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The Arms of the Lord

by Clyde Lewis

"I got something to say, I killed your baby today and it doesn’t matter much to me as long as it’s dead sweet lovely death I am waiting for your breath come sweet death one last caress—One Last Caress by the Misfits

Back in 1975, I was in the fifth grade and really didn’t pay much attention to the news. Eleven year olds are into other things, like baseball, bubble gum and KISS records. In my home I had to grow up early because my mother was very sick. My father had to take care of my mother and I took care of my brother and sister.

There was a time where the doctors had told my father to give up on my mother so that we could have a normal family life. Even though my father stayed with my mother, we as children have suffered and I am sure my father suffered through it.

We did all that we could for love, though it seemed that there was always someone from the government at our doorstep checking to see if our father and mother were fit to raise us kids.

They always found a way to barge in at the worst times. They had an uncanny knack for butting in where they didn’t belong. Living in Utah, we were always bothered by members of the Mormon Church. They would come in to also see if our family was functioning in a way that was approved by the church brethren.

To this day I have always looked at this type of activity with disdain.

The micromanaging of families by church and state has always been a problem for me. I see it as a type of bullying that is often ignored by people who do not seem to want to get personally involved, unless, of course, they are forced to care because of some sort of publicity.

My family and my mother’s problems were our own personal problems. It was embarrassing to know that any of our personal matters would become some statistic, or the latest gossip by busybody Mormons who feel that their efforts were good intentioned.

My father made the choice not to abandon his family. While my mother was never in a "vegetative state", her mental abilities began to deteriorate, though she could be helped with therapy.

My family has always known what it meant to beat the odds when it came to health.

In 1975 there was another case where the odds of life and death were being challenged in the courts. It was the case of the young New Jersey woman, Karen Ann Quinlan, who after an accidental alcohol and drug overdose became comatose and had to be kept on life support. Karen’s life deteriorated. She was severely brain damaged; she was losing weight and began to bend into a fetal position.

Her parents wanted her off the life support.

The doctor in the case decided that he would not take Karen off the respirator due to moral reasons. At first the judges said that Karen Ann Quinlan had to remain alive, but later the parents of Karen Ann were allowed to remove her life support.

Karen Ann was finally taken off life support only to begin breathing on her own. The Quinlan case was the only case I could remember that was a true right to die issue. In June of 1976, in nearly a "vegetative" state and requiring a feeding tube, Karen Ann Quinlan was transferred to a nursing home and was locked away in a room.

Many people presumed that she had died. However she lived for 10 years in a fetal position, emaciated, and helpless.

Can you imagine the hell that would be?

I guess it is unavoidable to compare the Terri Schiavo case to that of Karen Ann Quinlan. Unlike in the Schiavo case, the Quinlans were unanimous in their view about what to do. They wanted their daughter to die, they were not fighting over money, and there was no husband involved.

It was also interesting to note that the Catholic Church that the family attended supported the family and their decision.

Of course, the family was faced with legal and moral opposition, which resulted in a circus of supposed "caring" about a human being whom no one knew of until the media stepped in.

This was the first time the public was made aware of what drastic measures could be taken to keep life going, even if it was a life that was shattered.

After Karen Ann’s death, the morgue she was in had to be guarded by police because of the outcry of the public and the media.

Cycles seem to come and go, and it is peculiar to see that in nearly three decades we always seem to want to stick our nose into things that really don’t matter to us. Most of these matters are private matters. They are the matters that are best solved between husband and wife.

It seems to me that in this country, the lie of compassionate conservatism stops with Terri Schiavo. We are now seeing the rise of the compassionate sadist, of compassionate hypocrisy, where a government can take a dying woman and turn her into their political puppet.

Now that she is dead, we will realize that no one will care that a shattered family now has to deal with the fact that their dying daughter was used as a political football to be kicked around for gain.

Once again, we see how the ghouls that exist in our government lead the death culture to gather around like vultures to sell teddy bears and flowers, so they can profit from this marionette that has her head propped up like the lead character in the movie "Weekend at Bernie’s."

