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Seattle Catholic
A Journal of Catholic News and Views
28 Mar 2005

A Familiar Execution

by Randy LaBauve

A protester in front of the Woodside Hospice in Florida.
A protester in front of the Woodside Hospice in Florida.

EDITOR'S NOTE: While I'm certainly aware of the dangers of exaggeration, and wary of some of the implications or false conclusions that could be drawn from making parallels between the suffering of Terri Schiavo and the Passion of Our Lord, I also believe there to be a significance in the timing and details of her execution. While her personal sanctity may not be comparable to the blessed stigmatists chosen to partake in and demonstrate the sufferings of Our Lord, Terri Schiavo has been selected for a very public execution at the hands of modern Pilates in judicial robes and executive offices, who have washed their hands of her. Ironically, while the enemies of Christ have worked feverishly to eliminate any and all depictions of Our Lord's Passion, they've managed to produce an allegorical 'Passion' of sorts to an enormous audience during the holiest week of the year. As such, I consider the following thoughts worthy of reflection. —PWM

During Holy Week, Terri Schindler-Schaivo has suffered in many strikingly similar ways to Our Lord Jesus Christ:

  1. Judas comes to Jesus and kisses him. Then, Jesus speaks these piercing words: "Judas, dost thou betray the son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48). Michael Schaivo, who has betrayed his wife and their marriage, feigns love for Terri, his wife, while demanding her death. Terri speaks in her heart to Michael, "My husband, dost thou betray your wife with a kiss?"

  2. Soldiers mistreat Jesus and allow no one to give him water to quench his thirst. In Terri's room, the police soldiers stand guard as she starves to death, arresting anyone who would offer her solace by quenching her thirst.

  3. Pilate speaks to Jesus, "but Jesus answered not." (Mark 15:5). "When He was accused by the chief priests and ancients, He answered not" (Matt. 27:12). Terri Schiavo has also been enduring her starvation and death in silence.

  4. Jesus is abused and mistreated — led by a rope around his neck to his death. Terri also had rope marks around her neck — indicating possible abuse from her husband, Michael (as sworn to by a nurse first assigned to Terri) — and symbolic of the additional torture both he and pro-death judges would subsequently inflict upon her.

  5. Jesus says in his final moments on the cross, "I thirst" — alluding to a thirst for souls as well as a physical thirst amidst his impending death (John 19:28). As Terri dies during a court-mandated death, she also suffers from an inhumane physical thirst. But, in her heart, she thirsts for people to understand that she and other people with handicaps (as well as other defenseless people like unborn babies, the elderly, etc.) are human beings that are as alive as anyone else. She thirsts for all human beings to receive the care, compassion, and protection they fully deserve.

  6. The High Priests cry out "What need have we of further witnesses? "(Mark 14:63) ... and "He is guilty of death"(Matt. 26:66), as they viciously claim Jesus is NOT the God-man. People in our society hatefully say, "Terri's NOT alive. She's NOT what people pretend she is. She has no quality of life; therefore she's NOT a person. Her brains are mush. She needs to move on. The best thing would be for her to die." Terri endures the lies about her humanity as Jesus did the lies about His divinity.

  7. At the Crucifixion, a lance is driven in and then pulled out of Jesus' side, piercing his heart (John 19:34). Terri's nutritional tube is ripped from her side, bringing great anguish to her heart as well.

  8. Jesus' mother Mary kneels at the foot of the cross as He is executed. Terri's mother Mary kneels at her bedside as Terri is executed.

  9. Jesus says to the accusing Pharisees "Why askest thou me? Ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them" (John 18:21). Terri's true friends and loved ones speak up on behalf of her, saying it is inhumane to starve and kill a human being. Based on testimony of other individuals, Michael Schiavo speaks a lie when he claims his wife "wanted to die." Terri clearly desires to live — hoping and praying that her family and friends will speak up for her, as many of them have been constantly doing.

  10. The Jewish leaders finally get the Roman soldiers to brutally torture Jesus nearly to death. But these wicked religious hypocrites will not have their thirst for blood satiated until Jesus is crucified — "Crucify him! Crucify him!" they shout (Luke 23:21). Terri Schiavo has been neglected to near death by starvation and psychologically tortured by her husband for almost 10 years. But it is not enough for both he and his "pro-euthanasia supporters." These disciples of death and darkness incessantly shout, "Kill her! Kill her!" and will not be content until her life has been snuffed out.

  11. The Pharisees accused Jesus of doing his work "by the hand of Beelzebub" (Mark 3:22) (In other words, they are telling Jesus 'you have no true purpose from God in what you do'). People say about Terri Schiavo — "You have no true value to your life — no real purpose in breathing on your own. We do not understand why anyone would want to keep you alive — therefore we want to take away your breath — to end your very life.'

  12. Pilate says, "What is truth?" (John 13:38) and then, in his cowardice, condemns Jesus to die according to the "law." Concerning Terri, false experts and bystanders say, "We don't know the truth about what she can understand and feel. What is the truth of her condition? Nevertheless, despite our lack of knowledge, let us 'lawfully' condemn her to death — after all, it will be a peaceful death with dignity." Just as Jesus did, Terri endures the lies and farce of an insincere and Satanic "compassion".

  13. Jesus was misrepresented before the High Priest and Pharisees with no proper course to fair justice. "For many bore false witness against Him, and their evidences were not agreeing" (Mark 14:56). Terri Schiavo, too, has been denied any true justice or fair legal process, as the courts have been inundated by pro-euthanasia, "Kevorkian-types" whose main end is to make forced Euthanasia legal and acceptable — while ignoring testimony of legitimate doctors and truthful family members.

  14. The innocent Jesus walks the path to Calvary with the weight of the cross squarely on his shoulder — bravely approaching death, while people jeer and taunt him (John 19:16-23). The innocent Terri has also borne various attempts at murder, while suffering untold pain at the hands of her husband. Along the way, her suffering is compounded by people shouting things like "Michael is right", "let her die" — and even contemptible remarks from many doctors, nurses, and caregivers. Here's what one person at the Hospice Center had to say: "Everything is about Schiavo ... It's almost like Terri's rights are more important than ours." Isn't that the issue flipped upside down? Terri's rights, like Our Lord's, are not important to most people in positions of power and influence, nor, unfortunately, to the majority of our populace.

  15. The soldiers gambled for Jesus' garments at the foot of the cross (John 19:24). There are credible reports that heartless individuals, amidst Terri's agony, have been gambling about the date and time this woman would die — as if it were a sporting event. To those who have no sensitivities to the sacredness of life, it becomes more and more difficult for them to divert their paths from the pits of disrespect, banality, and despair present in their souls.

  16. In his agony, Jesus says to His Father in heaven "Into your hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). Terri, amidst her suffering, is commending her soul to God as well.

  17. The Pharisee says about the tax collector — "I give thee thanks O God, that I am not like this publican" (Luke 18:11). And then, that same Pharisee methodically and vehemently plots to have the innocent Jesus executed. Heartless people in our society say, "Thank God I'm not like Terri. She has no 'quality of life.' If I ever got to that point, please kill me" as they cruelly support her execution by starvation and dehydration (as well as the murder of countless other innocent, defenseless people).

In some way or another, do we callously support extermination of those who are most vulnerable in our society? When you or I fail to do something immediately, we endorse the minions of death. Now is the time for us all to wake up to the reality of forced euthanasia and other forms of murder here in America! It's been happening on a wide scale basis for many years now and will begin to visibly increase to proportions we could never imagine. We must square up our shoulders and become strong and tough like the earliest Christian disciples who fearlessly battled the dark bastions of hell.

The atheist forces in America fail to see the value of suffering. To them, life ends here on earth. To them, loss of health, youth, and pleasure represent the ultimate diminishment of value and 'quality of life.' If you call yourself a Christian and don't see the value of what Terri's parents have suffered to preserve, love, and care for her; if you call yourself a Christian and don't see the intrinsic sacred value of all human life from conception to natural death, then you've missed a basic point of Christianity.

Terri, over the course of 15 years has not been dying. She has had no need of "extraordinary" means to keep her alive. The only thing she has been receiving is what any healthy human infant receives through insertion of a bottle nipple — nutrition and hydration — natural rights. Now, Terri's natural right to life has been barbarically denied by her husband, her government, and her country.

If you close your eyes to the suffering Terri has endured and act as if she's merely taking a nap, your Christian sensitivities have been drowned in the murky slime of materialism and selfishness. Jesus suffered and died on a cross to win for us eternal salvation and boldly stated that we must take up our crosses and follow after Him daily (Matt 10:38), even when our lives are not exactly what "we had planned." "No servant is greater than his master." (John 15:18-21) Therefore we can expect suffering and opposition when standing up against the demonic forces that threaten our families and our country.

Embrace your cross! Pray without ceasing! Cherish suffering! Fight for life! Hope for miracles! And never forget Jesus and Terri!

"Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me." Matt. 25:40

"I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18

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