By Tom Quiner
Two factions wage a ferocious war in America.
One faction believes we should err on the side of death.
The other believes we should err on the side of life.
The two factions clashed in a vicious battle in March of 2005. Terri Schiavo’s fate hung in the balance.
On one side stood Michael Schiavo, Terry’s husband. He insisted that his comatose wife, comatose due to cardiac arrest that occurred some 15 years earlier, would want him to “pull the plug on her,” at which time he would inherit her estate.
Mr. Shiavo had the backing of human abortion groups and the Democratic Party.
On the other side stood Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, a committed Catholic.
Mr. Schindler had the backing of pro life groups and the Republican Party.
You will have a chance to hear the dramatic re-telling of this story from Mr. Schindler himself on July 27th here in Des Moines at the Airport Holiday Inn. He will be the keynote speaker at the annual Iowans for LIFE dinner.
You know what happened. The “pull-the-plug” crowd won.
What is interesting about this case is the passion both sides brought to this real-life human drama. I can understand the passion of the “err on the side of life” crowd. Peggy Noonan captured it well, writing in the Wall Street Journal on March 24th, 2005:
“God made the world or he didn’t.
God made you or he didn’t.
If he did, your little human life is, and has been, touched by the divine. If this is true, it would be true of all humans, not only some. And so–again, if it is true–each human life is precious, of infinite value, worthy of great respect.”
So well said. The pro life crowd believes in the dignity of human life, because God made us.
What is more challenging to understand is the passion, the angry emotionalism, of the “err on the side of death” crowd. Peggy Noonan continues …
“I do not understand the emotionalism of the pull-the-tube people. What is driving their engagement? Is it because they are compassionate, and their hearts bleed at the thought that Mrs. Schiavo suffers? But throughout this case no one has testified that she is in persistent pain, as those with terminal cancer are.
If they care so much about her pain, why are they unconcerned at the suffering caused her by the denial of food and water? And why do those who argue for Mrs. Schiavo’s death employ language and imagery that is so violent and aggressive? The chairman of the Democratic National Committee calls Republicans “brain dead.” Michael Schiavo, the husband, calls House Majority Leader Tom DeLay “a slithering snake.”
Terri Schiavo’s life is more important today than ever before in light of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s recent trial. The Gosnell trial drew a line in the sand. Many people who formally supported human abortion had a change of heart.
The “err on the side of death” philosophy has been exposed as a lie as born-alive babies were killed out of convenience and profits, in the name of “choice.”
The “err on the side of death” crowd tend to support euthanasia and a pull-the-plug value system. Peggy Noonan characterized it as “the bizarre passion of the pull-the-tube people.”
The significance of Terri Schiavo was summarized well by Peggy Noonan:
“Once you “know” that–that human life is not so special after all–then everything is possible, and none of it is good. When a society comes to believe that human life is not inherently worth living, it is a slippery slope to the gas chamber. You wind up on a low road that twists past Columbine and leads toward Auschwitz. Today that road runs through Pinellas Park, Fla.”
It ends up in a “house of horrors,” as Dr. Gosnell’s human abortion facility was so aptly described.
[If you are anywhere near Des Moines, make it a point to come out and hear Bobby Schindler talk about the cause of Life at the Iowans for LIFE dinner on July 27th. Register online at www.IowansforLIFE.org.]