Reflections

Thinking about a poignant, powerful, complex case that has engaged and deeply moved so many Americans, some words of reflection.

I do not want to believe in America in 2005 that:

  • A man could express so little interest in his legally-recognized wife except to ensure that she’s dead.
  • A judge could stubbornly cling to the claims that a woman wants to die based on the flimsiest of evidence.
  • People could be arrested for bringing an innocent, helpless, dying woman water to drink.
  • The media would be arrayed against those who urge caution in “erring on the side of life,” distorting facts at every turn.
  • That an innocent brain-damaged woman has less standing before a federal court than a convicted murder with a death sentence or an endangered species.
  • The testimony of medical experts and attending nurses would be so callously ignored when a woman’s life is on the line.
  • What I want to believe only makes me feel better – it doesn’t deal with the truth. The truth is, as I have learned, that:

  • Some people have a lower estimation of the intrinsic worth and dignity of human life than I do.
  • Some people have greater faith in the rulings and decrees of an elected judge in Florida than I do.
  • It saddens me greatly to see:

  • Terri’s parents futilely pleading for help from any corner.
  • People trying to impose their own experiences on the case and make judgments without consideration of its own merits.
  • “Experts” smugly and confidently asserting that the starvation process is painless.
  • Our federal courts once again violating the clear intent of Congress.
  • Finally, I’m not surprised to see:

  • People of genuine faith held up as objects of derision for sincerely coming to Terri’s defense.
  • People of genuine faith seeking Divine favor and Divine reconciliation.
  • People of genuine faith doing everything within their means to fight until the last ray of hope is gone.
  • Today I pray for Terri, her family, the US Supreme Court, the governor of Florida, my family, my friends, and for my own spiritual condition.

    James 5:16
    The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

    Comments

    1. says

      “Some people have a lower estimation of the intrinsic worth and dignity of human life than I do.”

      I have to disagree with you here, at least as far as my valuing human life. I think our disagreement here is about what counts as life, and you mention the key word for me: dignity. This circus has been about as far from treating Terri with dignity as is possible. Dignity would have prescribed the decision be left to the family, not Tom Delay. If the family can’t agree, then the legal guardian gets to decide. Thats unfortunate, but it happens every day. It’s no cause for Congress to make a sideshow of.

    2. says

      2 more points.

      “Some people have greater faith in the rulings and decrees of an elected judge in Florida than I do.”

      I have greater faith in, by my count, around 30 judges in 8 courts, at both the state and, unfortunately for the Constitution, federal level. The fact that you don’t respect their decisions makes me fear for the future of this country and the rule of law. Your morals don’t trump the Constitution and I fear a lot of folks on your side of the argument need that made very clear to them. Not in this country. Not in the past, not now, not ever.

      Second: “Our federal courts once again violating the clear intent of Congress.” Lets ignore the fact that Congress had no business getting involved in the first case, and just consider your objection de-novo, as they say. How have they violated the clear intent of Congress? The case has been considered de-novo, twice, and determined to have had no merit, as the law required. If your concern is that the courts did not immediately do Congress’s bidding without *judgement*, then again, I fear for where our country is headed, as any American who respects the rule of law and our Founding Father’s legacy would.

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