Note: even if not apparent to all, for the majority of my opinion writings I try to maintain a civil, even respectful tone. I am, after all, wanting to converse, and you can’t begin a conversation with anyone by starting off with the likes of “You ignorant piece of worthlessness! You are the epitome of what it means to be stupid, hateful, and a waste of human flesh!”
This, however, may not be one of those times. Also be warned I will not refrain from using what I think are appropriate words to convey the strength of my conviction.
Let’s begin with a little background on Brittany Maynard.
People really should click on the link and read about her, but I know many will not, so for them, this is summary of what’s there.
In january of this year, the newly-married 29-year-old Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, her life expectancy measured in years. By the spring of this year, her life expectancy was revised to months.
Treatment for her glioblastoma tumor includes several strong prescription drugs to minimize the seizures and swelling of the brain. Like all strong drugs, there are unwanted side-effects.
Ms. Maynard made the choice to end her life on her own terms as opposed to the inevitable end due to her tumor. She also chose to make her decision public, and did so to highlight the fact many people did not have the option she has.
She courageously lent her voice to the growing chorus that everyone should have the right to make a similar choice. She and her family moved to Oregon, one of the few states that have Death with Dignity laws.
This is where the story gets interesting . . .
. . . because this is where christians chose to intervene. They think they have skin in the game, you see, and want to dissuade her from her choice. In the name of Jesus. They want her to suffer until her body takes the last breath. In the name of Jesus. They want her to give up her free will, bowing instead to the interpreted will of a loving god whose will, by definition, cannot be known.
They want her to die a horrible death instead of leaving this life on her own terms.
But it goes beyond that; they seek to dissuade others from the same choice, and actively work to keep that choice from people.
Some of the most disturbing ‘christian’ comments can be read HERE (particularly scary given the source), HERE (from England, no less), HERE (their answer to wanting to be in control of one’s destiny is “Are you really in control?” – yes, you deluded dolt!), and HERE (this one really pisses me off . . . “We do not know God’s plan” . . . no shit, sherlock! Why, then, do you profess to, you arrogant asshole?). I could not even finish reading THIS POST, and if I could slap THIS GUY silly, I would (apparently others seek his counsel on religious matters, you see) .
That’s a random sampling based on a quick search, but what really prompted this post is an open letter directed at Ms. Maynard by another cancer patient, Kara Tippets. The story crossed my path because she is local to where I live, and her actions were reported locally even before her involvement went viral.
I want to focus on a few parts of the open letter (the bold portions are as written) . . .
“Brittany, when we trust Jesus to be the carrier, protecter [sic], redeemer of our hearts, death is no longer dying. My heart longs for you to know this truth, this love, this forever living.
You have been told a lie. A horrible lie, that your dying will not be beautiful. That the suffering will be too great.”
“But in my whispering, pleading, loving voice dear heart- will you hear my heart ask you, beg you, plead with you — not to take that pill. Yes, your dying will be hard, but it will not be without beauty.
More importantly, will you hear from my heart that Jesus loves you. He loves you. He loves you. He died an awful death upon a cross so that you would know Him today that we would no longer live separate from Him and in our death. He died and His death happened, it is not simply a story.
He died and He overcame death three days later, and in that overcoming of death He overcame the death you and I are facing in our cancer. He longs to know you, to shepherd you in your dying, and to give you life and give you life abundant- eternal life.”
I do not know Ms. Tippets, but my heart goes out to her, her family, and what she, by her own freely made choice and with the help of her family, is enduring . . .
. . . however, I respectfully say to her and all other christians, and religious folks of all ilk seeking to affect Ms. Maynard’s decision, and indirectly, my future decision . . . fuck you!
Know this . . . faced with that same choice, I plan to and will make the same decision as Ms. Maynard. I will chose the time of place of my dying, with the full support of my family, or without it. The one person that I do care about feels the same way, and I will support her if she faces a similar choice.
Let me make sure idiots do not misrepresent what I said . . . that choice, easy as it will be to make, is not Plan A.
Plan A is to live a long and healthy life; a life free from the delusion some psychotic, evil, uncaring, and cruel imaginary entity gives two shits about me and mine, or worse yet, under the delusion the same psychotic deity wants me, for some mysterious purpose, to end my life in agony.
Plan A is not a sure thing. Nature and chance occasionally combine to play cruel tricks on people, and rather than letting them die peacefully in their sleep, they saddle them with some debilitating disease or other.
