A person like myself – ever trumpeting the advent of the Fourth Great Awakening and daring to compare or conflate it into the prophesied (John 14:12-14) End Times Harvest – needs to acknowledge the co-existence of what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation. This is the part where the return of the King is presaged by the last ditch gasp of the enemy of all life and light. That time includes wars sweeping the planet, men calling evil good and good evil on a wholesale basis, and inchoate hatred of all who bear the Name of Christ etched in their personalities.
Assembly Member Shannon Grove told us how – in the midst of the praise, worship, and repentance of our California Day of Repentance – the Assembly was busy adopting ABx 2-15, the physician assisted death bill. Our gathering was in a hearing room directly above the assembly chamber, and Grove says the worship was clearly audible in the legislative chamber. It was a good day for the Kingdom of God, but it was a really bad day for ground level freedom in the capitol of California.
There is simply no reasonable way to believe this bill is consistent with the respect for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution and enshrined in the California Constitution as well. The Amendment states that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The Supreme Court has differentiated between procedural and substantive due process, as one example in a long line of decisions codifying what must be done to pass the due process test. This bill fails miserably.
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The bill requires a signature from the person allegedly wishing to die. A doctor who is not necessarily trained in either pain management or psychoanalysis certifies the patient is of sound mind. The trouble is that this patient may or may not be drugged, may or may not be under the influence of friends and relatives waiting impatiently for death, and may or may not be subject to a changing mind on the desirability of early death. Let’s recall the poster child of the assisted death movement – Brittany Maynard – who posted she wanted to live two days before her scheduled death. That post was superceded a day later with a message – posted by someone else – that Maynard was “back on schedule,” and the next day she was dead. Unanswered questions about her death prompted the pulling of the bill from consideration in late Spring. How this arrangement (that makes no provision for properly vetting the capacity for informed consent to death in the patient) satisfies due process is inconceivable.
Late Summer saw the bill re-introduced as a piece of a larger appropriations package. This sly maneuver means the bill did not have to go through a committee process and hearings again, even though it was a new piece of legislation now originating in the assembly instead of the senate. It also adds to the due process question this one: If this bill is so good and so full of compassion, why do its sponsors bypass normal procedures and ensure a limited debate – outside the glare of the massive opposition it provoked in the Spring? Why is there a cavalcade of elder abuse, disability advocate, and family care groups so provoked?
Every nation and state that has launched assisted death programs has seen documented abuse under them. The longer the tenure of the law in a place, the more brazen its advocates become for including the disabled and deficient of all kinds – with or without their consent. If this reminds readers of what they remember about Nazi Germany, there is a reason for this. And the reality remains that, given the advanced state of pain management medicine – what is called palliative care – there is no reason for anyone to linger indefinitely in agony as the death advocates contend. There is only reason to clear the inconvenient actors from the stage of life.
As a Christian who takes seriously Jackson Senyonga’s famous statement that “The condition of society is the report card of the church,” I can only call for massive civil resistance to this lawless piece of legislation. I can only grieve over those weak-kneed Christians and others who say – as they say of the new marriage decree and the failure (so far) to prosecute Planned Parenthood for trafficking human organs – it is the law of the land and so must be obeyed. We are called to be law-abiding by our own Bible. But we are also called to know the difference between law and legalized anarchy – which is what we get when lawmakers and enforcers spit on law and call it good.
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The good news is our God is determined to fulfill Genesis 50:20, in which He claims what some meant for evil, He means for good. Shannon Grove claims that – despite the horrific event occurring while we worshiped – there is a new and God-acknowledging spirit making itself felt in the halls of political power. Others state officials and staffers have told me how our presence in Him over the years has forged a peace-of-God atmosphere we don’t always see. It was a very bad day for freedom in the capitol that day. But if we are staunch in defense of our freedom and stronger still in our pursuit of our God and His Kingdom in California, it will be an awesome season.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.