the absurd observers

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever read from a purportedly reputable magazine


As the fate of Terri Schiavo was decided and then carried out, the enigma of Jewish liberalism came again to the fore. What accounts for Jews whose idea of dying "with dignity" included this incapacitated Florida woman being dehydrated to a state of living mummification like the ghoulish images of Nazi death-camp survivors?


To add to the sense of values gone topsy-turvy, Mrs. Schiavo's ordeal was climaxing over the festival of Purim. Parallels with the Purim story, the Biblical book of Esther, leap out at you. In both, a vigorously determined personality (Haman, Michael Schiavo) seek to take the life of an innocent or innocents (the Jews, Mrs. Schiavo) with the aid of a high government official (King Ahashuerus, Judge Greer) while the people (Persia's Jews, America's Christians) weep, fast, and don sackcloth. Simultaneously, a protagonist (Queen Esther, Governor Bush) closely linked to the head of state contemplates intervening.

Evidently the minor distinction that Terri Schiavo is brain dead and rotting away whereas the Jews who died in concentration camps were fully living seems lost on conservatives. If anything such comparisons insult the true victims of persecution whose lives are taken out of pure malice, not to preserve their dignity. Even if conservatives, disregarding conclusive medical evidence, fool themselves into thinking that Schiavo is not brain dead, surely they ought to recognize that the motivations of those wishing to let her die with dignity are not the same as those who sought to commit genocide.


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