The chemical execution of innocent civilians by Assad is met with the usual outrage from the international community. Just to pick a fight, I will suggest to a secular audience that Assad is not an evil, murderous head of state, but a misunderstood progressive too far ahead of his time.
Outraged? Let’s take a look at a similar incident in recent weeks that barely made the news.
Nancy Verhelst was euthanized in Belgium according to the local euthanasia laws. Was this person terminally ill? No, unless the law can be contorted to suggest that we are all terminal, it’s just a matter of when. Was this person suffering immense physical pain? No. Was this person at the end of life or over the threshold of life expectancy? No, Verhelst was 44 when the state took her life.
So why did the state kill an innocent, healthy member of its nation? The story behind Nathan Verhelst is certainly tragic. Identifying as a male (Nathan born Nancy), Mr. Verhelst was rejected by her parents and led a confused life. A recent botched sex change operation left Verhelst feeling like a monster, despondent beyond hope and prompting a decision. The state granted Verhelst her wish. She was euthanized. Pizza was promptly ordered, a soccer game was watched and life went on—except for Verhelst.
Life is cheap and human life is the cheapest of all. We live in a progressive world in which the right to choose extends to the unwanted child that lives half a century. Doctors who are charged to do no harm, harm by frivolous operations, plastic surgeries, abortions, infanticide and assisted suicide. Extrapolation of such progress leads one to believe that anyone who is despondent and finds life unbearable should end it all with a barbiturate potion complements of an expanded “healthcare”. This could include post-partum women, love frustrated teenagers and the melancholy. It could easily be applied to anyone in the prison population unable to cope with confinement as the ACLU banes religious material everywhere to remove all hope.
Allow me to personalize this issue. As a 15 year old in prehistoric 1980 I wanted to end my life. I was a short, prepubescent punching bag with no prospects for female companionship. I was diagnosed with lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy that left me a monster: no hair, bleeding mouth sores, extreme nausea and pain. In modern day Belgium I would be of applicable age and able to enroll the state in my rash decision to terminate my life. The consequence would be both temporal and eternal and societal.
My point is this: in form, the resources of the state can be legally used to put to death an innocent, healthy member of its society. So why condemn Syria?