Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy

Anger Is Not An Evil!

by Ron Panzer
March 27, 2005

Although I admire many of the writings of Wesley Smith, I respectfully disagree with some of his advice in a recent blog posted on his weblog (www.wesleyjsmith.com) He writes, "how are we to act in the face of such a profound injustice? Many are feeling deep anger, fury, even hate. Some are tempted to act on these feelings. They must not!"

I believe that while it is important to pray constantly, reflect and learn as much as we can, we must channel our anger and rage into constructive outlets. Denying or suppressing one's anger is a HUGE mistake many academics or religious (of any faith) make! Those who believe in a God must reflect on the real reason God gave us anger and rage in the first place. They have a legitimate purpose. We, as a society, have been wrongly led to believe that we should never be angry, never feel rage, never be indignant, and never judge. Nonsense!

We are taught: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." and "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:30-31

If I love my neighbor, sister or brother as myself, should I not then feel anger FOR THEM if they are victimized and harmed? Of course! This is the natural purpose of anger: to protect those who are vulnerable!

God gave us the capability to feel such emotions. Anger and rage are not inherently wrong or "evil," rather, how they are applied can give rise to much that is evil or give rise to much that is good. If you do not allow yourself to feel the anger within, you WILL become depressed; you certainly will be ineffective in doing His work! There are times when it is appropriate to feel angry and this is the time. I believe with all my heart that Jesus would be furious to see one of His children abused, neglected and even murdered. While we should not be consumed with anger, we must use it constructively to do His will. Pray for guidance as to what work and actions would help in the struggle to honor Him. Harness this anger and channel it into the mission that you feel called to serve.

Anger is not "wrong" if it is used for the benefit of others, without violating the laws handed down from above. Use your anger to change the world, coming from a place that is consistently loyal to life and its Creator. Jesus did not shy away from using his anger to remove the moneychangers from the temple, or from rebuking those who exploited the vulnerable. He was angry at those who pretended to be pious yet sought to prevent Him from helping others at any time.

The superficially religious, the anti-Christians and anti-Semites tell us not to judge. Just because the scriptures may say, "judge not, that you are not judged," it does not mean we must refuse to see what is damaging or constructive, what is pure and loving as contrasted with that which destroys and harms a life. The actual message of many scripture verses is that we should actually judge and discern what behavior is right and what behavior is wrong, what is a good path, what is a wrong path. The scriptures are filled with commands to instruct our children in the ways that lead to a "righteous" life. However, the anti-God forces ridicule anyone who even uses words such as "righteous" or "faith," because they know how powerful the real understanding of these concepts is.

Mr. Smith is correct that violence is not warranted, but to suggest that we should be focusing on "forgiveness" at the very time the killers of our sister Terri cut her down bit by bit, without regret, without repentance, and who gleefully shove her slow-motion murder in our faces, laughing at those who have tried to save her, as her life ebbs away? I don't think so! I will let God judge them and God punish them. But I do not hesitate to judge their actions as the evil it is! If we cannot judge whether actions and behavior are good or evil, then we will lose our way. If we lose our sanity in politically correct "forgiveness" that has nothing to do with our reality, we are made "crazy" by the unreasonable demand that we not be human. Not that we should not forgive, but there are times to focus on forgiving, and there are times when action is needed.

If soldiers at war filled themselves with forgiveness as they went forward to do battle, they could not be effective; they would be slain. There is a time and place for everything. Forced, politically correct feelings cannot lead to real advocacy and change in our society!

Those who gleefully boast about killing the vulnerable do not hesitate to show their rage at anyone who would stand in their way. They do not hesitate for a moment when they deny the most basic of kindnesses to those they would harm. And while we must not imitate their cruelties, we must match their determination to succeed, for the heart of our nation is at stake!

If we are so focused on forgiving and reflecting, we become ineffective to do His will. Sure, we should forgive those who harm us AND REPENT! But those who do not repent and continue to lie, cheat, and murder the vulnerable, whether young or old? They damn themselves! And I don't have any sympathy for them. We don't have to wish them harm. They have estranged themselves from God and His way.

We all know that Terri was not terminal and that the intent here was to end her life, to kill her, using biased judges, edited or distorted testimony, in one of the most corrupt court proceedings extended over many years' time that we have ever witnessed: a real "kangaroo court" with an absolutely predetermined state-mandated death for our sister Terri.

