Friday, March 18, 2005

The rising culture of death

Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed today. Please pray and preach for Terri. This post from Evangelical Outpost puts Terri's case in perspective of the rising culture of death.

Update: For a taste of the profound scandal at the heart of this case, read "Starving for a Fair Diagnosis" (HT: Biblical Christianity).

15 Comments:

Anonymous The Bastard said...

I don't get it? She got this way because of an eating disorder, why do you insist on trying to force feed her?

6:34 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

B: I don't think we know why she's in the state she's in. I also don't know your religious foundations, but this blog is based on a biblical worldview--not a conservative Christian one, not a Republican one, not a 700-Club or Focus on the Family one.

From a biblical perspective, we should keep taking care of Terri for two reasons. First, she has value, no matter how damaged she is, because she's formed in the image of God. Second (thanks to Rusty Peterman for this observation), our lives don't belong to us; they belong to God. We don't any more have the right to choose the time of our death than to choose the time of our birth.

Yes, I referenced National Review in this post, but I've also linked to Christian Century, Sojourners, and (I think) New Republic. I also agree strongly with your post on bankruptcy reform.

Thanks for stopping by, Bastard, and for reading my blog.

8:03 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Greg Roy said...

Thank you for taking a stand against this death by starvation. If she was on death row for murder, many of these same people who approve the court order to remove the feeding tube would be holding candlelight vigils to save her life.

8:33 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Motis said...

Man you guys are so stereotypical. Why does everyone have to be labelled as a Republican or Conservative or Biblical.

Did you ever consider her perspective? Did you ever consider that she may consider those keeping her alive to be the antagonists. How about I force a feeding tube down your throat, let you sit around for 13 years in a hospital unable to move, but being able to see, possibly think. Think about how painful that would be. Perhaps you are the ones she does not agree with. Perhaps she does want to be alive. But really, by keeping her alive in the first place you are "Playing God" just as much as you by letting her die. You're not choosing her time of death. She could live for an hour or for a month or longer after you pull the tube out. She could be dead right now. She could be dead right now even if they had not removed the tube.

Perhaps you, Mr. Milton Stanley, should come out of the box for a moment of wanting to hate Republicans or 700-Club thinkers. If you want to change this situation, be proactive. Not by bashing the people who want her to die are you solving anything. Why don't you drive down there and do something about it? Would you die for her? That's good, but it doesn't mean anything. It's easy to die for something because it's over when you're down with it. Why don't you live for her. Go stop it if you want to. You're not changing anything by posting this.

8:54 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I think you're right, Greg. Your post reminded me that Villanova University recently planned to dedicate a section of its library to Prof. Mine Ener, who murdered her six-month-old daughter and then killed herself in jail. Thanks for stopping by, and all the best on your new blog.

9:16 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Motis: Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. And please forgive me if I gave the impression that I hate Republicans, 700 Clubbers, or anyone else.

I visited Yabot and enjoyed the drawings. Sorry to hear about your ear infection. I've been fighting one for a few weeks and they're no fun. I'll be praying for your good health, particularly for the possible pregnancy.

Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you'll continue to visit. I'll be coming by Yabot from time to time.

9:30 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I should also add, Motis, that I enjoy your sense of humor at Yabot.

9:39 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Motis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:01 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Motis said...

I'm sorry for being a jerk. Thanks for being a good guy, Milton. I'd guess that our basic theological views are different, but I can safely say that we both value human life. I do tend to try and play the "Devil's Advocate" in discussions though (however I never truly side with the Devil).

Anyways, thanks for your prayer and understand that, in addition to my commentaries are democracy, John Stamos, Pharmaceutical efficiency and toenails, I also meant the comment about pregnancy in complete jest. Mostly my friends from high school read the blog and they know that I possess a Y Chromosome and would have understood it.

Nonetheless, if I do get pregnant I will be sure to keep you posted.

10:07 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Motis said...

