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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 154 - The Politics Of Death {FMF}

Time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly keyword-driven writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Please visit; there are some great writers there!

I'm writing this ahead of time. It's been quite a week, not in a good way, so I am trying to make sure I have something. I'll amend this with some reference to the given word if I can. (The word is GROW, and I did add something to the end of this post.)

This is something that has been on my heart for awhile. I promised myself I'd never 'go political'; but it seems that there is a need to. I hope I won't lose any of you, dear readers...and I hope that at the very least you'll indulge me for a few minutes.

The upcoming presidential election is important to me, for two reasons.

The first is personal. The Affordable Care Act has changed the face of medicine in the US, and some of the potential it has is worrisome for someone in my position (well, not necessarily for me; I'm done for, but you know what I mean).

The law includes the provision for healthcare rationing by what have been colloquially - and accurately - labeled 'death panels'. These can be formed at the behest of the administration if the money coming in falls below a certain percentage of the money being spent on health care.

They will decide the fate of those who need expensive and life-saving treatment, based on an economic calculus. Yes, insurance companies have done something similar to maintain profitability, but insurers are accountable to their shareholders, and at least to some degree, their subscribers.

To whom would a government-appointed panel, selected by and composed of unelected bureaucrats. To whom would they be accountable? To accountants.

Government accountants.

And so, there's the possibility that one day your mother or father or wife or husband might, instead of receiving lifesaving or at least life-extending care, might be counseled on...assisted suicide.

This would not be based on a national emergency, like a war...it would kick in when too much was going out, and not enough was coming into the health care system. Middle-aged men would still be getting Viagra, and gender-troubled people would get sex-change operations...but after a certain age, your loved one would not be deemed worthy of continued life.

Meanwhile, National Public Radio would still be funded, the National Science Foundation would still pay academics for studies on the sex life of shrimp, and the President would still get taxpayer-funded golfing vacations.

That sucks.

The second issue is related to the last point...not deemed worthy of life. Yes, it's abortion (which is a subject addressed in my latest novel, Emerald Isle).

The Christian view is quite clear. Life begins at conception, and abortion is therefore murder. Period, full stop.

But let's back out of that for a moment. Most supporters feel abortion is allowable until a fetus can'survive outside the womb. In other words, independent viability is the hallmark of a valued life.

There's a problem there. A lot of them, actually.

First, viability is a moving target, informed by the state of medical knowledge. A viable fetus today would not have been viable twenty years ago.

So does that mean that what might be considered a child today would not have been a child back then? Was today's life really just a collection of cells, back in the day?

Second, viability is a process, not an event, and 'personhood' is a development of which we know very little. The fetus can respond to stimuli far earlier than we once thought possible, and it's reasonable to assume that it can feel pain, as well. Abortion's a brutal procedure. Do we have the right to assume a lack of feeling to indulge our own desires?

A baby bird isn't viable out of the nest. Are you OK with someone killing it because they want to?

Third, the question of viability is itself something of a red herring. A person in a coma, on a respirator, is not viable without it, but as long as there is hope of recovery the plug won't be pulled.

And a baby in the womb has an excellent prospect for 'recovery'. It's a nine-month process, and is successfully concluded thousands of times a day, all over the world.

Not fair to say that the dude on the respirator has a chance of becoming a functioning member of society in short order, while the baby won't be that for awhile...unless you're willing to pull the plug on those who would be left crippled for life. (Which also addresses the 'abortion of fetuses who would be born disabled, doesn't it?)

And those who need government assistance, in the form of Social Security disability...for which I am still waiting.

There are two life and death issues in this election. The Affordable Care Act, and abortion.

There are two likely candidates. Hillary Clinton has vowed to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and support free access to abortions.

Donald Trump opposes abortion, and will dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

For a Christian, I believe the choice is clear, because these issues are the meat of the decision.

It's not about immigration or gun control or trade deals. Those are important, yes, but the vote you cast can and will impact life itself for thousand living today, and, as the cliche says, millions yet unborn.

It will set the agenda for the Supreme Court for perhaps a decade to come.

Yes, Trump can be obnoxious and downright mean. He can sound hateful and arrogant. But on these two vital points, his values are shared with the Christian community, and I am surprised...nay, shocked...that many Christians say 'they can't bring themselves to vote for the man'.

