As the battle over the life and death of Alfie Evans intensified in the full glare of the onlooking world, I was among those who could not comprehend the unswerving logic of an entire machinery, governmental and ecclesiastical, locked on course for the snuffing out of a precious human life, that of little Alfie, who from his hospital bed lay blissfully unaware of the extraordinary tumult surrounding him, a tumult inside and outside the hospital, in the courts, in the media, around the whole world.
I cannot help but feel that in ages past, Alfie Evans might have lit the blue touchpaper of civil unrest, mass demonstrations, even calls for revolution in a country like the United Kingdom. The sheer powerlessness felt by those following the case of Alfie and his parents, those close to him and those far away, apart from a committed and passionate team surrounding the family, an intense gathering of supporters outside the hospital, manifested itself in cries from the heart on social media, blogs, Facebook and other vents for public anger and frustration. Perhaps because of the rise of social media, things have changed, perhaps not for the better. Perhaps when the release valves of public anger made known through hashtags fail to save the cause of a baby boy, it is time for a rethink.
Clearly, Alfie was a victim of a foul ideology that now dominates public life in Great Britain, a hideous, unreasoning line of repressive eugenic thought reminiscent of 1930s and 40s Germany, one that was already politely embedded in the British Establishment thanks to the rise of social darwinism, one that was never even nearly defeated during the Second World War, an ideology that does not even limit itself to the upper echelons in the British Establishment but finds a welcome in the hearts of British men and women working in myriad fields across the social spectrum in these Isles. It isn't really new. It never really was. For centuries, millennia, human societies have justified the killing of innocents because some human life is deemed 'unworthy' of being called human life. For centuries, we have employed utilitarian justifications for murder. For centuries, we have deemed some lives more or less worthy and that social 'inferiors' possess less inherent worth. What marks causes like that of Alfie Evans out, however, along with the crimes of Nazi Germany, is the tying of this myopic, if common, human error - one to which we are all essentially prone - to the over-wielding, face-crushing apparatus of the modern State.
And what a State it is and what a tyrannical monster it can become when a society becomes detatched from Christ. For differing reasons, we Catholics, we British Catholics, should have seen the killing of Alfie Evans coming, because as other commentators have stated, the State-based assassination of Alfie, a British citizen whose right to life is, unlike the unborn, legally recognised, was entirely legal and 'above board'. While completely contrary to what we know as the natural law, that knowable in the hearts of mankind to be right, just, noble or virtuous, compassionate or kind, Alfie's life could be 'ended' and all 'by the book'. It could even be 'ended' by the withdrawal of basic sustenance and / or by the injection of toxins designed to sedate the patient into silence until even his breathing falls utterly silent. It could be ended because laws have been implanted into the British legal system that recognise, inherently, that in some, most, if not all cases, the life of citizen to State is one of 'owned' to 'owner', if not necessarily 'slave' to 'master'.
With language dressed in solemn medical virtue and medical care, the United Kingdom has reached the tipping point at which all but those without even a rudimentary vision of the limits on State power, could cry, "Murder!", as a judge told a court, a hospital, parents, a nation, yes, the whole world and its Creator, that an NHS patient could essentially be put to death in 'the best interests of the child'. There are, as has been documented, real reasons why the State and those who act in the name of Her Majesty's Government deem the State the possessor of persons, their lives and their deaths, beyond all reasonable limits.
Actual laws, such as the Children's Act of 1989, the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 and those laws which gave rise to the Court of Protection, a kind of super-secretive court that has those kind of powers at which should astonish and horrify British citizens, forsee just these kinds of situations and accord to the State just those kinds of justifications as were used in what Alfie's army could call the killing of Alfie Evans. What was and remains astonishing is that all of these conditions were met in one little boy and the entire weight of the British legal system fell like a tonne of bricks on one little boy and his brave, besieged and embattled parents.
It serves us nothing to say that Alfie Evans is a warning to the British people, since the warnings are long behind us, long before Alfie was born. If Alfie were a warning, he may still be alive in a hospital in Rome receiving treatment, still being caressed by his loving parents, still charming the world with his beautiful face, with his loving vulnerability, with his touching and mysterious interaction with those who loved him, with those who saw in his innocent eyes a glimpse, as so often we do, of something of the mystery of God. No, Alfie was not a warning. A warning is a threat. Evil men carried out an evil plan and succeeded in their evil plan and left a signature of evil across the face of the United Kingdom, confirming that this nation is now under the influence of horrifying evil that will not yield even in the face of the vehement reproach of just men and women around the whole world.
No, the warnings have been many and have gone unheeded. The warnings were the low-income family living on a housing estate deemed by the encroaching State apparatus of social services to be neglecting their child because they couldn't afford or for some reason failed to provide the correct environment for their child, note, to the standards to which social services holds them. Many children, of course not all, are forcibly removed, through the family courts, from those who have been deemed 'unworthy' of parentage. These children are then 'processed' into a care system in which they experience no or little love whatsoever, their links with parents and natural bonds severed.
