The Politics of Life and Death or Right and Left?

Michael Gallaugher at Christian Conservative really hit a nerve with this post about Terri Schiavo. I’ve never seen so many comments generated from so little text. Some of the comments really took me by surprise. Not only were commenters ill- or misunformed about Terri’s condition, they also showed a disturbing inability to reason logically. Here’s a sampling.

"Err on the side of life? They have been stuffing her from a tube for 15 years! You are writing about this as if there is some dispute. The woman’s cortex is gone. All that is left is a brain stem. Terri is gone and she has a right to be allowed for her brain stem to die as well. A whole boatload of neurologists and judges have invariably –invariably– found the same thing. She’s gone."
Public Theologian

Invariably, eh? Perhaps this information would change his mind.

"This is a fascist religious conspiracy to take away Michael Schiavo’s rights to fulfill his wife’s wishes."
– POed Lib

Really? And here I thought it was an attempt to save a women from being treated like the living dead and forced to waste away painfully.

"Excellent opinion, Christian Conservative. We liberals are completely for the ‘Err on the side of life’ mentality." [Unless that life is on the wrong side of a cervix. – Funky]

"Perhaps we should have ‘erred on the side of life’ before sending 1500 US soldiers to their deaths in Iraq, along with an estimated 100,000 Iraqis."

"Perhaps we should have erred on the side of life with the 152 executions he allowed as Governor of Texas."

"Or perhaps the countless patients in Texas whose tubes were removed, simply because the families could not afford the health care — against the wishes of the family."

"Maybe it should be extended to the millions of Americans without health insurance."

"Perhaps slashing Medicaid funding in the proposed budget would be reversed."


Nick Davis

Can you say "red herring", boys and girls? Does support for Terri necessarily imply support for the war in Iraq, the death penalty, the Texas Futile Care Law, or slashing Medicaid funding? No. Just because President Bush may be acting hypocritically by supporting Terri, doesn’t mean we all are. I don’t like President Bush and I didn’t vote for him (either time). It’s high time liberals learn that sometimes "discrimination" is a good thing.

discrimination – 1. The act of discriminating. 2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.

"So you’re going to come out against Bush’s elective Iraq invasion, alll of the executions that he signed off on, the dead people who are dead because they could afford health insurance, and the the texas law that Bush signed that makes it possible for hospitals to cut life supprot for people who can no longer pay?"

"(I’ll be holding my breath while you think about it)"

– jri

Absolutely. I neither like nor voted for Bush. I still want to see Terri Schiavo live. Try not to spontaneously combust as you digest that.

BTW, You can stop holding your breath now.

"I find it ironic that same folks pushing for Shiavo’s "right to life" are the same folks who go on and on about the ‘sanctity of marriage’ – yet they’re stomping on Michael Shiavo’s marital rights. Can’t have it both ways."
– Jinx

Michael doesn’t give a rat’s behind about his marital rights. His girlfriend and their two children are evidence of that.

"Matthew 25 is one of my favorites – to me it summarizes elegantly what it means to be Christian. It also summarizes the beauty of liberalism. We propose direct aid for the hungry, the thirsty, for strangers, for the naked and for the imprisoned. The Adam Smith approach does not do it for us. We admit that it fails and has failed for over 200 years to address the needs of the poor. Conservatives tend to argue that the poor are lazy and need to get to work, or that they will benefit indirectly from government support for the very wealthy. I believe that the conservative view is in conflict with this scriptural teaching."


You’ll get little or no argument from me on those points. Now tell me why Terri must die painfully at her husband’s whim.

"I believe that there should be a national statute to protect all citizens from the horror that Terri Schiavo has been experiencing for 15 years. In the absence of clear instructions to the contrary by the patient, the maintenance of life by artificial means such as tube feeding or a respirator should be limited to a maximum of one year unless a judge can be convinced that the patient has a genuine chance of recovery to a state in which they can communicate their wishes."

– tgibbs

Tell that to Sarah Scantlin and others like her.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of the comments are very insightful, especially those by a fellow called Jinx. I encourage my readers, who have demonstrated their superb reasoning and debating skills on a number of occasions, to weigh in on the issues raised over there.

On a related note, if you’d like to see how these mostly civil comments from the Left can be turned ugly, read the ones left at this Hullabaloo post. Some of these individuals must have been foaming at the mouth while writing them.