This case will serve as a rallying cry for pro-lifers and other social conservatives. Expect "Remember Terri Schiavo" bumper stickers to appear soon. Expect conservative Republicans to make her death part of the campaign to win approval of federal judges. Watch liberal Democrats squirm, though some of them voted, along with conservatives, for the bill granting power to the federal courts to consider Terri's case. That judges refused to save her, or even grant a hearing to consider new facts, is another blot on the federal judiciary. It is a stain that won't be removed until those responsible are replaced.
There is another possibility. What if the polls are right and the public sees the removal of Terri's feeding tube as an act of mercy and not murder? What then? In that case, we will know that the problem is not at the top - with judges and politicians - but in ourselves. We will see that our leadership merely reflects the secret desires of most hearts to worship the god of materialism, personal peace and pleasure. In that case, we will be getting our just deserts as courts - at the urging of relatives wishing to preserve their inheritance or be relieved of "burdens"- dispatch the angel of death to more of us who are not ready to die.
Meanwhile, "St. Theresa" speaks. How many will hear? As singer Don McLean put it in another context: "They would not listen, they're not listening still; perhaps they never will."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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