We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.” Catholic Catechism, 2258
LET’S KILL ALL THE BABIES (AND THE OLD FOGIES)!
The Old Man with the scythe is upon us! “Death on demand,” is the cry of Democrat politicians catering to their most radical supporters. Feminists eager to deny the theology of the body for the sake of immediate pleasure, doctors willing to make a fast buck killing rather than healing, advocate infanticide. Are there “liberal” spokesmen for the unborn, the elderly—those who are an inconvenience, a burden, a mass of useless flesh?
Science tells us that there is not a sharp break in the development of a human being. Catholic teaching tells us that human life is sacred from conception to natural end (Catholic Catechism, 2258 ). The slippery slope of euthanasia, mercy killing, leads to murder for profit and convenience, as shown by its use in the Belgium and the Netherlands.
I don’t propose to repeat the repeat the pro-life arguments presented in the articles linked above. Rather, I’d like to examine causes, motives and goals implicit in the “Culture of Death.”
FAMILIES AND VALUES
Fifty-three years ago, Senator Pat Moynihan, a liberal Democrat, foresaw that the death of family values for African Americans would cause havoc in their society:
The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence—not final, but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle class group has managed to save itself, but for vast numbers of the unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated…. So long as this situation persists, the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will continue to repeat itself. Daniel Geary, “The Moynihan Report: An Annotated Edition”
And the question was not answered, nor indeed raised, “Why is it ‘that the Negro family.in the urban ghettos is crumbling?'” The reason, of course, is clear. Family values crumble when there is no family, specifically, when there is no father. And why is that? When sexual immorality is seen as allowed, not forbidden. And why is that? When the religious values held by the community become defunct, and the morality based on those values withers away. Now there is an interplay of economic and social factors, a correlation, but disentangling cause from effect is difficult. Moreover, I emphatically reject any correlation with racial genetics.
It’s clear that this family breakdown foreshadowed a general malaise. One measure of family life strength is the number of married couples with children. In 1961, married families with children in the US constituted 40% of the population. In 2017, this number was only 19%. And the number of single parents, especially single mothers, has increased even more, 2.2 million in 1961 to 8.2 million in 2017.
SOME CONSEQUENCES OF FAMILY DECAY
Here’s a self-evident proposition: children grow better in a family with both a father and a mother. Statistics from “The Fatherless Generation” bear this out:
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
Again, let me emphasize these are only statistics. One should be very careful applying them to individuals. Moreover, there are economic and social factors that are hard to disentangle. Nevertheless, I assert that moral values are instilled in the family. This is best done by example, by both a father and a mother. So if families are no longer there to teach what is right and wrong, children will learn from the media and their peers.
WHY THE LEFT CONDONES KILLING
Left/Liberal politicians proclaim their concern for the poor, the helpless, those whom society neglects. I am continually amazed that they don’t champion the most helpless of all, the unborn and the elderly handicapped. Don’t they see the inconsistency in their moral standards? Since I abandoned a liberal point of view more than 20 years ago because all liberal organizations and politicians supported abortion-on-demand, I can’t hope to understand this strange incongruity.
However, I guess that it’s primarily an appeal to groups who will keep the Left in power: feminists who value convenience and pleasure over human life (after all, it’s only a blob of flesh and it’s MY BODY!); doctors and organization who are in it for the fast buck—the sale and use of fetal body parts for research paid for by our government. And the most evil of abortion supporters are those who would like to see the family as an institution destroyed in order that it can be replaced by the state.
THE SUICIDE OF THE WEST
The western world is going out of business because it’s given up having babies. The 20th century welfare state, with its hitherto unknown concepts such as spending a third of your adult lifetime in “retirement”, is premised on the basis that there will be enough new citizens to support the old. But there won’t be. Mark Steyn, “It’s the Demography Stupid.”
One last thought: perhaps the most important consequence of widespread abortion and contraception is the falling birth rate in Western countries. Mark Steyn has written about this at length (see the linked article and his book, America Alone), and I can’t better his arguments in this brief article.
Here’s the statistic that tells us about family importance: the fertility rate, the number of children (on average) per woman of child-bearing age. It should be greater than 2 if the society is not to become a geriatric purgatory, unsupported by younger generations. Alas, in the U.S. it is now about 1.9, down from a high of 3.7 in 1960. (See here and here for detailed statistics.)
So there it it is… The Catholic Church teaches us that all human life is sacred, from conception to natural death. This teaching has important moral and social consequences. If we disregard this teaching, we commit a mortal sin, that is we die to God. And we die not only as a person, but as a civilization.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
*The featured image represents: March of the suicidal lemmings, over the cliff to the sea; adapted from Gerhard Mester’s Caricature, Wikimedia Commons