The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a case involving Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman whose right to life has been at the center of a 15-year legal battle. A Florida Supreme Court decision had denied Florida Governor Jeb Bush the power to block a court ruling that Schiavo’s life support be stopped. Her parents had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision. “By declaring ‘Terri’s Law’ unconstitutional, the Florida courts have handed down a death sentence for her,” said Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice. Schiavo suffered a heart attack in 1990 that led to severe brain damage, causing her to be dependent on a feeding tube. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, has said that he wants the life support to be stopped so that she may die peacefully.
Southern Baptist Convention leaders will meet with international Baptist leaders in July in Warsaw to create a “new alternative” to the Baptist World Alliance, according to Richard Land, president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He mentioned the plans January 18 in Washington during a panel discussion on unrelated matters. The SBC withdrew last year from the Baptist World Alliance over its alleged “liberal drift.” A July meeting would compete with the Baptist World Congress July 27-31 in Birmingham, England, when BWA will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Morris Chapman, the SBC’s chief executive, though confirming that the July meeting in Poland will take place, declined to call it an “organizational” meeting but said rather that it was one among many in the next few years.
French President Jacques Chirac warned about anti-Semitism in France as he paid homage to a new wall bearing the names of some 76,000 Jews deported from France to Nazi concentration camps. “I want to solemnly repeat that anti-Semitism has no place in France,” said Chirac, as he inaugurated a newly renovated Holocaust memorial in Paris. It was one of many tributes in late January to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Polish death camp of Auschwitz. A special session at the United Nations appealed for vigilance against all forms of anti-Semitism and racial hatred. And world leaders joined some 2,000 survivors at the Polish extermination camp to commemorate the Auschwitz anniversary. Holocaust remembrances in Europe came amid concerns that anti-Semitism is on the rise. In France, home to the largest Jewish population in Western Europe, remarks last month by far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen that Nazi occupation of France was not “particularly inhumane” stirred outrage.