Tears for Terri
Thank you for honoring Terri Schiavo ("Terri Schiavo, 1963-2005," April 9). As soon as I saw the cover, I burst into tears for the first time since this whole hideous ordeal began. Thank you for reminding us that Mrs. Schiavo was not just an issue to be discussed but a person to be mourned. Thank you for reminding me to pray for her family, who are surely grieving in ways deeper than most of us will ever have to. Your perspective in this has been invaluable to the Body of Christ and to the world at large.
-Terry DeSeta; Richmond, Va.
I am filled with grief for Terri and with shame for my country. I grieve also over the many Christians who could not see this case for what it was and what it meant. And I know that our mistake has not gone unmarked in the eyes of God.
-Sally Mahoney; Paducah, Ky.
Thank you so much for your excellent coverage of the Terri Schiavo situation and your continued attention to its many political, legal, cultural, and moral implications. The simple black cover with her sweet face was so appropriate. It captured the deep, deep sadness I feel that her life ended the way it did.
-Karena Morris; Kennewick, Wash.
Some who fought for Terri Schiavo's life may walk away feeling guilty or wishing they could have done more, but they should not give up. This gives them an even bigger and better reason to go back onto the battlefield to fight for what is right and true.
-Collin Schuler; Silverdale, Wash.
Thank you for a magazine that is informative and helpful, but I have found your coverage of the Schiavo case a bit naïve. If she really told her husband that she didn't want artificial means of life support, then who is the bad actor here?
-Anne Yeakey; Raleigh, N.C.
Dust to dust
I heartily disagree with Gene Edward Veith ("Death defiance," April 9) that the Terri Schiavo case was not about the right to die "since Terri was not dying. It was about the right to kill." Terri was being kept alive by artificial means. She was allowed to go where all of us are headed sooner or later.
-Bruce Blowers; Bradenton, Fla.
"Spelling it out" (April 9) highlighted some of the numerous ethical dilemmas this media-bombarded case brought to the forefront. But do Christians actually believe that modern medical science serves mankind by enabling people to linger, hovering somewhere between life and death?
-Carol Fruge; Coppell, Texas
If the doctors for my mother, who is 85 with severe dementia, ever tell me that her ability to receive nourishment is diminishing, I am not inclined toward a feeding tube. I will interpret her progressive weakness as a natural part of dying. Yet, as shown from the language surrounding Terri's case, some will call me a murderer. Some advocate laws mandating feeding tubes for folks like Terri and my mom without living wills. And if Terri's death was homicide, then an advance directive prohibiting a feeding tube in such circumstances is suicide. I find all this troubling.
-Mark Heijerman; Rock Valley, Iowa
Whoa! To castigate President Bush, Governor Jeb Bush, and others because they didn't do enough to save Terri Schiavo is presumptuous ("Failure at the finish line," April 9). If we measure our efforts by whether or not things turn out the way they should, we usurp the place of the Giver of Success. Our responsibility is obedience, not success.
-A.J. Hyatt III; Turlock, Calif.
I was excited to register with the National Silent No More Awareness Campaign ("Victims of their own choice," April 9). The effects of abortion are not restricted to those of us who had them; they become a rippling effect in our relationships throughout our lives. I will be eternally grateful I was led to a post-abortion class in my community after 31 years of silence. I'm so thankful we have a voice through the SNMA Campaign to tell others we made wrong decisions about our unwanted pregnancies in a way that is healing, helpful, and hopeful.
-Charlene Neill; Pagosa Springs, Colo.
My high-school girlfriend had an abortion. I knew it was wrong and did not stop it. The memory of that day still haunts me more than 21 years later. Eight years ago I rededicated my life to Christ, and that has helped me find forgiveness. I recently shared this with my 16-year-old daughter when she asked me what I would do if she got pregnant. I then told her that I would love her and help her. I pray that my story will help my daughter avoid the pain I live with.
-Anthony C. Duran; Poway, Calif.
Ms. Beninato of I'mNotSorry.net ("No second thoughts," April 9) agrees that a fetus is alive, "but weeds are life and mold is life and bugs are life and we destroy those on a regular basis." Humans have been wrongly identified with the animal kingdom-now we are like weeds and mold and bugs?
-Sandra Jo Williams; Hermiston, Ore.
Wink and lie
Andree Seu quoted a pro-abortion activist who wondered how Democrats will soften their rhetoric while maintaining their "support for safe, accessible abortion" ("A rock and a hard place," April 9). They will wink at one constituent and lie to the other. The Democrats will tell NARAL, NOW, and Planned Parenthood not to worry about their rhetoric while they try to woo pro-lifers. After the election, it will be abortion as usual.
-David DiMartino; Prospect, Ky.
Thank you for describing the hypocrisy of religious tolerance in Jordan ("Apostasy rules," April 9). I had just received an e-mail from Samer's pastor asking for prayer for all Christians in Jordan as they seek to live peacefully with the authorities yet still be true to their faith. My friendship with another church member has given me and my family a window into the world of persecuted Christians and shown us that God is faithful to work out His purposes no matter the obstacles.
-Carolyn Dickinson; Palestine, Texas
The article about how few protesters there were with Terri Schiavo ("Turnout burnout," April 2) recalled the verse, "If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?" We are very frustrated. We called and wrote elected officials, discussed the issue with friends and family, prayed and lost sleep, and watched our government sentence an innocent woman to death anyway. Why protest when nobody is listening? We need a clear call, a plan that works, something active to do or we will, as C.S. Lewis warned, get so used to feeling without acting that we never act.
-Ewan & Karen Tallentire; Littleton, Colo.
The King's College, founded in 1938, is not connected to Oxford University and does not allow its students to receive federally subsidized financial aid ("Conformity enforcers," April 16, p. 28).
The GOP senator from Rhode Island is Lincoln Chafee ("Showdown," April 23, p. 13).
Uwe Siemon-Netto is from Saxony and was recruited by Hitler Youth ("No panzerpapst," April 30, p. 23).