Sunday, March 20, 2005

At the end of the day, what do we really have?

Very interesting week wrapping up and another one beginning. The Terri Schiavo saga continues with the Congress hopefully ... in my view ... passing a law that would allow her federal court review before her feeding tube is removed. I know that some of you would rather that I change the subject, and I understand. But bear with me for a moment while I wind my way from Terri Schiavo to where I am on this night.

What animates me in the fight to preserve Terri Schiavo is that innocent life deserves the benefit of the doubt. Terri Shiavo is innocent; this we know. Her estranged husband Michael says now that she would not have wished to be on a feeding tube, but he said earlier that she had never made such a statement. Indeed, most of us don't have the opportunity or inclination to opine on such matters before we are 26-years-old. The point is ... we don't know what her wishes were.

Michael Schiavo now has a girlfriend, children by his girlfriend. His life is moving on. It is hard to fault him for wanting to move on. Meanwhile, Terri's parents want to keep her alive and are willing to care for her. It is a difficult situation for all concerned, to be sure. But the key issue remains in my view: Innocent life always gets the benefit of the doubt.

Doctors have debated Terri's condition. Some say she will not improve. Others say she might. I have my doubts she will improve, but does it really matter? We are not God. Innocent life should get the benefit of the doubt.

I have watched with some amazement as politicians who clamor for convicted murderers to get every possible benefit of the doubt -- including, of course, federal habeus corpus review -- seek to deny the innocent Terri Schiavo the same right to review of her federal civil rights. Now, I watch people very awkwardly quote ... states rights? What!? But life trumps marital rights. Life trumps states' rights. This is not hard. Have we become so callous as not to realize the preciousness of each person?

You will have to forgive me because, yes, it is true ... this belief of mine stems from my Christian faith. I believe that God loves the world. That would mean ... every one. Each person, each life is precious. I do insist upon acting upon this belief, if you will excuse me, please.

And friends, if we don't have life, we don't have much. We can't marry if we are not alive. We can't have children. We can't work. Can't own property. We can't have "states' rights" if we reside 6 feet under our state. If all the people are dead, there is no state. Beam me up.

Have we lost our ability to morally reason as a culture?

Without life, we don't have much worth living for.

Without each other, we don't have much. I was discussing with my friend JulieB via email this week the subjects of marriage, bigotry, tolerance, faith, etc. ... and I was reminded again that without each other, we don't have much.

Each life is precious. So, live today accordingly.