You see, Terri Schiavo is a victim of rape.

Every time she had the feeding tube removed, then reinserted, hydrated and dehydrated, fed, then starved, she was being violated. She was being kept in a hell that she couldn’t escape, all for the selfishness and wishful thinking of political sadist, and religious know–it–all’s that took away something as precious as life itself.

Her freedom.

Ask yourself: if you were in Terri Schiavo’s position, would you like to live in limbo? How would it have felt to be poked at and prodded and propped up like some infant for a photo op?

No one wants to be kept in a hell that they can’t escape without a choice.

The most important thing that God gave us was choice.

Her choice was taken away when she was put in a situation where she couldn’t make a decision. She had no choice. Therefore, she died a long time ago.

Everybody makes choices in their lives in hopes that one day they will get to rest in the arms of God or the destination they believe in.

For 15 years she was deprived of the end result.

Like it or not, the act of keeping Terri alive, pushing in and pulling out her feeding tube, was not the act of well intentioned Christians or compassionate conservatives. It was the work of depraved, selfish and presumptuous self–declared demigods.

These ghouls, in the name of God and country, held her family, her husband, and all involved at gunpoint.

No choice, no liberty, no freedom, just watered down euphemisms to justify the continuing torture of a ghost barely hanging on to its shell.

"This is a complex case with serious issues, but in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wisest to always err on the side of life."––George W. Bush

Is this the new and improved definition of George W. Bush’s career as a President who believes that he actually puts this type of philosophy into practice?

This is coming from a man who had more executions during his five–year term as Governor of Texas than any other governor in the nation since capital punishment was reinstated.

He was also governor when a mentally retarded man was executed. It was determined that Mario Marquez had the mental capacity of a box of hammers.

Governor Bush upheld his position that it made no difference when reviewing last–minute pleas of clemency.

There was a whole lot of doubt that Marquez was fully aware of his actions.

The thing most disturbing about the Marquez case is that although the Texas Senate is very conservative, it passed a bill to bar the execution of profoundly retarded prisoners. It then went to the house and they were about to approve it, too, when Bush blocked further action by saying, "I like the law the way it is right now."

In an interview shortly before the execution of born–again Christian Karla Faye Tucker in 1998, he mimicked her plea for mercy in a sadistic mocking on television.

Many times when he was asked about his death record in Texas during his presidential campaign, Bush would often look away and chuckle.

We err on the side of life when there is doubt. Of course, this applies to the million or so people in Afghanistan and Iraq who are now dead. Of course, it is bringing peace and freedom and the gift of life to every one who has to be exposed to depleted uranium every day.

Erring on the side of life has never been so disingenuous.

It is so blatantly satanic. Such god–awful pandering to a Christian right that has a track record of falling for anything that is shown to be antichrist.

The wishes of God are coming from the mouths of the state. Bodies are owned by the government, both unborn and waiting to die. If you do not wish to be a part of this hypocrisy, you will find that you will have to meet Jesus –– not just any Jesus, but the new Jesus with a gun.

Meet the new "arms" of the lord.

I wonder if anyone who gathered around Terri Schiavo’s hospice stopped and pondered that she probably was unaware that when she died she became a political martyr for a cause she didn’t believe in.

There is always something about a martyr. They are big business and they sell even better than porn or the latest pay per view. Lately we have been offered our fair share of so called martyrs for a cause and the cause seems to be as old and as cliché as selling candles that smell like Jesus’s sweat.

It is all about the suffering and the blood.

There comes a time in history where the people get into the mindset that there has to be suffering and bloodshed in order to put the world into a sense of balance.

No one knows why we do what we do.

Unfortunately it is done. Our primitive programming allows it to go on, until, at some point, we realize that the death and bloodshed is too much to bear. We place all of our fear and guilt into one person, and it is this person who comes to represent all that is wrong with society that is fixated upon torture, pain and death.

Apparently, the martyr has to be used as an effective political tool in order to be a distraction for the evils that our government commits on a daily basis.

