Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

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Postby Bamfette » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:55 am

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Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:34 pm

Very funny picture!

Have a couple of quotes that made me think of this thread and you guys...funny that it was bumped up again right when I was thinking of posting this.

Why is there enough religion to incite war, but not enough religion to incite tolerance?

Don’t analyze my beliefs and I won’t pick out the flaws in yours.

Don’t judge me based on your intolerance.

Better to be an open sinner than a false saint.

You tell me that I sin, you say I’m bound for hell, so once your judgment condemns you, I shall see you there.

Never knock on heaven’s door…ring the bell then run (he hates that).
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Postby Nightmare » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:18 pm

I was agnostic growing up... Dad was a (very) lasped Catholic and Mom was protestant. I went to babtist bible school, and talked to Mormon missionaries, but never was converted to any denomination. I came to believe that any devoutly held uplifting faith was a way to God, so it didn't matter which one you picked.

As a young adult, I picked Wicca, and studied it quite a bit though I never really practiced it. As a pagan, I didn't discriminate between denominations... if you said you worshiped Christ, you were a Christian, period. But even as a Pagan I could see that some, and it was a minority of them, who said they followed Him truly followed His teachings. I learned that those who called themselves by His name and preached hate were many, but those who preached peace and love were few, and I respected those few.

About 5 years ago, my family had a reunion and they asked me to attend this really on fire Pentecostal church in Redding, Calif (Bethel Temple). That sense of the supernatural I had been looking for all my life was in that building, and I learned that it was the Holy Spirit. I suprised my husband and myself by converting.

It took months and years to pull myself from the Pagan worldview, but I retain vestiges of it, like refusing to buy into denomination politics. I do kinda frown on Mormons and JW as groups because they downplay the divinity of Christ, but I still maintain my old standard: Those who act as His followers ARE His followers, no matter what label they call themselves.

I'm the only one in my church who thinks that they should let Terri Schiavo go, because a liquidfied cerebral cortex = no person left.

...

*Hangs her head* There is one thing that being a Pagan first did to me... I just can't get into the song "The Old Rugged Cross". I turn my head away and try not to snicker when I hear it. That's because the first song I heard to that tune was by Leslie Fish, who is a PAGAN (in capital letters) Filk-singer, and the song was called Stone Dance.

On a Hill, far away, stands a stone menhir ring, the emblem of druidic pride.
And we love that stone ring, and the circle within, as the Goddes as Hag, Mom, and Bride...

[Chorus] So we'll dance round the old menhir ring, till the flames of the fire have died down.
We'll emote, slit a goat's throat, and sing, then get dressed and drive back into town...

On a hill nearby stands, a looped and straight cross, of the type that some folks call an Anhk
(*<- rhymes with 'drank'*)
Keeping Evil at bay, like the shield of the Law, for which we have Gardner to Thank...

(Chorus)

In the valley below, shines a flashing blue light, on the car of the local police.
But the Law's on our side, and we soon will be free, well, at least by next Mid-summer's eve...

(Chorus)


I'm so bad. =)
Don't hate me because I scare you...
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Postby Bamfette » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:17 am

speaking of Terri Schiavo, i don't understand why people feel the need to stick their noses into what should be a very private, personal matter. it disgusts me. I think her husband is completely in the right. she has been in a vegetative state for 15 years, and as you said, CAT scans have shown that several important parts of her brain are essentially nothing more than liquid. Terri is dead, her heart just ahsn't stopped beating yet. but if her husband wanted to keep her alive for religious reasons, well, that's his right too. the point is it's not my place or anyone elses to make this kind of decision for him. yes, her family has a right to protest his decision, even if i disagree with it. they ar her FAMILY. so i don't have a problem with THEM fighting the decision. i just disagree with them.

but the religious groups inserting themselves into this? they are the people i can not STAND. meddling, nosy, preachy... but essentially just assholes.
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Postby Northstars Love » Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:09 am

I have to throw in my 2 cents worth. I've been watching bits and pieces of the Terry Schiavo case and true the religious fanatics are out there preaching to reinsert the tube and some have gone as far as to say that her husband is murdering her. But my point is what were some of these people that got arrested trying to do? Give her water? She can't drink it! So what good would it have done?


