Sunday, March 20, 2005

Misplaced priorities

Let me see if I can get this straight. In Rwanda, almost 1,000,000 people died on the world's watch. In Darfur, right now, at least 70,000 people have died and many more than that have been driven from their homes to languish beneath the four horses of starvation, disease, drought and global disinterest.

Yet, in the space of a single weekend, our entire national legislature can come together to draft and pass legislation that prolongs 1 life. Our president can fly from Texas to Washington DC just to sign this bill, even though this issue barely registered on the national radar a few weeks ago.

What kind of priorities do we have that we clamor for the life of a single person while ignoring the deaths of thousands? Why does Terry Schiavo merit more attention or action than three month old babies who are being shot to death while their mothers are assaulted and their fathers gunned down in the fields? Is it because Schiavo's life has only become valuable because of its political weight? After all, it conveniently fits into a "culture of life" -- a culture that doesn't acknowledge the death it propogates every day through indifference and ignorance.

I don't really care much about what happens in the Schiavo case, but I find it sickening that pro-life ideology wears such constricting blinkers. Right now as I'm writing, people are dying in Darfur, in Congo, and in dozens of other war-ravaged places around the world. Children in our own country are dying from malnourishment -- but you sure as hell don't see the legislature convening on a Sunday to save their paltry lives.

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