The Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, BC, a Christian institution, offers palliative care. But harassment by government and the courts because it refuses to offer MAiD, seeks to eliminate choice for those who do not want assisted death.
An article in the online journal Convivium, ”Hospice Stands Firm in Face of All-Out Attack” (1) by Peter Stockland, summarises clearly the dilemma -- government is forcing the hospice to permit assisted death. The president of the society that oversees its governance, Angelina Ireland, courageously refuses to back down. From the article:
She [Ms. Ireland] has been the victim of what she calls “social terrorism” that has included direct pressure to have her excluded from other organizations to which she belongs and left her wary about threats to her livelihood. The local suburban mayor has used her as a verbal piñata for vilification.
“… I’ve had people saying on social media ‘if you ever see her in (public), go after her; make sure you confront her.’ Taking a stand has made me a public enemy.”
Ireland treats the mistreatment as a test of faith. She reminds herself constantly that she doesn’t report to social media trolls or to the local mayor. She ultimately answers to only God. (2)
Consider the “lawless man” described in 2Thess. 2:3: For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction… The Message is more in-your-face: Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan…
I wonder if this “man” is a system, twisting and distorting truth to, in this case, ‘eliminate suffering’. In The Law and Love, Pastor Dave notes “the lawless know the law but break it openly”. Spiritual battles swirl around and within. Rebellion inhabits human history. Destruction lurks in our crumbling social structures. So -- we call on “Charter rights”. A sampling:
The Charter protects every Canadian's right to be treated equally under the law. The Charter guarantees broad equality rights and other fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
Section 7 … requires that governments respect the basic principles of justice whenever they intrude on […] rights.
Section 33: .referred to as the ‘notwithstanding clause’. It gives Parliament and … legislatures limited power to pass laws that may limit certain… fundamental freedoms, legal and equality rights. They can only do this if they clearly state that a particular law is exempt from the Charter.(3)
BC lawmakers, ignoring the Charter (“…faith-based institutions are exempt from providing MAiD...”) (3) force a practice, however legal, on an institution’s mandate based in Christ’s law of love. A friend quotes and I paraphrase: “Lawlessness is where a system of law transcends moral order.”
We’re well-acquainted with lawlessness and its minions: fear, retaliation, helpless anger, rage. But the Spirit’s gifts, discernment and courage, are ours as Christ’s followers. How will we use them in these lawless times?
(1) https://www.convivium.ca/articles/hospice-stands-firm-against-all-out-assault/ Accessed 30 July 2020.