In the comments, and on Catholic web sites, there continue to be accusations that the I-1000 movement is displaying anti-Catholic bigotry. Let’s be very clear about this. Pointing out that the Catholic Church has had an alarming problem with not only allowing pedophiles to hold positions of power within their organization, but also actively trying to shield them from the law, is not anti-Catholic bigotry. It’s the truth. I don’t think that individual Catholics should be held responsible for these actions, but the organization as a whole still carries the weight of this tragedy.
The Catholic Church is allowed to lobby and donate money to certain causes. But that does not mean that what they’re doing is reasonable or fair. And when people are wary of what this organization is pushing for, this is not automatically evidence of bigotry. The Catholic Church can impose any sort of rules they want upon their own membership. But in a nation that truly has freedom of religion, they should not be able to impose rules that extend beyond their membership, as they have tried to do in the past by trying to restrict the sales of birth control or to ban abortion.
As has been pointed out here, the current way that end-of-life treatment takes place has not kept up with the realities of a plural, modern society. Doctors are put in uncomfortable situations in dealing with terminally ill patients who desire a dignified and less painful way to exit this world. The correct solution is to ensure that people have the legal right to make their own choices and for a doctor to be legally allowed to respect that choice and evaluate whether it’s being made freely. The safeguards in this bill ensure that the old, the depressed, and the disabled won’t be coerced into ending their lives prematurely. The bill has worked exactly as expected in Oregon for 10 years.
Why does the Catholic Church oppose it? That’s not for me to be concerned with. I’m not a Catholic, and while I respect their right to practice their religion, it’s not for me. Many Catholics in this world are inspirational people who do far more to benefit humanity than the average person. And if deciding that it’s a sin to take your own life along the parameters of I-1000 makes someone a better person, more power to them. But for the Catholic Church, as an organization, to expect that this paradigm be enforced on everyone crosses a line that should not be crossed. Supporters of I-1000 aren’t attacking the Catholic Church, we’re defending ourselves from it.
UPDATE: There’s quite a bit of carnage in the comments below already, and it highlights a very important point here. If you accuse someone of bigotry, as many people have been overly inclined to do on this issue, it helps to have proof. For instance, in the past I’ve accused SeattleJew of bigotry, but instead of just lobbing baseless accusations, I’ve linked to the proof. I hope that makes it clear.