Politics and Life

Posted on Sunday 20 March 2005

Just recently, the GOP idiots up on the hill have decided to revisit the case surrounding Terri Schiavo and her husband’s attempt to remove her feeding tube. His position is that Terri would not have wanted to live in a permanent vegetative state, and that she should have the right to die with dignity. He has been fighting her parents for years in the courts, as they believe she should be kept alive at all costs.

I understand the issues involved in the Schiavo case, better than most, as I had to make a similar decision in 2001. I understand Michael Schiavo’s pain, and his wish for his wife’s suffering to end. Fortunately, my wife’s parents also believed that she should not suffer. I also understand why Terri’s parents hope for her recovery—their desperate desire to see their daughter live again. But in truth, I think that Michael should be given a chance to say goodbye to his wife, and to decide whether she should continue her existence or be allowed to die with dignity. Michael is, after all is said and done, the man that Terri chose to spend her life with—as his wife. If the GOP wants justification for my beliefs, they need to only look to the Bible, which says:

“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:28-31 NIV translation)

As far as I can tell—there are no federal issues here, there are no federal laws involved in the case—yet Congress has decided that their time is better spent interfering in what should be a fairly private matter. The Republicans, and their neo-conservative allies believe they have the right to interfere in private decisions, especially those regarding life-and-death. They oppose any form of abortion or right-to-die with dignity, yet are in favor of capital punishment—even in the case of children and developmentally challenged convicts. They have been executing a war in Iraq that has resulted in untold thousands of deaths, with no real justification—just the lies of the current administration.

I don’t believe, even for a moment, that the Republicans care about Terri Schiavo or her life. This is a cheap, and hypocritical ploy to pander to the interests of the religious right. They are grabbing headlines to keep themselves in the public eye—taking a pointless moral stand which does little to affect the welfare of the public at large—while avoiding any real issues.

I find it particularly pathetic that this administration should take the time and money to hold hearings on Terri Schiavo, and on steroid-use in major league baseball, when there are so many more pressing issues that need to be addressed. The problems with Medicare, health insurance, drunk driving, and Social Security are all still here—and still need to be addressed.

For the past decade, the Republicans have been taking issues of morality—many of which should be private issues, such as Bill Clinton’s sex life and Terri Schiavo’s right to die—and making them into political issues. Yet, they consistently avoid taking any real hard looks at the ethically questionable actions of themselves and their peers—such as the lies and misinformation that led the US into an expensive and mis-directed war against Iraq. They even attempted to change the ethics rules to protect one of their own from the consequences of his alleged illegal actions.

Unfortunately, for the United States and the world as a whole, we have somehow elected these morally bankrupt and ethically questionable people into power over our country. I just wish they would do what we have elected them to do—govern our country—and not waste taxpayer money on issues of no real relevance to the welfare of the American public.

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