What Has Our Country Done Unto "The Least of These"?
And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
I have often been ashamed to be a member of the human race, because of mankind's insatiable capacity for sin and cruelty and its utter contempt for the Grace that God has bestowed upon us. However, in my 37 years, I have been ashamed to be an American only twice: one of those times is now, as our country has looked the other way and done nothing while a defenseless and disabled child of God was cruelly dehydrated and starved to death by her estranged husband and the courts of this land.
"America, America, God shed His Grace on thee." And how have we repaid that Grace in our treatment of frail, yet God-given life? In how we treat the unborn, the disabled, the aging? As Terri Schaivo's fight ends, we still have before us the prospect of thousands of abortions performed daily, legislation to clone human embryos to be cannibalized for human "spare parts", and a medical mentality towards the disabled and the aging that places the burdens of the caregivers above the inherent dignity that exists in the lives of those who require care. What's worse is that we justify this cruelty toward those who are "inconvenient" by dressing it up in terms of human rights: "the right to reproductive freedom"; "advancements in medical technology to improve the quality of life"; "the right to die with dignity".
And so we continue to slide down that slippery slope to a Brave New World; we continue to slouch toward Gomorrah. How long, oh Lord, will you continue to bless this country, given our headlong rush to degradation?
Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
- Thomas Jefferson
"The Vatican denounced the 'arbitrarily hastened' death of Terri Schiavo on Thursday as a violation of principles of Christianity and civilization, and a cardinal described her end as a 'death sentence executed through a cruel method ... The circumstances of the death of Ms. Terri Schiavo have rightly disturbed consciences,' Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in the first statement from the Holy See on the case. 'An existence was interrupted. A death was arbitrarily hastened because nourishing a person can never be considered employing exceptional means.'"
"Cardinal Renato Martino, a top Vatican official, said Schiavo's death was a 'human tragedy, but also an ethical, juridical and cultural tragedy.' He told reporters her loss of life in a hospice in Florida to a 'death sentence executed through a cruel method ... That was not a natural death. It was an imposed death ... When you deprive somebody of food and water, what else is it? Nothing else but murder,' Martino said, adding that he was speaking on the case 'according to the teaching of the pope.' The pontiff has spoken on behalf of providing food and water, even through artificial means, to patients like Schiavo."
"A Vatican cardinal denounced the death Thursday of Terri Schiavo, saying removing the feeding tube that was keeping her alive was 'an attack against God.' Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican's office for sainthood, told reporters that 'an attack against life is an attack against God, who is the author of life.'"
"I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others."
- President George W. Bush
"Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo's friends in this time of deep sorrow."
- Rep. Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader