Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Rayola Kelley

Q: Who do you think you are to put such a burden on Jeb Bush to save Terri Schiavo? The medical society established that she was in a state of no return and not suffering, the courts determined that her husband had a right to carry out her personal wishes, and society as a whole agreed. I am a Christian, but I stand ashamed of the fundamental nonsense of people like you that insist on going against the obvious decisions of those in high positions and of society.

A: You have a right to be ashamed of what you consider fundamental nonsense. However, as a Christian you are accountable to a Law higher than the one of this nation, and responsible to answer to a God who is not swayed by public opinion, but who maintains ways and thoughts that are higher than this world will ever obtain. God is the one who holds life in His hands. It is not up to man or organizations to step into that place and play God with the lives of others.

   My question is who is influencing your worldview? Is it culture, the ungodly media, a society which in many ways opposes moral responsibility, a medical profession that loses more people in the confines of their hospitals per year than soldiers who died in the Viet Nam Conflict, a judicial system that has ceased to be accountable to the Constitution of this nation, a government that has lost touch with its people, or the Word of God? If God’s Word is the final authority to the way you think, then the fundamental beliefs you are critical of are to serve as the foundation in which all Christians must test matters. The Word is clear. As Christians we are told to choose life and not death. The debate does not hinge on the quality of one’s life, or “so-called” wishes that cannot be verified. It rests on the reality of who God is. Death is contrary to His nature; therefore, we are told not to love death. Life is a gift from God, and must not be abused, wasted or destroyed.

   There are some facts that the secular media withheld; therefore, society as a whole was kept from seeing the full picture. One of the basic fundamental beliefs of a Christian is that we must desire, above all else, the truth regardless of how it may insult, confront, challenge, or shake our present reality. I think it is only fair to consider these facts.

   Terri Schiavo was deprived of her basic right to live according to her Constitutional rights as an American. Every politician and judge takes an oath to uphold that Constitution. Everyone who took that oath has a responsibility to protect Terri’s right to life. Did she want to die? Such an idea was based on one witness, but according to viable reports, Terri communicated she wanted to live. It is easy, when we are not challenged by death, to declare our desire to have quality of life over quantity of life. However, when people are actually faced with death, the incredible need to survive kicks in and people begin to fight to live. Terri’s quality of life may not have been great, but according to some of the medical profession she was not in a coma or an ongoing vegetative state. Apparently, her quality and potential was hindered by her husband who refused to believe that she could be rehabilitated, regardless of the expertise of those in the medical profession who believed differently.

   Terri’s husband is treated like a victim. After all, the media would have us believe that he was such a loving husband and a caring individual. We know that Terri’s husband was in an adulterous affair with another woman and had two children by her. My question is can you trust someone who obviously has a conflict of interest? If Terri was in a state where she could not function, understand or feel anything, why would he be so concerned with her having her wishes carried out. In such a situation, I would think that true compassion would be directed more to the living, than the wishes of one who simply is in a vegetative state.  For example, if Terri’s husband is such a loving, compassionate guy, where was his compassion for Terri’s family? Obviously, they had more to lose than he did. They were willing to take full responsibility for her care. Why did he not concede to their emotional turmoil and turn the complete care of Terri over to them out of respect for their feelings and struggle? This would give him the freedom to pursue his life. As I observed his cruel, inhumane attitude towards them, I could not help but conclude that it was not about carrying out the wishes of his wife, but carrying out a vendetta against her family. It was not a matter of Terri’s best interests, it was a matter of him getting his way regardless of who he hurt in the process. In my book Terri’s Schiavo’s husband is a wicked man. Sadly, our court systems became his way to carry out legalized murder and inhumane actions towards her family.

   Finally we have the reaction of society. Was society concerned for the rights of an individual that was at the mercy of those who had other agendas or who had no real emotional involvement with her as a person? Was society on the side of Terri’s husband? The honest answer to both questions is probably no. Society was put out by the intrusion that this issue had caused into their reality. Terri’s husband offered a quick solution. This was made obvious by the majority of people’s attitude towards how the media capitalized on it. Terri’s case was an issue of life and death. Have you ever watched people at a funeral? It is one of the few times people have to face the harsh reality of their own limitations and mortality. It makes them nervous and uncertain. If they did not have  a close relationship to the deceased, it is something they muddle through, but they quickly want to leave behind. Terri’s case brought a reality that many do not want to face. For our society if was not a matter of right or wrong, quality verse quantity, or a spouse’s right to have a say over the right of his wife to live. The truth is people resented anyone and anything that would keep that reality before them. They wanted it over with so they could go on with their own reality.

   My conclusion about this matter could be debated. However, there is one thing I fear. We have opened a terrible door that may mark the end of this nation. According to a report on the Internet, there is another incident where a woman is being starved to death at the request of her granddaughter. The woman’s crime is she is old, blind and an inconvenience to her granddaughter.

    This reminds me of another time in history. A man by the  name of  Adolf Hitler decided that a whole race of people did not deserve to live. His attempt to destroy these people marked the end of his regime and life. In America, we have pulled out the boundaries that were put into place to protect the Terri Schiavos of the world. Who is to say who will become the next person or group deemed useless to society and marked for death. It could even be you or me, and who will protect us?