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.