A young boy of 10 was arrested for trying to give Terry water. Are you telling me a 10 year old thought this up on his own and that he was willing to get arrested? Hell No! His father holding up the Bible on TV put him up to it! When the woman interviewer asked the young boy questions the young boy couldn't answer but instead his father jumped in and answsered for him.

Would you not say that this is child endangerment?

Lastly, the government needs to stay out of everyone's personal lives and let us make our own decisions!
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Postby Maelstrom » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:48 pm

My mother and I have gotten to disagreeing on several things, now, since she went whole-heartedly into Orthodoxy, but we finally stood in unison on this one. This was a private matter, it should never have been dragged into the spotlight like this, and the politicians were putting up a hue and cry solely to get election brownie points from the infamous Religious Right (who are now feeling "angry and betrayed" that their GOP didn't do more about it... :whistle). Poor Terri wasn't living, she was existing, and existing with methods just as extreme as living on a respirator.

Mind you, I did see a supposed affidavit, created from the testimony of an RN who was at the clinic that took care of Terri during the early years of her hospitalization. The kind of things she detailed were nothing short of wilful, malicious neglect, falisification of records, and outright murder attempts on the part of her husband. But you'll notice I use the term "supposed"? I have no way to verify if the charges have merit, if the woman worked at that nursing home, if she was an RN, or even if she existed at all. Considering how much our "liberal" media loves to bash on nursing home abuses, and how dim a view our judicial system would take of such abuses, why is it only the right wing radio stations and so on have waved this affidavit around? It makes me *incredibly* suspicious.... :shifty

But let me give you a little "inside look" at the way our church felt on it....

On Sunday March 20th, in the usual single-page, double-sided, triple-folded pamphlet that accompanies the service, there was an admonition to pray for Terri and her parents... and that the "vegetative" diagnosis was controversial, and she was being murdered by her husband. (To my knowledge, the parents had found ONE PHYSICIAN out of 100 that said she was misdiagnosed. If that 1% had said, instead, that she was a vegetable, and 99 others said she was functional, who do you think they would have believed?)

I quietly chalked this up to a "right to life" mindset that I would never be able to fully embrace, no matter how into the church I get. Just another little thing I couldn't agree with. My mother had a much harder time with it, perhaps because she had embraced everything about the Orthodox Church, and spoke with Father Leo on the matter. Father Leo, usually a very reasonable person, felt it was murder, it was painful for Terri to be "starved to death", and that man didn't have the right to ttake a life away. Period. Trying to explain any differing view to him was like talking to a brick wall. From this exchange, I've come to believe that the religious stance against removing Terri's tube doesn't have anything to do with whether someone would *want* to live as a vegetable: they're alive, and anything that "makes them not alive" is evil and wrong. We don't have the right to take lives, and must do everything in our power to preserve it.

I suppose this is consistant with other religious views on abortion and "assisted suicide". But... dammit, *I* wouldn't want extraodrinary measures keep me alive when I have no mind, memory, or consciousness! If one good thing has come out of this mess, it's that thousands of people are making living trusts, putting their "do not resuscitate" desires, and their "I designate X as my guardian" wishes, IN WRITING. Hopefully, we won't see too many more things like this in the future.

The Schaivos were having what amounted to an open, messy custody battle over Terri. It had gone on for 15 years. They believed she had consciousness, the husband believed she didn't. While the husband has struck many people as a rather cold and slimy man, I have to wonder how much of that is from fifteen years of constant struggle over someone you dearly love, the agony of seing a body without a mind, and being villified by your in-laws for doing what you feel/know is the right thing.

I have the horrible feeling that even if everyone in the family had agreed that Terri was brain dead, and that it was most merciful to remove her tube and "let her be reunited with God", all it would take would be one stranger to raise a stink about it, and we'd have this whole problem all over again. Everyone would jump in, call the entire family murderers, claim Terri was a victim of neglect, that we kill our disabled when they're no longer convenient, that it's not our decision, etc. etc.

