This post has been updated
From The Rev. John Thomas, United Church of Christ General Minister and President
Eternal God --
As individuals and as a nation, even as we have wrestled privately and publicly with the deepest complexities of life and death, bring us again to that quiet place that rests beyond political argument or religious platitude. Allow the stark reality of this moment to instruct us: Whether we live or whether we die, we belong to you.
We recognize and lament the death of Terri Schiavo and the legal battles and public controversy that have enveloped her and her loved ones during her final years and days. At the same time, we remember and grieve the loss of our own loved ones, as we are once again reminded that, despite your assurances, death remains a most suspicious stranger. We confess the pain, confusion and tension that death's reality stirs in us.
As Easter people, however, we would dare to live otherwise. Therefore, confirm in us the teachings of our resurrection faith. Remind us that death's sting is no match for your loving care. Comfort us in the knowledge that we belong -- soul, mind and body -- to Christ Jesus, our eternal abiding place.
Restore our trust, O God, in you.
From United States Congressman Tom DeLay, Republican Leader
Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo's friends in this time of deep sorrow.
From James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers, who have been made to watch their beloved daughter waste away for the last two weeks -- under not only the approval of the courts, but under their direct order."
"Every Florida and federal judge who failed to act to spare this precious woman from the torment she was forced to endure is guilty not only of judicial malfeasance -- but of the cold-blooded, cold hearted extermination of an innocent human life. Terri Schiavo has been executed under the guise of law and 'mercy,' for being guilty of nothing more than the inability to speak for herself."
During a time of tragedy Congressman DeLay and Mr. Dobson have put politics and retribution ahead of reconciliation. It is particularly hypocritical of the congressman. The LA Times reported this weekend that DeLay allowed life support to be removed from his own father several years ago after he sustained brain damage in a tragic accident. His statement released today borders on a direct threat towards Michael Schiavo and the judges and doctors involved in the case. DeLay and Dobson should be ashamed for how they have conducted themselves. Notice how both men refuse to have the good character as Christians to offer prayers for Michael Schiavo as well as Terri Schiavo's parents.
Update: The folks at the Center for American Progress released the following statement in regards to Delay's remarks:
DeLay's vague threat against judges yesterday wasn't just offensive, it was dangerous, especially given the serious threats against judges and others involved in the Schiavo case. Florida Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer has been "under 24-hour protection by two U.S. marshals due to increased threats against his life by those unhappy with his handling of the Schiavo case." Last Thursday, police arrested an Illinois man they said robbed a Florida gun store as part of an attempt to "rescue Terri Schiavo." The next day, FBI officials took into custody a North Carolina man for placing a $250,000 bounty "on the head of Michael Schiavo" and another $50,000 to murder Judge Greer. And police yesterday said they had "logged several bomb threats" to the hospice where Schiavo died and "the circuit and federal courts that refused to order her feeding tube restored."
You can read Tom DeLay's statement here.