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By Any Other Name
by Jeffrey Shively
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“By Any Other Name”
By Jeffrey D. Shively

After a 13 day struggle for life, Terri Schiavo finally passed away from starvation. Her long ordeal of court-induced suffering has come to an end. She suffered a fate far greater than that meted out to mass murderers. This tragedy has served to highlight the terrible moral state of affairs in America today. At one point, people in this country revered life, for the realized that it was a gift from God. It was taken from those who violated the law or who brought harm to the nation. Today, we have arrived at a place where a woman who could no longer feed herself was systematically starved to death by an out of control judge.

Much has been said in the media about how humane this process is. Michael Schiavlo‘s lawyer, George Felos, has told us how beautiful Mrs. Schiavo looked while dying. Starving people also allegedly experience euphoria. Since cameras were forbidden in her room for quite some time, the public believed him. Reality was much different. Starvation is not a pleasant process. Joseph Stalin tried to cement his control over the Soviet Union in 1929 by demanding that Ukraine’s farmers submit to collectivization, which they refused to do. As punishment, the Communists forced the starvation of over 20 million Soviet citizens. Based on George Felo’s claims, one might have expected these people to have been dancing in the streets of Kiev, celebrating their demise. A dozen years later, this mass starvation was one of the key factors that motivated Ukrainians to fight alongside the invading German Army against their Soviet masters in the early stages of Barbarossa.

On Tuesday, March 29, Focus on the Family ran a touching interview with Terri’s brother and sister. This was refreshing, as the partisan media had made certain that the news was skewed against the family by portraying the Schindlers as religious “fanatics“. They related that their sister’s eyes were sunken and bleeding, her skin was mottled and flaking, and that she was in great pain. She was given morphine to ease that pain, something that a vegetable can’t feel. It is quite evident from the testimony of her doctors that she could have been rehabilitated, had her husband given the order for treatment. He was too preoccupied with an adulterous relationship to be bothered with such issues for over a decade.

The real issue here is a renegade judiciary. They ignored evidence as well as Florida laws that forbid denying a disabled person sustenance. The United States Congress and President Bush did their Constitutional duty by demanding that Terri get a fair hearing, an order that was ignored. Un-elected and unaccountable judges are ruling the nation. While we can not stoop to the level of the behavior exhibited by the Clinton “Justice” Department in Elian Gonzales case, there are Constitutional remedies. Judges who are not acting Constitutionally can and should be removed by the legislatures that created the courts. This is a representative republic, not an oligarchy. It is past time for “We the People” to reclaim it

The ACLU was missing in action during the Schiavo case. This group likes to claim that they are the guarantors of our liberties. Instead of helping this poor woman, they were defending the “rights” of enemy soldiers who were captured out of uniform. In more enlightened times, the 1940s, they would have been declared spies and saboteurs. Their rights would have amounted to a blindfold and a cigarette, enforced by several gentlemen shouldering M1s. If only Terri had at one point in her youth complained about seeing a Ten Commandments plaque or having to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Dozens of lawyers would have appeared from thin air to save the life of an American who had exercised her right of dissent.

The Schiavo case sets as bad a precedent as Roe v. Wade did in 1973. Babies were no longer people whose lives are worth anything, except in the cases where it allows California courts to sentence a man to death instead of life in prison. Terri Schiavo was neither brain dead nor on life support. She merely needed to be fed. I spent the better part of a year working with handicapped people. Some were very active, holding jobs and living fairly independently, while others required constant care. At no time did I consider that their lives were not worth living. Thanks to the renegade judges, we have seen the further cheapening of human life. Abortion and euthanasia have two very sinister things in common. Both are practiced by people who are being inconvenienced by others. Some must die for the crime of cramping someone else’s lifestyle. The second commonality brings us back to tramping of jackboots along the banks of the Rhine in the 1930s. Certain people were not fit for the Reich, so they were murdered.

Forty five million innocent Americans have lost their lives since 1973. I wonder how many of our inconvenient souls will perish in the next three decades if we do nothing. If we let this kind of barbarism stand, we don’t deserve to be the beacon to the world that we have been for two centuries. As civilized human beings, we must stand up for those who can not defend themselves. It’s the American way.

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