Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Schindler's Grist

"Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
and do not crush the needy in court,
for the Lord will take up their case
and will plunder those who plunder them."
Proverbs 22:22-23

Terri Schiavo is being crushed like wheat by the mill of the American legal system.

How many people have experienced the frustration of trying to reach someone by phone only to be shunted back and forth by indifferent parties? For instance you need to talk to someone who can help you with a problem regarding your insurance claim. You have to listen to a recording monotonously droning the menu options. You push buttons. You listen to muzak. Finally someone answers. You tell them your story. Afterwards they decide that they cannot help you and direct you to a different department. You get disconnected. You dial again and go through the entire process again.

I've been through that and sometimes I thought it was a form of postmodern torture. I remember reading about Jesus' experience being sent about to the Sanhedrin, then Pontius Pilate, then Herod, then back to Pilate, and then finally being crucified after Pilate washes his hands of him. Some wanted him dead. Some were indifferent. Some were helpless.

I imagine that this must be a little like the suffering of the Schindler family as they repeatedly try to find someone who will help them save their daughter. Michael Schiavo wants Terri dead. So do the proponents of the absurd and frightful Right to Die movement. The courts are indifferent to her. And many of us are helpless as we watch her slowly die.