Not that long ago - indeed, it is a matter of mere months - there was a consensus at all levels of Canadian government, Dominion and provincial, regardless of which party actually held the reins of power, that choice was more important than life. Today, it is the consensus of all levels of the Canadian government that life is more important than choice.
In neither case was the consensus one that was arrived at legitimately through informed and open discussion. In both cases this writer did not merely dissent from the consensus but condemned it as being monstrous and evil.
So what is going on here? Has some diabolical mad scientist from an extra-terrestrial world targeted our planet with a mind reversal beam powered by interstellar radiation?
What is meant by “life” and by “choice” in the one consensus was radically different from what is meant by these terms in the other. In the first consensus, the choices that were valued over life were very specific choices. The choice of an expecting mother to terminate her pregnancy and kill her unborn child was one such choice. The choice of somebody – usually a person with an irreversible condition that causes intense pain and suffering – to end his own life with medical assistance was the other. In short, the choices were abortion and euthanasia. The lives that were considered less important than these choices in the previous consensus were specific lives – the lives of the unborn children of the women who chose abortion and the lives of those who chose euthanasia. That the termination of these lives would ensue as the outcome of these choices was certain. Furthermore, these deaths were the deliberate and intentional end of these choices for which reason these choices cannot be made without incurring moral culpability.
The reverse of all of this is true about the “life” and “choice” of the second consensus. Although certain demographics are more susceptible than others to die from the severe pneumonia that the Wuhan Flu aka COVID-19 produces in a minority of those who contract it, the disease does not target specific individuals, nor is death certain in any particular case. With the exception of acts like coughing and spitting in someone’s face, which were already considered to be unacceptable behaviour long before the pandemic, the choices that have been curtailed by our fascist public health officials do not deliberately, intentionally, and willfully spread the virus, much less cause the deaths of the small fraction of those who eventually die from it. Barring the discovery of any hard evidence for the conspiracy theories that claim this virus was created in a laboratory there is no moral culpability here.
At the end of February, only a couple of weeks before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals tabled a bill in the Dominion Parliament – Bill C-7 – which, if passed, would remove most remaining legal roadblocks to euthanasia. It would also take a huge leap down that slippery slope from physician-assisted-suicide to physician-with-power-of-life-and-death that opponents of euthanasia such as this writer have been warning about all along. It allows for the euthanizing of those who have lost their ability to consent to the procedure provided that they have indicated their willingness at some point in the past.
The segment of the population that is likely to be euthanized overlaps to a very large extent the demographic that is most susceptible to die from pneumonia from the coronavirus. What kind of warped logic reasons that we must indefinitely cancel the most basic freedoms of everyone in society in order to protect people from dying from the Wuhan Flu in order that their physician might terminate their life deliberately, with or without their consent?
Note also that while each province in the Dominion has ordered its hospitals to cancel or post-pone most surgeries and procedures that do not involve saving lives, abortions remain accessible during the lockdown.
Now consider the kind of choices that the public health bureaucrats have taken away from us. The choice to go for a walk or jog in the park. The choice to get together with friends and family to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and the like. The choice to meet up with somebody for coffee. The choice to shake somebody’s hand, clap him on the back in congratulations, or cheer him up with a hug. The choice to pay our respects and mourn together for loved ones we have lost. The choice to assemble together with others of our faith and worship our God as He commands us. The choice to go outside and get some fresh air. The choice to go to the library and take out a few books. The choice to go to a gym and get some needed exercise. Unlike abortion, these and the thousand other similar choices that are now forbidden us, do no intentional harm to anybody.
It is choices like these that make up what we, until quite recently, used to call “living our lives.”
What is the point of protecting our lives if we are not allowed to live them?
The kind of choices that the Trudeau Liberals – and all the so-called “conservatives” in the provincial governments – believe should be protected at the expense of human life, do not deserve the protection of law. The kind of choices that our health authorities, Dominion and provincial, have taken away from us in order to protect our lives from the Wuhan Flu, are the choices that make up everyday life and which constitute our basic freedoms. Health authorities should not be able, under any circumstances, much less a media-hyped, flu-type virus, with a fancy name, to take these freedoms and choices away from us. Only Communists, Nazis, and others of that general type would ever wish to do so.
George Grant in an essay entitled “The Triumph of the Will” written in response to the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, with the new powers given it by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to strike down our laws against abortion in R v Morgentaler, quoted Huey Long’s famous remark about how when fascism comes to America it will be in the name of democracy. Our Supreme Court, like that of the Americans in Roe v Wade the previous decade, Grant said “used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought - the triumph of the will.”
I wonder what Grant would have had to say could he have seen the way in which the same people who show a disregard for human life in the name of choice, when that choice is abortion, have turned around and criminalized the most everyday of human choices in the name of life. Since it is happening all over the world, and Grant liked to remind us of the ancients’ warning a universal, homogeneous, state would be one of tyranny, I doubt that it would surprise him much.
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