That’s where Plan B comes into play. And let me tell you . . . Plan B came to me as soon as I became aware of the horrible way some people die. For the record, Plan B was formulated in my twenties, and I’ve never wavered from it; it is a security blanket of sorts, enabling me to eventually face what may, but hope won’t, come my way.
A natural death is preferred, but the option to choose the place, method, and time of our deaths, if circumstances warrant it, is of great comfort to both of us.
I know Ms. Tippets et. al. supposedly think they have my best interests in mind. They are sure of it.
However, let me assure you all . . . you don’t. If you did, you would not interfere with freely made decisions; informed decisions, rational decision. Decision not steeped in superstition, delusion, and a pathological fear of death.
I’m on board with you making whatever decision you see fit for yourself, but it is not your place to judge Ms. Maynard, me, or anyone else seeking to end their life in a dignified and humane manner; it is not your place to characterize our decisions anything but dignified and humane, and it is definitively not your place to keep people from that choice.
Let me say another thing . . . putting your faith and trust in some imaginary sick bastard does not make you good, compassionate, caring, or any other endearing term you wish to pin to yourselves. It makes you monsters. It makes you hideous beings masquerading as humans, it makes you the antythesys of what you claim to be, and when you do that, to my eyes you look no more than cruel jerks pissing away your lives.
But, they are your lives . . .
. . . whatever strength you get from your delusion is yours and yours alone, and I am even glad you have it; I am glad for whatever coping mechanism lets people of faith get on with their lives and face what life hands them.
BUT YOU CAN’T GIFT YOUR DELUSION TO OTHERS, NOR FORCE IT UPON THEM.
Not that it has ever stopped your kind from trying; at the point of a sword, under penalty of death, under threat of torture, and by foisting your sickness onto others with the backing of inhumane laws.
. . . I am angry . . . I write this in anger even as I know not all christians, and maybe not even the majority of christians, think like the sick bastards who write to and about Ms. Maynard, couching their message of hate and veiled threats with words of love and caring.
But I don’t care; I wanted to write this while angry because not enough christians are showing their humanity, and too many are letting what I consider to be dangerous ideologues speak in their stead.
. . . some of my readers might wonder where this comes from, and why it is so forceful . . . it comes from having been witness to people in the last few hours and days of their lives. Not having read about it, but having been witness to it.
To date, I’ve lived a wonderful life. We’ve both lived wonderful lives.
Why is it so difficult for christians to understand that, with perfectly clear and lucid thought, I do not want to be in some bed, waiting months for the end to come, losing control of my body, having people wiping my ass for me because I am unable to do so?
Why is it so hard to understand that neither Melisa or me want our last memories of each other to be those of someone distorted, gaunt, ravaged by pain, doped up to the point of not recognizing even the one person that meant everything to them?
Why is it so hard to understand that for us there is no grand meaning for the end of our life to be one of unimaginable pain and suffering, of sorrow and regret?
Why is it so hard to understand that such an end is nothing but a grotesque stain at the end of a beautiful narrative?
Let me tell you, it is not so hard for thinking humans to understand all those things.
But it is difficult for delusional self-entitled fucks to imagine that perhaps there is nothing to be gained by needless suffering. That perhaps if there really was a loving god, a merciful god, it would not want to see their creations end their life mere shadows of themselves.
Even so, I do not want to take that delusion away from them. If it is their choice to revel in either themselves or their loved ones shit themselves as they writhe in pain and are half out of their mind, all for the glory of jesus and the sick bastard’s master plan, fine; go for it.
But please, don’t be so arrogant as to believe forcing others to your views is a gift, a blessing.
It is not.
It is the equivalent of tying people to a stake, lighting the pyre, and your mindless chanting fanning the flames that boil skin and flesh from the screaming person you profess to be saving.
Have the confidence in your imaginary god to do what your creepy book says to do; let the sick bastard pass judgment on me and mine; it is not your job to do anything keeping me or mine from it, and I will gladly take my chances in your imaginary afterlife.
After all, isn’t part of your promised eternal entertainment, to watch my ilk be tortured for eternity? Or is that not enough, and you want to get a head start in this life?
I am turning off comments for this post. I am a strong believer in personal freedom, and there is no greater freedom than to chose both how to live and how to die.
This is simply not a matter for discussion.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.