Monday, March 28, 2005

Righteous anger channeled how? 

Please read Saint Paul's and Captain Ed's considerable commentary on the reaction of our listeners to the NARN discussion of the Schiavo case last Saturday. They say much that doesn't bear my repeating. One comment will suffice.

What I heard in the phone calls was anger. Anger at the judiciary, anger at Governor Bush, anger at ... well, anger at anyone who was involved in the decision to starve Terri Schiavo or not intervene to reconnect her feeding tube. Mitch spent much time trying to move the anger onto something one could do within the law, which is political action.

I have no problem with righteous anger, which I can only define by reference to the Biblical example of Jesus throwing the moneychangers out of the temple (Matt 21) or when John the Baptist calls the religious leaders confronting him snakes and vipers (Matt 3). And anger as a state of mind is fine. The question is what does one do with that anger -- when does it become action, and can one act righteously on one's anger.

Thinking somehow that your actions can be righteous instead of God's actions lies at the base of all hubris.

If you are a reader and a Christian and you think Terri's death is wrong, I believe nonetheless your only action can be to pray for God to forgive Michael Schiavo. I confess to the urge to take a 2X4 to his comb-back, but I know that is wrong. So too is urging others to form a mob and seize Terri. Wouldn't it be more effective for the TV cameras to film hundreds to kneel in front of the hospice with a single sign that said, "Father, forgive Michael, for he knows not what he does"?

More than anyone else, he's the one in need of your prayers now.

UPDATE: Words in penultimate in italics were inserted to make that sentence clearer.