The soul of the nationIt is 5:00 pm in Phoenix, Arizona and day five or six (depending on how you are counting) of the slow death of Terri Schiavo. She has been denied food and water - otherwise referred to as nutrition and hydration since Friday March 18, 2005. During the past week, we have witnessed the Congress pass a law to have the federal courts intervene. Judge James Whittemore, federal district judge, with the arrogance that seems to permeate most judges in this country, ignored the clear intent of the Congress. His failure to consider the serious nature and the failure of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to respond points to the fact that they do not want to address the problem. And the problem is not just the legal case at hand. It is the state of the judiciary. It is out of control. Better said, it has taken control of all essential aspects of modern life. It has captured the soul of this nation.
No longer is our republican form of government a system of checks and balances. For how do we "check" a dictatorial judiciary?
How do we "balance" the right to life of a disabled woman with the power of the court to demand her death?
Both the legislative and the executive branches of government have ceded the final word to the courts. The courts effectively can veto any decision by the legislature regardless of its reasoning. If the court wants to reinvent something, such as marriage, it does so and tells the nation or the state to live with it. If the executive branch wants to protect life and property, the court can prohibit it and claim that the action violates a so called "constitutional" right. Example - abortion.
What is unnerving to the observer is the acquiescence of the politicians. Instead of declaring that the courts have no authority to allow the murder of human beings, these politicians walk away and let the injustice prevail. In other words they seem to accept the fact that the courts are the final authority.
When did this happen?
When we as a nation abandoned the basis upon which our civil and criminal laws as well as our constitution was based - the natural law.
If there is no universal law to protect the person, then law is simply what the powerful claim it to be.
If there is no universal law that respects the right to life of the person, then the government can usurp all rights.
If there is not due process that understands the natural law, then the process can be manipulated and the individual destroyed - all legally.
Remember that the atrocities that occurred in Germany, pre and during World War II were done under the color of law.
Since I started this post I took a call from a disabled client. We talked about the basic dignity that should be afforded any human being. She mentioned the horror of someone starving to death.
I am not simply concerned for Terri Schiavo. I am concerned for all those who are weak, vulnerable, and dependent. I am concerned that the law will not protect the innocent. I am concerned for the soul of the nation.