Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Is LifeSiteNews Pro ALL Life?

Michael Eligon - R.I.P
The callous slaying of young Sammy Yatim or any other mentally ill person by the Toronto Police has raised grave concerns as to the advance of the culture of death in our society. Police do not exist in a vacuum; these individuals imbibe the same influences that bombard the rest of society. Persons belonging to a  - de facto - paramilitary organization need to take extra precautions to avoid the risk of contamination by a culture of death.

The purpose of this post is to ask the question: where is the pro-life voice on this issue? We find it profoundly disturbing that this has not even been reported in LifeSiteNews. Presumably it is not considered worthy of mention as a pro-life news story... yet it should be. Surely it is more newsworthy than the opinions of an eccentric, elderly Anglican bishop on  "homophobia" unless such a news item is an attempt to titillate the sandal minded reader? Apparently, Desmond Tutu's strange ramblings on so-called "homophobia" are important to Lifesitenews, but the killing of a mentally disturbed young man in their own backyard is not. They seem to favor sensationalist, troll-inducing "news" non-items that are pure neo-con propaganda. The pro-life movement is not advanced with Campaign Life Movement's economic policies and denunciations of Marxism; the advocating of a "responsible capitalism" dubious at best, obfuscating the Popes' critiques of capitalism.

In a much earlier post, I (Barona) wrote of the confusion that people had with the socio-economic thought of Pope John Paul II. One day he is portrayed in the news as left wing and the next as right wing depending on the prevailing winds and the bias of the reporter. To the contrary, the Pope preached truth and he followed it wherever it led him. The same it was true for Pope Benedict and now for Pope Francis (I hope the pro-lifers actually heard his words on "solidarity" in Rio). The Popes are totally pro-life. This means the opposition to the taking of life from conception to natural death (something, interestingly many in the pro-life movement shout about, but, in practice jump from infanticide to euthanasia for the aged) and this includes opposing "injustice and contempt for others, for solidarity, and for responsibility for the poor and the suffering" (Pope Benedict XVI). 
 
Pope Benedict spoke out against the culture of death in 2006. His position is totally pro-life:

It is an "anticulture" manifested, for example, in drugs, in the flight from reality to what is illusory, to a false happiness expressed in deceit, fraud, injustice and contempt for others, for solidarity, and for responsibility for the poor and the suffering; it is expressed in a sexuality that becomes sheer irresponsible enjoyment, that makes the human person into a "thing", so to speak, no longer considered a person who deserves personal love which requires fidelity, but who becomes a commodity, a mere object.

The Holy Father in his solution to the culture of death is blunt: 

They are a "yes" to a God who gives meaning to life (the first three Commandments); a "yes" to the family (Fourth Commandment); a "yes" to life (Fifth Commandment); a "yes" to responsible love (Sixth Commandment); a "yes" to solidarity, to social responsibility, to justice (Seventh Commandment); a "yes" to the truth (Eighth Commandment); a "yes" to respect for others and for their belongings (Ninth and 10th Commandments).

Speaking out against a culture of death, means to oppose all forms of it coming from whatever source. Part of the culture of life (being pro-life) means to be opposed to injustice, contempt for others, to stand in solidarity and be responsible for the poor and suffering. Someone may be slowly done to death through injustice, just as much as from abortion. A death is a death. 

Unfortunately we are faced with a series of deaths involving mentally ill persons. These people are worthy of the same dignity as any baby. If Sammy Yatim Edmund Yu or Michael Eligon had been aborted or euthanized perhaps they might have noticed. As it was they were mentally ill or just screwed up and beneath their notice. Remove or add years to Sammy Yatim,  and perhaps the pro-life movement would have noticed? Not good enough. Not hardly. Start to notice now!

It is simply not enough to assume that if it is a policeman firing the shot then it is a clear case of self defense. This is to assume that death is justified unless there is an overwhelming weight of evidence to the contrary. The burden of proof ought to be on the one taking a life to show that such an extreme measure was necessary. This is a true pro life position.

The coverage of LifeSiteNews seems to indicate a pro life position that is as nuanced and as subtly qualified as that of any politician. They are careful to speak about innocent life in order to leave room in their ranks for those who are in favour of the death penalty. This is a false dichotomy at best. What of guilty life, ugly life, inconvenient life? This means that an 18 year old boy wielding a knife does not come into their purview. He does come into ours. We believe in the right to life - even for the mentally ill.

Barona and Freyr

9 comments:

Aloysius Gonzaga said...

That this incident would necessitate some news coverage by the pro-life movement, is I would say, very debatable and doubtful. There are plenty of mainstream news outlets to take on Yatim's story. If every incident effecting human life merits attention by the pro-life media, then there wouldn't be enough time or space to publish such stories. In the circumstances, it is completely justified to focus on issues relating to the transmission of human life.

Santa said...

I don't make a habit of monitoring Lifesite News. So I wonder, what brought this on? Did they do something to upset you guys?

Colin Kerr said...

Good point in this post: culture of death devalues all life. Shame on us all, really.

John Laws said...

Gentlemen,

I agree that the Sammy Yatin case indicates a progressing degeneracy of our secular institutions. I try to pick up under-reported issues like this here: http://jonahintheheartofnineveh.blogspot.com/ -- you may want to update your links. LifeSiteNews neither covers the whole of the pro-life movement nor is it a formal apostolate of the Church, although they decently try to serve both. "Suicide by police" may play into a eugenic agenda or ethos. Liquidation of the mentally ill may be analogous in some ways to abortion of Downs Syndrome and other disabled children. I hope that continuing inquiries and press coverage lay bare these concerns. I'll continue to watch these developments at Jonah.

Barona said...

John, ''Your reflections send chills through us -- yes, these mentally disturbed men may indeed be on a suicide watch...

I watched a bit of the "protest" against the police today.... it is tragic to allow the more vile elements of the "left wing" to corrupt this serious life and culture of death issue with hysterical denunciations of the police. The key is to turn the police back towards a culture of life....


Nonetheless, the press conference held the other day by family members of those killed underscored to me the importance of this issue as a pro-life one.
being pro-life is not just about the transmission of life : it is about the dignity of life. Parents do not just beget children; they raise them, educate them, instruct them....

Barona said...

AG, you have not advanced one reason as to why the killing of mentally disturbed people is not an issue of life to be confronted. Lifesitenews saw fit to devote an article on sodomy and the police in Vancouver. Evil as sodomy is, murder is perhaps a little more evil. The fact is that the police are not acting arbitrarily: the advocacy of sodomy by the police, the mindless killing of the mentally ill reflects a sinister culture of death that has entered the police. Witness too, the vile mistreatment of pro-life heroine Mary Wagner and others by the police. This behaviour is not isolated: it is part of an ideology of power...

Freyr said...

Abortion has become a litmus test issue. It is fairly straightforward and can be considered in black and white terms. This appeals to the pro-life movement because it allows them to define their support base very clearly. However, other issues are equally pro-life issues but require more thought and consideration. Moreover they are likely to cause some dissent in the ranks. Thus the pro-life movement has almost become a one issue movement by default. Any additions to their platform must be weighed, not against Evangelium Vitae but according to whether it will appeal to their support base.

Vox Cantoris said...

You are clearly out of line in your unjust criticism of LifeSiteNews.

I am revolted that with everything else going on you find it appropriate to sit there and blather on about them?

I am very disappointed that this should come from such Catholic gentlemen.

Shame on you.

Barona said...

The intention of this post is to recall all of us to the fullness of the pro-life message; to follow the completeness of the papal teaching. It is NOT meant as a detraction against all the good work done by Lifesitenews.