The Man Who Plays Guitar with His Feet
January 28, 2008
Patrick Wood of the August Review, an excellent newsletter covering political and economic developments, says January 22 could be "Black Tuesday" because of a meltdown in the financial markets. But it's Black Tuesday for another reason―the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision allowing abortion on demand. We should anticipate that the major media will make economic but not moral collapse into a national story. After all, cultural rot is a rather old story, isn't it? In terms of Roe v. Wade, it goes back 35 years.
If you're younger than that, give thanks to God and your parents. Despite what our founders intended, the government doesn't guarantee your right to life anymore. In fact, it helps accelerate your demise.
If his mother had been given the "right" of access to "abortion services," Tony Melendez might not be around today. He was born without arms. He had eleven toes and a club foot. But on a recent Monday night, at a high school in Calvert County, Maryland, he played the guitar and threw a Frisbee into the audience. It was a packed house, mostly full of young people. They're attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C. In this auditorium there was hope for America.
Melendez, labeled a "monster" by his neighbors in Nicaragua after he was born, plays the guitar without arms. He plays with his feet. He holds the guitar pick in his toes. His company is aptly named "Toe Jam Music." His book, A Gift of Hope, is inspiring. One thing he had going for him was a mother who loved him and cared. "Don't worry," she told him. "God has something wonderful in mind for you. Trust God, and don't get impatient."
If you have never had the opportunity to see Tony Melendez, go to his website or the videos of his appearances. One of his songs is titled "Hands in Heaven." He is the voice of the disabled―another group of people increasingly at risk in our "progressive" society.
Tony's brother JosÃ© talked about how he was embarrassed by his brother growing up. JosÃ© went to his mother, saying that he was tired of the ribbing and that he wanted a "normal" brother. He wanted a brother he could play Frisbee with. So Tony, who doesn't shrink from challenges, learned how to play. He catches a Frisbee, between his cheek and top of his shoulder, and throws it by holding and releasing it from his toes. To prove all of this is possible to those in the auditorium, he caught the Frisbee on stage and threw it into the audience. JosÃ© learned rather quickly: "I was the disabled one."
Wesley Smith of the Discovery Institute writes about another disabled person, known as "Baby Miracle," born four months ago in Samoa with serious disabilities. "Doctors did not believe the baby could survive, so they urged the parents not to feed their daughter," he says. "But the parents loved their daughter and snuck food to Miracle. Beyond all medical expectations, Miracle survived."
Smith comments, "Ponder, if you will, what I just wrote: Miracle's parents had to sneak food into the hospital! This wasn't even a feeding tube case. Had the parents acquiesced and permitted Miracle to starve, her death would have been akin to being exposed on a hill-the method ancient Romans used to rid themselves of 'defective' babies."
Here in America, in 2005, a disabled woman named Terri Schiavo was receiving food and water but it was taken away and she was slowly starved to death. As her brother Bobby told me, "She had no terminal illness. She wasn't on any machines. All she needed was a wheelchair and she could have been taken anywhere. She didn't even need to be confined to a bed." She was brain damaged but not brain dead.
Benjamin Wiker, co-author of the blockbuster book, Architects of the Culture of Death, described what happened to Terri Schiavo as "court-sanctioned torture."
This is a loaded word. The term "torture" is thrown around by the political left these days. They want to spare terrorists from interrogation techniques they consider torture such as waterboarding. In the same vein, the left contends that certain lethal injection procedures constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" when used to carry out capital punishment on convicted killers. Some opponents of the death penalty also insist that life imprisonment for murderers can be cruel and unusual punishment.
Starving someone to death sounds like torture to me. But the media never referred to it in those terms. Instead, it became the "right to die." This is the media war of words that numbs us to the reality of what is taking place.
Meanwhile, because of pressure from the left, the United Nations, and the "international community," suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay are entitled to special "dietary and cultural amenities." One high-value detainee reportedly complained that he and others were given "cheap branded, unscented soap." The liberals cry tears over this. The detainees get expensive lawyers.
What explains this perverted approach? There are philosophical explanations for what has happened to America and the world. The Supreme Court is a key battleground, of course. But I prefer to look at it from another perspective. Simply put, we have become a nation of cowards, afraid to do what is right and necessary for our national survival.
Â The terrorists and criminals that we should want to expel or keep out of our society can fight back. We as a society are scared of them. We are afraid to exercise our rightful moral authority over them. They are bullies who intimidate us. We are afraid to stand up for ourselves as human beings, even when the lives of our loved ones are at stake.
So we pretend we're macho by exercising the power of life and death over the most innocent and defenseless among us. As the headline over Wesley Smith's article puts it: "Waging War on the Weak." Increasingly, this is being rationalized by saying that there are just too many people using too many resources.
As Smith also suggests, it can happen here. In fact, it is happening here. But the big story today will be what is happening to our financial portfolios.
Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. - www.usasurvival.org
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