I did a dumb thing last week–I attempted to watch an old Cary Grant film, Arsenic and Old Lace. I say “dumb” because if I had been completely honest with myself, the premise was against my better judgment. But I’d heard so many people say, “It’s so funny!” “Cary Grant makes such great faces!” “I laughed my head off!”
I like to laugh as much as the next person. I like black-and-whites. So I thought I’d try it. Which shows I’m just as easily influenced as anyone, and I must be more on my guard.
If you’ve never seen the movie, the premise is Cary Grant’s character, Mortimer Brewster, visits his brother and two old-maid aunts in the old family home. Everyone thinks the aunts are sweeter than sugar-syrup, the kindest little old ladies you ever hope to meet. But Mortimer discovers his aunts have a warped sense of kindness.
They have developed a habit of poisoning old men who have no family left because they feel so sorry for the lonely old men. At least, that’s the reason they give Mortimer when he demands to know why there’s a dead body in the windowseat. I didn’t watch the whole movie, so I never discovered if they had another underlying reason.
I admit, the first part of the movie, before we got to the poisoning part, was quite funny. And I agree that Cary Grant makes spectacular faces. Excellent actor.
Yet I couldn’t laugh, uninhibited. I sometimes have a morbid sense of humor, but this went beyond morbid. Crazy old ladies who have now poisoned twelve men is not funny.
These two were insane. Obviously. Some insanity results from chemical imbalance in the brain, trauma to the brain, or deterioration of the brain.
And some insanity is the direct result, or the partial result, of demonic oppression. Serial poisoners are demonically insane.
So I’m watching these two cute old ladies defend their actions to their nephew, apparently convinced that their multiple first-degree murders are perfectly fine. A good deed, in fact. And I’m supposed to laugh at Mortimer’s shock and horror?
I could laugh at Mortimer’s brother who believed he was Teddy Roosevelt. I could laugh at one of the first scenes where the poster-child for bachelordom is getting a marriage license.
Or if the movie had been an exploration into human nature, perhaps I could have watched, albeit in horror, and learned from it what I could. I’ve read the movie’s synopsis, and I think some of the underlying themes do make a good point.
But I was expected to laugh at demonic insanity and the havoc it caused. And I found that slightly horrifying.
All that said, I liked one line in the movie very much.
Mortimer Brewster told his aunts that their “kind deeds” were not only illegal, but also wrong. Which shows you a great deal about society then compared to society now. Our current society seems to believe that if we can just get something legalized, it will change from being wrong to being right.
If the majority decides what’s right and what’s wrong, then the Holocaust wasn’t wrong in Germany because the majority believed it was right. (Or at least said they did, perhaps out of self-preservation.)
And the movie begged the question: Is it ever right to kill a human to save them from suffering?
A child who will be born into an Indian slum–abortion would mean he never has to live in misery.
A girl trapped in sex slavery–the easiest way to “release” her would be to give her enough pills for a fatal overdose.
A soldier rendered a quadriplegic in battle–maybe he wouldn’t want to live without the use of his arms and legs.
An old woman dying from terminal cancer–why bother with sufficient morphine? Just give her too much and let her die.
What those two demonically insane aunts were doing in the movie–we call that euthanasia these days.
We humans–who openly admit that “nobody’s perfect,” who constantly affirm that “everyone makes mistakes”–we think we have the knowledge and wisdom to decide when a person should live or die.
Stupid? I think so.
But maybe those who believe euthanasia is okay can’t help themselves. If serial-killing for the sake of kindness is demonic madness, then supporters of euthanasia must be deceived by the devil. So cold logic, however convincing, may never change their minds.
Their mental eyes have to be opened first. And only one Person can do that. Jesus.
I never thought of that before. I didn’t think of human euthanasia much at all, except to think it’s wrong and “How can people do that?” It never dawned on me as strongly as it did after watching Arsenic and Old Lace that the only way to stop euthanasia is to pray.
To pray God will bind Satan’s deception. To pray God will open people’s eyes so they can truly understand the reasoning against euthanasia. To pray God’s Truth will blaze so brightly it shines through even the blackest of Satan’s deceptions.