Friday, February 25

JUDGE GREER PLAYS PONTIUS PILATE: MARCH 18TH LOOMS FOR TERRI

After the relief that came with the news this afternoon that implied, to less careful readers among us, that Circuit Court Judge George W. Greer had extended the "emergency stay" through March 18th, an examination of his ruling issued at 2:50pm EST tells, alas, quite another story. The only cause for cheer is that Terri Schindler-Schiavo will not be dead on or before March 18th owing to Judge Greer's decision today. But, in point of fact, Micahel Schiavo won. Judge Greer ruled unequivocally that he is "no longer comfortable in continuing to grant stays" and that Terri's fate must now lie with the appellate courts.

Indeed, absent intervention by the appellate courts between now and then, Judge Greer is adamant that: 1) the motion for a further stay is denied and will remain denied; 2) that, absent a ruling to the contrary by the appellate court, Terri's husband Michael Schiavo is duly directed to "cause the removal of nutrition and hydration" from his wife at 1:00pm on Friday, March 18, 2005; and, 3) that Michael Schiavo requires no further action from Judge Greer's court to carry out that grissly action (which, of course, is tantamount to a death warrant for Terri). The court order even makes reference, in the cold-blooded language of legalese, to Respondents' Motion for Emergency Stay of Execution of February 11, 2000. Call me naive, but the language gave me chills, however fitting it is as an accurate description of what's at stake in this protracted legal battle.

Accordingly, any notion that prayers and public pressure might have turned Judge Greer more humane and compassionate has evaporated in the cold-as-steel bluntness of his ruling. For me, anyway, it's hard to be charitable towards a man who can sign his name to a court document directing that food and water be withdrawn from a human being whose eyes light up when her parents stand at her bedside. He can choose, as he has done this afternoon, to wash his hands of, in the style of Pontius Pilate, the imminent death by his decree of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, but we in the blogosphere, particularly those of us working through BlogsforTerri and ProLifeBlogs, cannot and will not.

Terri deserves better, her parents and siblings deserve better, and humanity deserves better. To me this is all part of the glaringly horrific disrespect for the sanctity of life in our country. When 47.4 million unborn are aborted and tossed into medical waste heaps, then what's the big deal about a Terri Schiavo here, a geriatric or mentally-challenged person there? Secular societies seek the convenience and utility of not having to weigh God's laws. If the appellate courts do not intervene, a part of our humanity will die with Terri.