Today I had the unusual experience of finding myself on the same side of an issue with Jack Kevorkian.
I had the chance to watch FNC’s Neil Cavuto conduct the first interview with the infamous “Dr. Death” following his release from an eight year prison sentence.
Interestingly, Kevorkian said he picked up that nickname back when he was a med student doing his pathology studies. He actually considers it an affectionate term.
Who knew that would become an apt description of his most notable life’s work?
The interview was fascinating and wide ranging.
And I have to admit, on one significant point I agreed with “Dr. Death”.
And no, it wasn’t in his faith that if the much debated “Death Panels” envisioned in the health care reform debate would be fine if they were composed solely of physicians.
Kevorkian seemed to think that if these “men of science” were at the helm only just and rational decisions about end of life care would result.
I wonder if Kevorkian was aware that Joseph Mengele, the so called “Angel of Death” of Hitler’s concentration camps, was a med school grad as well?
I did not agree with Kevorkian’s statement that the purpose of law was to deny people their freedom.
For instance the very same law that denies a crook the freedom to help himself to my possessions also safeguards my freedom to enjoy the results of my labor.
I did not agree with his response to Cavuto’s question, “What happens to us after we die?”
Kevorkian said we are planted in the ground and stink for awhile, but that’s it.
But there was another statement Kevorkian made that certainly has the ring of truth.
Religion has certainly caused its share of problems in this world.
In the words of “Dr. Death”:
You’re basing your laws and your whole outlook on natural life on mythology. It won’t work. That’s why you have all these problems in the world. Name them: India, Pakistan, Ireland. Name them-all these problems. They’re all religious problems.
When we look at human history, it’s hard to deny that incredible cruelties and barbarous acts have been committed in the name of religion.
But Kevorkian’s analysis fails in that he doesn’t carry it far enough.
Certainly the atheist and the agnostic have a point when they bring up the crusades, or the pograms, or the various jihads as horrific events that have wrecked and ravaged this world.
But as the history of the last century teaches us, the anti-religious are also serious contenders to win the “Man’s Inhumanity to Man Championship”.
Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and the lovely and talented father and son team of the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jung Il of North Korea have left even the Spanish Inquisition in the dust when it comes to the slaughter of innocents.
What religion and irreligion have in common is pretty easy to spot.
Both provide fertile soil for the cultivation of the worst of human nature.
Let’s face it, atheism is merely a world view – a philosophy that has no reality beyond the chalk board.
Religion is an attempt to provide structure and practice to a community of faith with the hope of pleasing God by human effort. It sits dutifully on the pages of venerated texts, or in the words of sermons.
But when we introduce essentially selfish human nature into the mix, well, that’s when things get dangerous.
Atheism never killed anybody. But atheistic people certainly have.
Religion never massacred a school yard of innocent children. But religious people certainly did.
And here is what Jack Kevorkian fails to grasp.
Religion and irreligion have one thing in common. They can’t change human nature.
They can’t give us what we really need – a new heart.
SRL regular guest Chuck Missler offers this important distinction between religion and a relationship with God:
Atheists and humanists are quite capable of morality and moral decision making. Yet, in rejecting the True God, atheists and humanists make themselves their own gods, and because they have no greater yardstick to measure by, it often happens that they reject one evil only to turn around and embrace something far worse. The poor in France had good reason for anger against the spoiled aristocracy and opulent church in the late 18th century. But, having only man’s reasoning to depend on, and hearts full of vengeance, thousands of innocent people were murdered. The atheist has nobody but himself and the local legal system to help him do the good he wants to do, and that can lead easily into gross error. Humankind has excellent thinking ability, but we can easily use that brainpower to justify doing the evil we want to do rather than the good we should.
Yet, the atheist is not too far off when he looks at the religions of the world and feels massively unimpressed. Religion is not the salvation of the world. Religion can be useful in that it provides a framework in which to live, and gives people rules of right and wrong outside themselves. Yet, religion itself cannot change the human heart or free humans of their natural destructive tendencies. In fact, some religious sects actually promote violence and destruction.
Paul didn’t find the answer to his dilemma in religion. He found the answer in the person of Jesus Christ. He found his answer in the Spirit of God, working in human lives to cleanse and free and make new. And the Spirit of God is real, and He is powerful, and He continues to change millions of lives today. If more atheists were truly aware of the reality of God’s Spirit to heal and to transform, Richard Dawkins would sell fewer books.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Gal 5:16,22-25
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