Saturday, December 16, 2023

Meghan Schrader: We need a world that embraces an ethic of generosity rather than apathy.

Meghan is an autistic person who is an instructor at E4 Texas - University of Texas (Austin) and an EPC-USA board member.

A Christmas message from Meghan Schrader.

I love Christmas. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole world. I love it so much that I leave my Christmas tree up until Easter. My life, my Christmas tree, my choice.

Given what’s happening with the euthanasia movement’s attack on people with disabilities, I think it’s instructive to consider the parallels between its ethos and the Mathusian ethic that Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol was responding to. (Link)

The Canadian government has once again refused to rush through material aid for starving, suicidal disabled Canadians, but is spending millions of dollars to build a “MAiD center” next to a dissenting hospital. Over and over again the American right to die movement pals around with thinkers and advocates who want to take the United States in Canada’s direction; going so far as to claim that any harm assisted suicide might cause for disenfranchised people “ought not to be of special concern.”

This is precisely the ethic espoused by Ebeneezer Scrooge when he is approached by charity workers collecting donations for the needy. (Link) The excerpt from that part of the manuscript reads as follows:
‘At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the [one of the gentlemen], taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

“Both very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

“You wish to be anonymous?”

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”’
That’s the policy that the Canadian government has established for its disabled citizens, and what the United States right to die movement has in store for disabled Americans if we do not interupt its agenda.

But what can we do in the meantime to remediate a world that has been poisoned by the right to die movement’s ableist agenda? Perhaps the best solution is the ethic of love and generosity that Scrooge discovers at the end of the story, when he promises to “keep Christmas in my heart all year round.” We can do what Scrooge did when he doubled Bob Cratchit’s salary and became a “second father” to Tiny Tim. A world that embraces an ethic of generosity rather than apathy and austerity will not starve its disabled citizens or help them die by suicide. That world will embrace disabled people as equals and provide the resources and environment for disabled people to live with dignity.

1 comment:

gordon friesen said...

Very pertinent and accurate, Meghan, thank-you!

And as Tiny Tim says at the end of the story: "God bless us every one!"