Dysfunctional America

September 28, 2012 09:00 AM

The Internet and other forms of media bombard us daily with messages that speak volumes about the current cultural trend toward decay. As a people, we have grown obsessed with convenience, self-gratification, and a desire to tolerate anything and everything.

A couple of recent examples will illustrate my point. 

In Massachusetts, the citizens are being asked to vote on a measure to legalize assisted suicide. The proponents typically argue that it’s simply a question of having the “choice.” Those opposing the ballot measure take a more sobering view, explaining frankly that there are no safeguards in the proposal to protect a vulnerable patient from being used as a pawn in the politics of healthcare. In other words, will such a law provide the medicine to kill the patient, but not the treatment to help the patient live life with dignity? Nobody knows.

So will the voter think ahead and ask those questions himself or will he be swayed by the “choice” argument, never looking beneath the veneer to see the deadly consequences? 

Another example is the Facebook meme likening life jackets and drowning to abortion. For those of you outside the loop, as I was, about what a “meme” is, Webster says it is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Sounds like the perfect definition of Facebook, Pinterest, and other such ways of facelessly communicating and perhaps changing the way others think about very basic concepts—including the definition of human dignity. 

In the meme at issue, we see a small boy clutching a paddle and wearing a life jacket. The stomach-curdling statement at the end of the ad reads, “You should see drowning as a gift.”

The analogy being drawn, according to blogger Mindy Goorchenko, is that, “Abortion is actually like falling into the water with an innocent child and using him as a flotation device. He dies, while you manage to climb back on shore and dry off.” But when you read the entire meme, as prepared by the Care2 organization, you get another definition that, to my mind, is far more representative of the mentality of our present day and age. Care2 is, after all, an organized effort to diminish the intrinsic rights that are vested in every individual by virtue of the fact that he is a human being. Care2 is devoted to animal rights, the eradication of pesticides, the demeaning of religion and, of course, women’s rights, all skewed with a deceptive rhetorical bent that crashes into the truth, destroys it, and moves on.

One example is the site’s suggestion that Pope Benedict XVI has decided that homosexual persons are not “fully-developed humans.” In truth, the Holy Father was addressing the French bishops on the subject of marriage as defined by Catholic doctrine. He was doing so because there is immense pressure in France to “recognize gay marriage.” 

Pope Benedict discussed faulty concepts of human nature that are, according to Catholic teaching, disordered. But because he spoke these words of truth, he was excoriated in the media, by Care2, and by others who find it fashionable to misrepresent what reason and common sense tell us is factually accurate.

These examples reflect the popular positions of the day regarding convenience, self-gratification, and tolerance.

We have become a society of jellyfish. We go along with the lowest common denominator in matters of human behavior so that we will not be troubled with having to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. We are creating a land composed of islands—each person with his own personal space. Sadly, no good will ever come from that.

Heartlessness and disdain for all that is true and just overtakes us if we remain isolated and separated from the community of mankind. 

Choosing to be inconvenienced, to be lovers of the unloved, and to be witnesses to human dignity are choices that advance the culture. The opposite destroys it.

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