Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another good reason to retire Senator Lieberman

OK, so I don't live in Connecticut, but Senator Lieberman's actions affect me, too. So if there are any Nutmeggers amongst my readers, here's another reason why the Senator should be sent to an honorable retirement:

(God help me for pointing to a Newsmax URL, and watch out for the pop-up hell that might result)

An alternative summary can be found on Hullabaloo:

Sunday, March 27, 2005 9:36 p.m. EST

Lieberman Backs Life for Schiavo

Former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman says if it were up to him, he'd reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube in order to keep her alive.

"I don't," Lieberman said. And though he said Shays' statement was "a very credible and respectable opinion, the fact is that, though I know a lot of people's attitude toward the Schiavo case and other matters is affected by their faith and their sense of what religion tells them about morality, ultimately as members of Congress, as judges, as members of the Florida state Legislature, this is a matter of law. And the law exists to express our values.

"I have been saying this in speeches to students about why getting involved in government is so important. I always say the law is where we define the beginning of life and the end of life, and that's exactly what was going on here," Lieberman continued.

"And I think as a matter of law, if you go - particularly to the 14th Amendment, [you] can't be denied due process, have your life or liberty taken without due process of law, that though the Congress' involvement here was awkward, unconventional, it was justified to give this woman, more than her parents or husband, the opportunity for one more chance before her life was terminated by an act which was sanctioned by a court, by the state."

Digby counters with this comment:

Lieberman grossly misrepresented the legal issues and endorsed the novel conservative theory that a married adult's parents should have equal say in these situations as his or her spouse --- but that doesn't make him a bad guy, right? And while the vast majority of Americans may have disagreed with this outrageous government intrusion (that he mildly calls "unconventional") you can't really hold it against him. He's a man of integrity with deep religious beliefs.

With all that talk about the law choosing when life begins and ends, how long before Joe switches on abortion? He's hedging on birth control already. It's only a matter of time...

And of course, religious beliefs are all well and good, but which religious beliefs? And what about that line that "a married adult's aprents should have equal say in those situations as the spouse." Of course, what the wingers believe is that the parents should have greater say, but then only in cases where the parents believe in fundamentalist Christian doctrine.

It's interesting, I just read a passage by R' Elliot Dorff, a prominent Conservative rabbi and scholar, who pointed out that halacha requires adult children to disregard the wishes of their parents if those wishes contradict halacha. The case he cited was a parent who wishes to be cremated, which is, of course, against halacha. But I suppose it could equally apply to a parent's living will that doesn't meet the halachic specifications of the children. God help me, I hope none of my kids ever becomes Orthodox and tries to force me to spend 10 or more years as a living vegetable.