Charlie Gard is Dying, Like the West

By John Zmirak Published on July 25, 2017

Charlie Gard is a real baby who is dying. He has been baptized into Christ, and that gives us every hope that his eternal fate is secure. His parents are grieving, and merit our respect. When the awful moment comes that they must lose him, they deserve both privacy and our prayers.

Anne Frank was a real girl with her own hopes and dreams. They were suddenly cut short by wicked men acting on crass, irrational ideas. But what the Nazis did to her served as a powerful symbol of the evil that they wrought on millions of other innocents, particularly Jews. Reading, retelling, and remembering her story, to illustrate the cruelties of the Holocaust and the foulness of antisemitism, honors her memory.

What happened to Charlie Gard and his parents is all too real. His story is a microcosm, a little world, in which we can see more clearly what’s poisoning the planet.

Charlie’s fate is also a symbol. Not in the sense of an allegory, where the “sign” means nothing in itself. Where it’s just a marker for something else that’s real and important — like a fish as a code for Christ scrawled in a catacomb. No, what happened to Charlie and his parents is all too real. His story is a microcosm, a little world, in which we can see more clearly what’s poisoning the planet.

To deny that, to refuse to learn the “big” lessons from this little, heartbreaking story, would be to render Charlie’s suffering almost meaningless. Imagine if the person who’d found Anne Frank’s girlish diary had thrown it in the fire.

Euthanasia in England

Last week, I would have written, “If Charlie Gard dies. …” Now I have to write “When.” That is not an accident. When Charlie Gard dies, it won’t just be because of some “act of God.” Not even because of negligence. It will be an act of passive euthanasia on the part of the British government. Its health officials and courts denied Charlie’s parents their most fundamental right — to try every treatment within their means to secure his recovery. To decide what is best for him. To fight for the child whom God and nature entrusted to their care.

Why did they make this decision? As I wrote last week:

“Life unworthy of life” is almost exactly the phrase that British authorities used when (with European courts’ collusion) they ruled that Charlie Gard must die. That his parents couldn’t use the private funds they had raised to try to save his life. And why? Because he would still be handicapped. So the State thinks him better off dead. And the State decides these things.

I’m not sure which motive is more fundamental here: The eugenicist’s urge to kill the handicapped, or the tyrant’s glee at usurping parental rights. But why choose between them? Those impulses go together. They are part of a broader, civilizational revolt against Nature.

Creation is the Enemy

Here’s just a short list of the topics on which Progressives reject the claims of Nature.

  • Parents’ rights, as in the case of Charlie Gard. Of persecuted homeschoolers in Germany. Of parents in Canada who lost custody of their “trans” child for refusing dangerous hormone treatments.
  • Individual rights, such as freedom of association. Harvard just voted to expel students who choose to gather, off campus, in clubs that the school doesn’t approve.
  • Citizens’ rights. We are not permitted to weigh the actual consequences, already obvious, of admitting millions of intolerant Muslims into rich, childless Western welfare states. Or letting countless unskilled workers pour into the United States. If EU citizens talk about such things too loudly, they might well be prosecuted. In the Catholic church, our own leaders will denounce us as xenophobic Manicheans, or as Herod murdering the infants of Bethlehem.
  • Voters’ rights. Fundamental policy decisions in the European Union are being made by secret committees of appointed bureaucrats. Enormously important issues in America from abortion to same-sex marriage are decided by unelected judges, with no real recourse for voters. Meanwhile, armies of appointed bureaucrats have taken over most of the task of governance from the Congress.

These attacks on natural rights and sane, real relationships don’t come from a vacuum. In each case, the left denies the claims of natural law for a reason: They stand in the way of living out fantasies that make elites feel better about themselves. Since life has no other meaning, feeling good about yourself is the most fundamental right.

Which motive is more fundamental: The eugenicist’s urge to kill the handicapped, or the tyrant’s glee at usurping parental rights?

The ancient Gnostics understood this psychological maneuver perfectly well. They looked at fallen Creation and saw it as an affront against the freedom of the sovereign, God-like Self. So they declared that Creation is evil. The product of a wicked or a bumbling lesser god. A god who didn’t know what he was doing, any more than Darwinian evolution is supposed to.

The Body is a Prison

For Gnostics, the body does not serve the spirit as its temple. No, it traps it like a prison. So we have the right to redecorate our cells any way we want — or finally, when the suffering outweighs the pleasure, to hang ourselves and be done with it. In fact, when we see that others (like Charlie Gard) are suffering, we can go the extra mile and put them out of their misery.