Considering the poor woman died today, this whole thing is finally, THANKFULLY, moot....

Well, not really. The husband wants her body cremated. The parents are Roman Catholic and want her buried. :doh!
Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into the intake of a jet engine..... :evil
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Postby Bamfette » Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:17 pm

Originally posted by **Northstars Love**
I have to throw in my 2 cents worth. I've been watching bits and pieces of the Terry Schiavo case and true the religious fanatics are out there preaching to reinsert the tube and some have gone as far as to say that her husband is murdering her. But my point is what were some of these people that got arrested trying to do? Give her water? She can't drink it! So what good would it have done?



it would have killed her faster.... she had no ability to swallow. she would have choked/drowned to death.

and the 10 year old was very sad. i think he genuinely believed in what he was doing to an extent, just because he had been so indoctrinated with his parents beliefs, but they were using him as a shield. they arrest him, he's a juvenile, gets a slap on the wrist.
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Postby BamfChyck » Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:29 am

Originally posted by Maelstrom
The husband wants her body cremated. The parents are Roman Catholic and want her buried. :doh!


Just for the record, officially, Roman Catholics are allowed by their church to be cremated now. They can even receive a full funeral mass or Mass of Christian Burial with the ashes present in the church sanctuary. So the parents' issue is probably more with their family tradition than with their church.
And they may just be unilaterally opposed to whatever their son-in-law wants. They certainly seem angry enough to let emotions make their decisions.

At my funeral home, we've had surviving family members threaten to sue us for allowing the surving spouse to authorize cremation. But when there is a surving spouse, that person has the only voice that counts in the decision of final disposition.
No one who has threatened to sue for that issue has been able to find a lawyer willing to take the case because the laws in my state are so clear. I don't know what Florida's are like, but I doubt they could get something together quickly enough to prevent cremation. It usually happens within a few days.

If there is no surving spouse, authorization for final disposition goes by degree of kinship and gets a lot more complicated.

What a horrible situation for everyone involved. It became very clear to me that a lot of people involved in this didn't give a hoot about Terri, and that's what I find so very sad. Death can be a very precious thing in some circumstances, and I hope the people who loved Terri can find some peace now.
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Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:46 am

I didn't have so much of an issue that Terri died, that was a blessing to me...she'll be at peace now. I did find it a little hard to take that she had to die of dehydration. Euthanasia is a real tool, for those who would otherwise suffer. Gosh knows I have had to help many animals cross that bridge, and have watched animals die without it. An overdose of anethetic is much preferable over days of lingering in immense pain and suffering.
I too am frusterated by the people that make this their crusade - her family was begging these people to be peaceful, and they still were making such a fuss. What a travesty!
And I agree - what were those people that were "smuggling" food and water in thinking??? IF she could eat and drink on her own, why would she have the tube in the first place? Common sense is lost again in the fervor of "being right".
Rest in peace now Terri.
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Postby Saint Kurt » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:50 am

Euthanasia is a real tool, for those who would otherwise suffer.


One of the major reasons I chose to pursue a DVM over an MD has to do with the oath. A graduating medical doctor promises to "protect human life" which a graduating veterinary doctor promises to "protect against suffering". (The emphasis is mine.) To me that's a big deal. I want to protect life, but not at the expense of its quality.

I'm actually taking a elective in animal euthanasia and owner bereavement in vet school right now and it's been very interesting.

One of the things we've talked about a lot is that at the end of life, a long illness, or other ultimately fatal condition, an animal's owner might chose euthanasia to end the suffering of a beloved pet as a "gift" in return for so many years of love and devotion. A big part of the class is how to counsel an owner in making the right decision at the right time and to feel comfortable with that decision.

I'm not sure if we'll ever reach a point where, as a society, we can make these kind of decisions as it applies to human suffering.

