Dispatches from the Creation Wars

God’s Will and Terri Shiavo

As cynical as I am about politics, and as convinced as I am that nearly all politicians think the world revolves around them, I’m still just astonished at the sheer chutzpah of what Rep. Tom Delay, the Republican leader, said to a prominent religious right group on Friday:

On Friday, as the leaders of both chambers scrambled to try to stop the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube, Mr. DeLay, a Texas Republican, turned his attention to social conservatives gathered at a Washington hotel and described what he viewed as the intertwined struggle to save Ms. Schiavo, expand the conservative movement and defend himself against accusations of ethical lapses.

“One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America,” Mr. DeLay told a conference organized by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group. A recording of the event was provided by the advocacy organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others,” Mr. DeLay said.

Mr. DeLay complained that “the other side” had figured out how “to defeat the conservative movement,” by waging personal attacks, linking with liberal organizations and persuading the national news media to report the story. He charged that “the whole syndicate” was “a huge nationwide concerted effort to destroy everything we believe in.”

Such moral myopia. Such narcissism. Yeah, Tom, it’s all about you and your political beliefs. God was so concerned about the future of your political movement that he decided to strike this woman down in the prime of her life, beginning a decade and a half of anguish for everyone who cared about her. He planted the thoughts in the minds of her husband and her parents to start a big legal battle over it so it would blow up into a political issue just so that you and your pals could fight back against your political enemies. Because after all, it’s all about you. And God loves you so much he’s willing to necrotize the brain of an innocent victim just to help you score some political points later on. But you might want to check the polls before crowing about how much this is going to help you. 70% of the public says you should have stayed out of it. But who cares about the public? If God Almighty is going to destroy a young woman’s life, make her braindead and devestate her friends and family just for you, it would be rude not to accept this sacred gift and try to exploit it for political gain. I’m not sure which is more sick, Delay or his conception of God.


  1. #1 spyder
    March 22, 2005

    Thank you for this. I am certain DeLay sees this as a blessing in terms of his own political fortunes. Anything that diverts attention away from his horrendous ethical behavior and monsterous leadership of Congressional republicans is good for him. We can only hope that the media finds some decency of their own, albeit based on corporate profit, to further delineate how callous and craven this distraction really is.

  2. #2 Ed Darrell
    March 22, 2005

    One thing this whole affair has taught us is that Tom DeLay will beat a brain-dead woman if he thinks it will get him votes from the wacko gallery.

    Has the man no shame at all?

    Meanwhile, in his home district, 30,000 kids need health care, and Tom DeLay refuses to help.

  3. #3 Stephen Stralka
    March 22, 2005

    Hey, I’d be delighted to join a huge nationwide concerted effort to destroy everything Tom DeLay believes in. Where do I sign up?

  4. #4 Mark Paris
    March 22, 2005

    It drips, it reeks with hypocrisy and dishonesty and irony. They style themselves the defenders of morality and human life. With them, as with many fundamentalists, they had better hope the god they claim to believe in does not exist, because if he does, they are going to be in trouble when they face him.

  5. #5 raj
    March 22, 2005

    With them, as with many fundamentalists, they had better hope the god they claim to believe in does not exist…

    Actually, the god they believe in does exist. The god they believe in is the almighty dollar. (Well, the dollar. It hasn’t been so almighty recently.) As David Brooks noted recently, the conservative republicans have pretty much become little more than a mafia hit group to enrich themselves.

  6. #6 Grumpy
    March 22, 2005

    Bear in mind this is the same God who killed four people at the Atlanta courthouse in order to boost booksales of The Purpose Driven Life.

    Remember, you can’t spell “theodicy” without almost spelling “idiocy.”

  7. #7 Chris Krolczyk
    March 22, 2005

    Not that I’m a psychiatrist or anything, but isn’t there a term for the delusion that disconnected world events correlate in a way found personally – and metaphysically – significant by the holder of that delusion?

    I think that the usual way to define people suffering from delusions like that is that they’re verging on paranoid schizophrenia, but seeing as DeLay is a politician with an axe to grind, the idea falls apart; I guess I’ll just have to call him a cynical, self-serving asshole instead.

  8. #8 raj
    March 23, 2005

    This is tangential to the post, but, FWIW, I just recently discovered a web page containing a rather description of the Schiavo issue http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/infopage.html

    The page is maintained by a Florida lawyer and contains a detailed time line complete with links to copies of relevant documents. There isn’t a link to the opinions in the federal appeals court’s decision on that page, but there is on the site’s home page. It’s at http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200511556.pdf

    Also, Digby has a post describing the Republican hypocrisy on the Schiavo issue. It’s quite detailed–and quite revealing. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2005_03_20_digbysblog_archive.html#111134934659869241

  9. #9 Ris
    March 24, 2005

    Yes, it’s true, there is a God. Yes, it’s true many republicans may face some serious judgment when we meet Him…but don’t think they are the only ones. What about all the people in America who are standing by while a woman starves to death. A woman who cried when she was told what her fate would be. Maybe she cannot speak, but one day God will speak for her, and we might not like what He has to say.

  10. Ris…what are you doing there? There are plenty of places irrational people congregate in droves, sharing their non-think. What do you have in that cranium of yours, tuna salad? Hint: Reason is what separates man from the apes.

  11. #11 BedRock
    March 27, 2005

    Why is it that people like Barry Lynn, who is the spokesperson for the group of Americans United for the Seperation of Church and State remain silent on an issue like this?

    If only someone like him would do his homework, he and others who are left of center, no matter where they stand left of center when it comes to the issue of seperation of church and state would readily see that the Church of Scientology has played a signifigant role in this decision to end Terri Shiavo’s life.

    Why are the Democrats silent when it comes to saving someone’s life?

    Yet they scream the loudest when it comes to someone’s right to destroy life, or the potential for life.

    Amazing, simply amazing.

  12. #12 Ed Brayton
    March 27, 2005

    bedrock, you’re making little sense. Why should Barry Lynn comment on it? It has nothing to do with separation of church and state. Even if the church of scientology had something to do with this situation (and I’m not aware of any connection), it would at worst be a church involvement in a private matter. So what exactly do you think Barry Lynn should be doing?

    By the way, there is no “life” to be saved. Terri is gone, period. Her body is still technically alive, but she is long gone.

  13. #13 psa
    March 30, 2005

    Oh yeah, right. Let’s wreck the entire Federalism framework of governance because 30% of people don’t believe this woman is brain-dead. I’m one political conservative sickened to death by the Sean Hannity/Tom Delay/Randall Terry bunch. Recent ABC News poll suggests I’m not alone. Shows majority of conservatives & a majority of so-called evangelical christians agree that the tube should be removed & the fed govt should keep their nose out.

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