The warnings were the man or woman with schizophrenia, be it mild or not so mild, who, having been sectioned, and placed under an authority's 'care', is diagnosed and placed on a mental health wing periodically, but is generally left to live an isolated and marginalised life, only to be placed on medication that renders him or her impotent, sterile or both, or unable to function as he or she could without them.
The warnings were the Christian family who, having discovered that their school was providing their child with completely unsuitable material for 'sex education' are informed that they are unable to pull their child from a toxic and highly sexualised learning environment, because wishing to preserve a child's innocence, or wanting to provide more suitable information themselves, is not 'in the child's best interest'. The warnings were the children removed from couples deemed unable to provide enough for their child, only for their children to be handed over by an adoption agency, with all the power of the State behind them, to sexually active 'gay parents' who can never provide children with the moral environment for their growth to maturity, nor the masculine love of a father, combined with the feminine love of a mother.
The warnings were the homeless man who, deemed unsightly to beg around our cities, or even to busk, is given the kind of stringent legal order that inhibits his movement or freedom and means that he cannot beg or even busk in a certain locale without a possible prison sentence being the result of his disobedience. The warnings are there, have been there, wherever an unjust State manned by unjust personnel, rob human beings of their natural and inalienable rights.
But most stridently of all, the warnings were there, already in place, for years, perhaps decades in Great Britain's National Health Service and within care homes, which can stealthily, at a time of their own choosing, place patients on the kind of 'end of life' plan that could render families and loved ones impotent in the face of the State's own medical system, as British citizens with firmly established legal rights, are placed on a well-documented death pathway that necessarily enables doctors and nurses to administer to patients deep sedation-causing drugs, in increasing dosage, while removing the most basic necessities of food and water from these patients, who, unable to speak out for themselves, are rendered entirely helpless as they grow nearer and nearer to death, whose bodily organs slowly succumb to the most agonising end, while families, some aware, some unaware, look on helplessly, because 'experts' have told them that this, the most barbaric, the most inhumane path, is the only path upon which patients can be placed at this stage in their treatment.
In the final analysis, we see in Alfie Evans a whole world, a world that is, a cruel and unjust world, a cold and heartless world, a world in which evil appears to us triumphant, a world which parodies 'care' and 'treatment' in its eugenic analysis that ends that 'life unworthy of being called life'. Those with a Christian vision of human life, however, see something else. We see a little boy, unknowing of all that was surrounding him, a warrior who did not, could not acknowledge the battle in which he was staged, through whom Almighty God has already worked wonders. Through a single baby, God has paraded the wicked for all mankind to see, whose pride and vanity will be recorded one day as legendary.
Little Alfie has paraded the unjust, the wicked and pathetic bishops of England and Wales, unmasked evil present in our own Bishops' Conference, hurled down the reputations of those who, fearing the consequences of conflict with the British Establishment and the British State, sided with Alfie's persecutors and those of his parents, adopting precisely the same sinister and deceitful language as those who felt a baby boy was better off dead. He has revealed the broad, cunning and evil face of the eugenic mindset against which Catholics must once more rise to slay, if necessary with our own blood. He has revealed the true state of our country.
He has also paraded those who fight for true justice, who fight for God's law, who fight against the culture of death, who wish for no earthly reward for their efforts, who pulled resources together to move heaven and earth for this young couple and their child, those who recognise that the State's power, though a necessary presence in the lives of the modern nation, has limits it cannot exceed without crushing human dignity. He has revealed the openness of whole nations to true compassion and true justice, those countries who offered to treat Alfie, who saw a fight for a human life as a fight worth fighting and an expense worth paying.
It is doubtful that Alfie's death will bring about a 'sea-change' in the attitude of the legal and medical establishment that denied Alfie and his parents treatment elsewhere, lest the cherished NHS be seen to be ineffective. No, it was vital that the NHS was seen to be effective, if not in caring and treating the most vulnerable, then in policing and administering death to its its patient. The truth is that what is most feared among the powerful in this country is the 'sea-change' that is yet to take place but that all Catholics who value and cherish human life pray will take place, the 'sea-change' from a country that justifies the taking of innocent human life on entirely subjective grounds, that justifies judicial and medical tyranny in the name of a thinly-veiled form of social darwinism rampant throughout British institutions, into a country that honours Almighty God, that honours the rights of parents, that honours the lives of its citizens from conception to natural death, that honours all that is good, all that is honourable, all that is worthy praise.
Perhaps one day that day will come, perhaps one day Britons will rise from their slumber and demand the respect for human life that they themselves have discovered is sacred and holy. Perhaps that day is coming, but if it does, it won't have come without God's help and the wonders He has already done, through little Alfie Evans, the little warrior prince of Liverpool who, history may yet record, even put the silence of the Royal Family themselves to shame.
Pray for Alfie's parents, pray for our nation, pray for our bishops, pray for the clergy, but Alfie, Alfie must now be safe with God, for all along, his cause, in baptised innocence, was with God. Many people failed Alfie, while many valiantly fought on his side, but our holy Faith tells us God did not fail him. He is faithful. Alfie has been delivered from the pains of death and his enemies who surrounded him, from the fury of his foes, of both men and demons. May God do the same for us, for those who govern us and for our country as well.