There is such a fixation on death, but not enough on the idea of rebirth or resurrection. Today suffering is far more beneficial to those in power than the ability to have joy.

It goes against all that is Christian; it goes against all that is written in biblical text.

"I desire steadfast love, not your bloody sacrifice" Hosea 6:6

To die and then to be reborn is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. Yet we see fearful Christians kicking and screaming about abortion and right to die issues.

They are quick to say that God can only make decisions about living and dying, and yet their decisions of who declares a life a life, and what is permitted to keep life going, has somehow become a crusade among many others that seem to be hypocritical lip service to life and the quality of that life.

It has become evident that the Christian majority are fixated on the cross and death and not on the idea that rebirth is the promise.

They are hungry for a martyr because a martyr is a marketable force for Christian dogma.

There have been many examples in the past in which stories have been fortified about latter day martyrs and they have become great marketing tools for entrepreneurial Christians.

Before Teri Schiavo became the replacement for Christ during the Easter weekend I remember another person who allegedly died for the "cause "of righteousness.

Cassie Bernall became a martyr for the cause of Christ during the Columbine school shootings. It was alleged that when asked by the gunmen whether she believed in God, she answered yes and then was shot point–blank. The story was later found to be a lie. It was even shown that the gunmen had actually spared a different girl who said that she believed in God.

Valeen Schnurr was bleeding from 34 shotgun pellets. She was screaming "Oh, my god, my god, don’t let me die." One of the shooters then asked her if she believed in God. Valeen said yes. He asked why. She replied "Because I believe and my parents brought me up that way." The shooter reloaded, but did not shoot Valeen again.

But contrary to what the Christian merchandisers would have you believe, Cassie Bernall’s Christian martyrdom never happened.

But the truth doesn’t sell T–shirts or Movies of the Week.

It is just like the idea that while scads of Christians have made Schiavo their cause and their Christian martyr, they are unaware of her beliefs and who she worships, or even if she would want to be labeled a martyr in the cause of Christian politics.

We saw the same type of rush to judgement from zealous Christians after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

On September 14th 2001, President Bush declared a day of prayer and remembrance for the victims of 9–11.

It was explained that this day was set aside for all faiths.

Prayers and vigils were held at Ground Zero where two girders were found affixed together in a cruciform. The pictures in every newspaper said that the cross on the mound at Ground Zero was obviously a symbol of hope.

It is a Christian symbol of hope to some people but not to others. Especially not to the people who were killed in the attacks that were not Christian!

But of course it was assumed that they were all American "Christian" victims who died heroic deaths.

They most certainly were not.

Ground Zero was a gathering place for Christian prayers and these prayers were offered around this "cross."

This was done without any consideration for the people of many faiths that perished in the attacks of September 11th.

The entire country all appeared to be "born again" Christians after the attacks on the United States and the Christian fundamentalists were quick to point out the reasons for the attacks, reinforcing their hatred for the ACLU, homosexuals, pagans and pro–abortion groups.

This is exactly what is happening again with the Terri Schiavo case.

Behind the move to make Schiavo a political tool is the desire to use her dying shell to advance the hypocritical "culture of life" crusade.

They hide behind that dying shell of a woman claiming that she is an innocent victim, yet the issue is ignored when it comes to the killing of innocent people in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.

They allow for the execution of prisoners who attempt to prove their innocence, and they decry the use of scientific research that may be able to help patients like Terri recover from their severe brain damage.

Those who wish to protect the sanctity of life forget that quality of life needs to be met in order to find joy. Those who constantly find themselves in the shadow of the ominous cross "know not what they do", as Jesus so aptly stated when he suffered in the gallows of Golgotha.

Those who fight this futile battle can’t help themselves because they are victims of crucifixion guilt, the mind control surrounding a dying man on a cross who signifies salvation. I will state again that it is mind boggling to understand that a dying man hanging on cross is the ultimate mind control.

Gaze at the dying man on the cross, look at him suffer, look at him die. Take his broken body, make an image of it and wear it around your neck.

