Friday, May 22, 2009

Freedom Friday 05.22.09

Welcome to Freedom Friday! If you're new here, please check out the Freedom Friday collection over there on the sidebar to find out what it's all about.

Today I was planning to begin discussion of the 12 Values of Freedom but I've been noodling something for a few days that I think we should talk about.

I'm sure most of you are aware of the young boy with Hodgkin's Lymphoma who is refusing chemo treatment. If you haven't heard about it here it is in a nutshell:

Daniel Hauser is a 13-year old boy diagnosed with cancer. Doctors say that with chemo he has a 90% survival rate and without it his rate drops to about 5%. However, Daniel and his parents are refusing chemo treatment based on religious reasons. They are a part of the Nemenhah Band which is some kind of religious group that uses Native American healing. The courts have ordered the Hausers to accept the chemo treatment and so the mother and son have gone into hiding.

So here's the part I'm noodling:

My first response to this story was probably like many of you. I was thinking that those people are insane for not wanting chemo for their son! Having recently lost my niece to cancer, I can tell you that I would have given my right arm for Hannah to have had a 90% survival rate with chemo. And these people are throwing away the gift of modern medicine that could heal their child.

But this is the tricky part. Remember our Principle # 4: The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

So if I believe that as a parent, I have the right to raise my kids as I see fit and make decisions on their behalf according to my belief system, do the Hausers not have the same right? Now obviously, in the case of physical or sexual abuse the government has the right to step in because rape and assault are illegal. But alternative medicine is not illegal.

And where do we draw the line? The government steps in and says "You must use traditional medicine rather than alternative medicine regardless of your religious beliefs because it's in the best interest of the child." Ok, we probably all agree that makes sense. But where does it lead? Let's says I have a young teenage daughter who gets pregnant. What's to stop the government from coming in and telling me, "We don't care that you think abortion is murder and it goes against your religious beliefs, we think it's in the best interest of your child to have an abortion." We would all think that was preposterous and a true violation of our rights. Is it such a leap in logic to think we're heading that way?

The progressive movement is based on the idea of the best interest of the collective rather than individual rights. Is it far-fetched to think that someday soon the government could make the argument that, in the infamous words of our illustrious leader Barak Obama, "We don't want [your] child punished with a baby." Besides, an unwed teen mother will probably be on welfare so it's in the best interest of the collective (society) that taxpayer dollars not be used to support them. And God help us if we go the route of socialized health care. Then it will be deemed more cost effective to eliminate an unwanted pregnancy.

And think about this: Let's say I'm a homeschool mom and I'm teaching my kids according to my religious beliefs. What's to stop the goverment from deciding that it's in the best interest of society that my child be taught only evolution rather than creationism? What's to stop them from ordering me to put my kids in the public school system so they can be properly indoctrinated?

It's a slippery slope we're on. Do I think it is reprehensible, appalling and foolish that the Hausers are refusing an almost certain cure for their son's cancer. You betcha. Do they have the right to be foolish? I'm afraid I have to say yes.


Kendra said...

Lisa, intelligent, wise, thoughtful post today. It really does make us think. Where do we draw the line with government? God certainly gave you quite the brain in your head!

Amber said...

Smart friend. Again you astound me.

Mich said...

I remember having this debate before when some places banned prayer in school. Issues like this one really make you think about what you truly believe.

Great post!