By American society’s judgement taking the life of a living human being is morally wrong and under most circumstances illegal in most states. I view it a bit differently which is particularly relevant today. Let’s explore.
I have no problem with people committing suicide. I will extend that to suicide by association. I have a major problem with murder/manslaughter (exactly where the line between the two exists is up to people with law degrees to decide).
Of late a lot of Americans – but thankfully a minority – are engaged in what during a pandemic caused by a virus about which we know way too little is dangerous and potentially deadly activity. Ironically this has become somewhat of a political battle and a large portion of those engaged in the dangerous behavior self-identify as pro-life. (In America pro-lifers are really just pro-fetus; once you are born their attitude is YOYO, as in you’re on your own.) If their actions weren’t bad enough they are often forcing people to risk their lives by working in unsafe (to themselves and society) conditions. (Expect more on that topic in a future article.)
Starting last weekend many Americans suspended or ended their social distancing. Some of it was young people who feel immortal. That is not an indictment of today’s young people; it comes with the age and always has. We saw pictures of people crowded together in protests, social settings and churches. Whether they realized it or not many were committing suicide or what I call suicide by association.
To me the protesters – who have a right to peacefully protest – are largely just looking for the reinforcement of people who think like they do and/or an excuse to play dress up while showing off their guns.
I understand why people want to congregate. I’d love to take my wife out to breakfast, see a ballgame or a play and attend my book clubs in person but I understand that is neither possible nor prudent right now. It is better to wait than to do it for the last time in my life.
I am an American and as such believe in the First Amendment to the Constitution which among other things guarantees the freedom of religion (which also guarantees the freedom from any imposed religion). That includes religious assembly but not to the point where it endangers lives. If you truly believe in an omnipotent God how can you simultaneous believe that the only way to worship that God is by gathering with others in a place certain at a time certain? I will offer the argument that prematurely reopening churches to in person services has almost everything to do with the collection plate and almost nothing to do with worship.
This brings me to the “line” between killing yourself and another. If the people engaged in the actions outlined above would then interact with only likeminded people that is fine with me. That also means that when they get sick they don’t seek medical attention and in the process expose others to their self-inflicted illness. To put it in conservative lingo: be personally responsible.
The problem is that after their event they return to society and interact with the rest of us. Social distancing is the best we can do in American society under the current situation. It is good but imperfect. Those involved in irresponsible behavior may be the clerk or delivery person handling our supplies. We can limit our interaction with them but not totally eliminate it.
A lot of this irresponsible behavior is a matter of self-centered attitude. It is basically I got mine; (you insert the dirty word) you. The mask is the best example. Wearing a mask does very little to protect its wearer; mainly it protects the rest of the world. By not wearing a mask you are telling everyone you come in close contact with that you really don’t care about them or their safety.
I have no problem with anyone committing suicide; I have a major problem with them killing me or a member of my family!
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