It is my love for God that motivates and gives strength to my efforts to protect the vulnerable. I am not ashamed of my God! Yet I know many disability advocates who fear being associated with the religious, the prolife, the conservatives or liberals. Are they ashamed of God? Are they ashamed of those who value their lives? What shortsightedness! Years ago, the vast majority in society were prolife; it was a given! And without that prolife focus, these same disabled individuals (who fear associating with the prolife) would not exist at all! They would have been cut down and eliminated as the Nazi forces of death swept across the world, just as the descendants of Hitler's Nazis have done to our sister Terri Schindler.

You may have read the poem,

"First They Came for the Jews"

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

- by Pastor Martin Niemöller

The shortsighted disability activists of our time may learn from this lesson. Their current motto seems to be:

"I did not wish to associate with the prolifers"
(because we will be marginalized and politically shot down in the media.)

"I did not wish to associate with the conservatives,"
(because we will be marginalized and politically shot down in the media.)

"I did not wish to associate with the liberals,"
(because we will be marginalized and politically shot down in the media.)

"Then they came for us, the disabled, and killed us,
and it was too late for the prolifers, the liberals
or the conservatives to do a thing for us,
because we are no more."

It is clear that during Nazi times, if the people had stood together, Nazism would have floundered and dissipated. But because each group was separated, only thinking of itself, all were overwhelmed, only to learn the error of being divided when it was too late!

We must not be divided, whether liberal, conservative, disabled or able! We cannot afford to have divided efforts, divided strategies. Those who would kill the disabled are quite united in both strategy and action.

Yet, I wonder if there is no hero who can ride in and make sanity prevail? Is there no patriot who can save our nation from the wave of killings that is sweeping over our nation? Do we, as a nation, have what it takes to re-learn what it meant to our nation's founders that each person has "inalienable" rights: the right to live, to be free, to pursue happiness. Do we, as a society, understand why these rights are "inalienable," inseparable from each individual, indisputable, or understood to be so without question?

Today, we can only watch movies about the great heroes of the past, or action heroes, where men were "real" men, men of principle, who were loyal to truth, justice, the law and God. We inherently yearn to see such leaders, leaders who risk everything for a just cause. We yearn to see leaders who do not hesitate to condemn evil and confront it head on! They follow the truth where it leads them, wherever it leads and keep on till their dying breath.

Where are our American leaders today? Where are our American heroes? Ones with such integrity that your heart fills with admiration and awe ... Do they exist?

I have not seen them. I have not witnessed them. I long for an American "samurai warrior" who could straighten out this huge mess our society has gotten into. We have already fallen so far down the slippery slope in this culture that exalts death, that innocent women and men are put to death simply because they exist, because they are deemed "unworthy" of life. Convenience rules our nation's policies, NOT principle!

And "convenience" is another word for utility. Do we implement policies that are useful only to ourselves or to the government, or do we carry out policies that consider the benefits for each individual to the best of our society's ability? Do we trample the rights of the few in order to please the many? Can we be said to be a "free" or "just" nation if we trample the rights of the few to even exist? A democracy where the majority victimizes the weaker minority is a tyrannical form of government and is not the American form of government envisioned by the founders.

It is only those who hug our nation's evils who deny the dangers inherent in the culture of death: they do not even recognize it when they are swimming in it.

Let's be clear. We have come a long way since the early years of our nation. Though there were grave injustices carried out throughout our history, there is much that is tremendously admirable in our nation's history. Our experiment with an elected representative Republic has been a shining example for the world. When in all of known history has there been anything like it? Even with all the flaws in our nation, when has a comparable effort been made to extend freedom to all?

And we must know that there has been progress: slavery was extinguished; the vote was given to all men and to all women. Education is available to all who ardently seek it. We recognize the equal rights of all people, whether man or woman, of any race, or ethnic group. And the legal protections of the law are intended to extend to all. However, the oppressed of "long ago" have been replaced by a new class of targeted individuals: the elderly, the chronically ill, and the disabled. And any one of us is just one accident or illness away from joining them!

Some lawyers and doctors, though providing invaluable services on a daily basis, have been busy changing the laws of our nation, changing the very fabric of our American system of government. Bioethics committees have rewritten the policies behind the laws passed in every state! Most people are truly not aware how these laws impact their most basic rights. Any one of us who enters a health care facility literally loses many of the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights! And those who learn about what rights they no longer enforceably have, find that it is simply too late to do something about it.

