Thursday, March 17, 2005

Is Civil Disobedience Justified to Save Terri's Life?

The New Pantagruel, an online Generation Y Christian journal whose motto is "Hymns in the Whorehouse," today issued a call for "forcible resistance to the State’s coercive and unjust implementation of Terri [Schiavo]’s death by starvation."

I have no doubt that if Terri were my mother, I would do everything, legal or illegal—short of harming people or property—to try to prevent her starvation. But—call me a hypocrite—I wouldn't do that or advocate others' doing it for Terri Schiavo. I believe in observing the rule of law. I also believe that if individuals attempted to, say, take over the hospice where Terri is scheduled to be starved to death starting at 1 p.m. tomorrow, it wouldn't mobilize the public in her favor.

If, God forbid, Judge Greer's starvation order stands and Terri dies, we, as a country, will have killed her. That is something that we will all have to face. The acts of individuals attempting to defy the law does not take away our culpability as a nation.