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.
Many liberals supported Schiavo's right to life because they remember the Nazi T4 program...it's a civil rights issue...especially for Jews who remember history.
And maybe Jesse Jackson remembers history too, like the Tuskeegee experiment.
I like the mention of the post 9-11 mentality here.
Speaking of that I wonder how long before the conspirazoids start believing that this whole thing was a clandestine orchestration by the right (Rove et al) to rally the base.
Soon to be Michael Moore movie: The Terri Affair and the End of Privacy.
Why was only one man, Judge Greer, the determinant of the facts in Terri's case?
In most other cases, it is a jury that determines the facts. Certainly the facts in all capital cases are determined by a jury.
Qualified individuals can make wise judgments. An individual can also make horrific judgments. Our society has determined that groups of individuals are more likely to be wise. That is why we have city councils, company boards of directors, and jury trials. Groups of people tend to be "less imperfect" than single individuals.
Setting aside personalities, as distasteful as they appear to be, having only one person determine the facts seems to be the central failing of the judicial system in Terri's case. For the future, that failing could be solved by legislative action.
Because that's how probate court works. If you want juries in probate courts, you'll have to increase jury call-ups appropriately.
Actually, I'm waiting for the religious right to start hatching conspiracy theories about how they were set up for a fall by Rove.
Glad you decided to stay around and tweak the crazies.
Liberals view people as resource users and destroyers of the earth. Too many people, too few resources. Killing off the unwanted thru abortions and what they view as useless thru euthanasia saves valuable resources. That is the humanist socialist mindset.
The opus comes this afternoon/evening. It's going to be one hell of a show, I tell you.
It's an interesting article but I disagree that it was 9/11 that pushed libs over the edge. Who can forget the Elian horror under Clinton & Reno in which libs demonized the drowned,dead mother and Florida family and cheered when stormtroopers dragged an hysterical child out of a closet.
Anything those wild-eyed ignorant slackjawed RELIGIOUS PEOPLE *shudder* are for, you and your self-appointed band of all-wise philosopher kings are against.
The SOURCE of liberal support for Terri's death is simply this reason: Liberals have aligned themselves in a marriage-of-convenience with the concept of "Legal Positivism".
Said simply, legal positivism is a perspective that accepts the law 'as law' because it's the law, rather than because the law is 'right' because it flows from natural law.
A legal positivist will never say, as a Dickens' character said, that "sometimes the law is an a*s". A legal positivist begins any legal analysis with a predefined belief that the law IS morality, and reasons from the pre-ordained morality of the law -- WHATEVER that morality is.
One can see, immediately, that this hardly seems like a "liberal" position in any classical sense.
But the liberals have taken that position because the Supreme Court has granted rights that the left will not relinquish, including most importantly abortion on demand, and increasingly, homosexual rights.
To embrace legal positivism is to, in effect, close the door on further debate as to whether, on natural law principles, abortion should be regulated or banned. The liberal legal positivist understands that the Supreme Court has become a one-way ratchet to enshrine leftist principles in American life that, under a majoritarian process, would never see the light of day.
Terri died to uphold that principle.
That's all he has ever done here. He is a liberal trolling for right wing "crazies." Nothing pleases him more than to smear FReepers as psychotic racist criminals.
He is an equal opportunity smearer.
Actually, I'm not, and the article doesn't describe me.
I opposed removing Terri's feeding tube.
The problem is that Florida law allows for this result. In other words, if a judge applies the law as the legislature wrote it (which is, the last time I checked, the conservative view of the judiciary's role in government), results like this can happen.
The conservative solution, as I understand it, would be for the law to be repealed and/or amended in order to prevent such a result.
I can tell you what really killed Terri Schiavo: the Schindlers' witnesses repeatedly perjuring themselves. Judges have this funny habit of not believing you after being lied to repeatedly.
The solution attempted in Congress required a competent and honest lawyer to implement it. IMNHO, Gibbs was neither.
And with the farcical end to this debacle, the religious right is in a very ugly position: they didn't get the result they wanted, but there was one hell of an effort to accomplish that result. The GOP has an expectation that intense efforts on behalf of one specific element of their constituency will generate a similarly intense voter turnout in 2006 by those constituents.
