Thursday, March 24, 2005

Best Thing I have read for the saving of Terri's Life

This, from PRISM magazines, E-Pistle, is the strongest thing I have read from a "save terri" point of view. It comes from a Christian Peace Activist and is much better than the stuff I am seeing from much of the mainstream Christian activists and Republican Congressman.

TERRY SCHIAVO: Our Paschal Lamb,by Bill Scheurer

Once again, the politicians and media have offered the yearly spectacle of surrogate virtue to redeem our collective soul. This time in the form of a helpless woman, made childlike and beautiful in her affliction. She is the token of our culture of life.

Before going on, let me say that if I were in Congress, I would have voted to save her, too. (Not that this absurd legislation will actually do that - it merely passes the issue to another set of courts, which are unlikely to intervene and save her life.)

I would have voted to save Terry Schiavo because my conscience cannot turn aside from the burden of saving life, no matter what the stage or perceived quality of that life. This is the same conscience that compels me to oppose war and capital punishment, and to work for a more humane and just society - a world where no one starves to death, a world where no one dies for lack of medical care. This is a hard order, I know.

Is this why our government and press do not work for it - because it is impossible? Or, is it because it is too difficult - too expensive, politically and economically?

With the trillions of dollars we spend on war and luxury, how many lives could we save? Like Otto Schindler at the end of SCHINDLER’S LIST, when he wanted to throw away his ring and fancy car, crying out - how many could these have saved?

Is it true that 50 million people die each year from hunger and disease? Things we could invest our fortunes in, instead of consumption and war. 50 million people! 8 Holocausts every year! Avoidable, preventable deaths. Bigger than the Twin Towers. Bigger than the Tsunami. The holocaust of poverty. The tsunami of greed.

Instead, we anoint a scapegoat, a sacrificial lamb, a token, every year. We invest this victim with the burden of our humanity - drive it into the wilderness, sprinkle its blood on our doors - and count ourselves among the elect, the ones chosen to live.

Whether we genuflect at the mythical story of Jessica Lynch, or the Iraqi boy flown to our finest hospitals for medical care - all of these poster-child stories stand in silent proxy for the thousands of other veterans and civilian victims of our war, who receive no such attention from our government, our press, or our economy. These observances show that we are good people, that we care, that we value life.

This year, it is Terry Schiavo, who beams with the beauty of a saint, an icon of helpless love. Yes, let us save her (for real, not for show). But let us also save the millions of others we kill with our indifference and greed. We rip the feeding tubes from their veins with our callous priorities, the same as hers.

Only by changing these priorities will we save our collective soul, will we become the ‘beloved community’ of the truly elect.

Peace be with you.

Bill Scheurer is the national coordinator for and the author of a small book of interfaith inquiry - US & THEM: BRIDGING THE CHASM OF FAITH – available here.


james said...

I found this to be quite wonderful. Thank you for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Were you drunk when you wrote this?