Amy Sullivan has some smart thoughts over at Washington Monthly. I'm gathering my own thoughts, which I will with luck post later today:
Now that Terri Schiavo has died, I'd like to raise a question--not a political question, but a moral one. I've been bothered by the way religious leaders discussed her situation and the way that the Pope himself has framed his own slow, painful journey toward the end of life. In both cases, the loudest voices have seemed to promote a position that is not pro-life so much as very, very anti-death.
A cradle Baptist, I was taught in the church that while we were not to hasten death, neither were we to postpone or fear it. The ending of a life was sad for those who remained, but a joyous event for the one who died. As one of my friends put it this week, If all of these folks believe Terri Schiavo was a Christian, shouldn't they want her to slip from this life to be embraced by the arms of God? I understand that this is a particular kind of religious belief, not shared by all, but it is a belief to which most of the leaders you've seen on tv over the past few weeks subscribe. And yet the implication of their fight has been that death is something to be held at bay using all available means, that any quality of life is better than what may come next.