I spent some time this evening reading through the websites belonging to some of the largest Christian denominations in the country, both so-called mainline churches, as well as others like the Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God, and of course, the website of the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.
I wanted to read what each of them might have to say about the Terri Schiavo story. I was particularly interested to read what the mainline churches had to offer, since they preach 'Peace And Justice' issues to exclusion of nearly all else. What story in recent memory better exemplifies the need for moral clarity and justice?
I was, sadly, not surprised at much of what I found:
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA): nothing. They did offer ideas on how to decorate Easter Baskets, by making a donation to their World Hunger Appeal. But there's nothing at all about a fellow Christian woman in the United States being starved to death by her husband. A search of their website for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS): nothing on the front page. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned two matches, one to something called Mercy Notes, which appears to be a fact-sheet written in February 2005, outlining the facts of Terri's situation, in clear language. It seems that, unlike their larger Lutheran sibling, some in the LCMS strongly condemn the killing of Terri Schiavo.
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA): nothing. There is, however, a link to a page called Justice Is Yummy, celebrating the end of a boycott involving farmworkers. Apparently there's only just so much food-related justice to go around. A search of their website for 'Schiavo' returned one match, to a story on the importance of having a living will.
United Methodist Church (UMC): nothing. They are - and rightly so - upset about the lack of potable water in Mozambique. But there's nothing on their site about Terri Schiavo being denied hydration. A search of their news service for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
United Church of Christ (UCC): nothing. This offspring of the Congregationalist movement from the Reformed stream is one of the most liberal Christian denominations, heavily involved in 'Peace And Justice" issues. They do have a link on their main web page to news stories announcing "Taco Bell boycott ends victoriously," and "UCC leader says Focus on the Family's anti-tolerance stance 'leads to bullying on the playground." A search of their news service for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
The Episcopal Church in America (ECUSA): nothing. I went to their news service page, and still found nothing. The ECUSA does have priorities and concerns, however. They are very upset about the oil drilling set to begin in ANWAR that was approved by Congress this past week, and they have on their website lots of links to stories about churches conducting same-sex union blessings, of which they appear to approve. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
American Baptist Church (AMC): nothing. They appear quite proud of themselves - as they should be - for raising alot of money for Tsunami victims. But their policy statements on Death and Dying are troubling, at the very least. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA): nothing. Their website homepage seems to be mostly devoted to communication with the faithful over issues related to church life. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Mennonite Church USA: nothing. This is the grand-daddy of 'Peace And Justice' denominations, strongly anti-war and known for its stands on Social Justice issues. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Assemblies of God (AG): nothing is mentioned on the main page, but when I entered 'Schiavo' in their search window, 184 links were displayed, mostly links to stories that appeared to be sympathetic to Terri's plight.
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC): multiple links to stories on the Terri Schiavo tragedy. The SBC appears to be supportive of Terri and her family.
Latter Day Saints (LDS): nothing. I realize that there is a great deal of controversy as to whether the LDS should even be included with Christian Churches, but I listed them here because they have 10 million members who at least wish to be known as Christians in the community-at-large. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA): nothing. Like the LDS, the UUA is considered by most Christians to be so far outside the mainstream of Christianity as to cast serious doubts as to whether they should be included on a list of Christian Churches. The UUA itself would likely disassociate itself from most other Christian bodies. But they descend from the Congregationalist movement, and consider themselves to be great upholders of human and civil rights. Their main page celebrates a California court ruling supporting same-sex marriage, with several links to other stories on the subject; it appears they strongly approve. But a search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
The Florida Catholic Conference: links to the Bishop's statement about the Terri Schiavo affair, with multiple links on many aspects of the case.
The United States Conference of Cathlic Bishops: one link to a statement strongly supporting Congressional action to save the life of Terri Schiavo,
I could go on and on, listing other denominations but to what end? It's clear that the only large Christian bodies that care about the life and death of Terri Schiavo are the conservative evangelical churches and the Roman Catholic Church. The so-called mainline liberal protestants proclaim their commitment to 'Peace And Justice' issues with great sound and fury. But when it isn't a left-wing political cause in play, it would appear they have no opinions, at all.
Don't mistake my meaning. I am not saying there are no left-wingers who are just as outraged as I am by what is happening to Terri; there probably are. Left-wingers are quite sensitive to human rights issues. In addition to all the other angles, this story is a human rights story, too. And what's more, what is happening to Terri is a crime. Additionally, I don't mean to indict every member of those denominations. There are remnant faithful in most of them.
But my point is about the religious response from those who call themselves Christian. The information above clearly illustrates to me the ethical and moral torpitude of the mainline denominations. They cannot side with Terri in this fight because they long ago cast their denominational lots in with the Culture of Death in Western Society. Their denominational crusades for 'Peace and Justice' are a thin smokescreen for advancing a collectivist agenda for the future, the very agenda that brought us to the moral precipice we've been peering into in this country since January of 1973.
I can only take comfort in knowing that, while the leaders of the above-named offending denominations may never be called to account by men, they most certainly will have to answer to The Almighty. They will learn about True Justice on that day. And they will have to hope for some of the Mercy that is being denied Terri Schiavo.