Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Right To Kill

Take a few minutes to read Doug Wilson's superb post on the Schiavo case. It will be well worth your time.

There is one Christian position on this issue. Period. If you have trouble wondering what the hubub is all about, or if you sympathize with Michael Schiavo's position, you've got some serious homework to do if you profess to be a Christian.

At bottom, this is not a "right to die" case, as Wilson points out. It's a right to kill case. Terri Schiavo is being deprived of things you and I and every normal person need each day to live. She will not die naturally--she will be forced to death by starvation and dehydration.

As Wilson points out:
[F]ood is not medicine. Yes, someone might answer, but the food is being administered to her. She cannot feed herself. Exactly, and note where this logic takes you. Babies cannot feed themselves either. There is nothing here that cannot serve equally well as an argument for starving an unacceptable infant. And if what constitutes "acceptable" or "unacceptable" is to be waved off as an "intensely private issue," just know that you have opened the door to starving people because they have Downs, a club foot, or simply because she is a daughter and not a son.
One would hope that the logical absurdity that arises from this position would open some eyes, but sadly it will not. Indeed, there are already those (like Peter Singer of Princeton) who believe that a, say, six-month-old baby's inability to care for itself is part of the reason it really isn't fully human.

As Dostoevski famously wrote in The Brothers Karamazov, "without God, all things are permissible." As Wilson says:
We are living in a time when an attorney for a man like Michael Schiavo can get in front of the cameras and compare the actions of the U.S. Congress in this to the actions of Stalin -- and he is not immediately laughed off the public stage. Stalin, the man who starved millions in the Ukraine? Congress, for trying to prevent one starvation, is likened to one of history's great starvation masters? George Orwell, call your office.
Truth and justice no longer matter; only the desired result matters. Michael Schiavo has tried to portray himself as the loving husband, a transparent charade that millions have seen through--which is why this is even an issue. If Michael had a history of single-minded devotion to his wife, this wouldn't even be a story--it would be a private matter. It's precisely because his credibility is so shoddy that it's an issue. Who wants someone with (at best) extremely divided loyalty making life or death decisions for her?
Michael Schiavo taunted the president the other day by asking him what color Terri's eyes were. I am sure the president does not know, as most of those protesting on behalf of Terri's life do not. But neither do we know the color of his concubine's eyes. It is, as they say, beside the point.
(Thanks to Anne for the heads up on the Wilson article.)

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