Terri Schiavo’s life has been place before various courts, and lawyers have dominated the news media arguing legal technicalities. However, Terri Schiavo’s life or death transcends America’s judicial system. Although there are many who would attempt to argue that religion and spirituality should play no role in the decision-making process, the reality is that all law in America is derived from a Judeo-Christian belief system that acknowledges the Law of God along with certain absolutes, which include the right to life.
According to a recent Newsweek poll, 78 percent of Americans believe Jesus Christ rose from dead, 75 percent think He was sent to our world take away our sins, and 80 percent identify themselves as Christians. Whatever your personal beliefs, the life and teachings of Jesus Christ continue to have a profound impact on every facet of American society and culture. In fact, behind the intense debates over Terri Schiavo, gay marriage, stem-cell research, abortion and other national issues lies the claims of Jesus Christ.
Was He the Son of God? Did Jesus Christ literally resurrect from the dead? Is there a heaven and a hell? The vast majority of Americans understand that the Supreme Court is simply a human court of ordinary men and women who have consistently demonstrated that they have made morally wrong decisions – decisions that make be legally right from a purely technical sense, but morally and spiritually wrong from an eternal sense.
The dominant media in America refuse to even give airtime to these greater moral and spiritual questions. Instead, they focus entirely on the legal opinions of men from Harvard Law School and other so-called experts – as if their arbitrary legal analysis based on a microcosmic view of reality had any real bearing on the real issues of our day.
This is perfectly understandable because the public education system, the media and the Hollywood elite all promote the idea that there is no real reason for life. According to their view, each of us is here by the random chance of evolution. There is no absolute right or wrong. There is no God and no life after death. In a nutshell, life is meaningless except for what we choose in the existential moment.
If one adheres to this belief system that mankind is here by accident, then it is easy to arrive at certain moral choices. Abortion, the killing of Terri Schiavo, gay marriage, stem-cell research and euthanasia are all acceptable moral choices, because the only thing that counts is the productiveness or pleasure of the moment. Since life has no meaning, none of us are accountable for what we choose to do with our lives. Man’s laws have replaced God’s laws.
The philosophical basis for the “pro-life” position, keeping Terri Schiavo alive, defending traditional marriage and other Judeo-Christian moral positions rests on whether or not the claims of Jesus Christ are true. If there is no God in the universe and no right or wrong, then decisions should be made on the basis of expediency, the courts and consensus. But, if Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, which is the central Christian message of Easter, then each of us is accountable to a higher moral authority or Supreme Being. Whether or not Jesus Christ literally resurrected from the dead is not a peripheral argument. It is the central argument upon which all of the moral and spiritual issues of our day are based.
The entire proof of Christianity rests on this single issue of the message of Easter. If Christ did not literally rise from the dead and the New Testament account is not reliable, then the 78 percent of Americans believing that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is the philosophical equivalent of believing the earth was flat, when it was indeed round. Christianity would be nothing more than a comforting fairy tale, or as Joseph Campbell put it, a myth. As such, there is no real basis for morality. Charles Darwin would be right – “the survival of the fittest” in a meaningless universe.
However, if the Easter message is true and Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, then we are forced to think about the life of Terri Schiavo, the unborn baby, traditional marriage and other issues from a different perspective. At the core of every major social and moral debate in America today lies this issue. It is an issue that transcends any Supreme Court ruling. The media would attempt to deify the Supreme Court, the opinions of doctors and the legal system. But the message of Easter and the claims of Christ’s resurrection echo through history that the real Supreme Court is not based on earth but in heaven, and in the final analysis this is the only court whose decision will ultimately stand.
Paul McGuire is the author of 14 books, a professor at the King’s College and the host of the syndicated “Paul McGuire Show” broadcast from KBRT radio in Los Angeles. He can be contacted at paulmcguire.com.