Inverted Religous Intolerance

January 30, 2010


What a delightfully intolerant society we still live in.

As Sheila Edwards,61, wept at her husband’s sick bed this week she had to contend with the broadsheets, free sheets and general shits commenting on her actions as a mother and a wife.

John Edwards’,57, life, which was put in jeopardy after he was hit and run over by a drunk driver, could be saved by a blood transfusion. His sons want it. The doctors want it. The British public, if their red top voice is to be believed, want it. The only problem is, Sheila doesn’t.

Out of respect for her husbands beliefs Sheila has refused to allow the procedure. As a devout Jehovah’s Witness she says it would be like an assault on her husband and that he would not want to live knowing he has disobeyed god.

Enter, stage left, hysteria. Headlines about the woman who is “refusing” to save her husband, forcing her two sons to watch him die. Those who have turned their back on their faith are dragged out, like some kind of authority, to speak about the regret they feel at having made the same decision.

We are reminded of poor Emma Gough, 22, who died in childbirth after rejecting a transfusion when she had suffered internal bleeding following the birth of her twins.

We never pause to consider what it would do to this man were we to ignore his wishes. Yes we’ll have saved his life, but in his eyes we will have condemned his soul. Is it not odd that in spite of not having the strength of his convictions we feel like we can deride his relationship with God? Just because we can’t live by the doctrines of our given church does not give us the right to mock or act shocked at those who can.

Take the Scientologists, who believe that 75m years ago an evil galactic warlord rounded up 13.5 trillion beings and dumped them on volcanoes on Earth, then vaporised them with nuclear bombs. Then their radioactive souls, or thetans, attached themselves to humans and are at the root of our personal and global problems today.

Heck if I know what that’s all about. But as it’s not my faith I don’t have to . I just need to respect that someone else does. Because as a Catholic I’m supposed to believe some pretty funky stuff myself. And if you want to get down to it, did Henry the VIII, in founding the Church of England not just pick and mix whatever least affected his personal life?

It’s called faith for a reason. You either have it or you don’t. But if by getting up and leading my life by a certain set of principles helps me be a good person, then others should respect my faith and my beliefs rather than questioning them.

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