Over 2000 years ago the Athenians condemned and executed the philosopher Socrates and the Romans tortured and murdered Jesus Christ. We tend to dismiss the mindless cruelty and barbarity of these acts, this snuffing-out of the lives of two of the greatest benefactors of mankind, as quite understandable, even if lamentable, given the assumption that ancient societies were unfamiliar with the refinements of modern liberal democracy, limited representative government, checks and balances, minority rights and the like. Such travesties of justice could never occur in our modern, highly evolved age--certainly not in America. Cold-blooded court-sanctioned murder of innocents, not to mention the noblest and best of our fellow citizens, is unthinkable here.
What happened in ancient Athens and Jerusalem could never be replicated under our system of laws, in our enlightened age, with a Bill of Rights, standards of proof, jury trials and all the other available protections of individual rights. Compassionate Americans would never stand for their government yanking perfectly innocent citizens off the streets, from their workplaces or out of their homes without due process of law..
We Americans, we're modern; we're open-minded; we're compassionate; we're tolerant; we're pluralistic; and we pride ourselves above all in protecting the powerless and downtrodden. Apart from some individual who in the dark crevices of the justice system is unknowingly framed, or erroneously convicted by corrupt officials, things like that just don't happen in the full light of public scrutiny. ...
Well, the case of Terri Schiavo gives the lie to all of it. The state-sanctioned judicial torture-killing of Terri Schiavo serves to remind modern man that little has changed over the last 2400 years plus. The State power quite openly decided that Christ and Socrates were troublemakers who needed to be stopped. Both were fated for State execution from the beginning.
Read the entire article on the Human Events Online website (new window will open).