culture of death

How the Smart Set Was Wrong About Trump and the Unborn

Trump recently took $60 million away from Planned Parenthood, the first president ever to do so. This and other unique pro-life initiatives of President Trump turned my mind to certain claims made by the pro-life Smart Set back in those crazy days of the 2016 campaign. In March 2016, a group of old and very [...]

Legitimizing the Killing of Innocent Life

Many commentators have perceived that the New York State law that legalizes infanticide when a child has survived a late-term abortion is a watershed. This was certainly buttressed by both the State’s celebratory lighting up of the Freedom Tower building after its passage and the subsequent public justification of infanticide by Virginia’s governor (a pediatrician, [...]

Keeping in Touch with Death

When my friend’s little brother died, his family performed rites that are rare nowadays. They brought the body of their boy back home. They dressed him and laid him out for a wake in their dining room. They built his coffin and carved his headstone. They dug his grave and buried him with their own [...]

In England, the Child is the “Mere Creature of the State”

In the case of the now-deceased toddler, Alfie Evans, the British government, through its Royal College of Pediatrics and its courts, had legal authority. Alfie had legal “interests,” which the government defined in his case, but he did not have any “rights.” Alfie’s parents only had a right to be heard; they had no substantive rights [...]

Christianity and the Radical Transformation of Culture

Man is not a body of mass in motion with the aim of peaceable consumption as modern anthropology suggests. Man does not live on bread alone; man is, as the ancients knew, a social animal. However, the great revelation of Christian anthropology is that man is also a cultural animal. Culture, rooted in the Latin [...]

Company Hates Misery

In a recent episode of the podcast Freakonomics, Dr. Atul Gawande contrasted the adoption rate in the 1800s of two new technologies: anesthesia and antisepsis. An anesthetic gas, which could be used in surgery, was discovered and first used in Boston, and “...within two months of publishing the result that a gas could render people [...]

Waste Land: Britain’s Culture of Death

April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land… April 23 is St. George’s Day, the national feast day of England. On April 23, 2018 three events occurred. Ealing Council in west London became the first English Local Authority to implement a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for the area around a [...]

Senate Democrats Reject Medical Science in Abortion Vote

A little more than a week after the March for Life once again drew so many people to our nation’s capital in support of a culture of life that the mainstream media had no choice but to largely ignore it, the Senate considered a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, the point at which [...]

Questions in the Aftermath of the Las Vegas Shooting

While there is not so much mention of it in the media anymore, the American public is still reeling from the inexplicable massacre in Las Vegas, the largest mass murder in history in a country where mass murders of innocent people have become far too common. Some of the usual responses came from the usual [...]

On Prioritizing the Values Taught to Children

“You can’t die in every ditch.” It was a favorite saying of Fr. Ed Madden, my pastor and boss, when I was a greenhorn DRE back in Boulder. So many problems, so many complaints, so many challenges crop up in the course of ordinary parish work, and I was motivated (at first) to tackle them [...]

Double Standards for Two Death-Dealing Drugs

Vecuronium bromide is a drug that relaxes skeletal muscles and can be used in conjunction with surgical anesthesia. That is its usual medical application. Some states also use it in connection with capital punishment: it is one of several drugs used together to execute prisoners. Vecuronium bromide paralyzes the prisoner’s breathing. Potassium chloride is then [...]

Oregon Proposes Outright Legalization of Euthanasia

Oregon has long been ground zero for radical, end-of-life ideology and legislation. It was the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS) two decades ago, and since that time the practice has grown both in social acceptance and legislative momentum. Currently, more than 20 states have PAS bills on the legislative docket, and three jurisdictions [...]

How Christianity Civilized Mankind

Anyone who knows anything about the Judeo-Christian tradition (an increasingly small group, I know) is aware that the Hebrew law “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was intended to limit the bloodthirsty drive for vengeance. As Saint Augustine observed, “For who will of his own accord be satisfied with a [...]

A Torah Scholar Helps Explain the Age Of Foolishness

Maybe it takes a Torah scholar and religious Jew to help us understand the roots of the inverted values that animate Western civilization. For over ten years, author and radio talk show host Dennis Prager taught the first five books of the Bible verse-by-verse at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. According to Prager [...]

The Abolition of God and the Annihilation of Man

“It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man can organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism.”   ∼ Henri de Lubac, The Drama of Atheist Humanism “If God does not exist … everything is permitted.”   ∼ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, [...]

The Gnosticism of Barack Obama

Eric Voegelin, one of the great political philosophers of the last century (1901-1985), professed no religion, but he recognized its falsifications. After extensively studying early Christianity, he found “Gnosticism” to render intelligible certain twentieth century movements like Nazism. Gnosticism, as he understood it, spins an ideology within which all reality becomes refashioned and so falsified. Gnosticism [...]

The Moral Wrong of Physician-Assisted Suicide

Though a New York Appellate court recently ruled that there is no right to physician-assisted suicide under the current laws of the state, the issue remains far from settled. Not only are the plaintiffs expected to appeal the decision, but a bill recently proposed in the New York legislature also seeks to legalize the practice. [...]

The Totalitarian Imposition of Assisted Suicide in Canada

The story of euthanasia in Canada officially began a year ago this February 6th, when the Supreme Court of Canada decreed that the laws forbidding murder-suicide for compassionate reasons were “unconstitutional,” and commanded the Parliament of Canada to frame a law legalizing such physician-assisted suicide. Now, for all of you constitutionally-minded readers out there, this [...]

Euthanasia Brings End to Belgian Monarchy

There has been no coup, no abdication, no revolution. It is an event that has gone largely unnoticed. The media have hardly spoken about it. Yet it is a reality. The monarchy in Belgium is done with, over, kaput. The king of Belgium has turned himself out of his royal throne by signing a law [...]

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account [...]

Royal Euthanasia?

You would think that having a personal physician would guarantee excellent health care. However, the conviction of Michael Jackson’s doctor for involuntary manslaughter suggests that this is not necessarily the case. Prosecutors described Dr Conrad Murray’s care of the pop singer as an “obscene” pharmaceutical experiment. Even royalty are not exempt. One of the sensational [...]

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