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Postby CurlyyHairGirl » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:07 pm

Euthanasia is a real tool, for those who would otherwise suffer.


The whole Terris S. case prompted my family to talk about this last night at dinner. I have no way of knowing what it must have been like for her in the last 15 years. My dad said she was basically dead, and whoever said she was just existing, I agree with that.
I admit, there are alot of things I don't understand, but I do know that if I was ever in Terri's place, I wouldn't want to rot slowly on a hospital bed, or be starved to death. I asked my parents why people can't be Euthanised if there only other options were to stay in a vegitated state or starve to death, and my mom said it was illegal. To me, that is BS.

Will someone explain why it is illegal (even if it may be the person in question's wishes) to be euthanised, because the whole thing is over my head. I know that when I had to take my dog, Sarah, to be put down two years ago, all she felt was prick and that was the end for her. No more pain in her stomach or joints, and that she was in a better place. I decided then, if I were suffering I would want to got the same way. And isn't it illegal to starve an animal to death? How come that doesn't apply to people as well? Explain these things to me please. I need to understand. I swear, IMO the human race is the most flawed, and quite frankly I don't know if I can stand being a part of it anymore. It's to emotionally draining for me. I can't stand it anymore.
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Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:19 pm

A lot of our laws have a basis somewhere in the church, and I think that is there is such upheaval everytime someone wants to change things, in that the change to the law will often be different than the "laws" of some religions. Two of the main topics that I am interested in right now that are "hot" ones are euthanasia and gay marriage.

It depends on where you are, but self euthanizing (suicide) isn't illegal anywhere in Canada to my knowledge, they just want to make sure you are of sound mind. (In that if you were suicidal because you were clinically depressed, you would go to the mental health ward. If you were terminal and decided to kill yourself, that's OK)

Up in Canada we had a guy recently make his death public - he had a meal with his family, and then killed himself surrounded by them. He was living on borrowed time, and was in agony.

The lines are blurry when you ask someone else to euthanize you. Then, legally, they are committing murder. Though I am sure that there are assisted sucicides (euthanasia) all over the place that are overlooked by the authorities, in a "so long as I don't see it" kind of way. I hope that progress to this and other laws do occur, but changing laws as you all know is about as easy as catching a whale with dental floss. It takes a lot of time and patience.
(Though it seems to me that we are progressing in these two laws quicker up here in Canada. So if you're gay or want to be euthanized, I suppose its a good place to be :rolleyes)

I hope that I am never put in that position, but if I am, I hope that someone will have the courage to help me die.

Curly girl, I remember when I was a teen, and life overwhelmed me. I saw all the crappiness of the human race, all the evil that we commit, all the greed, all the abuse. I was horrified, and was disgusted with the human race in general, so I know what that feeling is like. As I went through my 20's I found that this began to be tempered by the good things that I saw, and experienced and did. The best that I can do, is change what *I* do. That is what makes a difference - individuals.

I'm working on my 30's - I get back to you and let you know how that went. :D
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Postby CurlyyHairGirl » Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:32 pm

Thanks for that, fourpawsonthefloor, that really helps:)

I know there is alot of good in the world, but right now the bad is far more easier for me to notice and has been since I've been eight.

I hope that I am never put in that position, but if I am, I hope that someone will have the courage to help me die.


My thoughts exactly.
:shame

And again, Thank you for helping to explain.
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Postby HoodedMan » Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:55 am

Indeed. Vegetative patients may still be able to respond to sensory stimuli, but I think if I was in a vegetative state for fifteen years, I would certainly want the "plug" or feeding tube, as it were, pulled.
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Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:30 am

Oh, I agree, do me in anyway possible, even if I have to starve to death. Gosh, I hope to goodness that absolutely nothing of her conciousness remained, because I cannot envision a worse hell than that, living all those years trapped...it is the stuff that nightmares are made out of.
I just have seen lives linger for days, in immense agony, and I have seen lives that were guarenteed to end in death taken with the quick release of an overdose of anethestic. I prefer the needle, but I would prefer that I be left to die on my own rather than artificially kept alive in a hell of medicines creations. But as usual, very few things in life are black and white, and we are left to deal with the grey as well as we can.
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Postby Bamfette » Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:22 am

