March 20, 2005

Links on Terri Schiavo

I have been too silent on the subject of Terri Schiavo's plight, thinking I didn't have anything to add. Now I think I should at least express my opinion and link to others who have said so much.

[Updated 3/23: The following paragraph has been revised after further review, elaborated on at the bottom of this post. Struck text is original, followed by a revision in italics.]

First, my opinion. This is all but an act of murder by her husband who has refused to give her proper medical care, has denied visitation rights to her family, who has left her in order to start a family with another woman while refusing to divorce Terri (I think this should be a disqualifying factor in his legal status as her guardian), and who stands to make a bit of money when she dies. His claims that Terri is in a vegetative state (PVS) are disputed. I don't know Michael Schiavo's motivations for his actions, but I don't think that he is acting in her best interests given some of his behaviour during this ordeal, such as his previous refusal to pay for rehabilitation, attempting to refuse her parents visitation rights, and starting a family with another woman while refusing to divorce Terri (I think this should be a disqualifying factor in his legal status as her guardian). Yet I am commanded to love this man, who I consider to be an enemy of God, because Jesus told me I should. Does love imply agreement? No, love does not imply tolerance of evil, but rather confronts it. In this case, with no personal contact between this man and me, I think it implies I should be praying for his soul. Maybe there would be more hope for Terri that way.

When I hear someone say that she deserves death with dignity, my reaction is "According to whom?" Terri didn't ask for this fate. Before my father passed away last November, I saw what had to be done in Texas before someone could be denied food and water. There were lots of papers and instructions, that had to be in order before treatment could be denied. That ensured that the dying person had left clear instructions on how to handle their fate. No word of mouth hearsay could be used to justify letting them die with no treatment. Unfortunately, the judge letting Mr. Schiavo do this to Terri has done just that, admitting as binding a word-of-mouth recollection of a passing comment, witnessed only by someone who stands to benefit from her death, and contradicted by testimony from her family.

Now for some links:
Susan b. has written a lot about Terri Schiavo, start here and go down.

blogs4God has a post from Mean Dean and links to other bloggers' posts.

And blogsforTerri has a roundup of all the latest news and advocacy information.

Update 3/23/2005: Joel Thomas comments below, "You are being dishonest when you claim that Terri's husband stands to benefit. ... Although I think the court should have ruled the other way, I believe that Terri's husband was motivated by love, not be greed."

Based on his comment, and on this letter sent to John DerbyShire, of National Review Online, I'll admit I don't know Michael Schiavo's motivation, whether it be money or trying to honor a verbal promise to a loved one. So I've revised the post. Thank you for reading, Joel, and your comment.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 10:21 PM | Comments (2)

March 13, 2005

Thoughts on John 11

One little word in John 11:6, "so", tells me so much of the character of God. Often mistranslated in paraphrases as "although", the verse (along with its context) says:

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
John 11:1-6 NKJV

Look at that last sentence. Jesus is asked, by Mary and Martha, to come and heal their brother, and he waits two days to come because he loves them? Yes, that is what the Gospel says in a literal translation. Jesus loves them, so He waits. Why? To show them the greater glory. Not a simple sign of a miraculous healing, though that would have convinced many. Not the reassurance of a resurrection in the far off future, even though that is assured for us in this passage. No, Jesus wanted to pull out all the stops and provide the greatest sign short of His own Resurrection, the resurrection of Lazarus, the sign that would "break the camel's back" and assure His own sacrifice soon thereafter. And why did He do it this way? He tells us, later in verses 42-43:
And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."John 11:42-43

Whenever we ask God for His help and it doesn't come right away, perhaps we should just wait a little longer for an answer to prayer that is greater than anything we can imagine. Even if it isn't that great in our own point of view, God has His own reason for everything He does, and His way is always best, both for His glory, and for increasing our faith and trust in Him.

Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Ps 27:14 NKJV
Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2005

More thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia

After finishing last week's post on C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, where I discussed The Deplorable Word, I realized I missed the most obvious symbolism of it. The evil expressed by the act of killing everyone except the speaker of The Deplorable Word is the opposite of the mercy and grace of God. Evil would kill everyone in order to hold onto a dominion consisting of no living thing, whereas God's love would be shown by Him laying down His own life in order to make eternal life available to everyone.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

Remembering the Alamo

Today is the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo, where all the defenders of this Spanish mission were killed by Mexican General Santa Anna in Texas' Revolutionary War. Proud men fighting for liberty, just as others did a little further east sixty years earlier.

So how did I note the anniversary? I watched the NASCAR Telcel 200, the inaugural NASCAR race in Mexico City.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)