Thursday, March 24, 2005

"Life" Protesters: Truly Brainwashed? Or True Believers?

I don't begin to know the answert to that question. This is not to say I cannot understand concern for life, even in its extremist forms. Sometimes, led by such as Randall Terry, concern for "life" can go off the deep end whereby you can actually see just contradictions dripping off. I've seen protests outside abortion clinics where protesters scream and vilify a woman, clearly eight months pregnant, who is there for her check-up. Yeah, that's just dripping with irony and contradiction.

Of course these folks are not silenced by anyone. And the "life" position has not been silenced. In virtually every report they repeat lies about the case and are not challenged about those lies. The forces of life have a string of talking points about Michael Schiavo, for instance, that begins with charges of abuse that supposedly led to her heart attack and condition. (Articles about the protests can be found here and here.)

Some of the protests are just silly:
Fourteen-year-old Josie Keys and her two young brothers knelt before a row of sheriff's deputies, cradling cups of water they hoped to give to Terri Schiavo.

They were among 10 protesters arrested yesterday for trespassing on the grounds of Woodside Hospice, which has become a place of religious pilgrimage since the brain-damaged woman's feeding tube was removed under court order last Friday.

I've got no problem with kids at protests, and have taken my seven year old nephew to a pro-choice march back in the early nineties. I guess I do have a problem with coaching your kids to be arrested, though. Call me old-fashioned in that way. And I have a problem with letting your children think they could save this woman with a glass of water. Beyond the fact that Terri Schiavo has fluid for a brain and only God can save her, a glass of water would drown her. The actions they pantomine are in one sense those of death.

For the most part this is an open thread, as I'm busy a good bit today. But I hope for some insightful commentary about these protesters and what they must be thinking. Of course, this is an ASZ crowd, so I'll get an earful, for sure.

Oh, and mad props to my friend Ronnie Polaneczky in the Philadelphia Daily News for her article yesterday. And to the Daily News as a whole, a tabloid that has for the most part resisted the urge to put Terri Schiavo on the front cover day in and day out.