Monday, April 06, 2009

Brighton URC's Embrace Death

Laurence of The Bones... runs a report on a United Reform clergyman , a Mr David Coleman, in my parish "who is just renting a room" to the aptly named Dr Nitschke who supplies suicide kits for £35 to anyone who wants one, including troubled teenagers. Even euthanatising groups regard Nitschke as being extreme but apparently this opinion is not shared by the inclusive Brighthelm Centre. I guess those of us who regard Christianity as being a religion that proclaims "Life" are just a bit fundamentalist. Upholding commandments like, "You shall not kill" is just a bit beyond some Protestant sects.


JARay said...

So, Nitsche has turned up in England has he. He is a truly bad man. He has "helped" some to die who had nothing more wrong with them than the belief that they had cancer.


The Bones said...

May I suggest a small gathering outside the Brighthelm Centre when he comes, or one or two 'attendees' of the workshop who can tell him where he can stick his suicide kits?

Steven said...

I have heard a rumour that he is going to address a group/parish from the Church of England, anybody know anything about that?

nickbris said...

At least it puts Euthanasia in the public eye.

If we don't talk about it it won't go away it'll just creep up until it becomes commonplace and then before we know it we'll all be got rid of before we get the Bus-Pass.

We'll be issued with a lethal pill and for the good of all advised to take it before we are a burden .

georgem said...

Funny he should turn up in Brighton, one of the most troubled cities in the UK.
Dr. Shipman was also a practitioner of helping people out of this world. He, too, thought he was doing them a favour but, as far as I know, he did it for free.

Fr Anthony said...

I suggest this fellow follow the example of Ko-Ko

Ko-Ko. (taking it from him reverentially) A letter from the Mikado! What in the world can he have to say to me? (Reads letter.) Ah, here it is at last! I thought it would come sooner or later! The Mikado is struck by the fact that no executions have taken place in Titipu for a year, and decrees that unless somebody is beheaded within one month the post of Lord High Executioner shall be abolished, and the city reduced to the rank of a village!

Pish-Tush. But that will involve us all in irretrievable ruin!

Ko-Ko. Yes. There is no help for it, I shall have to execute somebody at once. The only question is, who shall it be?

Pooh-Bah. Well, it seems unkind to say so, but as you're already under sentence of death for flirting, everything seems to point to you.

Ko-Ko. To me? What are you talking about? I can't execute myself.

Pooh-Bah. Why not?

Ko-Ko. Why not? Because, in the first place, self decapitation is an extremely difficult, not to say dangerous, thing to attempt; and, in the second, it's suicide, and suicide is a capital offence.

Pooh-Bah. That is so, no doubt.

Pish-Tush. We might reserve that point.

Pooh-Bah. True, it could be argued six months hence, before the full Court.

Ko-Ko. Besides, I don't see how a man can cut off his own head.

Pooh-Bah. A man might try.

Pish-Tush. Even if you only succeeded in cutting it half off, that would be something.

Pooh-Bah. It would be taken as an earnest of your desire to comply with the Imperial will.

Ko-Ko. No. Pardon me, but there I am adamant. As official Headsman, my reputation is at stake, and I can't consent to embark on a professional operation unless I see my way to a successful result.

Pooh-Bah. This professional conscientiousness is highly creditable to you, but it places us in a very awkward position.

Ko-Ko. My good sir, the awkwardness of your position is grace itself compared with that of a man engaged in the act of cutting off his own head.

Pish-Tush. I am afraid that, unless you can obtain a substitute —

Ko-Ko. A substitute? Oh, certainly — nothing easier. (To Pooh-Bah.) Pooh-Bah, I appoint you Lord High Substitute.

Pooh-Bah. I should be delighted. Such an appointment would realize my fondest dreams. But no, at any sacrifice, I must set bounds to my insatiable ambition!

George said...

These 'death dealing' lunatics should be run out of Brighton with the Police and Local Council in hot pursuit!

Preferably chase them off the end of Brighton Pier.

Just goes to show how far our society has progressed down the road of the 'culture of death'.

What next??? Free Suicide 'kits' supplied with every five gallons of petrol, or a free 'kit' in every packet of Chocolaty-corn-oaty-flake breakfast cereals. "Have some breakfast Johnny", "Er, no thanks Mum, feeling a bit low (girlfriend left me, exam difficulties, failed driving test, just feeling a bit in the dumps, etc....), think I'll do myself in with this kit instead!".

This kind of nonsense preys upon vulnerable people and Brighton has enough of those especially as it has a very high student population.

