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Terri and marriage

The Terri Schiavo case has been dissected and analyzed largely as a case testing the issues of life and death.

But, now that Terri is dead, and the urgency to save her life and give her a chance at rehabilitation is no longer, it’s time to look at what this astonishing story has to reveal to us about another hot-button issue facing our society.


It seems that many of the forces intent on diminishing the meaning of the institution of marriage by turning it into a simple relationship between people – even members of the same sex – were those equally insistent that only her spouse could truly determine Terri’s wishes about continuing her life.

In other words, those who don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage are the same people who don’t recognize the sanctity of life.

This should surprise no one.

We’ve seen this before.

History is repeating itself.

This was the case in Roman society during the time Jesus was alive.

In his 1883 book, “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah,” Alfred Edersheim wrote:

It has been rightly said, that the idea of conscience, as we understand it, was unknown to heathenism. Absolute right did not exist. Might was right.

The social relations exhibited, if possible, even deeper corruption. The sanctity of marriage had ceased. Female dissipation and the general dissoluteness led at last to an almost entire cessation of marriage.

Abortion, and the exposure and murder of newly born children, were common and tolerated; unnatural vices, which even the greatest philosophers practiced, if not advocated, attained proportions which defy description.

Does this not sound familiar?

Is this not where we find ourselves moving in 2005?

We even hear those advocating same-sex marriage that the practice is not at odds with any of the teachings of Jesus.

Only people who have never read the Bible could make such a claim.

Jesus made plain what God’s plan was for marriage in Matthew 19:3-8:

The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him: “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” And He answered and said unto them: “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh’?”

“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” They said unto Him: “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?” He saith unto them: “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”

Jesus taught that God, from the beginning, made the human race male and female for the purpose of lifelong marriage.

Aside from all the other questions raised by the Terri Schiavo case, one factor should not have been ignored by a moral, common-sense judge: Michael Schiavo had long ago shacked up with another woman, living with her as his wife, and raising children with her as a husband and father.

In times like these – just as in Rome at the time of Jesus – such issues mattered not. And because they don’t matter any more, Michael Schiavo was treated by the judicial system as if he were still a loving husband to Terri.

In fact, he was an adulterer or a bigamist. Who among us thinks decisions about the life and death of wives or husbands should be the exclusive purview of adulterous spouses or bigamists?

It is incomprehensible to me that we have drifted so far morally in the last 30 years that someone in the position of Michael Schiavo would have any say in the care of a disabled spouse – and that is before we even examine any of the questions raised about his possible culpability in her condition.

I don’t know whether Terri would have wanted to live or die in the condition in which she found herself for the last 15 years of her life. But I feel certain that she would not have wanted to remain legally married to someone who was living with another woman and fathering her children.

So, why, in heaven’s name, did Judge George Greer permit Michael Schiavo to judge her wishes?

Editor’s note: “Life and Death in America” – a stunning special investigative report that will start with the Terri Schiavo story, but will go on to expose as never before America’s rapidly expanding euthanasia/”right-to-die” movement – will be the focus of an upcoming issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.

Subscribe or renew now, because after three years without a price increase, Whistleblower’s subscription rates go up this Saturday!