Zeitgeist

No posts in far too long.  For the last couple of weeks, the metaphysical relationship between the Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia and the terrorist attacks in Boston struck me.  As I was struggling to excavate the time to explore this for the blog, I opened this week’s edition of our statewide Catholic newspaper, the “Rhode Island Catholic”. On the Commentary page was a piece by my friend Barth Bracy that made the connection far better than I could have.  Barth is a deacon who worked and studied many years in Manilla.  He currently holds my wife Rita’s old job – Executive Director of Rhode Island Right to Life.  At the risk of embarrassing Barth, when someone refers to “the smartest guy in the room”, it’s usually Barth.

If you have not had the time to pay attention to the Gosnell atrocities, the mainstream media ignored (some say suppressed) it until the clamor forced them to cover the story; here is a link to a CNN feature posted on the 3801Lancaster site.  Not for the weak stomached.  We can speculate on the degree to which one has to sear their conscience to fill pressure cookers with black powder and ball bearings and explode them among hundreds of innocents.  The conscience of a doctor who is on trial for murdering four infants by severing their spinal cords with scissors is beyond the imagination of anyone but a sociopath.   I’ll leave the rest to Barth – this week’s guest writer.

“No more hurting people”

Barth BracyWho can escape the atrocities reported with increasing frequency from every part of the globe, and now even upon our very doorstep with the recent horrors in Newtown and in Boston?

From the time of Cain to this very day, each human being and human society is presented a challenge. Their response (our response) leaves a defining mark upon them (upon us).

 Does human life have intrinsic value and inherent dignity such that innocent human life should be protected and must never be deliberately taken?

The extent to which peoples and nations have answered “yes” to this question has been the extent to which those same peoples and nations have been marked by peace and justice, offering their citizens the opportunity for dignified and fulfilling lives.

Conversely, peoples and nations that have answered “no” to this question, choosing to disregard the unalienable right to life of each human being, have been marked by a descent into depravity, barbarity, and crimes against innocent human life; the kinds of unspeakable acts witnessed so frequently today, whether in Sandy Hook, or at the Boston Marathon, or in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion mill in Philadelphia, or in the government-sanctioned starvations of Terri Schiavo and, here in Rhode Island, Marcia Gray.

It is not possible to separate the prevailing chaos and senseless acts of mass violence from the disordered and murderous acts protected by the “right to privacy” concocted by a court system blind to the most fundamental principles of justice.

When Jesus spoke of the reality of hell in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, He spoke of Gehenna. What was Gehenna that makes it the most concrete image of hell?  Gehenna was a valley a little to the south and west of Jerusalem where the Canaanites, who were expelled by Israel from the Promised Land, as well as the apostate Jews who adopted the evil ways of the Canaanites, would go to sacrifice their very own children at the altars of false gods.

When Jesus spoke of of hell, He spoke of a place where parents sacrifice their own children… He spoke of what our world has become through the scourge of legal abortion.

The inescapable fact of the matter is that when the world embraces a perverse notion of freedom, an autonomy unfettered by the duty to respect the fundamental right to life with which each human being has been endowed by their Creator, that murderous world marks itself, fashioning itself into a living hell.

Yet even in the midst of the hell we have fashioned, God ever beckons: “I have set before you both life and death, the blessing and the curse: choose life, therefore, that you and your descendants may live.” (Deut. 30:19) Isn’t this the meaning of little Martin Richard’s sign: “No more hurting people.”

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