Skip to comments.The Martyrdom of Terri Schiavo
Posted on 10/26/2003 7:47:30 AM PST by NYer
Martyr is a term derived from the Greek (matyria) that means witness. In Christian antiquity martyrs were those who witnessed of a faith in God even unto death. Martyrs witness to a truth that exists beyond space and time, where meaning, values, and purpose have their source and judgment, and where the touchstone between good and evil resides. Martyrs do not kill. Martyrs are killed.
Terri Schiavo, in her courageous struggle against the ministers of death, is a witness for life. The public battle over whether she should live or die is a titan struggle between those who reference that higher truth, and those whose value of human life is determined by the calculus of temporal expediency. Her mute testimony reveals that the contempt, scorn, even hatred, for human life that her adversaries possess is the soil from which great evil can arise.
When is that Bitch Gonna Die?
Wesley Smith, author of Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Euthanasia explains the motives behind the efforts to kill Terri by her husband Michael Schiavo. After winning a malpractice suit that would fund care for Terri, Michael banked the money and cut off all rehabilitative therapies. Meanwhile, Michael moved in with another woman and had a child with another one on the way. (What does Michaels fiancée think might happen to her if she has an accident?)
When is that bitch gonna die? Michael asked Carla Sauer, the nurse charged with taking care of Terri. Michael will receive the remaining portion of the malpractice settlement when Terri dies. Some of the money has been used to pay his legal expenses. Michael allows no doctor to examine Terri that he has not selected.
Terry Schiavo is not in a coma, not in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), and not dying. She has suffered brain damage that left her severely disabled but alert to her surroundings. She is not supported by oxygen, a ventilator, or other machines. She is fed food and fluids through a tube. (Christopher Reeves cant feed himself should we kill him too?).
Several doctors testified that Terri has the potential for significant improvement if rehabilitative therapies were allowed. Meanwhile her family has promised to care for Terri if Michael relinquishes custody, something Michael refuses to do. Michael could divorce Terri, but then control of the funds for Terris rehabilitation move to Terris parents.
It got worse. Fighting for Michael was a cadre of professional euthanasia advocates including lawyer and Dr. Peter Bambikidas (two fallen sons of the Greek Orthodox Church). Michael appointed Dr. Ronald Cranford, who publicly labels himself Dr. Humane Death, as a consultant in the case. So far Cranford spent only 45 minutes examining Terri. The deck was stacked against her.
Fighting Against the Killers
Terri Schiavo is in a stand-off with those who want her dead. Michaels motive is greed and his hired guns are driven by an ideology that offers them power to decide who lives and who dies. Life is cheap is their view. People are reduced to commodities, their value determined by the benefit they give to the stronger around them.
This dark work hides in language that ostensibly values life. Pundits arguing for Terris death for example, react to the courage displayed by Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature by arguing that Terris life has become a political football. Its a dishonest characterization. Her life isnt the football. Her death is. The death advocates want to kick her into the end zone, not her defenders.
Manipulating language is the death advocates stock in trade. Feminists lionize abortion pioneer Margaret Sanger as a champion of women rights when in fact she favored the death of those whom feminists claim are helped by abortion. Partial birth abortion advocates defend the barbaric practice by arguing that it is necessary for the health of the mother, when in fact the procedure is more dangerous to the mother than delivering her child alive. Euthanasia advocates argue that doctor induced death is necessary to relieve pain and suffering, when in fact research has shown that most requests to die arise because of depression, and advances in pain medication makes virtually all suffering manageable.
Against this offensive Terri lies mute and helpless, but nevertheless an eloquent witness for the inherent sacredness and dignity of life. Terri does not deserve to die. She recognizes and responds to life in ways entirely appropriate to her injuries. She awakens the conscience of those who ponder her circumstances with any measure of honesty, and clarifies the motives and intent of those who seek her death.
When Men Abandon God, They Will Believe Anything
Fyodor Dostoevsky, writing against the materialist captivity overtaking the thinking of the Russian intelligentsia in pre-revolutionary Russia, remarked that the abandonment of faith in God would render man susceptible to all forms of ideology, most of it dangerous and destructive. Solzhenitsyn sounded the same warning in A World Split Apart when he said that the abandonment of any reference to God in the Judeo/Christian West would favor man as the touchstone of all truth and value. This development (actually a spiritual regression) would open the door to barbarism.
