Skip to comments."Theocrats" for Terri Schiavo
Posted on 04/01/2005 4:59:24 AM PST by Tailgunner Joe
How are we to explain liberal's and leftists' support for disconnecting Terri Schiavo from her feeding tube and making her die a slow death, while she is guarded by police officers who prevent anyone from even putting a drop of water to her lips? And how are we to explain the liberals' belief that conservatives, who want to prevent this horror from occurring, are religious dictators intruding into a purely private matter?
Most people think that the liberals are driven by their pro-abortion ideology, which takes the form of opposition to the Christian idea that Terri's radically limited life is nevertheless a human life and so worthy of protection. But that can't be the liberals' whole motivation. To demonstrate this, let us suppose that Terri's husband Michael had wanted Terri to go on living on the feeding tube, or, alternatively, that Michael had handed legal guardianship to Terri's parents and they had wanted her to go on living on the feeding tube. In either of those cases, the liberals would have had no problem with Terri's continued existence. The issue of her living or dying wouldn't even have come up.
In other words, the very factors in this case upon which the liberals' supposedly principled anti-life position seems to be based are contingent. If Michael had not wanted Terri to die, the liberals wouldn't want her to die either; indeed, they wouldn't be thinking twice about the case, notwithstanding their current expressions of horror at the idea of a person living her whole life on a feeding tube. And since, in this hypothetical scenario, the liberals themselves would be consenting to Terri's living in that condition, they obviously wouldn't be calling conservatives "theocrats" and "religious fanatics" for wanting the same thing that the liberals themselves would be agreeing to.
Therefore the liberal position cannot be simply that a person in Terri's situation ought to die. Rather, the liberal position seems to be that personal choiceMichael's personal choiceought to prevail.
But this explanation also fails to hold up, as we can see from the following considerations: (1) Terri's parents and siblings love her and want her to live; (2) Terri's parents and siblings are convinced that Terri has consciousness and is not in a vegetative state; (3) Michael has two children by his common law wife of many years, and so logically ought to divorce Terri and let the guardianship revert to Terri's parents. Given these factors, Michael's right to decide on Terri's life and death ceases to seem so sacred. Why, then, would liberals side so absolutely with Michael's (highly doubtful) right to have his wife's existence terminated, while they completely dismiss the Schindlers' (correct and understandable) desire to be made her guardians and to save her life?
If individual rights and personal choice are the liberals' bottom line, why must the personal preference of Michael, who has (understandably) moved on with his life, be seen as inviolable, but the personal preference of Terri's parents, who have not moved on with their lives but want to care for their daughter, must be equated with theocratic tyranny and resisted at all costs?
Michael's right of guardianship stems from his status as Terri's husband. But he's given up that status in all but name by starting a new family. Since when are liberals so solicitous of traditional marital bonds and the rights of husbands over their wiveslet alone the right of an estranged husband to have his wife killed?
Liberal famously regard marriage as an ever-changing institution, to be reshaped to suit changing human needs. Why then do the liberals treat the Shiavo's marriage, and Michael's rights proceeding therefrom, as written in stone, even though it has long since come to an end? Why don't the liberals simply call on Michael to divorce Terri and let the Schindlers take care of her?
As all these questions suggest, there remains something mysterious and uncanny at the heart of the liberals' position on this issue. Their passionate conviction that Terri must die cannot be explained in terms of any recognizable liberal perspective, whether a disbelief in the soul, the desire to dispense with a less-than-complete human life that inconveniences others, a devotion to serving the rights and desires of individuals, or an easy-going attitude toward the traditional bonds and duties of marriage. Therefore, I would argue, their position on the Schiavo case can only be explained as stemming from something extrinsic to the case itself, namely their bigoted animus against conservatives: since conservatives support Terri Schiavo's right to live, liberals must oppose it. As a liberal professor recently said to an acquaintance of mine (and these were his exact words), "Anything Tom DeLay and those conservatives are for, I'm against."
This reactiveness is a symptom of the extremism that has taken over left-liberals since 9/11. As the conservative writer Jim Kalb points out, prior to 9/11, even when liberal positions were disastrously wrong, they still had a more or less predictable, liberal logic to them that a conservative could understand. But since 9/11, liberals in their hatred of Bush and of conservatives have descended into sheer irrationalism, in the process giving up even those liberal principles that were decent. Thus, prior to 9/11, liberals would no doubt have taken the Schindler's side, as representing the rights of an oppressed and helpless individual. But after 9/11 (with some notable exceptions, such as Jesse Jackson), they do not.