Because not voting for him is a vote for the other side. It's a vote for abortion, and placing a monetary value on life.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Not to act is to act."


PS...the word this week is GROW.

Ladron my service Heeler
thinks like a wee Belfast peeler.
She's grown into the job
(and there are teeth in that gob!),
she'd drive the Pope to his kneeler!

Yes, Ladron...the pint-sized policeman. She is now pushing me away from the computer...bye...

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. I don't envy each of you in the States having to make a choice this election. So much controversy. Its not as bad here in Canada, but sometimes you just don't know who to pick and then it comes down to who represents what goes with what you believe eh. I hear you. Thank you for this thoughtful reflection on important matters. I appreciate that you share things that not everyone has thought about or knows about. I had heard about the Affordable Care Act but hadn't heard much about it since it was introduced. Thank you for drawing attention to it. The Lord will still reign no matter who is President, but I guess it is up to us to make use of our right...it is something i hope to NEVER take for granted. Be blessed brother.

    1. Janel, it really has come down to 'bad or worse' here. Trump would have been pretty far down the list of choices for me, but the alternative is downright scary. We've got enough active persecution of Christians now, and I dread seeing that increase

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  2. It's sad about obamacare. It is leading ultimately to full government control called agenda 21. Both issues are issues based of what is right and wrong. What is sad though in this election no one cares about morals or even about what is right or wrong. That is why this election is so hard.

    1. Kristina, you're right, both about Obamacare and a total departure from 'right and wrong'.

      But ultimately, no choice...or a symbolic one...is still a choice. And this, like it or not, is part of our duty of stewardship.

      Thank you for being here!

  3. Andrew, I'll be honest I loathe DT but you make some really good points and shed some good light on these topics. No matter what, God will still reign. Thankful you are still here friend! Loved the lyric. I'm in the #4 spot this week.

    1. Tara, I don't like DT either...not at all. Writing 'Emerald Isle' opened my mind to the abortion issue, and broke my heart. And if one issue dominates my vote, it's got to be that one.

      Glad you liked the lyric! I had some fun with that.

  4. He knows his base and is a businessman and I believe he will do as he's said he will. In addition to what you mentioned, I also believe the Supreme Court appointment is extremely important for the life issues and for the future of our country.

    1. Christy, my sentiments exactly. I don't like Trump's style, but do believe that he'll follow through on the strong positions he's taken, and a lot of those...we really need.

      Thank you for being here and commenting!

  5. So good to 'see' you tonight, Andrew! And yes - while I'm not a big DT fan... well - let's just say I wish we had other viable options! But as you said, not voting IS a vote too! Praying for the election and trusting God... but this year it seems a little harder than in years past! ;)

    1. Karrilee, it's wonderful to still be here...though I have to admit that the past 48 hours have given me an early feeling of 'how long can it hurt this badly'. Still, I'm here, and not wanting - yet - to leave.

      It is a tough election year, and the choices are, at the very least, challenging. I'm not thrilled with Trump's personality, but NONE of the candidates have been particularly appealing, with the exception of Ben Carson (who was my uncontested first choice).

      How would Jesus vote? I think He'd be pretty flummoxed, but I don't think that He'd agree with Spurgeon's view that when faced with the lesser of two evils, one should choose neither...because inaction is indeed action.Staying aloof isn't a moral high ground here.

      Thank you so much for commenting!

  6. Andrew,
    your limerick made me laugh. I read it wrong the first time which made it that much funnier. Wee and peeler and well, I'll leave it at that. Ha Ha Ha!
    So, you've had a bad week, eh? And yet you're bright and chipper and proclaiming the truth from the top of the mountain!
    I saw a fascinating web article about an actual spark of light at conception they've been able to capture.
    So heartily in agreement with you that God chooses the leader and that we must vote.
    Thank you for your courage and your mouthpiece and that you would spare the lives of those who don't even know your sacrifice. That's the kind of hero you are, Soldier Andrew.

    So proud to be among your friends.
    I salute you and I salute your post. :)
    (And I will oppose Mrs. Clinton for the leader of our country as strongly as I can)

    1. And I'm dancing Mambo #9 at Kate's place this week. You honor me that you would even comment after reading. I know it's laborious for you to type.
      Thank you for your unselfishness!

