The golden rule
My mother always tried to instil in me the golden rule of ‘do as you would be done by’. Though I have no religious belief, treating others as one would like to be treated is the tried and tested social tool for living together in harmony.
That’s why the Catholic attitude to suffering seems so alien to the 97 per cent who don’t regularly attend mass. In some mysterious, way suffering is supposed to be ‘ennobling’, a ‘gift from God’, as Saint Teresa of Calcutta so charmingly put it.
Of course, in campaigning against David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill, the Catholic hierarchy is politically savvy enough to keep quiet about the virtues of suffering.
But sometimes religious fervour gets the better of political caution. The December 21 issue of New Zealand Catholic details a talk by Dr Colin Harte, in which he said that “Suffering is not only a privilege, but it is the greatest privilege in this world”.
This is fine for those masochists who believe that sort of nonsense, but to those of us on the receiving end, opposition to David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is little short of sadism.