Adapted from Martin Luther*

“If one rejects intelligence
Or medicine, and can do such
No harm to others claiming, hence,
Will only injure himself much.

Yet he must be aware lest he
Become a suicide to God.
By this same reason, one might be
Foregoing shelter, clothing shod,
And eating, drinking, then proclaim
That God can, by his faith so bold,
And if He wills, preserve his frame
From such starvation and the cold,
And thus he could live without food
Or clothing…. That is suicide.
An even greater shame, argued,
For such a person, this applied,
For his own body make no plan
And so would fail to protect
Against the plague the best he can,
And so to others would infect
And poison people who just might
Have stayed alive if only he
Had taken care of himself right
As he should have done properly.
He has become responsible
To God before his holy eyes,
If as result so terrible
That any single neighbor dies…

That one is now a murderer,
So many, many times over.”



* From “Whether One May Flee the Plague,”
Luther’s Works, Vol. 43, page 131,
Translated originally by Carl J. Schindler


– Image from Anna Shvets