Monday, December 12, 2005

Culture of Life or Death?

Does the "Culture of Life" philosophy being pushed by U.S. leadership actually resemble a "Culture of Death"? According to the conservatives, the "Culture of Life" refers to God's wish that all human lives should be preserved, regardless of their position within the socially stratified systems. But it seems apparent that the use of this philosophy is not broad-based and the proponents simply focus on concerns which conveniently advocate their positions. We see them concentrate on the evils of abortion while they're involved in the death of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children abroad. They focus on "assisted death" as socially evil while they witness millions die each year from starvation or exposure to the elements and others suffer from incurable diseases. And what about this suffering from these so-called incurable diseases? Are they incurable or is it that they choose to attack stem cell research and label it as nothing more than playing God, and at the same time they watch millions suffer with spinal cord injuries, cancer, damaged muscles, damaged hearts, blindness, and scores of other treatable illnesses?

Just how much more vague could this so-called "Culture of Life" be? It's platform is no more than silly-putty which can be pushed, pulled, and molded to fit it's proponents agendas at will. It's seems to me that it's no coincidence that the application of this philosophy happens to match the issues of the ones who created it. In my opinion, a real belief in a culture of life should have a solid foundation with support for all concerned and not be limited to an agenda of a few. It should recognize the importance of "quality of life" for all people. It shouldn't be narrowly focused on the so-called moral objectives of a group of individuals who think they are appointed by God to keep us all from damning ourselves to hell. I personally don't need anyone doing my thinking for me, and I damn sure don't want anyone to tell me what is moral and what is immoral!

The case of Terry Schiavo was an example of this phiosophy in action and Empire Notes has an article which examines this evangelical culture from Schiavo to Iraq.
This right wing apparently has a belief in preserving life only where that life is almost devoid of meaning – and where the HMO industry doesn’t interfere. It’s not a culture of life; it’s a culture of living death.

According to Ira Chernus, in his article on Common Dreams, the point of it isn't about life at all. It's all about redirection and the construction of a certain CULTURE!
On one side are the religious and social (no, they aren’t all religious) conservatives who wave the “culture of life” banner. Basically, they are people who are afraid of uncertainty, ambiguity, and change in the realm of moral values. Their position is simple:

* moral values must be universal, timeless, unchanging truths

* we should receive them from religious traditions or authority figures

* once we get fixed truths, we should stick with them, no matter what

Alternet lists ten positions which a True Culture of Life should support. Of course these positions are from one individual, and I don't say I totally agree with them all, and I could add to and take away from his list. but the important thing is there needs to be a solidified position of this "Culture of Life" which applies to all the people of the earth. It appears to me the conservative evangelicals have witnessed their culture in jeopardy due to the knowledge dam seeping it's life waters to the people, and this "Culture of Life" is their way of attempting to bolster a culture built around capitalistic ideals of which they are intent on holding onto and are willing to fight for at all costs. Sorry guys, but the dam of knowledge will no longer hold back the innevitable flood and all of us downstream are becoming renewed as we see new life sprouting from the informative waters! It's innevitable that in the near future, the dam will completely fail and the world will witness a renewal of a real "Culture of Life"!


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