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.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
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