I do not know why I have remained silent on my blog about Terri Schiavo.

Now, on the day of her passing, I pray that God brings peace to the Schiavo and Schindler families, and I pray that He gives a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.

On the other hand, wrong has been done. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Terri Schiavo was deprived of her life today. She was held in the hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida without an indictment by a grand jury. Terri was not a threat to the public, nor was she a member of the armed forces.

Furthermore, the Seventh Amendment declares:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

We offer death row inmates their choice of a last meal. However, Terri Schiavo went without food or water on the order of a judge for thirteen days--one day shy of two weeks. Inmates have gained the right to cable television, education, and other things based on Amendment 7; but yet, a judge could still deny an innocent woman food and water.

WHY? The judge carried these actions out at the request of Michael Schiavo, Terri's "husband". The reason I quote the word husband is that Schiavo has been living with another woman (I am not naming her. While I believe she is guilty of being an accomplice to Schiavo's adultery, she has remained largely outside the eye of the media.) with whom he has fathered two children. When marriage vows are exchanged and the marriage covenant is made, the expectation is that there will be no others. However, Schiavo, who may have been encouraged by others, took another woman and lived with her as if he was her husband while married to Terri Schiavo.

When Michael Schiavo took the other woman as his "wife" (quoted because he only did it in action; not by divorcing Terri and marrying the other woman), the Schindlers should have gained guardianship of Terri. Divorce is an ugly thing, and I do not advocate it. I also believe that divorce displeases God (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:6; I Corinthians 7:10, 20, 27). However, if he was unable to sustain his marriage vows (forsaking all others, until death separates us), why did he not seek to be released?

The law needs to change. Terri's guardian should have been changed to her parents because of Michael's behavior. Michael's behavior didn't indicate 1 mistake, but a pattern of behavior. However, this is the same law pattern we have that causes people to lose Social Security benefits when they re-marry (cohabitation among seniors is high because of this) and used to penalize people in income tax for marrying. Our laws need to support marriage because the husband and the wife are the foundation of the family, the basic unit of our society.

It's with sadness, that we will mourn the death of Terri Schiavo. The way she died was tragic: deprived of food and water. I'm not advocating euthanasia, because that allows people to play God, which is something we are really bad at. However, we need to protect those in need and look at our guardianship laws so that they support the "until death separates us" part of our marriage vows.

God, please forgive us for fumbling this situation. Please comfort the families involved. Please soften our hearts to Your Son: who died painfully for us on Calvary's cross; rose from the grave and conquered death; and went to heaven to prepare a place for your children who you adopted through Christ. Please give us the strength to forgive, give us the wisdom to improve the system, and help us to live our lives in ways that glorify You.

Edit (22 June 2005 A.D.): Add Tags after posting a follow-up based on the news that Terri has been buried.
Tags: , , death, Faith Journal