Friday, March 18, 2005

national review contributor quotes antigone

quoting classic literature when making one's point on a very controversial subject matter earns my admiration: it's classy. andrew c. mccarthy, writing for the national review on terri schiavo whose feeding tube was just removed today, has done just that. the following are his words:

The right of the innocent to live isn’t contingent on the good will of governments and courts. — It derives from a higher law, as does the obligation to defend it. That there is such a higher law is not just an American principle (see the Declaration of Independence), a conservative principle, or a Judeo-Christian principle. When those defending Terri Schiavo’s right to live reject the state of Florida’s antinomian determination that she may be slowly starved to death, they echo Sophocles’ Antigone, facing down King Creon, across the millennia:

For me it was not Zeus who made that order.
Nor did that Justice who lives with the gods below
mark out such laws to hold among mankind.

Nor did I think your orders were so strong
that you, a mortal man, could over-run
the gods’ unwritten and unfailing laws.
Not now, nor yesterday’s, they always live,
and no one knows their origin in time.

So not through fear of any man’s proud spirit
would I be likely to neglect these laws,
draw on myself the gods’ sure punishment.

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