However, a great many in the religious right are making noises about not supporting the GOP in 2006. God be with y'all if that comes to pass, because the GOP sure as hell won't.
I never do that. I leave that to the psychotic racist criminals themselves.
BTW, be advised: FR is now on several state law enforcement agency's watch lists thanks to some of the more idiotic statements made during this fiasco.
If you agree with LOC1's point, please visit and contribute to a vanity thread I posted which includes draft legislation to require the consent of an impartial jury to any court action which would result in a death, and forbids application to persons not found guilty of crimes of treatment which would be judge cruel and unusual punishment for a capital crime:
I would really like some FReepers with legal background to tighten up the language and fill in the gaps, and then for us to send the draft legislation to our senators and congressmen.
Our local hospital (I suspect all hospitals) has a review board when the question to discontinue support arises. I haven't heard anything like this happening in this case, but, certainly, it is a decision that should not be left in the hands of one man, in any situation. I can not for the life of me figure out how a judge could not order more modern tests to be run or why he would not listen to newer evidence. The judicial system let Terri day from day 1.
That's not viable. No perjury was even alleged, by anyone, so far as I know. Certainly nobody was charged with or convicted of perjury. Greer could have brought the charge himself but for one problem -- he didn't have any evidentiary reason to doubt the depositions. You can call them perjurers all you wish, but that's defamation unless you can prove it. I don't think you can.
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.
Is it reasonable to threaten a public temper tantrum because people disagree with you? I say that is no voice of reason.
Very good. Except I am not so sure about majoritarian process. The judges are produced by politicians who are elected by majoritarian processes, and the blind judge was elected and reelected directly.
It is indeed the conflict between man-made law and Divine Law, but a majoritarian process produces man-made law also. The Left embraces man-made law because it is fundamentally a statist idea.
Think. Sometimes it takes time, as information develops, to put two and two together. For years, people believed a different lie by Michael, that Terri "collapsed" out of some exotic affliction which has never been explained or medically corroborated, and which is statistically preposterous. Not until we get past that falsehood does the Schiavos' fight back in 1990 become important.
>> I'm supposed to believe this woman?
Why on earth not? It is a perfectly believable human story and and it dovetails with others' observations.
It also fits statistics. Domestic violence is the most common cause of death or severe injury to healthy young women.
>> How come the doctors didn't say a f***ing thing about this being caused by abuse?
That's an easy one. Michael concealed the bone scan, which would have provided a "perfect defense" for the doctors he sued. The bone scan report was not discovered until 2002, ten years after the fraudulent malpractice suit.
>> Sorry, there is no evidence of that, aside from a deposition solicited by the Schindlers' lawyer, and Gibbs has, IMNHO, engaged in enough chicanery...
Of course there's evidence -- his wife's broken and now dead body is rather poignant evidence. A deposition is also good evidence. And yes, Michael did tell that lie to the investigating police, it's on the record.
My habit is to return fire when fired upon. Don't like it? Then avoid the nasty remarks to me.
"Those who seek to avoid war should avoid the pinpricks that precede the cannonballs." -- Napoleon Bonaparte
So? They've undoubtedly been watching for years.
Good. Maybe they will learn some things. Granted, you have to put some "truth" and "bigot" filters in place when scanning through some of the posts, many posters here have actually helped get at some of the truth the mainstream media and authorities missed until days later, or deliberately didn't report because they were too lazy to dig deeply enough from their cushy offices or it didn't fit their agenda to mold the opinions of the American people.
Major stories have been broken here.
Several freepers have picked up on some things that everybody else missed.
And there is stuff on here that is raw human emotion. I've seen plenty of that on the other side, too. We are all human, after all, those of us that aren't diagnosed as vegetables yet.
Hope you're saying that when you try to get on an airplane, or get pulled over.
Aren't you supposed to be preparing for your major temper tantrum now?
Don't you have more people's religious beliefs to spit upon?
What are you going to do, call everyone who believes in God a very bad name???
I can't wait to see it. Perhaps I should cancel my dinner plans and stick around.
I am certain as a "spokesperson" for the GOP the "religious right" deserves a good stomping by you.
You're exactly right. Genuine Christians, who are thoughtful, mannered, refrain from ad hominems and insults, however, are people I can agree with.
Aren't you glad you are so much better than we ignorant knaves, oh great one?