Critiques & Controversies: February 2005 Archives

Informed and inspired by Smockmomma's actions, below is the transcript of my remarks to Judge Greer--may the Good Lord lead him in right paths for His name's sake.

Dear Judge Greer,

Sometimes I think in the routine of day-to-day operation we forget some of the profound truths that influence and shape our lives. You are in the privileged position of having led a life dedicated to the legal system of our great country and now you are faced with a terrible decision. Logic dictates that if no written record exists and two parties disagree on an issue the better solution to the entire problem lies in a decision that is not irrevocable.

More, it seems that a legal system is erected first and foremost as a bulwark against the depredations of the strong against the weak. The first rule of law is to be the defense of the defenseless against those who would unjustly use them. This necessitates your intervention in the case of Ms. Schiavo. She has people willing to care for her. She responds to voices and is obviously engaged. It would be a disaster of the first water for our legal system to determine that it would be allowable for someone to say she cannot be fed. That way opens the door to horrors we dare not contemplate. A new-born child cannot feed him or herself, would it be all right to withhold food on the basis that they cannot care for themselves or they are not aware of the world around them in the same way we are?

I know that the law is not necessarily compassionate. But those who administer the law must be. The greater error here would be to take away what cannot be restored. Please do not let Florida once again be the leader in the paths of infamy. Please allow Ms. Schiavo's mother and father to take her home and care for her. Please don't sentence her to a slow, agonizing death by starvation.

Please remember that the law was made to serve us, not we to serve the law--it is not implacable, remorseless, nor immovable and it is time to decide in favor of life, compassion, and hope.

Here is the place where you can take your own appropriate action. In this time of waiting, please write--frequently if necessary. Make it your Lenten bond of justice.

Thanks Smock!

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Terri--Keep Praying!


Is Judge Greer coming to his senses? Let us pray!

CLEARWATER, Fla. - A judge Wednesday extended a stay keeping brain-damaged Terri Schiavo's feeding tube in place, saying he needed time to decide whether her husband, who wants to let her die, is fit to be her guardian.

Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer extended until Friday an emergency stay that was to expire Wednesday afternoon. He said he also needs more time to determine whether Terri Schiavo needs more medical tests to determine if she has greater mental capabilities than previously thought.

And this note:

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Children & Families moved to intervene in the legal battle over the life of the severely brain-damaged woman. Details of the agency's involvement in the case were not immediately available. Greer denied a DCF attorney an opportunity to speak at the afternoon hearing.

The DCF involvement came hours after Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters he was seeking a means to intervene in the case.

George Felos, who represents Terri Schiavo's husband criticized the DCF move, saying it "reeks of the intervention of politics into the case and is an affront to the court."

I don't know if Terri's site has been slashdotted, has a DDOS, or is simply reflecting the outpouring of concern. Here is the notice from the site about today's ruling.

The Schindler family are encouraged at the outcome of today's hearing before Judge Greer and are overwhelmed at the public outpouring of care and concern being shown to them and their daughter, Terri Schiavo.

The Schindler family also welcomes the involvement of Florida's Department of Children and Families (the state's health and human services agency) in their investigation into serious and detailed allegations of abuse and to ensure that appropriate care and treatment of Terri and patients like her is being delivered.

We ask that you please continue to think and pray for them and for Judge Greer as he takes this matter under advisement. Terri's life and the lives of many disabled, elderly and vulnerable people in Florida hang in the balance.

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For Terri

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Barring a miracle, today is the date scheduled for the destruction of an innocent human being at the whim of another. Please pray for her and for God's will in this whole matter. Also, if you can choke the words out (and it is very difficult) please try to pray for her misguided and outright pernicious husband/guardian, who in pursuit of some other "good" has decided to destroy this poor woman.

Those who are more knowledgable, help us work toward an end in which this outcome is not possible. I don't understand a court system that allows an execution when the facts are not clear. I don't even understand the personal motivations of Judges and Lawyers who could think of supporting this horrific act. May God have mercy on them and on us.

I now understand Jesus weeping for Jerusalem in a way I wish I never had experienced. We are so lost as a society and we don't even know it. If ever there were a time for civil disobedience and the showing of some Gubenatorial spine, this is it. After all, what's to lose--you defend an innocent woman in your last term as governor. Yes, I know we're hoping for a White House run here, but what is the balance of powers for if not to thwart the tyranny of one or another group?

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More on NASCAR

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Throughout the book St. Dale the point is made of how most people regard fans of NASCAR. It seems that NASCAR gives those who are interested in hockey, soccer, and rugby someone to look down upon as rubes, rednecks, and somehow less than creditable.

I've thought a lot about this and it strikes me as absurd that people who can extol the virtues of jumping on a lump of pigskin, or striking a horsehide (I know, no longer) ball with a stick of ash would have the audacity to look down on anything.

Personally, I have no time or interest in any of it--it all strikes me as a form of bread and circuses with which I can readily dispense--I've too many time-wasters in my life anyway. But, I cannot fault those who enjoy these things. And in some ways I would love to be able to emulate them. I would have so much more to discuss with other "normal" men whose thoughts seem to channel in one of several ruts (pun intended). But it does provide ready entrance into the society of men in some circles, and I do not have that.

I also don't regard NASCAR racing as a sport as such (which is not intended as a criticism and may reveal only my ignorance of the matter). It may require great endurance--it does require great skill. (Think about being in a perpetual traffic jam at between 90 and 180 mph.) It apparently requires a great deal of knowledge and strategy--I'm astounded by some of the things that racers appear to consider. NASCAR racing doesn't seem to be a sport, but it is a contest--a legitimate one.

So were I to undertake to examine contests including atheletic sports and car racing for their virtues, I tend to think I might find more to admire in the skill and knowledge of a racer than in two teams of people who use each other as crash-test dummies.

Consider this just a plea for those inclined to look down upon others for what they enjoy to look first in the mirror and see what you enjoy boiled down to its essentials. I don't claim to have any great understanding of any sport or contest and I often wish I did. But I admire the enthusiasm of those who do participate--I find it refreshing and oddly, another way of encountering God. In truly allying yourself with a team or with a contest or with a person you live in that moment and in a sense abandon yourself to the joy that God has opened for you. Sports have the great value of what Disputations is inclined to call eutrepalia. I don't get it, but I rejoice in those who do. I only ask them to look kindly upon the enthusiasms of others.

(I guess my "sport" of choice ranks close to dead last in everyone's estimation of the worthwhile. But where else can you see water as blue as God's eye and people balanced on the edge of eternity, falling, falling, falling so gracefully, so perfectly, so evenly into the wide blue water.)

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Shakespeare Does Psalm 8

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To honor Ms. Schiavo and the Terri Schiavo blogburst:*

from "Hamlet" Act II scene 2
William Shakespeare

I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

"The beauty of the world--the paragon of animals." How horribly appropriate in the savagery surrounding this innocent woman and those who wish her dead--that these two should be juxtaposed. For people can indeed be the paragon of animals in both the positive, and in this case the negative sense. How much more an animal must one be to stoop to the slaughter of those least able to defend themselves. May God have mercy on them and deliver Terri from their "tender" care.

I am with you in spirit (those in Tampa) though I didn't hear about the gatherings until too late to manage a day off. My prayers are with those who gather in her defense.

*A note of clarification from Hyscience--Visit hyscience blog and search for Terri Schiavo Blogburst to find the script to add to your blog, etc. E-mail hyscience at once you have it added or if you have any questions. It's time to burst the blogosphere for Terri! Ultimate goal? Getting her out of the hands of those trying to murder her and back on the road to her recovery in the care of her parents/siblings/etc. and those who love and want to help her.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Critiques & Controversies category from February 2005.

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