Moderns who believe that the source of life, even human life, is a series of blind, pointless accidents have every reason to hate Creation. To see it as a series of blind and arbitrary obstacles to pleasure and cruel occasions of suffering. Creation has no structure, and suffering has no meaning. The cosmic nonsense generator that created the universe and emitted mankind as a by-product just dumped us here. We’re like cast members of a closed-down reality TV series who were stranded on a desert island and promptly forgotten. We owe those producers nothing. Certainly not our obedience. We might as well have some fun before we starve.

Meat Puppets Doomed to Die

So why should we feel bound by what seems “natural”? In fact, if all this were true, we ought to see arguments from nature and natural law as repugnant, even wicked. They’re just claims made on us by the callous, mindless force that dumped us in these prisons as hapless meat-puppets doomed to die.

People who believe these things have no business running society. They shouldn’t even be doctors, much less the heads of hospitals or national health services. Nor should they dominate the humanities and social science faculties of our colleges. Nor should they be running the Pontifical Council for Life.

Little Charlie Gard will be with Jesus soon. We’ll still be here. His fate is a symbol of the evils we need to fight. Our elites know the West is dying, is almost dead. They know that a cure exists — the return to Nature and Nature’s God. And they’re desperate to keep us from getting it.

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  • Paul

    John, in an earlier article you coauthored you posed the question if this will bring down the EU…how’s that going?

  • Zmirak

    See how voters in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic–and later, more countries–react to this judicial euthanasia.

    • Paul

      Yes we’ll see, I look forward to your follow up. I doubt it will have much effect but I’ll be glad to be wrong about this. Short of more Brexits the EU remains.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    I wonder if those British authorities would have reached the same conclusion were one of their own facing the same predicament ? If yes, then their ideology has eclipsed their humanity. If no then their humanity has eclipsed their ideology . Speaking of humanity ,
    wasn’t it the Son of Man who said ,”light has come into the world but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil ..” That pretty much sums it up. Young Mr Gard has earned the dubious honor of being the poster boy for all that is wrong w/the politically correct humanism which has darkened the souls of so many who would prefer to think of themselves as among the “new” enlightenment …..

    • Kevin Carr

      I don’t think they would have, in socialist/communist governments and even our own the elitists at the top ensure that they will not go without. They know what is best for everyone else, and then they of course are our betters, they are special and should have to live as the rest of us.

    • Pigdowndog

      “I wonder if those British authorities would have reached the same conclusion ”
      If by “British authorities” you mean the judiciary then they are reliant on expert witnesses.
      The expert witnesses in this case were the medical staff in the best children’s hospital in the world.
      They concluded that Charlie was suffering with no hope of recovery.

      “the politically correct humanism”
      That “the politically correct humanism” seems to me far more humane than putting your faith, literally, in some ethereal wizard.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Yeah, an “ethereal wizard” just won’t cut it. Thats way too sublime a concept. “Literally” or otherwise, but surly I jest. Seems to me you missed the whole point of my post. It’s not about “expert witnesses”. Any judiciary can produce those. Be it that of a banana republic or her majesty’s government. It’s about the dignity of human rights . Both the parents & child’s . You substitute the judiciary for what you conclude to be nothing more than some wizardly figment of your imagination. Consider that independent of a Supreme moral authority, you know a benevolent God, whose existence you seem to refuse to acknowledge, the idea of life having any substantive value not affiliated w/the fraudulent theocratical rule of a near tyrannical bureaucracy is the bigger fantasy ….

        • Pigdowndog

          “It’s about the dignity of human rights. Both the parents & child’s”
          Seems to me that both the judiciary and the medical staff have bent over backwards to gift human rights to both the parents and the child.

          “you know a benevolent God, whose existence you seem to refuse to acknowledge,”
          Probably due to the total absence of any evidence for any god, benevolent or otherwise.
          Your god doesn’t appear to be in the former one of those adjectives judging by the terrible diseases and natural disasters he looks down upon with indifference.
          You’re right, I’ll take back the “wizard” barb as the wizards of fairy tales seem to be a lot more effective.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            To quote an iconic figure of American pop culture , “it may be the devil or it may be the Lord – But you’re gonna have to serve somebody “.
            Sad that your tone suggests an experience of some tragedy in your life or the life of a loved one . So, by what authority do you suppose that your theological assumptions are correct ? Maybe, just maybe theres more to God than your simplistic & libelous religiosity suggests …? Perhaps when you search your conscience, you may realize that by virtue of your having that conscience there is more to The Creator than in all of your philosophy …. to borrow from Shakespeare

          • Pigdowndog

            “it may be the devil or it may be the Lord – But you’re gonna have to serve somebody “.
            I’m a fan of his too but that’s just “Blowin’ in the Wind”.

            “Sad that your tone suggests an experience of some tragedy in your life or the life of a loved one . ”
            Happy to report no great tragedies in my life apart from the normal expiring of loved ones, i.e. mum and dad but hardly unexpected.

