Adam Ash

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Terri's Crucifixion

I swear to God I read this shit on a blog today:
"Like Jesus, Terri was an innocent--at least for the last 15 years. By definition, she was virtually incapable of committing sin during her disability. Yet, she was treated more harshly than our society would ever treat even the most abominable serial killer.
Like Jesus, Terri was betrayed. She has her Judas. His name is Michael Schiavo. He claims he is starving her to death because that would be what Terri would want. And this specious, unsupported claim is the sole basis for starving to death a young handicapped woman denied rehabilitative efforts by her so-called 'guardian.'
Like Jesus, Terri's mother has been forced to watch this public execution helplessly. Imagine what this must be like for mother Mary Schindler. Can anyone reading my words today imagine watching your child starve to death by court order? Can you imagine what it must be like to be kept from your loving child in these hours by armed guards?
Like Jesus, Terri has her accusers. The high priests today wear black robes. Judge George Greer, an obscure county bureaucrat just a few weeks ago, is having his 15 minutes of fame at Terri's expense. Driven either by some blind ideological desire to pull the plug on handicapped people or in the death grip of fear of admitting a mistake, Greer was not so much a judge as he was the prosecutor and executioner. His supporting cast included the entire U.S. Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court and the entire 11th Circuit.
Like Jesus, Terri has her Herod. In this case, his name is U.S. District Judge James Whittemore, a Bill Clinton appointee who could have saved her or decided to hear the case himself. He could have listened to the will of Congress and the president of the United States. Instead, like Herod, he kicked the case back to Greer.
Like Jesus, Terri may, too, have her Pontius Pilate. It's not too late for Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida to avoid playing this role. He doesn't have to wash his hands of the matter. He has found no fault in the woman. He has spoken favorably of her and championed her plight. But he is uniquely positioned at this moment to save her. He, himself has already acknowledged he has the power and the legal authority to do it. He has even threatened to do it. But, like Pilate, he seems to be weighing the political implications of saving her life rather than using the scale of moral imperative.
I pray today Jeb Bush is reflecting on all this. I pray he has considered he has a big decision to make. I pray he listens to that still small voice in his heart that, I suspect, is speaking to him right now about this. I pray he is not distracted by the routine business of the governorship of his state to see this matter clearly. I pray he recognizes that if he washes his hands, pretending he did everything he could possibly do under the law, that he will become complicit in this horrible crime.'

Some people have strong feelings, and it scares the shit out of me. Maybe we are heading for a theocracy. Or the Rapture. I read this today, too:
"After living in the Bible Belt for more than thirty years, I've learned several things about our fundamentalist Christian brethren: First, theirs is an embattled faith, which requires an ever-evolving list of enemies to keep its focus. It includes Satan worshipers one year, 'secular humanists' the next. Panic over backward masking on phonograph records yields to fears that supermarket bar codes harbor the Mark of the Beast. Some years back, Procter & Gamble was forced to deny widespread rumors that a moon-and-stars logo on boxes of soapsuds symbolized corporate diabolism. More recently, purging school libraries of Harry Potter's witchcraft has emerged as a cause. As if the real world weren't scary enough, chimerical threats must be found. No form of occultism is too arcane or preposterous to provoke alarm.
I've also learned that fundamentalist Christianity's spiritual entrepreneurs are never more dogmatic than when they are ignoring, if not contradicting, the essence of Jesus Christ's teachings. The basic con is to insist upon the historical and scientific accuracy of every syllable in the Bible--then to analyze its symbolism, unveil hidden acrostics, and decode secret messages known only to initiates. The Book of Genesis is reduced to a biology text, and Daniel becomes a crystal ball. Thus are delivered the comforts of certitude and the enchantments of sorcery in a single beguiling package.
This is not to suggest insincerity. As Swift noted in A Tale of a Tub, his 1704 satire of religious extremists (by which he meant Catholics and Presbyterians), the successful propagandist is most often his own first victim. But it does begin to explain the huge commercial success of the Left Behind series of thrillers by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, a twelve-novel extravaganza combining a blandly paranoid worldview with crackpot theology to produce a form of biblical infotainment seemingly irresistible to a reported 42m readers. (This is apparently a cumulative sales figure; the number of individuals slogging their way through the series is much smaller.)' More here.


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