Thursday, April 04, 2013

Greens tell Christians to butt out of euthanasia debate

Talk about mixed messages. This comes from an email I received from the Australian Prayer Network. Former Greens leader Bob Brown once asserted in an interview that the Greens are a Christian party, and some Christians are sympathetic to the Greens' ideals. It's hard to reconcile his assertion with this news report from New South Wales, where a Greens MP in the New South Wales state Parliament insinuates that people with religious views are a hindrance to the Greens agenda:

"The New South Wales Greens have again highlighted their anti-Christian worldview by claiming that people with religious views are blocking voluntary euthanasia laws and making the lives of vulnerable people even more wretched and should butt out. "It's time they recognised they are in the minority and got out of the way," Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said. Her comments came as she launched a photo book and an online video promoting voluntary euthanasia as part of her campaign for a Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill, expected to come before parliament later this year.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell will allow a conscience vote if the laws are debated. "I've indicated that if it should come up, members of the Liberal Party will have a conscience vote," he told reporters. Mr O'Farrell declined to outline his own views, saying it would come down to the laws introduced. "These are complex matters. You wait to see the legislation, you wait to see what's being proposed, and then you make a decision," he said. The latest Greens campaign features a video of Loredana Alessio-Mulhall, who is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis and wants law reform so she can die at a time of her choosing.

Ms Faehrmann said in a statement. "Loredana is given every assistance to live an increasingly undignified life, yet society is turning its back on her when all she is asking for is the right to die with dignity." Ms Faehrmann said Ms Alessio-Mulhall could not take her own life because she had lost the use of her limbs. And if a loved one assists her to die they could be tried for manslaughter or murder. State and federal parliaments (made up of a majority of members with non-religious views) have refused at least four attempts to legalise euthanasia in recent years."

Since then, Victorian Beverley Broadbent has reignited the euthanasia debate by taking her own life, and in response to this, the Council on the Ageing and Cate Faehrmann's federal Greens colleague, Senator Richard di Natale, have also called for federal euthanasia laws to be enacted.

Of course all political parties actively court the support of the Christian constituency, and try to get them onside. However, to my knowledge, this is the first time that a Greens politician has pushed them away. The lesson here is to take any overtures from the Greens with a pinch of salt, or from any political party, for that matter.

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