Saturday, January 03, 2015

Iconic deaths

Historically, a culturally-iconic death is the death of a soldier on a foreign battlefield, dying to defend the folks back home. But the liberal opinion-makers have replaced that with iconic deaths that are politically useful to further their social agenda, viz. Matthew Shepard, Bobby Griffith ("gay rights") Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown (black civil rights), Brittany Maynard ("right to die"), and now Josh "Leelah" Alcorn ("transgender rights").

However, I didn't elect the liberal opinion-makers to decide for me which deaths are important to me. There are about 7 billion people on the planet. About a quarter million people die every day. 

Speaking for myself, the deaths that are defining events for me are the death of Christ as well as the death of some close relatives. And that's it. 

You, the liberal opinion-makers, don't get to dictate to me what deaths I deem to be defining deaths for me. I will make that value judgment for myself, thank you very much.  

I had a younger cousin (second cousin, to be precise) who was diagnosed with bone cancer in junior high. He died in high school. He didn't die from cancer, but from complications due to cancer therapy. Radiation did so much damage to his lungs that he died of respiratory failure. 

The last specialist his desperate parents took him to see told him he had about a year to live. That's quite something for a teenager to have to hear. Imagine being told that if you were a teenager. To be given that death sentence. No hope. No reprieve. Prepare to die. And, in fact, he succumbed less than a year later. 

My cousin never had the chance that Josh Alcorn threw away. 

There are teenagers who die waiting for an organ transplant. They ran out of time. They never had the chance that Josh Alcorn threw away.

Or take the 2012 Aurora shooting. Three young men died shielding their girlfriends from the shooter. They never had the chance that Josh Alcorn threw away.

Some kids are born with degenerative conditions, like cystic fibrosis. They never had the chance that Josh Alcorn threw away. 

It's a pity that Josh Alcorn killed himself. I'm sorry that he did that to himself, his parents, and his siblings. 

But don't turn him into a martyr for social justice. Don't make him a hero. And don't presume to tell me whose death should be significant to me. Like most folks, I have very short, very personal list. 

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