What is it about 9/11 that has had this effect on the left? The post-9/11 world has placed liberals and leftists under an unbearable pressure. The Islamist attack on our country propelled us into a conflict, perhaps a decades-long conflict, with a mortal enemy. But liberals can't stand the idea that we have an enemy, let alone a mortal enemy, a "them," whose very existence justifies our use of force. Therefore such an enemy must be seen as a product of "root causes" generated by us. Further, in keeping with the inverted moral order of liberalism, the more threatening such an enemy really is, the more vile must be the root causes within ourselves that are creating that enemy. The more wicked our enemy actually is, the more judgmental, greedy, cynical, dishonest, uncompassionate, racist, and imperialistic we must be for fighting him. If our enemy seeks a theocratic dictatorship over the whole world (which is the case), we must be seen as seeking a theocratic dictatorship over the whole world, even though there has never been anything remotely like a theocratic dictatorship in our entire history.
Thus the liberals' helpless rage, both against the war on Islamic theocracy and against the conservatism that has become dominant in American politics as a result of that war, takes the form of a floating indictment of conservatives as the real theocrats. This attitude is then projected onto any issue that may arise between conservatives and liberals, such as the battle over the fate of Terri Schiavo: Terri's right to live is passionately backed by conservatives; conservatives are theocrats; therefore Terri is a symbol of theocracy, and therefore Terri must die.
This is a beautiful article, and I say that as an unabashed Theocrat myself!
Liberalism has always been irrational. "Pacifists" for class war? Gun-grabbers for "armed struggle?" "Anti-nationalists" who support the most retrograde, mystical nationalisms (only the US and Israel don't meet their criteria)? Lesbians in burkhas to demonstrate their solidarity with moslem fundamentalists?
These people are mentally ill. They'd better hope they lose this ideological conflict, or their comrades would have them euthenased!
An ironic position indeed for "humanists" who once proudly proclaimed that "man is the measure of all things!"
Would the ancestors of today's leftists have ever dreamed that their progeny would become nature-worshippers?
Oops, didn't mean to open a can of worms here guys. Sorry.
Have you read the opinions of the 2nd District Court of Appeals?
If you read them, it will quickly become obvious that the premise of your question is deeply flawed.
I have a strongly feminist, pro-abort, leftwing sister. She is absolutely kneejerk, pro-death in virtually every situation where there is a choice to be made. I have come to believe that She actually gets off on it only not quite so obviously as Felos does. It is creepy and I can't explain the origin of it except to say that for a person who supposedly cares for others, my sister carries around an odd amount of generalized hostility.
From others I have seen, I really don't think my sister is all that unusual. Plenty of lefties wanted Terri to die, believe me.
Well, when someone says "A, definitely A" in their testimony, and then says "well, actually it was B" on cross-examination, with A and B being completely contradictory, that fits a reasonable man's definition of perjury.
It would if the first statement was intentionally false swearing; not if it was inadvertent error. Self-correction is permitted before the matter becomes a crime.
Which side did you have in mind? Michael has made numerous contradictory statements under oath. I don't recall Judge Greer recoiling from those lies.
How do you "inadvertently" state that you saw A, and then self-correct to "well, I didn't really see A like I just said I did?"
If you misremember the incident. It happens all the time.
For an example of intentional false swearing, we have Michael telling the police at the time of the incident that he and Terri had not been fighting. But they certainly had been fighting, with such ferocity that a worried friend offered to give Terri shelter that night for her safety. Michael lied to the cops. A reasonable person would call that perjury.
And I have to believe that she said not a f***ing thing about it until over ten years later.
I'm supposed to believe this woman?
Oh, and remember when Michael sued the doctors? How come the doctors didn't say a f***ing thing about this being caused by abuse?
Michael lied to the cops. A reasonable person would call that perjury.
Sorry, there is no evidence of that, aside from a deposition solicited by the Schindlers' lawyer, and Gibbs has, IMNHO, engaged in enough chicanery (both in questionable testimony that gets cut to shreds on cross-examination AND in legal maneuvering intended to lose the case) that I cannot accept anything he proffers at face value.
Don't let the door hit ya..... ;]
Lost my glasses...what's that you belong to....the WIFF?
Actually its a very good article.
I would make the argument that liberals are for forceful government, but they begged and threatened the GOP and the Bushes not use government to free Terri, but said they would use government in the form of tyrannical judges and local police to snuff her life out.
So Auster may be right.
If you really insist on me pinging you to a thread that includes one of your most foolish posts ever as an evidentiary exhibit, I will be happy to accomodate you. But please don't blame me when everyone winds up assuming that you are as foolish as you will sound.
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