A myHT Fortress

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Matter of Life and Death

While I have my conservative political views, I would never dictate how people should vote. A Christian conscience will guide those who listen to God's Word, and they will participate in our democratic republic by voting for those who uphold the most virtues.

On the other hand, refusing food and water to healthy (though
mentally injured) people is not virtuous. I did not view the recent democratic debate, but here is a fascinating, disturbing article about some remarks Senator Barak Obama said regarding the murder of Terri Schindler Schiavo.


At the other end of the spectrum is an editorial that I had published the day before she died:

Letting Schiavo die equals death sentence

Lanesville, Ind.

Evil is alive and well in our land. Of course, as a Christian, I believe evil has been among us ever since the Fall in Paradise. But evidence of it is manifesting itself more than ever, as "killing" is now enjoying the new euphemism of "allowing to die."

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Satan convinced thousands upon thousands that people of African descent were not of the same value as Europeans, and could be considered property. He delighted in the slippery slope on which our society plunged, as families were broken and many individuals were beaten, with some even murdered. For those who did not participate, there still was plenty of guilt to go around, as they did not stand up for what is right and good.

In 1973, evil triumphed in the court decision that a woman's "privacy" entitled her to murder her own baby, so long as it had not yet been born. Further progress was made for such wickedness when "partial birth abortion" (the process of delivering a baby, except for its head, plunging scissors into her neck and suctioning out its brain) gained acceptability. Once again, as many morally upright people remain silent regarding this holocaust, their hands become covered in the blood of the innocents.

We have gone a step further, descending yet another slippery slope. Now, even when a person is nowhere near death, they can be sentenced to die by their "guardian." What many news agencies failed to report to you is that Terri Schiavo was not dying! Her heart, breathing and digestive systems were just fine. She had not even been in pain.

Furthermore, Terri has not been on life support. She has never been on life support. There had been no reason at all to suspect that she was anywhere near death. If she was not being killed, she could have lived for years to come, and that life could have been rich and full. In fact, some doctors have submitted statements affirming that if she had been permitted therapy by her "guardian" (read "estranged husband"), she likely could be speaking and orally eating and drinking.

Her own spiritual health has been disregarded by the same "guardian." Terri is a Roman Catholic, and while priests have been allowed to visit, none have been permitted to give her the Sacrament of Holy Communion. (Again, medical personnel have admitted that she could swallow, especially something like the Eucharist.)

Yes, by denying her feeding tube, she will die. But not from natural causes. She will have died from starvation, a torture we do not even permit for terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay.

Our courts have failed to protect the innocent. They have crossed the line, leading the way for our once moral nation, treading into the "ethics" of the Third Reich, which determined that some people did not deserve to live. (I am reminded of the recently canonized Saint Maximillian Kolbe, a Polish Catholic priest, who was starved before the Nazis grew impatient and gave him a lethal injection. Who would dare to say he was "allowed" to die?)

Whence does this lead? At what point will we stop? If we can take a person who is not dying and starve her to death, who is next? Will some start maintaining that homes for physically disabled or mentally handicapped people be cleared out, and the patients be given the "right" to die?! How about the premie ward at Kosiar's? Would people stand by while others insisted "They can't feed themselves and can't talk, but I know they would not want to live like this." That would be absolutely disgusting!

I am sickened with grief that the people of our nation have been duped into hearing arguments for actively murdering someone, and calling it merciful. I am dismayed that this case has been falsely portrayed as simply "allowing" someone to die. My heart is heavy, knowing that Terri Schiavo is actively being sent to an early grave, in order to make life easier for someone else. I am sorrowful to admit that Pope John Paul II is correct in his assessment that we live in a culture of death.

Yes, evil is alive and well among us. As Jesus taught, I daily pray "deliver us from evil" and pray for our land to be brought to repentance for its disregard of the sanctity of life. The only bright spot in all of this is that after she has been killed, Terri will be in the protection, light and everlasting life of her Savior. Safe from individuals who would harm her, Terri will be celebrating Easter with her Risen Lord!
The Rev. Richard A. Heinz
March 30, 2005

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