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The Oracle of Schiavo

I haven't written about Terri Schiavo here, though she's been on my mind every day lately. That's hard to avoid with the media attention, but it's the kind of situation that would haunt me regardless, and one I've been aware of for a few years now. Part of not mentioning it has been my being caught up in my own stuff, another part has been not having the words to even capture it all.

But honestly, there's not much for me to say. What's happening to her is evil, and that's all there is to it.

It's the stuff of an oracle against our culture:
  • Science and medicine are used to justify a horrendous death rather than to heal.
  • The legal system is a maze by which everyone runs from responsibility or even a sense of right and wrong—far beyond her blind impartiality, justice has been bound, gagged, and left to starve alongside Terri.
  • The nature of marriage being understood as simply a matter of pleasure seeking and mutual convenience is starkly exposed.
  • Idols of development and progress have sentenced a woman to death by starvation, because the authorities have determined she is not (and cannot be) who we require her to be in order to be considered a viable life (we have been doing this for decades with the unborn).
  • The vague spirituality of our Oprahfied society makes it all OK, because we can hold to the idea she's just "being freed from her body" instead of being the victim of a state-ordered slow and cruel execution without the means of recourse given to a convicted murderer or rapist. With a couple random acts of kindness and a celebrity interview, all shall be well with our higher power and our personal growth.

I pray for peace for Terri and those who love her. And I know I should pray for forgiveness and mercy for those who are killing her, and those who are enabling them to do so, but I'm having trouble with that. I want justice.

Comments

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I just posted about this - how ironic that over the weekend, they began to administer morphine to her when she supposedly can't "feel anything" due to being in a "vegetative state". When questioned, no one had any comment.

It makes me sick inside - down to the bone.
It's a horror show. We've gone beyond Frankenstein to Mengela.
I pray for peace for Terri and those who love her. And I know I should pray for forgiveness and mercy for those who are killing her, and those who are enabling them to do so, but I'm having trouble with that. I want justice.

I am not convinced it is wrong to pray for the defeat of hard-hearted, stiff-necked people who have set their faces against God.
Me either. Thankfully.

death be not dignified

Very persuasively put.

What we call compassion is actually anything but.
Amen. I heard over the weekend, though, that polls show that self-described Christians are divided about 50%-50% on the issue. I really wonder how that can be. prester_scott is right; the pro-death position is not a viable Christian position.

Sheep and goats

The idea that self-described Christians are split doesn't surprise me in the least:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
   
Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me." Then they also will answer, saying, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?" Then he will answer them, saying, "Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

—Jesus (Matthew 25:31-33, 41-46)
I agree with you.

And the thing is, is that no matter which side of the issue you're on, someone is dying, someone is losing a daughter, sister, friend. People are heartbroken and mourning

It's so terrible. Such loss and sadness. No words to heal.
Idols of development and progress have sentenced a woman to death by starvation, because the authorities have determined she is not (and cannot be) who we require her to be in order to be considered a viable life (we have been doing this for decades with the unborn).
very nicely put...the whole thing makes me just sick...literally, if i start talking about it i start to feel nauseous.
You wrote about this far more eloquently than I ever could have. And your points were much better than mine as well.
Wow, thank you. I was very impressed with (and in agreement with) your thoughts on this.
we are so desperately sick.
Well said, and thank you for posting it.
You've hit the nail on the head on it all. Very well said.
I'm surprised more people (Christians) haven't picked up on the marriage issue.
Thank you for posting this. It needed to be read.
Murder's reasonably straightforward. Adultery/idolatry isn't. If forced to pick the case apart, I would say that the marriage issues is the most bothersome part to me. Spousal abuse, adultery, vows not intended to keep, money-grubbing selfishness, love for self rather than the other, etc. It's a horrible mess.
i'm droppin' a link to this in my journal.
aye -_-

Teri

I fear that many of you will ban me from your journals when I say this, but I must. I am a follower and lover of Christ. I value life. After working in skilled nursing facilities for five years and watching feeding tubes prolong severe agony I have asked my wife to allow the doctors to keep me comfortable with any medication but not to allow a feeding tube. If you care to hear my first hand account of watching people being kept alive in body but brain dead and in pain, I could tell you horror stories. I don't know Teris status and how alert she really is so I can't say if she is like the ones I see every day. If I get to that point, I want to go on to see Jesus. It is so easy to make calls from outside the situation. My heart bleeds for the poor parents, but that husband sure could use a hug and some prayer.

Re: Teri

No banning from me; we all have our own perspectives. And I agree he can use lots of prayer, but it sounds as if he's getting plenty in the way of hugs (and more) from the woman he's been in an extramarital relationship with while fighting Terri's parents to have his wife starved. I'd say he's all stocked up on hugs.
Ok, I just gotta comment on this. I look at this case as if it were me in that vegetative state. After the FIRST YEAR I would want to be let go. If there is that little brain function, she has NO LIFE. She's NOT THERE. I would NOT want to be kept alive like that.

Neither would my husband.

Give me a break - she's been like this for FIFTEEN YEARS. Let the woman go! Withholding food won't make her suffer, any more than a dying person "starves" at the end. Dying people don't need food.

And besides, her husband lost his wife fifteen years ago. Her parents lost their daughter fifteen years ago. Her siblings lost a sister fifteen years ago. Let her go so they can actually finish mourning her.

Death comes to all of us, and sometimes it's a blessing - not a curse. Death is not to be feared if we know we will be with God. Rather, it is to be welcomed. No, that doesn't mean I'm suicidal, but if I were in a persistent vegetative state, I would WELCOME death.

Yes, I value life, but I value QUALITY of life, too. And Terri doesn't have much life in her in the first place. She is NOT THERE.

*shuts up*
Her state is far from undisputed, as is her desire to die. While your wishes are clear, hers are not, and are being executed by a man who has been actively violating his marital vows ("in sickness and in health" actually means that). I'm not buying it, and where there's doubt, I'd err on the side of life.
I appreciate your points. The third struck me ... it's a thought that's been bouncing around in my mind, but that I couldn't quite pin down. Thank you.

I have been praying much for her, and hope/plan to go to her memorial service if it's made public. Seems awful at this point to put the feeding tube back in, so I'm praying that the Lord will take her quickly. And that, with whatever amount of recognition that she has left (we really don't know, as there have been no tests), that she remembers Him and chooses Him. Eternal life in hell would be far worse than her current living hell.
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