Also.. what kind of Church do you preach at? In terms of denomination? I personally attend a Lutheran Church, but I really don't like the constraints and conflicts that often arise from Protestant versus Catholic, especially since I attend a Catholic school.

10:09 PM, March 18, 2005  
Anonymous The Bastard said...

Miilton,

You know I can respect your views and faith just as long as they are not forced upon me. With that said I have to say I'm a little confused, the religous movement in this country won't allow stem cell research to possibly lengthen peoples lives but everytime a right to life arguement like Terri's comes up you seem to think that science is the next best thing since sliced bread. Isn't life about quality and not quantity.

I just think keeping her alove in the state that she is in is cruel and inhuman. If you truely believe in God and his wisdom wouldn't you be happier knowing that she has gone to meet her creator?

Thats another thing that confuses me is that your raised to believe in the greatness of God but then when its time to go meet him averyone is afraid, this whole must keep living thing confuses me. Science is the only thing keeping Terri alive, 100 years ago Terri couldn't have survived this long but because of science she has. I say let her go,let her be at peace and don't let her body be used as a political pawn of sorts.

On a side note, I have to admit I kinda tore through Cao's blog list earlier leaving my original comment everywhere just to stir things up but you actually got me to think a little today. As one American to another with all indifferences aside, I hope everything works out for you and your family in the upcoming year!

10:52 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger John said...

Milton, you never cease to amaze me! What wisdom and firm compassion you lend to your readers. Thank you, for being a voice for Terri, and accepting your moral and social responsibilities as God expects us to do.
GBYAY

5:26 AM, March 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Motis: No problem, apologies accepted. You obviously feel strongly about what you believe, and I certainly respect that. Hope you are feeling better, and since you're a guy, it's good to know I don't have to keep praying for a good pregnancy!

I preach at a Church of Christ, the kind that doesn't use instrumental music in worship. That's probably what we're best known for, which is unfortunate. At the heart of who we are is trying to follow the Bible (especially the New Testament) in our faith and practice. We do that because we know human beings mess things up, so we try to come as close as we can to God's will for his church.

I'm glad to hear you're interested in such matters. I used to be Episcopalian and attended a Catholic youth group in college. I was seeking God (although people around me might never have guessed it), and he eventually led me to where I am now. I don't know where you stand on religious issues, but I'll be praying you stand with God.

Thanks again for visiting, and I hope you do come back. All the best to you, Yabot, Super Spoon, the french broom, Computer Steve, and the rest. Milton

7:30 AM, March 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for your comments, B (sorry, but I just can't bring myself to keep calling you Bastard). You're right about quality being more important than quantity of life, and that Terri is being used by a political pawn (by both sides of the "right to die" fence).

There are two issues involved in this case, I think. One is Terri's life (not her "right to life," but simply her life). Again, as a Christian, I believe her life is of value even if most of her "humanness" seems to have disappeared when her brain was damaged.

Even more important for the rest of us is how we respond to that life. I wouldn't want to starve and dehydrate a dog to death, let alone a human being, however broken she may be. From what I've seen, Terri Schiavo is able to respond to stimuli at least at a primal, animal level.

If she were on a heart-lung machine, respirator, or life-sustaining drugs it would be a different story. But all she's getting is food and water in a feeding tube, and there's evidence she could learn to take nourishment by mouth. "Letting Terri die" means subjecting her to dehydration and starvation--days and days of suffering. Sorry to wax dramatic here, but I really believe that if we as a society allow that to happen to Terri Schiavo, something will die within us as well.

Theologically, I'm opposed to dehydrating this poor woman to death. Even more strongly, something within me cries in outrage for what is being done to her. I pray that God will have mercy on all of us.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, your kind words about my family, and for speaking out at Bring it On for the little guy. Hope you visit again.

7:46 AM, March 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for continuing to be an encourager, John. Thanks, too, for the series at Scotwise on great evangelists. May God continue to bless your work in Queensland. God Bless You and Yours, too!

7:49 AM, March 19, 2005  

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