- 70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case.
- 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.)
- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case.
- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.
- 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed.
Looks like America isn't quite as stupid as the Republicans thought, huh? If you haven't read Digby and Amanda on the subject, it's time you did. As I said this weekend, Democrats should be fanning out to the media and repeating the simple refrain that this is none of the government's goddamn business. Not out of political gain, but because this is truly none of the government's goddamn business! Here, finally, Democrats agree that the government is in full overreach. We agree that in cases like this one, small government is better. Let's take this moment to draw the line.
A few other notes: What, exactly, is the Christian argument against choosing death? Not to be flip about it, but isn't this exactly what God chose for his son/self? God, after all, is an omnipotent being. If He didn't want Jesus to die on the cross, Jesus doesn't die on the cross. But Christ's purpose on earth had been filled, that's why God didn't have him stagger to his feet, dust himself off and continue wandering the countryside. In what way, then, wasn't that a sort of euthanasia? And, given the involvement of the Romans, in what way wasn't it an assisted suicide?
I know the pat response to that is life and death are up to God, not us. But no one denies that the only way for Schiavo to regain cognitive function would be a miracle. We've all seen the scans, her mind has liquified. Assuming her parents want her kept alive in the hopes of recovery and not as some plush toy, isn't a miracle as likely once the feeding tube has been removed as it was when she was still receiving liquified nutrients? Indeed, isn't all this argument over whether or not she should be kept in stasis really a way of denying His will? If He wanted to end all euthanasia, proving that the disconnected and condemned can rise from their hospital beds despite science's most informed predictions would be a pretty nifty way to vindicate his followers.
To be clear, I'm not trying to concoct clever theories to discredit religion. These are general theological issues that are getting little to no attention. We've somehow accepted this mass illusion of Christianity as a simplistic, pro-life, pro-war, pro-Republican force in the world without ever stopping to wonder whether the latest actions conducted in the name of the church sync up in any way with scripture. We've allowed Bush to connect this "culture of life" idea, which so far as I can tell means nothing at all, with the Bible. But the Bible, at least the Gospels, are pretty clear on their role -- Jesus is the Messiah, treat each other well until he gets back (which he clearly stated he'd do before the folks he was talking to died). From there we go to Paul who invents some theology that makes the religion more portable, but the basic nature remains the same. As for "culture of life", whoever would like to define it must somehow unite a distaste for abortion, an appetite for war, a rejection of guaranteed health care, a rollback of environmental protection, and a desperate desire to sustain the functionally dead. Trust me, that's not an agenda prescribed in scripture.
Lastly, I'd love to see some numbers on living wills in the coming months. I bet their numbers will skyrocket.