This morning, when I learned of his passing away, I prayed the De Profundis for Christopher Reeve, claimed at last by that Final Enemy, the eschatos echthros (1 Corinthians 15:26) that all of us must, in due course, confront one way or another. Mr. Reeve had been on my mind more than usual over the past few days. In the presidential debate last Friday night, Senator Kerry appealed to "my friend Chris Reeve" by way of arguing his own case for the governmental support of human embryonic stell stem research. Reeve's name came up again the following evening when Cal Thomas spoke of both him and Michael J. Fox, who has also recently contributed his own support for Senator Kerry, likewise seeking governmental support for human embryonic stem cell research. Cal Thomas asked what I think is the question most prejudicial to the efforts of these two men in this respect: What makes the life of Christopher Reeve or Michael J. Fox more important than other human lives? What is there so special about these two actors that renders their existence, even their well-being, of greater worth than the lives of the embryos that they want to be created and exploited on their behalf? What justifies the killing of very small and helpless human beings so that the tissue of their flesh can be used to improve the lot of men like Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox? Indeed, if a society can be persuaded to place so diminished a value on helpless human lives, why should such a society care one whit for the reduced existence of Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox? Why should they receive a preference that the Florida Supreme Court recently denied to Terri Schiavo? Putting it plainly, wherein is the life of Terri Schiavo found wanting except that she somehow failed to be a movie star? These are the questions on my mind today, as I consider the passing away of Christopher Reeve. His nefarious political activism causes me to think of him very differently from those who recall him chiefly as an actor and movie director, or even as a man of great courage and dedication. Christopher Reeve's desperate, Promethean striving for renewed strength during the final decade of his life, when his relentless brain remained as the only fully functioning organ of his wasted body, resembled nothing so much as the supreme trial of an Ubermensch far superior to the rest of men. He became a very strange and ironic embodiment of the Superman part for which he is most readily recalled. Perhaps, the title of his best known book sums it up, Still Me. My prayer for Christopher Reeve today is sincere: "Despise not, O Lord, the work of Thy hands." —Patrick Reardon
Monday, October 11, 2004
Mere Comments on Christopher Reeve...
With regards to recent comments on my post I "respect" your belief, the post, CHRISTOPHER REEVE, in pace requiescat, by Patrick Reardon at Mere Comments is worthy of presenting in full: