THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

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PAIN MATTERS. PAIN MATTERS A LOT | 2001-12-07

People keep telling me that life IN THIS WORLD is infinitely precious.

I think they're out of their tiny little minds.

They tell me the Bible says that.

I KNOW they're out of their tiny little minds.

There is always a great danger that a person who believes in Heaven and Hell will go into torture and murder FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.

By the same token, one who is fighting abortion easily jumps the tracks in a similar insanity, the idea that a beating heart is everything, and human feelings mean nothing.

The Golden Rule, the one Great Commandment Jesus Christ himself gave us for dealing with others, says the opposite. It does not tell us to keep that heart pumping no matter how much it hurts. Life in this world is definitely not Jesus's focus.

Yet I have argued with a Catholic priest who told me that we must thank God for every moment of agony our loved ones go through on the way to death, because life is God's most precious gift. He told me that is official church doctrine. Pro-life Protestants have told me exactly the same thing, if you clear away all the verbiage they use to cover it.

I think they have let their politics turn them into dangerous nut cases.

As I lay there in agony, I did not fear death. I did not fear death at all. What I did want was an end to the pain.

So while others are quoting obscure parts of the Old Testament to show I should appreciate that pain and pass it on to others, the Golden Rule tells me it is not, to say the very, very least, some kind of BLESSING.