The elderly, disabled and chronically ill are routinely victimized throughout the USA, and very commonly within the health care system that they are compelled to enter. The "discretion" allowed for police and prosecutors, to act or not to act, may be used to tyrannize this new, targeted class of "inferiors." No government officials will admit that they are selectively not enforcing the laws that would protect this class of citizens, but it is an undeniable fact.

Murders of the elderly within health care are covered up; medical records and death certificates are falsified. Bodies are promptly cremated and autopsies are either not done, or the results are hidden away, or again, falsified.

The lands, property and assets of the vulnerable are routinely seized, either by those closest to them (who should be protecting them) or by the court-appointed guardians and conservators who also should be protecting them and advocating for them in their greatest need! Their freedom to choose a place of residence is often denied; their freedom to move about is stifled; their very lives are snuffed out with the iron hand of state power.

This group, like any other oppressed group, currently lacks the power to protect itself. Its feeble protests are crushed like a Mack truck squashing a rabbit on the road. Its call for justice registered in repeateded Congressional Hearings with the sincerity of a spider about to suck the very life out of its helpless victims. The Congressmen and legislators in our states know very well that they save billions when the elderly, disabled and chronically ill are snuffed out, one way or another, within nursing homes, hospices and hospitals throughout the land. And they eagerly hold their hands out to fill their pockets with election campaign donations from the very industries they oversee in legislative committees.

Our medical system is capable of providing the very best care available anywhere in the world, yet it no longer exerts itself to "prove" what medicine can do, it on how to deny care, manage care, and make the most profit within the for-profit corporations that run many health care systems. And in the government-run Medicare and Medicaid systems, there is certainly much service provided, but there are also glaring failures that often directly harm those who desperately seek the care they need.

When I see the vulnerable cut down, it is my love for them that feeds an anger that shines like a laser beam and on the task at hand. Put your hands to the task while the opportunity is there, so long as you can! All are called and all of us are needed, if we are to succeed.

I do not wonder if we, as a society, have lost our way. Common sense no longer prevails in the courts, and the political leaders are spineless frauds that spout patriotic-sounding expressions of concern, but their words amount to nothing but a charade, much "spinning of wheels" going nowhere!

Actions speak louder than words, and at every level of government, there has been a total lack of follow-through on their promises to save Terri or enforce even the most basic of legal protections! It is striking to note that Congress made huge efforts to make sure the bill they passed did NOT extend protections to others!

There is an uncanny hastiness by the power of the state to kill here, an eagerness to do away with the innocent victim of crimes, and a glaring and consistent refusal to investigate any of the innumerable crimes committed against our sister Terri. There is a glaring and absolute failure by the politicians to exert pressure or order an investigation into what really occurred here, and that failure speaks volumes about the real character of our leaders!

What would the founders of our nation think about the intentional use of the heavy-handed power of the state to abuse, neglect and ultimately execute a helpless, innocent woman, based upon edited evidence, refusals to hear witnesses, doctor-shopping and repeated, biased rulings? What would they think about the planned denial of services to, and, ultimate extermination of many like our sister Terri? The founders of our nation would know we have been taught: "Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life." Leviticus 19:16

Our anger rises up and rightfully we should, we MUST "rebuke [our] neighbor frankly so [we] will not share in his guilt." Leviticus 19:17

We are commanded to speak out! Otherwise we are guilty as well. We are certainly not to do so timidly or ineffectively. Political correctness won't do!

Can the intentional ending of a nonterminal, vulnerable person's life be permitted? Not from a truly moral, ethical, or religious perspective. Not according to the scriptures of the Jewish or the Christian people.

Though Jesus taught us to, "love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute [us], did he intend that we swallow our anger and meekly do nothing when we have an opportunity to prevent or stop the tyranny of the state? Did he intend that we say and do nothing as our sister is slain?

Jesus taught us: "Then He will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. .... "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty ... and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' "Then they will go away to eternal punishment." - Matthew 25:41-46

If we feel anger or rage, we must use it constructively to change our society for the better. Speak out and remind people about the sanctity of life itself. If people contemplate and really see the sanctity of life, their "quality of life" arguments fall away and they will understand that we are here to care for each other, not to kill each other. Caring, and not convenience, is the sign of a civilized and just society! It is not really as complicated as the slick self-appointed "bioethicists" would have us believe!

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