Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeCulture WarThe case of Archie Battersbee and why we are a Poundland society

The case of Archie Battersbee and why we are a Poundland society


I THINK there’s a difference between theism and Christianity. It’s one which speaks to the difference between the brain and the heart.

It’s entirely possible – and I’ve done it – to construct arguments which support the existence of God. It’s harder, though, to acknowledge that a relationship with Our Lord is not one of cognitive consistency but of friendship.

The primary Gospel message is one of betrayal and sacrifice. Which is what makes that message available to all of us. In life we’ve all been guilty of the first and redeemed it by the second.

I believe that we should live in friendship with God, and that any philosophical disputes He has are reconciled in His own mind. And therefore, we accept the ultimate offer of friendship when he gave his son to us on the cross. He knows better than us, I guess.

Faith is a friendship not a belief system. It requires obligations which are asymmetrical. God asks much of us and we, in times of real distress, ask him to come and sit with us. But we owe Him everything. He owes us nothing.

But with real world challenges come what are, from our perspective, tragedies.

Archie Battersbee, a 12 year old child (and therefore a person of unique potential) was found unconscious at home in April. The secular guardians of our Godless culture have declared him dead against the wishes of his parents. The people ‘in charge’ think of this human person – a child, looking much like my own beloved son – as being a slab of meat. They are not in friendship with Our Lord; they are in a version of denial.

Get that bit: the irreligious State has made what is in essence a judgment which is beyond its purview, one which it assumes will trump the wishes of this poor boy’s mother.

Archie’s mother sees in him a spark of possibility. She has the right to that. The NHS has no right to neutralise her hope. If Archie’s mother felt it correct that he should be allowed to fall asleep on his own terms then what objection can the Establishment have to that, given they insist he is asleep already?

We’ve been here before, haven’t we? With Charlie Gard, when despite the offered interventions of the Catholic church it was decided by our judges that it was in Charlie’s best interests to be (in effect) starved to death?

Who do you think operates in the best interest of a child? The mother of Archie or the NHS client state which (for whatever reason) cannot see the soul within the children it purports to care about?

I normally try to write serious pieces with punctuated humour. But I’m too angry today. There’s no humour available. There’s a child lying in a hospital bed and the people who want to look after him –his parents – have been drawn into a conflict with the NHS, which wants to see the back of him.

It may well be that the parents make a different decision, but that is a right that should be invoked by the people who love the child. People who changed the nappies; who saw the spontaneous laughter; who were prepared to accept the deep burden of lifelong responsibility.

We operate a Poundland, cheap version of morality in this country. We don’t see the deeper stuff. But we congratulate ourselves on the vanilla stuff. Having no real concerns, we gorge on gossip.

Shame on all of us, for allowing any of this. Why are we allowing it?  There was no government friendship extended to Archie or Charlie, just a fake version of concern.

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Sean Walsh
Sean Walsh
Sean Walsh is a writer.

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