It never takes long, and it always happens – a conservative says something we conservatives believe, support and get excited about, and then he recants. I remember when Jerry Falwell blamed abortionists, feminists, and homosexuals for 911 only to recant (okay, actually 911 was a judgment from God for the Church’s failure to act against abortionists, feminists and homosexuals). Trent Lott said to Strom Thurmond, on his 100th birthday, that essentially America could have been spared 40 years of racist laws, race-baiting and oppression if he (Thurmond) had been elected President in the 1960’s, only to recant.
This week, we see only the most recent manifestation of the invertebrate nature of our elected Republicans. On the day Terri Schiavo died, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) said that the judges who refused to intervene in the Schiavo case would “answer for their behaviour.” Not two weeks later, DeLay recanted, explaining away his statement as stemming from emotions heightened by the Schiavo case and an “inartful way” of expressing his opinion. How exactly, may I ask, can one “artfully” suggest that the judges who mandated that Terri Schiavo be starved to death would be held responsible? Either they are guilty of connivance in the murder of a woman in Florida, and therefore accomplices in the murder, or they are not. Which is it?
Governments are instituted by God among men to secure people’s inalienable right to life, liberty and property. Governments are given the power to the sword to effectuate these ends. The only tool government has to carry out its purpose is force. When one member of the governed murders, kidnaps or steals property, the State is required to use force against that criminal. When one member of the governed expresses his intent to have someone murdered by starvation over the course of howeversomany days it takes, it is the duty of the government to use force against that person, not to reinforce his intention with a judicial order.
If a judicial order occurs supporting a man’s intent to murder his wife, it becomes the duty of the executive department of government to refuse to execute the unlawful judicial order. In our confederate Republic, if a member State of the Union has demonstrated its intent to connive at the murder of one of its citizens, it becomes the duty of the Chief Executive to intervene (see Federalist 43) and or the U.S. Congress to call forth the militia to stop the murder. On any day over the course of the 13 during which Terri Schiavo was being killed, but remained stationery in that room, the Governor was obligated to refuse compliance to that judicial order and sent in his guards to reinsert the feeding tube and arrest anyone who intended to remove it. On any day over the course of the 13 during which Terri Schiavo was being killed, but remained stationery in that room, the President was obligated to in his guards to do the same, and the Congress was obligated to call forth the militia to protect her. We have a balance of powers, not a strict separation of powers, whereby each branch gets a check over the other branches. But our system of checks and balance has broken down and our whole nation sits idly by while a probate judge’s opinion that a woman can be murdered without offense in his jurisdiction remains unopposed.
So let me “unartfully” declare that those judges who mandated the removal of the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo; those judges who refused to permit her case to be appealed; the Governor who remained personally troubled but remained seated on his hands silently while a woman was murdered over the course of thirteen days in his State; the President who said “I’ve done all I can do” while doing nothing; will be required to answer for their behaviour.
But answer to whom? Certainly not to an impotent Republican Congress which is great at PR campaigns when reasonably calculated to continue the dupe – that Republicans are conservative Constitutionists. Certainly not to a Republican President who has already “distanced himself” from DeLay and had previously appointed one of the judges (William Pryor) who ruled against Schiavo at the 11th Circuit. I hope they all will be held accountable by the voters for their willful neglect of their delegated and affirmative duty to secure life, one of the purposes for which God institutes governments among men … for if the voters do not hold them accountable for the blood of Terri Schiavo, God have mercy on us all as He takes further judgment on a People who constantly elect such perjurers into office.
Scott T. Whiteman a Reformed Christian, husband, and father of three. He is a practicing attorney in the State of Maryland and served as Campaign Manager for Michael A. Peroutka as he ran for President in 2004.
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