Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hope in the Future vs. Fear

As we come to the final days of Terri Schiavo's life I am struck at the fear and lack of hope from many in the "Pro-Life" movement. Many of the commentators and bloggers standing for Terri Schiavo use terms such as "culture of death" and "the slippery slope" to describe where America is headed in the coming days.

I ask them, especially those named Mohler, Hewitt, Terry, Delay and Dobson, why they have no hope in the conscience of the people in America they so desperately want to rule over. They believe it and democracy of America is the greatest gift to humanity, yet their rhetoric holds little hope.

I ask them why they spend all of their time in the darkness of the crucifixion with little hope in the resurrection (at least I understand why the love Mel Gibson's film so much). Is it their limited view of the atonement, which centers almost exclusively on the death of Jesus in our place with very little emphasis on the victory of God over death and sin.

I am so glad these "Pro-Lifers" were not leading the abolitionist movement, the Civil Rights movement, the worker's rights movements and numerous peace movements. The only movement they have historical ties to is that of temperance and we all know how that worked out.

My question to the Al Mohlers of the world (and the rest of the doom and gloomers such as Hugh Hewitt, Richard Land, the Limbaughs, Dobsons, etc.) is this. Can Terri Schiavo's impending death be seen as a tragedy that can be used by God and by the people of America for a corrective, a time to learn from a tragedy and make sure it is corrected? Yes, it may take time. Yes, it can be a hard fight. But, there is hope.

Do you remember the 4 little girls killed in an Alabama church by racists? Was America doomed? Do you remember many of the atrocities in American history in the way people and the US government treated blacks, ethnic minorities and women? Were these corrected?

Do you remember the the torture we have seen of prisoners by the US? We can still respond properly.

Do you remember the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Rwanda? We can make sure it does not continue (well, if the Al Mohlers and Hugh Hewitts of the world mention it every once in a while- after they have talked Schiavo to death).

I see a different reality differently from Mohler, Hewitt, LaHaye and the rest. They are blinded by their dark, fearful dark view of humanity and its end times (much more in line with Dick Cheney than John Calvin), contempt for the US Constitution read in any fashion differing from their own (they are Constitutional fundamentalists), as well as a contempt for the judiciary in general, which was not activist in this case (wrong, yes- in my unschooled opinion, but hardly activistic). By the way judicial activism would be defined by Mohler as "any decision I do not like"- funny I don't hear blacks complaining about judicial activism as much as rich, white males.
The fact is most people do not think Congress should be involved. They think the husband should decide, but they care deeply for the parents and feel for them. That is not without hope for the future.

Many more people are deciding on living will, which Mohler believes are not worth the paper they are printed on. This is another good thing. And, as Will Samson writes, we can all learn something from this event.

The "pro-life" movement has found it self allied with many so-called Liberals, such as Jesse Jackson and the advocates for the elderly and the disabled (which are usually ignored by the "Pro-Life" movement). The pro-life movement has even had an opportunity to evaluate issues such as health care, hospice care, Medicare and the fact that their president has not consistently erred on the side of life. These are good things.

Instead of Al Mohler's "Dick Cheney-like" view of the world, let us be people of hope. Let us live (as Christians) in the light of Jesus' Resurrection and victory over Death (which should not be feared like much of the right has feared it) and (As Americans) believing that people can choose a culture of life, as they did in the past (and can in the future).

By the way, I was going to quote many of the fearfully dark and ominous passages that Mohler and the rest have put up, but decided against it. If you want to see them for yourselves, go to Crosswalk. I am not going to help his darkness any more than that.


james said...

Some extremely thoughtful insight, Rick. A very good consideration of a tragic ordeal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rick. As mentioned previously, the hope does me good. And yes, there IS hope. Godspeed as you continue fighting for it. - Mike

Bob Robinson said...

The catchphrase of the Religious Right.

Bob Robinson said...

The idea of "Fear and Loathing" made me want to blog:
Fear and Loathing

Thanks for getting my creative juices flowing!

Deborah White said...

A hearty AMEN to your words!