Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ah religion, what would the world do without it? Chapter One

This morning's front section of the National Post contained two religious stories.

The first concerned a man from Guinea who is in Canada seeking refugee asylum. His case has already been denied but he is appealing the decision. Guinea is about 80% Muslim and this man married a Catholic woman and converted to Catholicism. He says if he is deported back to Guinea he will be killed, most likely by his family, for apostacy. If Islam did not declare apostacy to be the worst crime and prescribe the death penalty as punishment, this man would still be with his wife and children in Guinea and we would be spared the public expense of his claims.

That is how the world might be better off without religion.

The second story concerns a dying 84 year old man in hospital in Edmonton. He is in a vegetative state (and has been for some time) and the prognosis is that there is no prognosis. His doctor refers to his death, whenever it may occur, as the natural consequence of a long life. However, this man is of the Jewish Orthodox Faith, and his family is fighting in court to prevent his life enabling equipment from being turned off claiming that it violates their religious beliefs. The man is wracked with ulcers and other bodily sores that simply will not heal. His doctor refuses to authorize any surgery claiming it is tantamount to torture. He feels so strongly about not being pushed by the family into doing something that he believes violates medical ethics that he has resigned his position at the hospital. Hospital officials are worried that the understaffed Intensive Care Unit, which will suffer from this resignation, will also experience other resignations over this and the hospital will be forced to close the ICU.

This another example of how the world would be a better place without religion. The hospital and the community it serves would not be threatened. The doctor would still be practicing at that hospital and the patient would expire peacefully without further trauma.

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