This is your future, if you follow.

It is a horrific, traumatic notion that it is in and through Christ’s suffering on the cross that humanity is saved.

The dying man on a stick has been used for millennia as a tool and now a dying woman is being used as a political football for all kinds of agendas from abortion rights to judicial nominations.

It is also ironic that Terri Schiavo is a metaphor for all that is wrong with America today. Her last name alone is the Italian word for "slave."

Like slaves, we are hungry, and desperate, and we want so badly to be accepted that we go to extremes. When we fail, we go into a zombie like state and become complacent.

The United States has become desensitized to all of the death and destruction in the world because it has been declared that we are defending the sanctity of "freedom" and in doing so we are erring on the side of "life".

We do not plan for the day when we will be rendered helpless. When we become vulnerable we will all have to eventually become slaves to our own fate.

We only complain when our feeding tube is removed. We attempt to defend ourselves when it is evident that the fight is over.

For Terri, the fight has been over for 15 years. We are seeing this horrible distraction so that we can take our minds off of the impending economic collapse and the looming battle over Social Security.

These very things are the "feeding tubes" of this country. They will be taken from you as you are reeling from the ritualistic romanticism that has no place in the Terri Schiavo case.

The most important thing to understand is the timing of her death and how the chronological allowing of that slow death has been marked with religious overtones.

It is a manipulation of the first degree to see that Terri Schiavo had her feeding tube removed 7 days before Good Friday.

It was a permitted ritualistic twist that on Good Friday a 10 year old boy wearing a T–shirt with the words "Jesus Christ" emblazoned on it was arrested for trying to bring water to Terri. This paints a very manipulative religious picture similar to the Roman guards that gave Jesus vinegar when he said, "I thirst."

The only problem is that Terri Schiavo was in no position to say "I thirst." Once again we are seeing religious manipulation in the media and a good story that will eventually become a Christian myth. Just like Columbine. Just like the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Now Terri Schiavo is dead, and we ask ourselves: what remains?

Fake tears from hypocrites and spokespeople who will base their careers on the fake expressions of sympathy and care.

Shortly after the death of Terri Schiavo, it was a pathetic use of the dramatic when Randall Terry, the antiabortion activist who became one of the many spokespersons for the Schindler family, was crying on television about how it was horrible to hear that Terri did not have her family with her at the moment of her death. Michael allowed the Schindlers in the room ten minutes before her death.

At the time of her passing Terri was with Michael, her husband, and yet Randall Terry was accusing Michael of breaking up a family.

Terry, it should be noted, was excommunicated from his church for having an affair and leaving his wife. He also rejected his daughter for being a lesbian.

Randall Terry, who broke up his own family, questioned with crocodile tears the commitment of Michael Schiavo, a man who apparently stayed with his wife long enough to know that her quality of life was gone.

Yet the selfishness of others wanted to prolong it so as she can be used as some marionette for the elite and Christian opportunists who have not had their backgrounds exposed in the media spotlight.

For all of the murderers and adulterers in the crowd were projecting all of their ugliness to the family in the name of Jesus!

Now that she is dead, are we going to remember Terri Schiavo as a real person, or as some issue that will be up for debate and used for a political agenda that once again tells us that we are owned when we are weak and helpless?

Is there any question that the government wants to own you before you are born and even when you are incapable of making your own decisions? Could it be that they are waiting at the gates of the graveyard to rob you of your dignity and remove your belongings before your corpse cools?

Last year we watched on the screen the torture of Christ in Mel Gibson’s epic "The Passion of the Christ." We then witnessed the torture that was outsourced by the CIA against prisoners of war.

And then we watch the torture of a woman that was unaware of what her death means.

The nightmare that looms on the horizon is that you might be the next unfortunate victim.

Your last words will be drowned out by the political and religious hypocrisy. Your body might be pulled apart in a tug of war over who really owns you and your death will be for a cause that you never would dream of supporting.

The cessation of cognitive liberty.