    2. Tammy, thank you so much...and when I re-read the limerick I saw exactly what you meant. Loved that!

      Yeah, it's been a bad week, and gotten worse. A new symptom cropped up which is really depressing, but I'll keep on.

      I saw the article too, about the spark of light at conception. Wonderful, and haunting.

      I am so very honoured by your words, and your friendship, Tammy. And I, too, will oppose Clinton. For these and many other reasons besides. (Such as saying that no one died on her watch in Libya...four men did die, and I was personally acquainted with two of them.)

      And I loved your post. Just wonderful!

    3. New symptoms? What's worse than diapers and throwing up? Ooh...male pattern baldness!! You are losing hair...just kidding. But I hear that Donald Trump can help you with that! ;-)

  7. Thankful I'm not living in the States with such decisions to make. You make some very important points, but closing a country's border to refugees can also lead to a huge loss of life, when they have nowhere else left to go and die trying to seek refuge illegally.

    I've always believed in the sanctity of life and hate how ultrasounds have put so many parents in awful positions. I know someone who got to watch their baby's body organ grow to be bigger than their baby himself and knowing that the second this baby would be born it would die, its organs being unable to support life outside the womb, they were given the choice to spend the remainder of the pregnancy carrying a child they knew would die, or be induced early. Although ultrasounds have enabled saving operations, they have also forced parents into awful positions they were never meant to be put into. I must say that in this particular situation I struggled to know what was "right"...deciding ultimately that the "right" thing for me was to love and support the person concerned no matter what their decision.

    Thank you for making us think about things that are so very important to consider. I hope those voting in the US will prayerfully consider which way to go.

    1. Anna, thank you for bringing both of these issues up...the refugee situation is extremely troubling, for sure. We can't turn away from their plight, though I don't have a clue what the best way to handle it would be.

      And you're right about babies who are simply doomed at the start. Consigning parents to nine months of heartache is cruel, and I should have considered that in writing this post. I am sorry that I didn't.

      When I was younger I new several women who felt they had no option but to abort their pregnancies, and you are right...the best thing one can do, even in the midst of disagreeing with the decision, is to provide love and support. I hope that I did that well enough, all those years ago. I'll never know.

  8. It seems like the last few elections have held more challenging candidate selections. I appreciate your thought-provoking words, Andrew. Though Trump wasn't my first choice I know he's got some backbone, which will hopefully be well-used on behalf of our country.

    I continue to pray for you, Barb and those precious dogs.

    1. Jeanne, the 'backbone' issue is important to me as well. I admit to being a bit tired of eight years of being told that I should be somewhat ashamed of being American.

      We sure appreciate the prayers. The past 48 hours have been a nightmare.

  9. Ah, Andrew. You bring up some thought-provoking points. If only Trump treated the already born with as much dignity as he purports to treat the unborn. He is downright hateful and disrespectful to women. It's too bad we can't write in someone else. I don't know who, though, because the field leaves a lot to be desired. Ultimately, the election is in God's hands and God is in control.

    1. Anita, you're right, and that's one of the things that makes me wish that almost any of the other Republican candidates had prevailed (I liked Ben Carson, personally). Trump's statements over the years do make him out to be a misogynist; but in fairness, the current administration shows the same or worse contempt to the Christian community.

      Surrounded by nastiness, we are.

      It would be nice indeed if writing in a choice would be a realistic option; but I suspect we're in for some damage-control years, and need to make the best of it. Ugh.

      Thank you so much for being here and commenting!

  10. Andrew, thank you for sharing your views...I haven't completely thought any of this political stuff out clearly; but you have certainly put a lot of stuff out there for contemplation. As someone else said, I do not (she said "loathe") like DT either; and a woman President?? Not sure about this one either...But, you HAVE given me plenty to ponder over before Nov. I have always said - and agreed - with the "not to act is to act" or "to not vote is to vote (for the other team?)"!!

    Thank you for taking your stand and sharing with us! Glad Ladron pushed you away from the computer!! Needing that rest...I need someone (the cat, perhaps?!) to push me away from mine sometimes!!

    Thoughts and prayers for you both!! (Or, you ALL - you, Barb AND Ladron)!