Friday, April 01, 2005

A very sad and emotionally trying day.

Once again, it is proven that right to continue living only goes as far as other people think you shold be alive. Not because you have a--dare I say it--right to life (life, liberty, persuit of happiness... ring a bell?)

Terri Schindler Schivo left this world yesterday morning. The slimeball she had the fatal misfortune of being married to was the only one in the room when she passed from this life to the next. Not only is he denying her and her family a Catholic burrial, according to her beliefs, but he wouldn't even allow her family to be with her at the moment of her death. This has left me heart broken not only for her family, and for the miscarriage of justice perpetrated against her, but also for this country--what we have done and who we have become. This is not something we can turn back on, or a decision we can unmake.

And I fear before we repent and turn from our ways many, many more are going to die under this precident and more injustice will be handed down by the swollen egos of the judiciary. The Supreme Court of this nation upheld slavery and segregation as being "constitutional." Obviously there IS no such thing as a faithful interpretation of the law--it depends on two things. First just how much room and tolerance we will give that branch. Second it depends on the attitudes, preferences and prejudices of the judiciary. In the end, we ALLOW them to dictate law and justify it under the grounds of "constitutionality." Where is freedom of privacy in the constitution? When did freedom OF religion become freedom FROM religion? The right to LIFE and LIBERTY have been replaced with "the right to die" which I also DON'T see in the constitution. Either interpret it in the spirit in which it was written, or throw it out. Quit spitting then stomping on it, then using it to justify whatever whim you feel like passing down from the bench. That is NOT an American value.

I'm also sad that human life in this country only retains the value that WE place upon it, not an intrinsic value as implied by the Declaration of Independance. Y'know, that pesky endowed by the creator with certain inalianable rights business. Being DEAD really interferes with one's ability to persue life liberty and happiness.

WE SUCK. Ok. Every day women who feel they have no choice have abortions. We throw it at them as a bandaid for the underlying problems that make their situations so desperate because it's easier to throw misplaced compassion at them in the guise of "choice" than it is to actually LOOK AT THEM and SEE THEM SUFFERING. And God, forbid, HELP.

Meanwhile, Scott Peterson is convicted of two murders, of his wife and unborn son.

Why was it a crime to kill (or abort) his son? Is it because he had to go through his wife to do it? No, he was already charged with her murder. It would have been perfectly legal if Lacy had killed Connor. That's her mysterious "right to privacy." But it's a crime for Scott to kill Connor? What if Scott had just been mentaly and physically abusive and threatened God knows what if Lacy didn't have an abortion, making her "right" and her "choice" seem like no choice at all? That would have been just fine. What if he'd have waited a week, THEN killed her? He might not be on death row for just ONE murder (it's a possibility). But two? Oh man, he's practically a serial killer now.

Once again, I look for consistancy in the world and find none, and somehow, I am surprised.

Killing five year olds is wrong. Killing toddlers is wrong. Killing infants is wrong... unless the head of the baby is still in the mother's vagina. Then it's ok to puncture the skull and suck out the baby's brains. DA HELL.

Ok. So we're ok with killing the pre born, and possibly the just-born, if there's something wrong with them that we didn't know about before. What about people at the end of their life? The elderly are terrified of going into the hospital, and with good cause. They're overdosed into comas on pain killers and their families are told that there is "no hope," to discontinue treatment. Or family members make medical decisions to hasten death, basically denying them the chance to make peace with God in whatever way they can and God can reach them in their incapacitated earthly state. They want to just kick them out the door and on their merry way on to Saint Peter under the guise of compassion. We don't treat our elders with respect, much less treat our infirm elders with dignity.

Now we're moving on to the infirm. Those with mental disabilities are VERY easy targets. Like the unborn, they can't bitch in protest, hold a press conference, or lobby on their own behalf. Oh, we'll kill off someone with physical ailments as well, so long as they can't raise a ruccas or draw attention to themselves, but why deal with the potential controvercy if you do't have to? The mentaly disabled have such an OBVIOUS poor "quality of life." Hell, WE wouldn't want to live like that. So we're doing them a mercy in putting them out of their misary. Or so we tell ourselves. I think deep down we're doing it to put them out of OUR misary. WE don't want the work of dealing with them, taking care of them, the emotional hardship that we may encur. WE don't want to be uncomfortable watching someone suffer "unnecessarily."

Life has many lessons. Many we learn through our own suffering--and even those that don't think the way we do learn something in their own way. But more importantly, WE learn things through the suffering of others. Unconditional love, compassion, sacrifice, how to act (or not act, as the case may be), how to live life beyond our suffering, how to appreciate the small things. My sister suffered more than anyone I personally know with cancer. Besides the pain of treatment, she lost a year of school, a year with her friends, her hair, her energy... her MEMORY. Imagine walking into a store and standing right in front of the shopping carts and not being able to find them. Would you want to live like that? Probably not. You probably wouldn't want to take arsnic just to get well, or at least just have the prospect of a few more days or weeks or months. You wouldn't want to have a hole in your chest, lose your hair or spit black gunk constantly.

But that's life. SHIT HAPPENS. Shit is going to happen whether we try to eliminate all suffering through eliminating all those who suffer or not. My sister appreciates the little things. I've never seen someone so happy to have the privelage of going to school. Her visits to school, her encounters with her friends meant the world to her. No, she wasn't "normal." But life isn't NORMAL. We're not all cookie cutter people with cookie cutter experiences, and we shouldn't try to make ourselves--or others be.

I guess it's hard to find meaning in suffering if you don't believe in God. Impossible, probably. Suffering seems pointless, and the lives of those whom we feel arn't living in a manner WE find acceptable seems pointless. I mean this in the most non-buddhist way... LIFE IS SUFFERING. Just because someone has surpassed our own personal threshold, or lives in a manner that WE would deem suffering (and of course, they would TOO, if they were cognisant) doesn't mean they ARE suffering. I'm half-blind, I have an insanely painful arthritic back, a bum knee, chronic asthma, a psychotic mother and a job that gives me stress fits. *I* wouldn't want to live the way I live. I can't imagine anyone CHOOSING my life. That's probably why it was given to me. A cross you pick isn't a cross at all. At the same time, they're mine, and I wouldn't trade them for a life with more money, a drug problem and an alchoholic husband. Life's always greener on the other side of the fence... or IS it? I think our sufferings are tailor made for our own benefit. It gives meaning to my pain, otherwise I'd be overwelmed by the tragic unfairness of life--yet it's unfair for EVERYONE.

And the more we have, the more we want. The higher our expectations become. A better career, more money, smarter, prettier, WHATEVER. And other people should want as we want too, and have the capacity as we have to achieve in the rat race too, otherwise they are no good. And if they interfere withour immediate desires, be they too young or to old, they are likewise no good.

Simplicity is a gift. We killed a woman because of her simplicity. Her condition was not killing her. In fact, her condition and the appropriate course for helping her remained in question. But we kept her from food and water for thirteen days not because SHE wouldn't want to live that way, but because WE wouldn't want to live that way. WE don't want to see someone suffering and think of how hard it would be to take her place.

This is the world we have created. This is the world we now live in. We wreap what we sew. May God have mercy upon us in our own infirmity. Once you open a pandora's box you cannot close it--once you've released that evil into the world, it has a funny way of visiting back upon yourself, now that it has escaped. We cannot undo what we have done and may God have mercy upon us.


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