment to be there for those who are dying in our lives."

Senate Bill 128, also known as the End of Life legislation, has been opposed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, as well as other faith groups who say it goes against Christian teaching.

In a document explaining its opposition, the diocese asked:
"The claim to a right to assisted suicide raises many questions, not the least of which is this: if there is a 'right to assisted suicide,' why would such a right be restricted only to those in the throes of terminal illness? What about the elderly person suffering a slow but non-terminal decline? What about the adolescent or young adult in the throes of depression, demoralization, or despair? What about the middle-aged man who is alone and simply tired of life?"

The diocese added: "While laws may initially erect fences around the practice of assisted suicide — having six months to live, being over the age of 18, having mental capacity, etc.— these 'safeguards' will eventually be unmasked as arbitrary."

Compassion and Choices, a nonprofit group advocating for the law, said, however, that terminally ill people deserve the right to choose the time of their death.

Toni Broaddus, California campaign director, argued that every dying person "should have access to medical options consistent with their own values and beliefs."

"We respect all points of view, and that's why we support options at the end of life," Broaddus added.

The debate over the proposed law has gained momentum in the wake of UC Irvine graduate Brittany Maynard deciding to move to Oregon to end her life, after she was told she only had six month to live after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She died on Nov. 1, surrounded by family members and friends.

Warren asked for prayers from Christians this Easter Sunday, which marked the second anniversary of his youngest son's death.

The Saddleback Church pastor wrote on Facebook: "On this Easter week two years ago, my son Matthew ended his life, and his 27-year battle with mental illness. That day, April 5th, coming 5 days after Easter, was the worst day of my life," he said.

"On a day where everything in me wants to be quiet and low-key, be alone at home with my Lord and my wife and kids, and just get through the day without having to interact or be 'on' or celebrate anything ... instead I will be leading multiple Easter services on the biggest Christian day of the year."

Following his son's death, Warren launched a mental health ministry and has been raising awareness for mental health issues.


Anonymous said...

One of the ten commandments is Thou shalt not kill. That applies to oneself as well as others. Many Christians are accepting the falsity that it's ok to end life if terminal illness is involved because tenets of faith have been greatly diluted, and sound biblical teaching has been replaced with modern fripperies like messy church or cafe church in the hope of attracting a few more people to our corps, and the content of many meetings is bulked up by the singing of so many songs and choruses that the gospel message is crammed into 10 minutes max at the end, when the congregation is so exhausted that concentration is shot. But we have to be obedient to ALL of God's commandments, and suicide is a definite no-no, as is administering drugs to end a person's life.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why the heading is 'We support....'
Surely as Christians we don't.

Anonymous said...

As a Salvation Army officer I support the individual's freedom to choose. I may well disagree and do all possible to persuade the individual to rethink their choice, but in the end, free will is the greatest of all the gifts with which God has blessed us.

All life is sacred and needs to respected.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked at the Salvation Army Officer from Norway who supports the right of the individual to choose, and I am grateful he is not leading my corps. Surely it is his spiritual responsibility to point out the eternal consequences of an intention to end one's life? As a lay person I could not support in any shape or form a decision to end life. And if I were tempted to take my own life, I would want an officer who would tell me it was the wrong thing to do, because although I have a free will, all life belongs to God, and it only He who has the right to give it, extend it or end it - at a date of His choosing, not mine. I weep for this Army of ours, when the leaders are not providing spiritual guidance according to scripture.


Anonymous writes; " it is his (the SA officer) spiritual responsibility to point out the eternal consequences of an intention to end one's life...."

Ought we to assume he neglected to do so simply because he was a champion for free will? Was he not being intellectually honest?

Assuming he decided that he, as the CO, had the right to over rule the patient's wish, what legal options would be available? List a few please...

Anonymous said...

What's legality got to do with it? You are taking the comments to a place where they are not intended. There is no definitive content in the Norway officer's comments that state he has actually dealt with a situation like this. His/her comments suggest a purely hypothetical situation, and without his/her further input it is ridiculous to speculate or assume. It's just sad to me that as a spiritual leader he/she could support a person's free choice to end his/her own life.

Anonymous said...

How can you be certain that Norway is he and not she?

Anonymous said...

"There is no definitive content in the Norway officer's comments that state he has actually dealt with a situation like this. " How then can you critisise his/her action? Lightweight non-relevant comments!
USA Central

Anonymous said...

....Lightweight non-relevant comments!.....
And yours are full of substance? I think not. it's easy to criticise - very easy.