I too would not want to live in a vegetative state. i mean, this is assuming I will be bedridden and unconsious. give me say, 6 months, possibly a year if doctors are optimistic. after that i don't want to be a burden to anyone, and would like to die with some dignity.

i would also opt for euthanasia, though i know it is illegal. but i also know it is done with 'accidental' overdoses and i would hope they would have the guts to do that with me.
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Postby Tatu » Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:45 am

The whole Terri thing just makes me sad and I find it odd that we can't find a line between Life and Existence, I keep seeing everyone throwing around "We have to protect life!" but how can one really *define* life? Terri haa been in a bed for 15 years, she can do nothing. She doesn't even respond (Sure, the video clips show you what seems like responses, but what you don't see is the hundered times they spoke to her and got nothing.) She is alive, she is not living, and granted, I've been known to be callous, but, she is nothing more than a shell and I don't think you can exactly consider that "Life"

I feel as though I should feel badly for Terri's parents, but honestly I really see them as nothing more than selfish (yeah, i'm curel, whatever hear me out first.) The way I honestly see it is that, they aren't keeping her alive for her benefit, they were wanting to keep her alive because they don't want to let her go. They want to have their daughter no matter what, which I can understand, but it isnt looking out for her best interest at all. Even if it were possible that she could recover, her mentality would be nothing she'd be what she was. and even if she did recover mentally to lose fifteen years of your life is bound to have some serious psychological effects on you. i'm 19, if I woke up and was 34 I wouldnt know what to do with myself.

Of course, I also have little sympathy for her parents for they simple fact that the way they handled this disgusts me, they brought this *deeply* personal matter into the public and now her husband is getting DEATH THREATS over it... they have basically ruined his life.

... i really shouldnt post at 2AM, i doubt i'm even making sense, so i'll shut up now.
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Postby thylacine » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:54 pm

Hi. I gotta tell yah what worries me. First, Terri is at peace, God bless that poor woman, and God help her poor family...

Anyway... What if our society goes down the slope from this staring point and starts euthanizing people in wheel chairs, retarded people, the mentally ill, elderly people, the poor... and so on... You start with someone you label a "vegetable," then where does it go from there??? That's what happened in Germany in the 1930's, people -- they euthanized retarded people and handicapped people and looke where it led to! This is a scary thought. I know that Terri is at rest now, but the thought of what the future holds worries me.

Some people may say I'm paranoid, but stuff like that can happen. It did before!
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Postby thylacine » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:56 pm

P.S. Hey Nightmare, that is cool that you had such diverse spiritual experience in life.
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Postby Bamfette » Sun Apr 03, 2005 8:03 pm

yes, but the Germans were euthanising the mentally handicapped and such as a means of genetic purification under the guidance of a mad man. this was to end a person's suffering, according to her husband, at her own wishes. In Canada, as mentioned, there is a man who chose to die himself, because he was in agony every waking minute of his life. There are others we never hear about who have their plugs pulled every day. this ISN'T setting some new precident, it happens all the time anyway, has been happening for many years. it just got more public attention becuase her family fought it so much. the debate wasn't over her dying, it was over who got to make that decision, her husband (after being told by terri she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means) or her parents. she was allowed to die because her husband believed it was her wish and there was no hope for recovery.

people in wheelchairs, even those with no vocal capability, and (except in VERY extreme circumstances) the retarded have the capability to voice protest to someone trying to kill them, and i don't think anyone is going to go as far as that, to kill someone who is unwilling to die and has the ability to say so, even if it is by blinking one for yes twice for no.
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Postby HoodedMan » Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:34 pm

Originally posted by Bamfette
people in wheelchairs, even those with no vocal capability, and (except in VERY extreme circumstances) the retarded have the capability to voice protest to someone trying to kill them, and i don't think anyone is going to go as far as that, to kill someone who is unwilling to die.


