Jewish World Review April 4, 2005 / 24 Adar II, 5765

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Death, liberty and the pursuit of happiness | You know the Apocalypse is near when Jesse Jackson and Sean Hannity join forces. But that's what happened in the Terri Schiavo case. Both men believe the American system should have saved Terri's life regardless of her condition.

Jackson's take on the situation is especially interesting. He contends that the judges and politicians should have shown mercy in this matter. The reverend is a liberal diehard but believes the greater good would have been served by allowing the Schiavo family to care for their daughter. It's hard to argue with that position.

But some do argue with it, including our pals at the ACLU, who have labeled this a "privacy" issue. According to the ACLU zealots, Terri Schiavo wanted to die, and anybody who doesn't believe that is violating her privacy rights. There is no room for doubt in ACLU land — they know what Terri wanted because her husband said so, and since his position agrees with the ACLU position, the truth has been anointed. I guess it really doesn't matter that two court-appointed guardians for Terri testified it was impossible to ascertain her wishes because of Michael Schiavo's conflicts of interest.

The ACLU may be big on privacy, but it is not big on life in general, unless it is the life of a convicted murderer. The ACLU believes in any kind of abortion on demand. It believes a 12-year-old girl should be allowed to abort her fetus without telling her parents. It believes in doctor-assisted suicide but not doctor-assisted capital punishment. How strange.

But if you think about it, the philosophy of the ACLU is fairly consistent: The gratification of the individual is paramount. If a person wants to die, fine. If a woman wants to abort a fetus even after viability, no problem. It really doesn't matter why — WHAT a person wants is all that matters.

On the gratification front, did you know that the ACLU wants no limits placed on child pornography on the Internet? Did you know that the organization is representing the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) pro bono in a Massachusetts civil case? The ACLU puts forth that NAMBLA has a free expression right to instruct adults on how to rape children and get away with it. It doesn't get any more misguided than that.

Many Americans have no idea what is really going on underneath the surface of the Schaivo case and other culture battles. The United States has become the most powerful and wealthiest country on earth because it combined freedom, discipline and a clear sense of right and wrong based on Judeo-Christian philosophy. That formula has allowed millions of us to pursue happiness in a way that benefits society not just ourselves.

But that formula is now under siege by the forces of progressive-secularism. While Jesse Jackson asks for mercy, the ACLU demands death. While traditionalists wonder why saying "Merry Christmas" has become an issue, secular forces have ensured that young girls can get abortions without parental permission. While most parents cannot let their small children out of their sight, the ACLU champions the rights of NAMBLA.

Janis Joplin once sang: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." But Janis was wrong. Terri Schiavo has lost her life, American parents are losing their authority, and America, itself, is losing her way. Does that sound like freedom to you?

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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