Is it merely the contrarian in me that thinks, "If the born again Christians hovering around the Florida hospice where Terri Schiavo lies dying actually believed in an afterlife, in heaven, in their God, shouldn't they be happy for Terri now that her feeding tube has been removed, and she now approaches death"?
If these Right to Life/Culture of Life zealots weren't so maniacal I would be interested in approaching one. I'd love to have a look at their Bible. I'm no theologian, and it's been nearly two decades since I read a Bible, but I do remember a few things that it purports that Jesus Christ said. Stuff about minding one's business, leaving the speck in your neighbor's eye alone so you can address the log in your own eye, and a lot of ambiguous blather about faith. That's a key word among the crisply righteous -- they have faith. Except they don't.
Instead of faith the cracklingly righteous have a void, an emotional black hole into which any sense of propriety, decency, balance, and modesty has been swallowed. This emotional black hole moves them to make public horses asses out of themselves while turning an excruciating private family matter into a fucking circus.
Terri Schiavo married her husband Michael. It was a legal marriage recognized by the State. Although I was not in attendance, I would guess that they were married in a church, in a religious, as well as legal, ceremony. Maybe in a synagogue. Whether they were married in St. Peter's Bascillica by St. Seraphin or wedded while standing on a beach looking onto Lake Erie by a justice of the peace, can we not agree that that wedding took place before "the eyes of God"? If God is all powerful, all seeing, all knowing, then He/She/It witnessed the wedding.
And during that wedding Michael Schiavo gave himself to Terri Schindler, and Terri Schindler gave herself to Michael Schiavo. For better and for worse, and all that.
So, after Terri was unfairly, unfortunately, unbearably struck down in the early 1990s -- reduced to a persistent vegetative state; her cerebral cortex having been liquified -- the heartbreaking decision was left to Michael: What would Terri have wanted? And Michael's answer has been: Not to waste away as she has been for the past decade and a half.
Of course Terri Schiavo's parents are clinging to her; unwilling to let her go. Of course they are seeing signs of consciousness in her where there are none. Under such tremendous emotional strain, the heart is capable of producing such mirages. They can't let go. Who can blame them? Who among us wouldn't cling to the shoelace of a loved one we saw being snatched away by the Angel of Death? We all would. Without question.
Let Terri die in peace. Dignity is not only for the dead.