Friday, March 18, 2005

Andrew C. McCarthy on Terri Schiavo- Important!

Andrew C. McCarthy on Terri Schiavo : "...there is, of course, no greater iniquity than treating two unequal things as if they were the same. The Washington Post's editorial board should find another line of work if it cannot discern the difference between, on the one hand, a murderer who stands convicted despite having had had rich resort to various state and federal tribunals including a jury of his peers with the advantage of every legal and factual presumption our system can offer, and, on the other hand, an innocent woman who is alive and responsive to stimuli, who has parents ready and willing to care for her, and who is about to be subjected to two weeks of torture, starving and dehydration that the Washington Post would have a cow over if it were applied, say, to interrogate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed."

The right of the innocent to live isn’t contingent on the good will of governments and courts. — It derives from a higher law, as does the obligation to defend it. That there is such a higher law is not just an American principle (see the Declaration of Independence), a conservative principle, or a Judeo-Christian principle. When those defending Terri Schiavo’s right to live reject the state of Florida’s antinomian determination that she may be slowly starved to death, they echo Sophocles’ Antigone, facing down King Creon, across the millennia:

For me it was not Zeus who made that order.

Nor did that Justice who lives with the gods below

mark out such laws to hold among mankind.

Nor did I think your orders were so strong

that you, a mortal man, could over-run

the gods’ unwritten and unfailing laws.

Not now, nor yesterday’s, they always live,

and no one knows their origin in time.

So not through fear of any man’s proud spirit

would I be likely to neglect these laws,

draw on myself the gods’ sure punishment.

If the Post and others cannot see that, our answer must be Antigone’s:

And if you think my acts are foolishness

the foolishness may be in a fool’s eye.

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