Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Schiavo legacy

ABPNews recently reported that Florida Judge George Greer, who ordered the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, recently resigned his membership from one of the largest and most conservative SBC churches in Florida. Was it an act of personal moral conviction? Actually, the pastor of the church virtually asked him to leave the congregation having written in the baptist state paper that the Judge's act was tantamount to murder. For Pastor Willy Rice, Greer's resignation appeared to be the "biblical course" to take.

In my mind, the fall-out from this political and personal tragedy is only beginning. I am not absolutely sure if we have all realized the lengths that the Florida legislature considered in order to intervene in this case. They actually pondered passing a law that would forbid families from removing feeding tubes unless a living will explicitly stated the patient's wishes. Even though I am not exactly a conservative when it comes to government, this intrusion into the most personal and excruciating decision a family can make is disturbing.

Where is this all heading? We will have to see how the political tremors eventually settle. I worry though that what was once a painful personal decision will only be complicated by political grandstanding in favor of a very narrow political interest. Andrew Sullivan has some excellent comments on this issue.

Perhaps most disturbing was the political grandstanding from one side of the aisle with virtual silence punctuating the other. I grew very weary of the ludicrous comparisons of this case with both the Holocaust and the crucifixion of Christ. I grew very weary of the vitriolic attacks of a man completing his wife's wishes. I grew very weary of the political manipulation of two parents who had lost so much. I grew the most weary that people who opposed this political circus kept their mouths firmly shut.