It’s one thing to take up residence with another woman while his wife lay in a coma in a hospital bed. And it’s one more thing to fight your in-laws in a court for the right to remove her nourishment. But it’s quite another thing to claim to be a praiseworthy martyr for doing so.
According to the New York Post, the late Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael, told NBC’s “Dateline” that Terri is now “praising” him in heaven for fighting to starve her death. The program is scheduled to broadcast Sunday.
“She’s up there right now praising me…and saying thank you,” he said.
When Christians around the country were praying for Terri’s life, and political leaders sought to find legal remedies to help her Catholic parents save her, Schiavo says he just couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
“I guess when it all boiled down, I couldn’t understand why these people were so passionate about my life,” he said. “People are allowed to die every day. Feeding tubes are removed every day.”
Schiavo also defends his decision to take up with his now-wife Jodi while Terri lay comatose:
Why do I have to divorce Terri? Terri wasn’t like a football…an inanimate object you pass back and forth. She was my wife. You mean, because your wife gets sick, do you give her back?
Chillingly, the Post records that the new Mrs. Schiavo says this is what she admires about his husband, that he “stuck by her.”
Oh, and by the way, the “Dateline” interview is to promote Michael Schiavo’s new book. Now that Terri’s out of the way, her husband can enjoy his new wife, and make money off the tragedy of the old one. I suppose she’s thanking him for that too.
The Schiavo situation is highly unusual, in one sense. Most couples don’t have their marriages broadcast before the world the way this one did. And yet, I’m afraid this marriage isn’t all that unusual at all. When we view one another as means to our own personal happiness, it is easy to see why one would understand the horror at forced starvation of his wife as being “interest in my life.”
This is one more reminder that the Christian task these days is about more than being legally and culturally pro-life. It’s about displaying a vision of self-sacrificial marriage that’s rooted in something ancient and mysterious, something stronger than death (Song of Songs 8:6), or the culture thereof.