Much has been made of the Republican Congress stepping away from its supposed limited government and State’s Rights philosophy in order to seek federal intervention into the Terri Schiavo case. Personally, that’s not the kind of step I would normally welcome, but in this particular case it doesn’t bother me.
Does that make Congress and me inconsistent? I can’t vouch for them, but my way is clear here: laws are to be moral, and the protection of innocent life – especially in the face of direct assault – can’t help but be the foundation of law and liberty. The best government is the government of one’s self, followed by family government, extending outward to church and community government and on from there. Generally the higher the level of government where decisions are made, the lower the rights of the individual become. Yet I don’t have a problem with even the largest form of government turning to focus on the well-being of a single person – especially when every intervening level of government has abdicated its charge.
Personally, I can’t stray far from the biblical exhortation in Micah to “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” (And yes I try to apply this to other issues beyond Terri Schiavo, but I’ll not go into those now. After all, I’ve got to have something to write about for the next 10 years or so.) I’ll freely admit that I’m not privy to all the details and decisions that have gone into Terri Schiavo’s situation for the last 15 years, but I have a disquieting sense that justice and mercy have been in short supply. As for walking humbly with your God…
Judges have taken it upon themselves – or been permitted by us – to decide when life begins and when it no longer has meaning. They have cited the rule of law and precedent to justify the painful death of an innocent, while in another case have disregarded these in favor of looking at laws from other countries to determine whether it’s “constitutional” to execute convicted killers. They have felt free to depart from the canon and rule as if they were consulting People Magazine instead of the Bill of Rights.
It should never have come to this point with Terri Schiavo; she should have been restored to the loving arms of her family years ago regardless of the money or the motives of her husband. And yet how ironic that we can’t now find one “activist” judge able and willing to look past all the cold rhetoric and legal sophistry of those determined to put a woman – no matter how damaged – to death and say “This shall not stand!” Is justice too blind to see the fundamental spirit and purpose of the law?