Alive in this Culture of Death
Death lurks around every corner of this country and you must be blind if you do not see it. People killing strangers, killing family members, killing children, killing themselves. Murder is not just a thing of entertainment. It no longer happens in just the big cities. It happens in small, rural communities where people have not always locked their doors because they thought they were safe. It happens in places of business when a disgruntled employee takes it out on his boss and coworkers. Sadly, it also happens in our children's schools and even in places of worship. Even though a human being killing another human being is a horrific act, I believe these means of killing does not perpetuate this culture of death in which we live. Instead, it is the other way around, the culture of death perpetuates these everyday shootings, stabbings, beatings, suicides....
The Culture of Death
What is this 'culture of death'? According to dictionary.com one definition of the word culture is the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. More and more each day our society seems to have a belief that death is better than life, as is demonstrated through the behaviors of our society. The culture of death rears its ugly head every time someone decides to play God, thinking they know best whether one lives or dies. This culture of death begins at the embryo and like a snake it slithers up to strike the terminally ill and the elderly. Scientists do research on embryonic stem cells hoping to find cures for incurable diseases. Mothers do prenatal testing to see if their baby is going to be healthy - and when they are found to have down syndrome or some other disability they decide that life is not worth birthing. Radical abortion doctors end third trimester pregnancies because the mother decides this baby will be an inconvenience. Judges decide that feeding tubes should be removed for those in vegetative states. People facing a terminal illness opt for assisted suicide or euthanasia because they want to die with “dignity.”
Where does this mentality come from? Some people say it stems from Nazi Germany and Hitler himself. He said killing the weak and undesirable is the “final solution.” When Hitler was in power, his way of thinking was deplorable to the free world. But in 1973, after Roe v Wade, this Hitlerite way of thinking found its way into our country and an inconvenient pregnancy’s “final solution” became abortion.
The Culture of Life
During a tour of the United States in 1993, Pope John Paul II, was the first to use the expression, "culture of life." In denouncing abortion and euthanasia he said, "The culture of life means respect for nature and protection of God's work of creation. In a special way, it means respect for human life from the first moment of conception until its natural end." Cardinal Bernard Law urged Americans to "spread the culture of life over the culture of death".
Thankfully, we have had pro-life leaders who have tried to overcome the culture of death by making pro-life decisions for our country. For example, President George W. Bush kept his promises to the pro-life community. His nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court helped to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortion. Under his presidency, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was passed. The law protects infants from failed abortions. Bush also kept in place the National Institutes of Health guidelines for embryonic stem-cell research which prohibit federal money from being used to kill or create embryos for research.
The Antithesis of President Bush
Unfortunately, due to many liberals, including President Obama, who seem to embrace the culture of death, everything the pro-life community has fought so hard for could be lost. We have already seen and heard Hitlerite views gaining ground. In an April 28, 2009 New York Times interview, President Obama discussed having a "very difficult democratic conversation" about "those toward the end of their lives [who] are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.” Some have proposed that because of this statement, his “final solution” to soaring health care costs could be euthanasia or assisted suicide. President Obama has also been known to support infanticide and did not want the Born Alive Infant Protection Act to pass. Another drawback is the confirmation of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Clearly, she is not a constructionist and is known to have pro-abortion views. It seems our President is doing everything he can to ensure this culture of death remain alive and well in our society.
Life Over Death
What can we, who stand for life, do while this culture of death seeks to snuff out something that we hold very dear to our hearts? Many are attending town hall meetings and are speaking out against healthcare reform. Others are getting more involved in their community and state pro-life programs. Some are writing letters to the editor. This is all good and we need to make our voices heard and make our beliefs known. But one more thing we have to do, maybe the most important of all, is to pray.
Through prayer, hearts can be changed. It is more important than ever that we pray for our national leaders. But it’s not only our leaders who need prayer - we need to pray for all who stand up for and accept living in a culture of death. We need to pray for our friends, family, the people we go to church with, our children - that they would all embrace life, not death.
With the majority of Americans calling themselves Christians, you would think the culture of death would not be as prevalent in this country as it is. After all, Christians are to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ who said, I am the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). He also said, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death (John 8:51). Throughout the New Testament, Jesus constantly talked about life. Jesus IS life. If we all lived accordingly, maybe this culture of death would finally die.