Saturday, March 26, 2005

Beween Good Friday and Easter

Laura Ingraham brought us the essential facts of the Terrri Schiavo story this week. Some would say the law is straightforward. Look, when the judges want to find a result they can be artistically creative, for abortion the 'penumbra,' for homosexuality 'evolving standards,' striking down executions where the criminal was a minor, European laws. In Catholic theology, there is the idea of a standard of justice and one of mercy. Under the standard of justice, Michael Schiavo is a bigamist but mercy spares him because, well, you see the situation he is in. Are Judge Grier and the others too obtuse to see this in some framework and so follow the law? No, the robes are obtuse when they want to be. He and the rest could have said that the husband is chosen to represent the wife as, reasonably, the closest to her but his de facto bigamy invalidates that and gives the parents preference. Takes brilliance? No. Then there is the business of the persistent vegetative state, which seems to have been set in stone prematurely or in a slipshod maner. Matters? No.

These events stand in the way of our reviewing in elegance the life of Christ. But at the time of his death that was just as depressing, dare I say, a matter. This outrage which may have made for the mass of the first Christians, Jews. My Catholic forefathers have taught us of 'mysteries,' e.g. the triune G-d. But I believe they were yet more subtle and gave us a rule to apply to other situations in our Bible. Jesus could be harsh. 'It was as difficult for a rich man toget into heaven as a camel to pass through the eye of the needle.' Perhaps even just kidded about how he cast out demons with the comment, 'Why he is the prince of demons,' he said, 'You may criticize me but to abjur the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin.' You lock these away as 'mysteries' and have the soaring 'Blessed are the poor, in spirit, in ability to make attachment to the things of the world, for they shall inherit the earth!' 'I do this for the remission of sins (of Jew and Roman and Greek of all mankind without distinction, one G-d, one people).' Poetry. And then the the ultimate statement of mystery and poetry. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do," and then of humanity, "My God, my god why hast thou forsaken me?" Tyranny, duplicity, and a little help from their mistakes or intentions lead to the deaths of Jesus and Terri.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Decision of the High Court re: execution of juvenile offenses

For any controversial decison of the court, the psychologically least stressful position for someone neutral on the subject would be to take the decison as received wisdom. This is not my attitude here, and I think there are many who feel intruded on by this decision. The data as I know it is that an armed citizenry reduces crime by increasing the risk to the criminal and that the death penalty, similarly, defers by increasing risk for the murderer. In general, we all have dispositions that are antisocial that may be held in check by countervailing social forces. I can not see the logic of holding as instapundit does that the right to bear arms is good but banning the state from defending you is proper.
In this decison, I am reminded of a former president being quizzed by elite college students in a Communist country who suggested to him that the Supreme court was like their Politburo; so what's the difference in the 2 systems. Indeed. Thus, the rage. We all were reading today of arguments being made re: the Ten Commandments in a public place. Who cares what the Supreme Court says, except that they should allow democracy? You have ony to know, since you don't have any power, as the old show said, "You are there." People oppose tyranny to avoid helplessness. The court most clearly fails here in this test of the apropriateness of their action.