Friday, August 5, 2016

Embracing the Culture of Death and the Suicide of a Nation

There has never been a time in history where human life has been fully protected and respected.  Humanity has always seemed to be at odds with its own survival. Our history is tarnished with wars, genocides, slavery, repression, abortion, and other wanton disregard and hostility towards human life. Governments and societies have built their foundations on the blood and suffering of others.  This is human history.  What scares me is that the majority knew this was wrong.  Now the majority  embraces, participates, and turns a blind eye towards this unrelenting violence.  This country is on a precipice of its own destruction.

The particularly nasty strain of this culture of death in our country finds itself in a 'science' called eugenics.  Eugenics is a belief that the human race can be cleansed of its weaker elements by the widespread elimination of inferior elements of humanity.  It is elitist thought at its most deadly.  Within the USA, it has taken form of the acceptance of artificial birth control,  any and all sexual acts in which human reproduction is impossible, and abortion.  It has taken the form of a full assault on marriage and family life, again rendering such life as sterile.  It has taken the form of telling women that motherhood is beneath them and their dignity; that marriage and motherhood are chains of slavery that keep them from their full utilitarian possibility.  It has taken the form of teaching men to stay boys, to engage in sexual activity without responsibility, to objectify women as little more than a collection of body parts to please them, to see marriage and fatherhood as impediments to their fun and happiness. For so many, new human life is a virus to be eradicated.  The thinning of the herd is seen as a positive.

All of this centers on a narcissism run mad. For this death culture to accelerate, an out of control selfishness must take place.  Most assuredly, one must deaden one's soul to accommodate the death and destruction of others. I can't love my neighbor and seek his or her destruction at the same time.  To embrace the culture of death necessitates the dehumanizing of my neighbor.  If I can dehumanize the child in the womb, then killing it becomes possible.  If I can dehumanize the pretty face on the porn page, I can be okay with human trafficking, pornography, and promiscuity.  If I can dehumanize the person that isn't like me, then I can persecute them, commit horrific crimes and genocides against them, I can strip them of their rights, can ignore their dignity, and I can do whatever I wish to them without remorse.  I can see their deaths and suffering as mere entertainment, a renewal of the ancient Colosseum, where death and mayhem are there for my pleasure.  By the same token, human sexuality is reduced to a hobby, a sport, and a matter of pleasure alone.  

In no other fashion is this so crystallized as in abortion.  The acceptance of abortion  is a dehumanizing of a person based on chronology.  In the past we have dehumanized groups based on ethnic, racial, or religious grounds. Pogroms and genocides have been legion.  It was always against groups that had a voice and could fight back.  This time, we have the ultimate victim.  This person has voice or their own, no ability to fight back, nor any understanding of the reason for which they are being destroyed.  Their sin is conception, a action that they could not perform themselves. Their sin is not being wanted, as if their humanity was contingent upon another wanting their existence.   Their destruction is hidden behind euphemisms and semantics.  Their deaths necessary to preserve sex without responsibility or consequence.  Were this not vile enough, we harvest their body parts for medical and scientific tests.  Nowhere is the culture of death so finely distilled as it is in abortion.  That we see it as permissible to rip children apart in the womb, to inject them with poison, to suction out their brains is the stuff of bad horror films and war crime atrocities.  It is not the stuff of a civilized society.

One need not be religious to refute such barbarism.  Scientifically, what resides in the womb is human.  It has human DNA.  It is genetically human. It is not potential life, it is life.  Essentially it is the death penalty for the innocent.  Nowhere in American jurisprudence do we, as a matter of law, routinely inflict death on the innocent, save abortion. That we would support those who make their living at this is criminal.  That politicians would push this so as to get votes is criminal.  The death of 50+ million will hang against our country like a indictment for all of history to see. 

However for those who do say they are Catholic, to support the barbaric nature of abortion is opposed in its entirety to our catholic faith.  Nowhere is Catholic moral teaching is the death of the innocent considered a moral good.  No where in Catholic moral teaching is the dehumanizing of a subset of humanity seen as a moral good.  As we believe God is the author of life, we simply cannot wantonly destroy it because it isn't wanted.  This is to fly in the face of the Creator Himself.  Do we think we actually can stand in His presence and justify such a thing? 

Many will hide behind the canard that "I am personally opposed but..." It what other circumstance of life matters is this permissible? We hide behind terms like 'legal' to justify inaction.  God is not so easily fooled. Legal and moral are not synonyms.  "but, Lord, it was legal..." will not save one from judgement.

However, if we view the sexual act as essentially selfish in nature, the consequences of human sexuality will be seen through the same selfish lens. If we find it to fair game to dehumanize for any end, we will sink deeper and deeper into our own demise.  One cannot embrace God and be blithe about the death or suffering of another. To embrace the culture of death is to toss this civilization onto the dung heap of history. As family life and human sexuality continue to be diminished, it will result is our own death as a culture and nation.  That death will be at our own hands.

If we wish to turn this around, we will have to do more than merely protest.  We will have to do what was done...namely, change enough human hearts about the goodness of life, to see its inherent value, dignity, and integrity that is owed each human life.  Truth and charity must both be in play.  The clock is ticking. 


  1. Pope Paul VI proved to be a prophet. I'm trying so hard not to be despondent about this, but the only words that I have are, "Come, Lord Jesus."

  2. your parish is blessed and fortunate to have you, Fr. Peckman.