Friday, February 4, 2011

Right to Life Decisions

I was cleaning my house the other day and popped on the television to see what was on. Now I don't like alot of the shows that are television these days. My husband and I are frequently stating that old quote, "there's nothing on.".  I used to watch alot of Bonanza but hadn't watched too much of in recent years, but when I flipped the television on it was playing so I listened as I worked.  I kind of got the jest of what was going on. I'll tell a little of what I gathered since I did come in in the middle. This is how I came to understand how the show got to the point I came in on.

It starts with a blast from a mine overheard by Little Joe while out  riding on his horse. There were two men at the mine when Little Joe arrived to see  what happened. A young man and his future father-in-law. Now the future father-in-law was injured and  knew he was dying and was in horrible pain and begged his future son-in-law to put him out of his misery. He tells Little Joe he didn't want to do it but he did. He finally killed  the injured man.   Of course, the young man tells Little Joe that his future father-in-law was hurt so bad there was no way he could live and he was in so much pain he was begging to be put out of his misery. He felt he did what he had to do.
He then asks Little Joe not to tell his future bride what he had just done because it would just break her heart but to tell her that her father died in the mining accident. Little Joe goes along with it. That is what they tell everyone but Little Joe can hardly live with himself. He just can't decide in his head if what his friend had done was right or wrong.

His  brothers, Adam and Has,  have a horse at the same time that has a bad leg and Little Joe asks him, "why don't you put him out of his misery."  The brother says he would rather help the horse because he will be such a great horse when he is well.  This is interesting because you hear so much about people of the past putting horses out of their misery when they are injured, but not this time. Adam, the older brother, along with Has help the horse. Later the horse is in fine shape and able to walk and get around great.

Now here is the interesting part. Little Joe gets so bothered by his conscience that he can't eat or sleep. He isn't sure if what his friend did was right and should the daughter truly know how her father died. And should his friend have taken another man's life even if the man is begging to have his life ended because of the agony.
Finally, Little Joe's father confronts his strange behavior, why he is so withdrawn and gloomy. Little Joe asks his father, "is it right to help someone who is begging you to put them out of their misery."  He asks if it is right to kill someone who asks you to when they are in so much pain and feel they are going to die and if not what should be done. He told his father he was so confused he just didn't know what was right but he also wanted to defend his friend who was at the mine and had done the killing. He just knew for sure it was done out of mercy. He asked his father if it was right or wrong.

This is where I stopped and waited. I knew this was Hollywood and Hollywood has their own set of rules for life but it was also taped in 1963. What would his father say to him. What would be the answer in regards to mercy killing. Well, I thought I would let you listen. I am sorry this is in two parts but it just happens to be where it splits on youtube.  I tried to just get the part where Pa and Little Joe are talking but couldn't seem to do that. So the conversation starts at 5:20  on the first video and ends at 2:20 on the second video.

Of course, after a while Little Joe becomes confused again, tells his brother he thinks his friend was right in what he did but in the end Little Joe does what is right.  He confronts his friend.  He tells his friend he was wrong to take the  man's life and the daughter has a right to know how her father died. And as true to Bonanza and old westerns there is a fight and the Little Joe wins, feels better about himself and the friend goes to jail awaiting trial.

What is interesting is the friend turned out to actually have killed the father because of a fight and greed over silver in a mine. He was being selfish. He wanted to marry the daughter and have the money in the mine.  He also, told Little Joe, in the middle of the show, that Sarah, the dead man's daughter, would always have to be taking care of the father and she would get tired of it, but Little Joe doesn't believe it. So, you get the impression that another reason the young man killed the father was because he didn't want to see his wife and himself caring for an injured man all their life. He didn't want the burden.

Taking someone elses life is always a selfish act, whether it is euthenasia, abortion, lying about them, bullying them or stealing from them. It is always selfish.

Well, I posted this because as a nurse I see a lot of people suffering and there are alot of issues over abortion and euthenasia. Of course, I would never suggest getting moral or religious advice from Hollywood. They just don't live in the real world out there. God gave us His Word and His Church for guidance. I just thought what  Pa said was very good. We should do all we can to help the suffering, sick and injured survive. Life is sacred and no one ever has the right to take another's life.

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Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain