One year ago today, Terri Schindler (Schiavo) began the slow and agonizing path of starvation and dehydration, as the nutrition tube was removed from her body. Terri, as you hopefully recall, was brain-damaged and in hospice. Sadly, some of the very persons who should have sought to preserve her life actually fought to end it. Her husband (whose hopes to move on with his adulterous life were more important than the life of his wife) had convinced a morally bankrupt Florida judge to order the starvation of Terri.
While American citizens watched on television, listened by radio, and read by Internet, the legal battle was fought to the very end. Terri’s parents and siblings made every possible legal effort to save her from the cruel and unusual death she suffered. Despicably, those intent on murder were successful in their quest. Despite rumblings from President George Bush, the U.S. Congress, the Florida legislature, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the conspirators of disaster worked their wileful deed. As Terri lay conscious, painfully aware that she was thirsting to death, her husband and his attorneys congratulated themselves on their endeavor.
Although this situation seems reminiscent of a horror story, it actually happened. The events played out publicly in Pinellas Park, Florida. Millions of Americans were aware of the sadistic state-sanctioned murder of this innocent woman. Thousands gathered outside the hospice where Terri lay dying; they were there to encourage her parents and siblings, to pray for God’s intervention, to seek justice from the secular authorities. Press conferences were called; demonstrations were held; prayer gatherings were organized; public and private entreatments for intervention were proffered. Sadly, the deed was begun and carried to its end.
A year ago, I wrote some things about this harsh event. I was present for a few days at the concentration camp hospice where Terri was incarcerated. The local police were out in force to ensure that no one carried food or water to Terri. They were also present in her room to ensure that she be allowed to die the unnatural death that was inflicted upon her. I saw a few familiar faces among the crowds, and met many common citizens who came to weep and pray.
I will offer a few more reflections over the coming days. Terri should long be remembered. She should be remembered because she is one of God’s children, valuable simply because she was created by him. She should be remembered because she was a public sacrifice for the seared conscience of an increasingly godless people. Let us not forget Terri Schindler, the lady who was butchered by the blood-stained hands of politically powerful reprobates.