Friday, 4 May 2018

The Parable of the Good Scousers

On one occasion, an expert in the law wrote on Twitter: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?”, an ethicist replied. “How do you read it?”

The lawyer answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, “Do what is in your neighbour's best interest.”

“You have answered correctly,” the ethicist replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked the ethicist, “What is in my neighbour's best interests?”

The ethicist answered, in a threaded tweet:

A child was attacked on the side of the road and beaten within an inch of his life. He was losing blood fast. He had spinal damage that would leave him quadriplegic. He probably had brain damage. He was gasping for breath. 1/n

A doctor walking past spotted the child. She saw the quality of life the child would have, and decided that the child would be better off dead. She left the child, and continued walking down the road. 2/n

A judge spotted the doctor as she walked away from the scene and hurried over. He asked the doctor why she left the child alone and the doctor explained - there's no hope of recovery, his quality of life will be appalling. He should be left to die. 3/n

The judge agreed, and walked off with the doctor. 4/n

Then a group came by - the child's parents. A journalist. A lawyer or two. Some were Catholics, some were atheists, some were protestants. Some were pro-life. Worst of all, some of them weren't even middle class. 5/n

They saw the child and hurried over. They tried to stop the bleeding. They made arrangements to take him to a hospital. 6/n

But the doctor and the judge noticed what was going on. They ordered the group to stop helping the child. They called the police, who came along immediately to stop him being taken to the hospital. 7/n

The group was stunned - some called friends to form a protest. Some called an ambulance to come and care for the child. Some made legal efforts to get the police to stand down, and to allow the ambulance through. 8/n

They prayed. 9/n

They tried everything they could to save the child. 10/n

But it was in vain. The harder they tried, the more the judge, doctor and police resisted. They said that they were only acting in the extraordinary little child's best interests. They suggested that the parents were purely acting out of uncontrollable grief, that the protesters were a mob and that the lawyers were publicity seekers. 11/n

(Divide and conquer.) 12/n

All this time, the child was surviving better than could possibly have been imagined. 13/n

I ask you, which of these acted in the child's best interest? 14/14

He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

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