What Are You Fighting For

Here’s another guest submission from Gill. this one’s a touch pessimistic and unhinged for my taste, but I don’t have to necessarily endorse something in order to post it. Diversity of voices and all that. So take it away, Gill. And don’t be surprised if this one opens you up to a bit of slow roasting at some point. I know there are folks who think this way, but I’m not sure how many of ’em hang around here.

In the time period that my parents came of age there was a monumental values shift. People were fighting for things that prior to that no one really thought much of. Now it seems, five decades on that the fight has gone out of a lot of us. Few are willing to stand for something, and of those fewer still act upon it. One rather recent example was the young Pakistani girl who nearly gave her life for the cause of education for girls.

What am I trying to achieve with this? Like I said the unfortunate thing is that many people don’t feel or think that what they say or do matters. If Dr. King had felt and acted that way the Southern United States would probably still be under the opressive wall of racial segrigation.

What am I fighting for? Well friends to understand such thoughts I am going to present you with two things. First a few months earlier I was listening to a presentation made by a member of my church family about how she is tirelessly working to end the traffic of humans, especially for sexual slavery.

Now lets go back to what the history books won’t, or have neglected to mention. In the late 1930’s Adolf Hitler, afflicted with autism, decreed that anyone less than Arian had to be exterminated. This my friends also includes persons with disabilities.

Now lets enter the modern age and travel to the country of Belgium where a new law is being considered that would give disabled children the right to kill themselves. They all ready have this law that allows doctors to kill newborns with disabilities.

Could Canada be one of the next to enforce this law? Ms. Gillie thinks so.

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  1. Here’s the email I sent Gill after posting this.

    Just put this one up.  Quite the touchy subject you’ve chosen.  I’m not sure if personally I’d go so far as to say that Canada is going to be killing disabled kids just because they’re disabled, but you’ve got a right to that opinion, most certainly.  Personally I think that what we’re dealing with here is more along the lines of people of sound mind who’s bodies are no longer sound wanting the right to end their own lives on their own terms.  Which, for the record, I’m 100% ok with.

    1. I do know they’ve passed a law similar to this in Belgium (see also: this here), and that’s opened them up over there to some of the same pushback we see in trying to get laws like it passed here, so I’m not entirely sure how much longer that’ll keep itself on the books–and it involved two people who were of sound mind, just to keep things glooed together.

      1. Now this I find all kinds of wrong. Sure, maybe there’s an argument to be made that being deaf and then going blind is a quality of life issue, but you can also make the argument (and I would) that it’s a you can get the fuck over it issue. The idea of going deaf at this point or any point in my life isn’t one I’m particularly jazzed about, but I like to think that I’m strong enough to fumble through and figure it out.

        Unless we’re dealing with cases of terminal illness, there’s no room for killing people just because they aren’t so sure they want to be here anymore. It’s not the state’s responsibility to save you from a case of the sads. I don’t want to sound like a dick, but either grow a set or find a rope. Leave the law and medical science out of it.

        Terminal illness is an entirely separate issue. A person of sound mind who’s body has failed him and has no true prospects for survival and is essentially doomed to die a horrible death should have every right to make that decision between himself and a competent doctor.

  2. I must say this post left me scratching my head in total and utter bewilderment, bordering on anger. Broad-based assertions such as generation x cared while generation y does not have never sat right with me, largely because they’re grounded in ignorance. All generations and indeed most people have their causes du jour, they just may not jibe with one another. In a more specific sense, however, there are indications all around the world that signal this as a time of growing interest in broader issues. The arab spring and the Occupy movement are only two of the more prominent examples of this. Whether they achieved their stated goals is not the issue here – the very fact that such movements took root and flourished speaks to a profound degree of civic engagement and suggests the pervasive apathy described here is at a low ebb.

    The specific example in this post (in so far as anything here is specific) is patently absurd. As others have noted, this country has been vehemently resistent to putting euthanasia laws on the books for those with terminal illness (although recent court decisions suggest that position is softening). The idea of granting the disabled an opt-out clause of sorts would be rejected on precedent alone, to say nothing of principle. As to the idea of allowing the state to kill disabled newborns? Our country has gone to war over such discriminatory practices. They’re not likely to find receptive ears in high places, or even low ones.

    Who is Ms. Gillie and what are her specific views? What are your grounds for such incendiary claims? Since when has Belgium ever paved the way for Canada either politically or socially? The dearth of facts in this piece is alarmist and borderline irresponsible, IMO.

    1. So that might’ve been the smartest thing ever written here. May be time to just shut it down and go home, you guys.

      Your points are good ones. Is there a lot of apathy in the world? Sure. Too much? Probably. But not so much that people are just going to lie down and take everything until the end of the world which, I guess if Gill is correct, we won’t even notice. The idea that people were more likely to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and use all that elbow grease back in the day is a nice thought, but it’s a pretty romanticized view of how things actually were. You can’t honestly think that somebody back around the 1970’s invented apathy and now we’re all doomed. Technology has made life easier on us in some ways, but it’s also allowed for the types of engagement that the fighters and otherwise back then couldn’t have dreamed of. And yes, I said and otherwise. Not everyone back then was a fighter, just like not everyone now is a slug.

      Bringing this back to our original assisted suicide topic, there’s no way in hell that people aren’t going to notice and raise hell now if we were to start killing people for bad reasons or no reasons at all. Christ, they’re raising hell when people want to kill themselves for a perfectly sensible reason. We all have our limits, after all. Even the laziest of us can be pushed too far.

      1. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a policy idea started in one country to gradually be adopted in others–though the only ones I can think of off the top of my head have to do with copyright and all come from the US. So an idea starting in Belgium could, in theory, present the basis for a similar one started here. In theory. But that theory would have to be stretched beyond belief for anyone here to actually expect that idea to take hold. considering we can’t even form a legal opinion on sex-selective abortions without suffering a near heart attack, nevermind anything else in that range, it would actually surprise me if I woke up some morning and read an idea like this was being put forward in parliament. If we’re being honest, methinks the lady doth worry too much.

        1. Amen, James. 🙂 Sorry if I gave the impression that Belgium was too insignificant to spawn a global trend. I never meant to say that, just that there was no historical precedent to suggest policies adopted there would catch on here. Especially on an idea that’s such a stretch to begin with.

          And Steve, I agree 100 per cent with your take on work ethic. Notions of perseverance, elbow grease etc have been absurdly idealized over time. Now available for purchase at a movie theatre near you under the “American Dream” label. :p Seriously though, people seem to forget that there were shades of grey back then, as now. Plenty of people work their asses off today to get ahead or even just to get by, while the ball-busters of the Great Depression and World War decades definitely had to share oxygen with grade A layabouts. And no matter what the era, people generally do find *something* to believe in, beit it a personal goal or a global ideal. The more things change, the more they stay the same. 🙂

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