            “So, by what authority do you suppose that your theological assumptions are correct ? ”
            I refer you to my previous remark concerning the total lack of evidence M’lud!

            “Perhaps when you search your conscience, you may realize that by virtue of your having that conscience there is more to The Creator than in all of your philosophy ”
            But first you must put flesh upon this spectre before equipping him/her/it with the power of gift.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Flesh was already put upon what you refer to as “this spectre” .
            The witness to His incarnation & subsequent death & resurrection is both historical & personal. More generations than you can discredit have attested to his presence. Creation itself speaks volumes to an intelligence in design. More faith than either i or millions of witnesses to his redemptive “gift”can muster would be required to embrace any other explanation for both the physical & metaphysical realities which/w we have to do. Random chance is hardly an alternative to the absurdity of suggesting a total lack of evidence where that which is seen , heard & felt is concerned. That which is less tangible like time &
            space , concepts like eternity & morality & passions such as love & loathing require much more than speculation to satisfy an inquiring mind ….

          • Pigdowndog

            “Th
            The witness to His incarnation & subsequent death & resurrection is both historical & personal.”
            Afraid not. no witnesses to that supposed happening whatsoever.

            “More generations than you can discredit have attested to his presence.”
            Personal testament is not evidence.

            “Creation itself speaks volumes to an intelligence in design.”
            “Creation”, contentious word, speaks only of abiogenesis and evolution.

            “More faith than either i or millions of witnesses to his redemptive “gift”can muster would be required to embrace any other explanation”
            Again. Personal testament.

            ” That which is less tangible like time &
            space , concepts like eternity & morality & passions such as love & loathing require much more than speculation to satisfy an inquiring mind ”
            I’ll put my “faith” in science as opposed to the pulpit.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Science which has never proven the scripture wrong & has actually been corrected by scripture when the science was demonstrated to have been false is not a matter of faith.
            Science is based on observed facts. otherwise it’s mere speculation . As to all your other conclusions – absolutely untrue , unverifiable & unrealistic in regards to the historical & contemporary witness . Have a nice day …

          • Pigdowndog

            “has actually been corrected by scripture when the science was demonstrated to have been false ”
            Can you give me an example of this please?
            By the way, science corrects itself if found to be false.

            “Science is based on observed facts. otherwise it’s mere speculation.”
            Full agreement on that one.
            The total opposite approach theists take.

            “unverifiable & unrealistic in regards to the historical & contemporary witness ”
            You can’t “manufacture” contemporary witnesses with speculation.

            “Have a nice day”
            I always do and I hope you do too.

  • Nobody Specific

    What I want to know is if you’re secular humanist variety and you like utilitarian philosophy, what is the point? If you really don’t believe that you’re existence is more than a cosmic accident, if you can’t see the works of a benevolent and loving God all around, than as John write its just all about “having some fun before we starve[die]”

    Suppose that is true, than isn’t it all the more wicked to snuff out the life of another or stand in the way of someone like Charlie getting care? He is still a person, he still should have some fun no, because once he is gone that is it, no more. Even if he could have lived a few months grown just a little more he might have been around long enough to laugh at his mother or father making a face, enjoy drinking his mothers milk and feeling contented. Who the heck are anyone of us to deny him that?

    Unless you carry it a little farther, and conclude that its only than about you and what you want. At that point those moments of human joy, creativity, pleasure, etc no longer even matter. Nobody is special, just accidents. Since we are all just accidents and will one day be gone none of it matters. There isn’t any really an moral or ethical reason to prevent you from just killing anyone you feel like for any reason at all is there? You can’t have a society though that way can you?

    Only faith in the Lord is ultimately intellectually consistent every other philosophical model eventually eventually ends in contradiction.

    • Hmmm…

      God’s word tells us of the after life, so there is not an end with this life. Babies have an entrance to Heaven, some claim due to baptism, others due to their being below the age of reason, their innocence. Since receiving Jesus as Lord many years ago, that assurance only grows more vital. Heaven is a real place where one enters into the things which God has prepared, the one who is love.

  • StanToronto

    This was a medical decision, made by the attending doctors who believe the child’s loss of muscular and brain function to be irreversible. The treatment, ‘so-called’ being offered in America is not treatment!!! They merely want a human body to experiment on. What they plan to do has never been tested on a human with Charlie’s condition. They are just looking for a guinea pig!!

    The decision made by the doctors was upheld by the court. I think they made the right decision.

  • Bob Mitchum

    Funny how these governments become blinded by their sanctimonious virtue signaling when it comes to allowing illegal refugees into their nations, free of charge, but magically turn a blind eye to the plight of those who were born next to them.

    Charles Dickens called the “telescopic philanthropy”.

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