What contempt the Queensland Government must have for Christians that they have chosen the middle of a pandemic to pick an ideological fight with the church that provides 20 per cent of the state’s hospital and aged care beds.
Queensland Labor will soon introduce a euthanasia bill that, if passed, will compel Catholic care facilities to permit terminally ill patients to be killed.
Why the ALP would require such a thing of Christians, let alone at a time when the state most needs the Catholic health system, is a mystery.
Perhaps the Palaszczuk government has grown so used to pushing citizens around over the past 18 months that it now believes it can get away with murder.
Could it be that the premier does not realise Catholic hospitals are run by Catholics?
Maybe she is unaware of an idea held by Catholics — common amongst Christians but evidently quite rare in the modern Labor Party — called sanctity of life.
Queensland Deputy Premier Stephen Miles has dismissed such concerns, insisting that euthanasia in faith-run facilities would be “very, very rare”.
Ohhhhh, well if the residents of Catholic nursing homes are only occasionally put to death …
Inconveniently for Miles, Christians cannot pick and choose when life is sacred and when it is expendable.
Christian doctrine, unlike Labor policy, doesn’t change according to the fancies of this week’s focus group.
But what about compassion? That’s all the Labor Party is seeking. A bit of compassion for people wanting to be euthanised but not well enough to be moved from a Christian facility to a state-based hospital where there is more – you know – flexibility, when it comes to respect for life.
Whatever the reason for the government’s desire to make Christians an accessory to euthanasia, it is not compassion.
Remember, this is the ‘compassionate’ government that, just days ago, refused entry to Queensland for a four-month-old baby who needed vital brain scans.
The government had to protect its citizens from Covid, you see. A baby just south of the border was not a person to be helped, but a hazard to be locked out.
Speaking of Coronavirus, it’s hard to square the Queensland Government’s insistence that not one person must be allowed to die from Covid, no matter the cost, with its insistence that assisted dying must be continually promoted and any obstruction criminalised.
Catholics fell into line when the government told them they could not sing for fear of spreading Covid.
And Catholics fell into line when the government told them they could not meet for fear of hosting a super spreader event.
But Catholics have told the government they will not, indeed they cannot, obey a law that requires them to assist in the provision of euthanasia at their facilities.
The government should not force Christians to become accessories to other people’s deaths. That would impose a burden of conscience impossible to bear.
And impossible for Queensland to bear would be the economic burden if, by its own pigheadedness, the government forced the closure of faith-based hospitals and aged care facilities and was therefore required to fill the gap.
Indeed, they could not. The health system would collapse. And all in the middle of a pandemic.
This was the very dilemma faced in June by South Australian politicians who, at the last moment, blinked and changed their legislation to exempt faith-based providers from being a party to assisted dying.
Right now though, Miles is speaking from on high as one whose words are written in stone.
“I expect all of our healthcare providers and aged-care providers will comply with the law,” he told The Australian, brooking no exceptions.
The open hostility to people of faith is an affront to citizens everywhere.
If the state cares so little as to completely dismiss a Catholic’s conscience on something as fundamental as the sanctity of life, more fool you if you think you have any rights at all.
Christians, Jews and Muslims believe “Thou shalt not kill” was written in stone — and by none other than the finger of God — long before Queensland Labor started peddling pro-death policies.
The Catholics, like them or not, are right now about the only institution prepared to stand up to the state.
We should all pray they hold their nerve.
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