In most cases. My grandfather was apparently in a position in which he was on life support and could not speak; however, he made it very clear that he wanted to be unplugged -- he pantomimed the motions. It's generally clear in most cases what a patient's wishes are.

The problem with this when one is in a vegetative state is that the lack of cognition is implied (or it would not be a vegetative state). One cannot interpret a patient's motions as reflecting their desires because theoretically they have no desires. They're not thinking about what they want.
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Postby Bamfette » Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:41 pm

yeah, i was editing as you posted, adding the 'and the ability to say so...' bit. the vegetative state is a bit trickier because they are incapable of voicing an opinion, may even be incapable of forming an opinion, their brain may be that damaged, which is why having a living will, or at the very least letting your family know what you want is important.
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Shadow_Dancer » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:03 am

On this thing with Terri, my opinions are definitely on a different page than my church. I just can't understand some of my friends. As far as I'm concerned, if the woman was a Christian they are keeping her from a much better state of being. And she'd been in her vegetative state for 15 years. Let's face it, she wasn't ever going to get better. From what I understand talking to one of my colleagues that knows human anatomy better than I do, all she really had left was autonomic neurological functions. There was no sentience left. This kind of decision is made all the time and it is usually very private. I have no idea what the parents were thinking to let this get dragged along so long. I begged my husband to never allow that to happen to me. We are both in agreement and are considering drawing up living wills.

My mother has a living will and I have possession of it. I live several states away from her so she has made my brother the executor of her estate. However, he is very conservative and so is my sister. She feels that if she ends up on life support, they will refuse to allow her to die with dignity and that her living will may disappear. She knows I will honor her wishes even if I have to fight my siblings. My mother is a retired RN and has seen countless families put their elderly parents through living hell to buy a few more weeks or days. It’s very sad. She is a Christian as well and she is confident in life after death. She never wants that to happen to her and I’ll make certain it won’t.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream." Mark Twain

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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Bamfette » Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:26 am

That is one thing i did not understand about her parent's motivations... but i took it as me just not understanding the whole Christian mindset, maybe. it's not something i have experience with. but... If her parents were fighting for this under the pretense that it was for thier religious beliefs, why would it be so horible, if she was facing a life in a bed unconsious anyway, or at best brain damage if she ever woke up, to have her die and, according to their beliefs, go to Heaven? that part, i did not understand, and it made them seem very selfish. I mean, if she had a chace of recovery, a real chance... ok... but they seemed to blatantly ignore anything that said there was little to no chance she would ever regain consiousness, instead digging and digging to find people who would say what they wanted to hear - that she was misdiagnosed and would recover. and they often had an agenda to push which announcing she would recover would help promote. and they would listen to this ONE PERCENT of people and claim the other 99% was wrong.

and again they seem rather selfish...

Michael Schiavo's family has said he plans to take the cremated remains to Pennsylvania, where Terri Schiavo grew up, but her parents and siblings had wanted to bury her body in Florida so they can visit her grave.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/04/02/schiavo.ap/

I mean, yeah, it would be nice to be able to visit her grave. i get that. but again it is a decision based on THEIR wants, not hers.
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby BamfChyck » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:59 am

Bamfette, I'm Christian and I don't understand what Terri's parents were thinking any more than you do. It gives me a headache jsut to think about.

The nice thing with cremains is that they can be split up among different people. If her husband were willing, he could have her cremains divided so he can bring some to Pennsylvania, and her parents could bury or inurn some in Florida.

Just the other day I helped a family who wanted the cremains divided into 15 parcels. The selected 15 memento (small) urns to house the cremains, and everyone will get one.

When my grandfather-in-law died, I split his cremains up for his children and grandchildren. Some were scattered, some put in special gardens, and I think my sister-in-law still has some on a shelf. It's all good.

I don't know what Terri wanted done with her cremains, or if she ever expressed an opinion on it. But to me, this seems like an easy way to try to help her parents heal. They seem to need a lot of healing.
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