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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Euthanasia and Murder

by G. K. Chesterton

There is no law against a man biting off his own nose, unless it be a law of nature; nor even any police regulation against his hanging himself up by the hair or whiskers to talk to his friends and family in greater discomfort. There are penalties for suicide but, though I have no suicidal habits myself, I fancy they must be rather hard to apply; since they could only be sharpened into the legal and logical paradox of hanging a man to cure him of wanting to be hanged.

The majestic legislative mind of man does not commonly concentrate specially on forbidding things that nobody would normally want to do. Most probably, there never would have been any laws at all, except against things that men do quite naturally and even passionately want to do. Men punished murder precisely because there are such a large number of persons whom it would seem quite natural, and almost necessary, to murder. Men forbade theft because it is so utterly obvious that any fool could see it, that some property is in the wrong hands, and that anybody might think it would be better applied in his own hands; any fool could see it, any fool could say it, and the law was made because any fool might do it. There was a third commandment, against stealing not only our neighbor's ass, but our neighbor's wife, on which it would now be indelicate to dwell, because all the fools have done it.

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.