I really hope that the plug is pulled on this Nitsche creep. As for the clergyman - God help him and his congregation (assuming he has one), his choice of shirt 'style' alone is enough to put anyone off attending a service!.

Physiocrat said...

The NHS already does quite a good job of bumping people off.

Dilly said...

I don't think it is fair or helpful to categorise the URC as a "sect". (I hope this doesn't sound pompous). The URC is a mainstream protestant faith community (part of "Churches Together) and was formed from churches from the english presbyterian tradition, and the congregationalists. Both are Bible based,(essentially calvinist) and adhere to the commandments - including "Thou shalt not kill" (although it may be numbered differently. They have a website with a forum, and their hq is in Tavistock Place, although they are organised into regional synods. (A quick google on united reformed church will bring both up) I sing regularly in an ecumenical choir with local church members, and am sure they would be horrified to hear of this. Given some of the "characters" among out own clergy, I think the best thing might, in all humility, as fellow christians, to write or post about this somewhere where other ministers of that faith (or indeed the elders of his own church, who are the governing body) might read it and allow them to advise the Revd Coleman that he is supping with the Devil, with a very short spoon.

gemoftheocean said...

What the heck is "United Reform" Is that like the unitarians where belief in God is "optional?"

Elizabeth said...

Thank God, no one handed Kyle a suicide kit, my daughter sent me the following:

One day, when I was a freshman in high school,*

*I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.*

*His name was Kyle.*

*It looked like he was carrying all of his books.*

*I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."*

*I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.*

*As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.*

*His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.*

*My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks.*

*They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.*

*I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.*

*I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.*

*He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.*

*I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.*

*Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! " He just laughed and handed me half the books. *

*Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college.*

*Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. *

*He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.*

*He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.*

*I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said. *

*As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. *

*Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends... I am here to tell all of you that being a
friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story." *

*I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.*

*He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. *

*I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life for the better.

Dilly said...

I have just read the article about this in the Argus online. It is instructive in putting forward the Rev. Coleman's viewpoint. It all sounds jolly reasonable, until you consider whether he would treat an application from Bp Williamson to speak on the Holocaust with quite the same logic.
Another point. I quote verbatim.

"At one event he had been planning to demonstrate his devices to aid people who want to die, including an "exit bag", drugs from Mexico, morphine, and "DIY Peaceful Pills". "

Do these form part of the kit that Dr Death offers for sale? If so, he is selling class A drugs, and advertising them from the Reverend Cs premises. Any lawyers up this late to clarify if this is an offence?

pelerin said...

Laurence's suggestion of a small gathering outside the centre seems like an excellent idea. Silent with a few placards in place.

Does anyone know on which date the 'workshop' will take place or is it being kept secret until the last minute in case of protests? Rethinking that surely in order to have people present there must be some publicity beforehand?

George said...

Just how far from the Christian precepts of Compassion, Hope and Love can this United Reformed 'clergyman' have strayed?

How dare he even call himself a Christian?

Or is this guy simply a 'clown' and in it for the Mr Celebrity status that he might enjoy for a few moments while being interviewed by reporters from such notable fringe periodicals like 'Suicide Weekly', 'Dr Death's Digest'.

As for Dr 'Death' Nitschke - we must be dealing with someone who is thoroughly saturated with the essence of evil - satan himself!

Just gives me the creeps thinking about this.....

Physiocrat said...

It struck me the suicide kit salesman could do a deal with Al Quaida then you get 72 virgins thrown in for the same money which sounds like a better deal.

Curiously there are some cultures eg Japan where suicide seems traditionally to have been regarded as honourable. In the Hindu tradition, I understand it is taught that there is a special karma for those who die by suicide, who must repeat their exact same life all over again.

Why is a so-called Christian minister supporting this?

Physiocrat said...

These "kits" contain barbiturates. Might be worth contacting the Chief Constable and asking what he intends to do as it is would be illegal to distribute them without a prescription which the man does not have the authority to write.

Supplying them appears to be an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

The "Pastor" could also be held responsible. If I were him I would not touch this with a bargepole even if I agreed with it - he could end up in prison. I wonder if he is aware of this?

Elizabeth, interesting story but please don't separate the paragraphs so much next time you post, it took ages to scroll down.

Ashley Monk said...

A late comment, but I only just found this blog.

I am thankful that this man was not in Crawley when I was growing up. At this moment, on reading this, I am truly close to tears. Living in Wales I can but pray - and will do as this is horrific.

I only know one URC minister, but lots of Presbyterian and Congregationalist ministers in Wales. Thankfully most of them are great and would be highly dismayed at the Rev Coleman.

Physiocrat said...

He would do more good to give the Samaritans a chance to do some recruiting.

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