Thursday, March 31, 2005

Show No Partiality

I was reading the latest Fox News poll that claims 59% of Americans think removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was an "act of mercy." As I was reading the article, my eyes drifted to a side bar. Right there, on the very same page, right next to the statistics of Americans who believe Schiavo's life was not worth living, is a photo of the ailing Pope with the tagline, "Half of Americans say they have said a prayer for the Pope." Hmmm...

The article clarifies that, in fact, 51% of Americans have prayed for the ailing Pope's health.

Terri: Had a feeding tube
Pope: Has a feeding tube
Terri: 41 years old
Pope: 84 years old
Terri: Not on life support
Pope: Breathes with the aid of a breathing tube
Terri: Did not have ability to communicate verbally
Pope: Is losing his ability and cannot speak much now

From this scenario, 59% of Americans were routing for the demise of Schiavo, but praying that God will restore the Pope to health. Is there some reason why we couldn't have prayed to God to restore Terri to health? Isn't reviving a 41-year old women from a brain disorder more feasible that preserving the life of a man who is nearing the end of his life and will eventually, inevitably die?

Here's where it gets even more amazing. 34% of Americans believe that the ailing Pope is still an effective leader and should continue in his role as Pope and not step down and retire. Unbelievable! An 84-year old man on a respirator and feeding tube who can no longer speak or get out of bed can still effectively lead and shepherd the global Catholic Church, while Terri Schiavo, in a similarly unproductive state of being, was sentenced to death.

If removing Terri's feeding tube truly was an "act of mercy" shouldn't the Pope, of all people, be the recipient of mercy? And if you consider it sacrilege to even speculate about removing a feeding tube from the Pope, then doesn't that add further weight to the argument that removing a feeding tube is in fact not an act of mercy at all?

Aren't the lives of Terri Schiavo and the Pope - both created in the image of God -- equally important to the Lord? James 2:1-5 offers us some sobering insight into our of partiality.

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, do not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing the fine clothes and says, "Here's a good seat for you," but you say to the poor man, "You stand there," or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him?

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