Terri Schiavo: The intellectual dishonesty of the Christian right

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
March 24th, 2005 • 1:01 am

I am not particularly interested in American politics these days, but occasionally there are things that really make me mad.

For the past week of so, we’ve been subjected to daily coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. And now that the tube has been removed and that Terri Schiavo is slowly dying, what do we get? Sound bites of the parents and brother saying things like, “Do you realize how cruel it is to slowly starve her to death like this? How can we let this happen?” (Not a verbatim quote. Just the gist of what they are saying.)

In other words, their main argument now is about how unbearably cruel the slow death of Terri Schiavo is — as if that had ever been the subject of any kind of debate. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought this whole case was about whether Terri Schiavo should be artificially kept alive or not, even though she has expressed to her own husband her will not to be kept alive artificially.

This case is not about the way of her death. It’s about whether she should be kept alive or not. It’s not about euthanasia! Of course, this slow death is absurdly cruel — but it seems to me that nobody is even mentioning the possibility of injecting a deadly dose of morphine. Confusing the issue of whether she should be kept alive and the issue of how she should die is totally dishonest on the part of the family — and of the entire Christian right behind them. I am quite sure that the husband would be more than willing to authorize an injection of a lethal dose of morphine — but this possibility is not even being discussed.

This is blatant intellectual dishonesty. Unfortunately, it’s not all that surprising. What’s scary about the American Christian right is that it is pretty much impossible to have any kind of discussion on any topic. What’s really revolting is that the media are giving them all this air time and not even mentioning how intellectually dishonest they are being. And I am not only talking about the American media here… It’s the same thing everywhere. I recently mentioned the series of articles about the Christian right in our own national newspaper here in Canada. It’s not any better.

And don’t get me started on how Bush’s Republicans are trying to take advantage of this situation. “Letting the courts make its decision (sic)”? Yeah right…

Some people are wondering about the separation between church and state. Some of them should wonder about the separation between journalism and intellect.

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