March 28, 2005

Hope Springs Eternal

Ok. So Terri Schiavo's case is pretty controversial. I'm not really sure why I'm writing something on the subject on my blog, because anyone who knows me will know that the whole situation disgusts me in general. Why we would be contemplating letting someone die without a fight to the end is beyond me, much less by starvation.

That her husband is already in a common-law marriage is suspicious at best. That he is advocating that Terri be left to die, especially of starvation, is a horror above all horrors. I'm married, and I love my wife very much. Were she to ever become, shall we say, less than a joy to have around (say, having to eat via feeding tube), I love her enough to be sitting by her bedside at every chance I got to read to her, smile at her, touch her, and give her hope in any way I could. But he's not - she became a burden and he "moved on", as it were, as soon as he got the chance. Well, at least, just after he got $1.7 million to "take care of her" and then didn't.

I was a bit annoyed, at first, that the government stepped in to the case, because I'm sure that the government has ignored the rights of lots of people in similar situations simply by virtue of the fact that they didn't know those people were IN those situations. But then I read this
article and was convinced that what they did was the right thing. For one, they can't hunt down every hopeless human being, they have a lot of things to take care of that involve the greater good. But when something comes to their attention and someone - Terri's parents - beg for their help, this government had the integrity to step in and try. Even if they did fail, it's a sign of their moral integrity that the Bush brothers did what they could to help someone as broken and unable to defend herself as Terri Schiavo.

I worry about this nation. I worry that we've become like Rome - self-serving, egotistical, pluralistic fools who gave up their freedom to follow the desires of their bodies because they didn't care for self-control, virtue, or their fellow human beings enough to bother with responsibility. Yes, that wonderful quote from Spiderman comes to mind - "with great power comes great responsibility." It's the quote that was thrown so often by liberals at the current government in the time of the Iraq crisis, but somehow has gotten lost in the Schiavo case.

We have a responsibility to the lost, the downtrodden, the sick, the elderly, the beaten, the forlorn, the weak, the poor, and the oppressed. That responsibility goes beyond telling them that there is hope - we are to go and do everything we can for them that they might have hope. That they might see how much we care for them so they can see how valuable their lives are, that we might learn from them what it is to be servants. There is a hope worth talking about, but I say we show it to the world - and they will see, and believe.

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