Two controversies are dominating the news cycle these days—the status of Terri Schiavo and the use of steroids in major league baseball. How these two issues are developing presents us with a picture of America-2005.
Mrs. Schiavo, in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, is caught between her husband, who has wanted her taken off her feeding tube for years, and her parents, who must think that she will be able to recover from a condition that no human has ever recovered from before. Supposedly, if Terri had drafted a so-called living will, proscribing aggressive, extraordinary, and artificial methods of keeping her alive, there would have been no problem. However, given the extreme animosity between her parents and her husband, I’m not sure that even a living will would have helped.
Her husband Michael did receive a sizable cash settlement, in compensation for her condition. One of his main arguments in the lawsuit was that he would need a bundle to provide for her. Yet, almost as soon as he got the money, he was trying to unplug her from all life support. Evidence also emerged that he probably abused her. Some time later, he found a girlfriend, and is interested in starting a new life. To many, he is hardly a sympathetic character, although he has garnered TV time, expressing his “plight.” As to the bit about “…till death do us part,” he concurs, even though his interpretation of how death should occur is not exactly what the marriage vow intends.
The central problem seems to be that Terri’s parents (the Schindlers) and husband cannot agree as to a disposition. The parents suggest that he simply divorce her, presumably enabling some kind of financial settlement, and that then they could decide what is best for her. That Michael Schiavo is unwilling to do this makes it rather clear that it’s all about the money, or at best, it surely was at first. Thus, the whole mess ended up in the courts.
Notwithstanding any grandiose moral or theological considerations, the money WAS awarded primarily to take care of Terri, not to enrich either the litigants or their attorneys. As such, the courts could have simply divided it up, and set up some sort of trust fund, to provide for her medical care. Furthermore, in the absence of a living will, and given the irreconcilable differences between the parties, the courts could have stipulated that Terri’s fate be left up to best medical practices. But, as we observe nearly every day, the quality of our jurists is less than adequate, bringing us to our current disaster, whereby a lowly superior court judge can actually ORDER that her feeding tube be removed.
Compare this to the endless appeals process granted to death row inmates, and note the bloodlust of the ACLU and Lefties of all stripes, screaming for Terri’s death, like so many crazed spectators in the Roman Circus. Note also the misguided “conservatives” prattling about states’ rights or the sanctity of marriage—implying that Michael should have the ultimate say, no matter what. Among the few who are actually making some sense in this travesty are those who are appalled at the power granted to the judiciary, and the impotence shown by the other branches of government.
How ironic that it is left to the courts to deal with a horrible conundrum, that is solely of their own design.
Meanwhile, though, the other branches can flex their muscles on truly important issues, such as steroid use in baseball. Even though I’m sick to death of this topic, and have already written about it, I’ll give you my take: Who cares?
We are talking about a GAME. A game that enriches some people, but a game, nonetheless. If its players choose to juice it up to break records, and are willing to suffer the health consequences, why is that a matter for Congress? Yes, yes, I know, it is so the kids won’t do the same thing. The only problem with that argument is that there are so many more relevant destructive behaviors exhibited by celebrities that Congress is skipping over, in order to grandstand on steroids—if they should worry about bad influences on kids, at all.
What about the nonstop beer commercials? How many more kids die from alcohol abuse than steroid abuse?
As to the other reason, involving the supposed “sanctity” of baseball’s record book, I can only marvel at those who would care deeply about such things, other than the men who actually set the records. But then, there ARE millions of people who seem to care what film or what actor wins an Oscar, even though there is no possible explanation for how such a victory would benefit themselves.
So, who is a “least brother,” as Jesus mentions in Matthew 25:31-46? Is it a jumped-up pro athlete, professional baseball, or even a misguided young jock? Or rather, is it a poor 41-year-old woman, whom the system has failed for years?
I think it’s high time for a reality check.