I have been writing on a subject that I don't think I am quite finished with, suicide. Suicide, is the taking of one's life. Is this considered a fundamental right?
The religious right in America tout a "right to life" stance. They vote along pro-life lines and are politically active in conserving life in its many forms.
But, what about the "right" of suicide? The religious right believes that it is necessary to disciple others into Jesus' image. The Christ image is above all the call of the Christian faith. How is this accomplished? By crucifixtion, of course. True believers are committed to the extinct of not considering life, when it is theirs. This "death of self" is a rite of passage to the holiness message of "total consecration and total surrender", "self-denial", and "holiness/sanctification". This is really no different from the teachings of Buddhism about self-denial and coming to a state of Nirvana! So, what is so exclusivist about self-denial? it is only "religious teaching".
I believe that there are many goals that an individual can give their life to, but the individual must make that determination based upon their own personal value commitments. And they may differ from another believer's understanding of their values and goals (noble causes). An individual who does not take responsibility for his own life is prey for those who would manipulate religious teachings and use others for their own vision of what the "cause of Christ" is....and the result is a death to everything that distinguishes one individual from another. this is spirtual abuse. Dying to values that one believes in and is committed to is not what "dying to self" is about. A death to self brought on by another in the "name of God" annihlates the personhood of the individual, and this is about stealing, and killing. Certainly, the "pro-life" stance of the conservative would not uphold such religious teaching, calling suicide a God-sanctioned act. Don't we believe in a God that affirms life?
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