|Michael Eligon - R.I.P|
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