The advocates fighting for Terris death are the apostles of this new barbarism. Abandoning all reference to a touchstone higher than themselves, they value Terris life solely in terms of cost-benefit analysis. Michael Schiavo wants that bitch to die because of the financial payoff. His cadre of hired guns wants Terri dead because it helps them rid the world of sickness and other human maladies by eliminating those who suffer from them.
Meanwhile, Terri Schiavo lies on her sickbed, recovering from four days of forced starvation. The battle for her life is not over. Death advocates are tenacious. They believe in their cause with a cool and deliberate fanaticism. The fight to keep Terri alive is one battle in the titan struggle to determine whether we bequeath future generations a culture of life or a culture of death.
Copyright © 2003. Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse. Reprinting allowed. Please click copyright notice for details.
Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse is a priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Visit the Terry Schiavo website.
Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list
Very well put.
Terri's Army ping! If you want on or off of this list, please let me know.
We have witnessed this in a mere generation in our country. What a sad state of affairs it is in which we now live. Thanks for the ping sweetliberty.
"People are reduced to commodities, their value determined by the benefit they give to the stronger around them."
This enables me to see the vast movement as one, in which both Terri and other useless eaters are worthy only of elimination, and also brings into play the work of eyeing sick and brain damaged children for organ harvesting.
This is the best piece I've seen on Terri's case. Thank you so much.
Tomorrow Judge Demers is choosing a Guardian for Terri.
Forwarding this essay to people involved in Terri's case:
The ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice) has been following Terri's case, with updates at their website: http://www.aclj.org
Now that the ACLU has joined the enemy, perhaps we can recruit Jay Sekulow for Terri and for life:
ACLJ.org: Legal Helpline: 1-800-296-4529
Contact these most helpful people:
Bob Marshall: email@example.com
Speaker Johnny Byrd: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Jim Sebesta: email@example.com
Senator Daniel Webster: firstname.lastname@example.org (Senator Websters email is to his aide)
Quite an indictment, is there a link for that one?
On Saturday, I sat in a recliner and watched a very long but exciting televised football game, Alabama versus Tennessee. As I watched from the chair, was my quality of life good or diminished? After all, the images and sounds were fully artificial stimulation to my brain. ... Since no one has yet proven Terri is not still 'in there', to my thinking, if she spent her remaining years in a recliner, watching what she preferred on the tele, her quality of life would at least be her choice determined by which channels she wanted to watch, not something defined by others with stock in getting rid of the 'non-productive'.
Quality of life is a penumbra--to borrow the fiating court's favorite term when engineering society as opposed to interpreting constitutionality. It is raised to defend killing alive prenatal children ... it's the quality of life of the one hiring the serial killer that is at the heart of most of those 'choices', though the ghouls defending the indefensible will prattle on about child abuse and neglect, as if possible future abuse or neglect is more heinous than the extreme abuse with malice aforethought being actively planned and methodically carried out in abortuaries; society must protect its quality of life, by executing those children who will require our collective care to prevent the abuse and neglect! In Terri's case, it is Michael Schiavo's 'quality of life' that drives the mission to execute Terri. To be sure, ghouls like Felos will assert that Terri's quality of life is so low as to be extinguishable as a humane thing toward her. But the truth is not so easily hidden when one looks even casually at the features-advantages-benefits of executing those dependent on life support. Mark this well: if this trend of ghoulish executions via dehydration become accpetable in America, crib-bound infants will be the next class of alive human beings lined up for 'putting down'. It is already accpetable to cite a cleft palate as the approved reason to reach into the womb and kill an alive baby. The slope leads directly to the life supporter having the court approved right to withhold life support when the child is difficult to care for thus improving the quality of life for those giving life support, though it will be couched as freeing the little one from a life of difficulty, possible pain, and mental suffering.
Particularly assinine are the assertions by some that Terri Schiavo is brain dead, and that because she is in such misery still 'trapped in her body', it would be more humane to put her down and release her. Astonishing, that deadly duplicitous thinking ... if she's brain dead, she hasn't the consciousness to be in misery, so it is the projection of the braying ass that is better characterized as 'misery'. But what if she isn't brain dead?... Well, no one has tried to give her sufficient rehabilitation therapy to then ask her what she wants done with her! This entire horror is one perpetrated in the name of humanity, by demonspawn who have their selfish quality of life at issue, not the lives of those they advocate putting down.
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