Friday, March 25


In the second chapter of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s autobiography, the famous civil rights leader who championed civil disobedience over physical violence wrote:

I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before. Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, these are outgrowths of Thoreau's insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice.
Many American citizens today, horrified at the sanctimonious activism of the courts and the steely-cold disregard their rulings have betrayed for the life of a handicapped, cognitively-disabled woman, have begun echoing the sentiments of Martin Luther King and Henry David Thoreau, and those resonant chords of resistance to tyranny that have resounded from America's birth and throughout its 200+ year history.

As Thoreau wrote:

I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterwards. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

As Thoreau continued:

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse then the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil.
A defenseless woman is being starved and dehydrated to death by the state -- by the government of Florida and with the chilling uninterest of the federal appellate courts and the United States Supreme Court. That same government could not do this very thing to a convicted murderer sentenced to death. The courts would disallow it as a form of "cruel and unusual punishment," prohibited by the U.S. Consitution. But simply because some doctors have opined that Terri Schindler Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and that, because of her severe brain injuries, she'll not feel the pain associated with such barbarity (indeed, that hers will be a "serene" death), a circuit court judge ordered her feeding tube removed and federal courts have been unalterably complicit in this action.

Is this not an outrage? What is ruled perfectly acceptable as a means of death for a severely handicapped woman in Florida is altogether unacceptable, indeed patently illegal, for the likes of self-admitted child-killer John Evander Couey, who, should he be convicted and sentenced to death, will die in a matter of minutes by lethal injection, in contrast to Terri Schiavo, who still lingers despite seven days now without food or water.

Cannot the supreme executive of the state of Florida intervene and put a stop to this cruelty without a signed permission slip from Judge Greer? If we rolled back the film and all of us today were under the rule of King George, would George and Jeb Bush content themselves that it was our solemn obligation under the rule of law to abide the tyranny of the British Crown?