Is Nothing Sacred?

By | April 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

           

Whether or not we believe in evolution, we are forced to believe in devolution. It is impossible to deny that civilization is on a downward trajectory. True, we haven’t degenerated into pigs yet, but we are on our way. Consider:

Sundance Film Festival accepted a film showing men having sex with horses. Reviewers called the film “surprisingly tasteful” and “elegant, eerily lyrical.” The horses’ opinions were not reported. The film was based on a man who died of a perforated colon after having receptive sex with a horse.
News report

In an effort to eliminate stigma, bestiality was renamed zoöphilia, and now has been deleted from the DSM-5, the diagnostic manual for psychiatrists and psychologists.  If therapists feel that zoöphilia needs treatment, they can include it as “other disorder.” If not, they can fob it off as a normal variant. We wouldn’t want to be “judgmental.”
News report

Film in limited release depicted semi-nude Dakota Fanning being raped. The actress and the character she portrayed were both 12 years old.
News report

Exhibition open to children shows imported human corpses skinned, dissected, and covered with plastic. The bodies are not accompanied by death certificates and may have been dissidents executed in China. But no one protests – not human-rights advocates, not clergy, not physicians, not medical examiners, not police.
News report

Many people see nothing wrong with filming a “documentary” about humans having sex with animals. After all, we’re just animals, aren’t we? What’s wrong with one animal having sex with another? Many people see nothing wrong with using a twelve-year-old girl to act out a rape. After all, she’s just an actress, isn’t she? Many people see nothing wrong with using corpses as entertainment. After all, they’re just pieces of meat, aren’t they? Is that what we want to teach our children?

These people are saying: “If enough viewers find it entertaining, the backers will make a profit – no matter what it is. What’s wrong with that? What are you, some kind of a prude? What’s your problem?”
There are many ways to characterize America today, but one of the most meaningful is to note the absence of anything sacred. For example, Congress restored funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, despite its sponsoring photographs of a man with a bullwhip in his anus, a man urinating into another man’s mouth, a nude little boy, and a little girl with her skirt revealing her genitalia. Another photo, titled “Piss Christ,” showed a crucifix submerged in urine, while a painting depicted the Virgin Mary decorated with dung.
Unlike paintings, photos require real children posed as they are depicted, and a real crucifix in urine. People were outraged to see their tax dollars used to insult their deeply held beliefs. Indeed, the golden light outlining the crucifix could just as well have been produced by honey, and the photo titled “Sweet Jesus.” The motive of the “artist” seems painfully clear – to insult Christians. He has that right under the First Amendment, but he does not have a right to have his “art” funded and exhibited at taxpayers’ expense.
It was no accident that the “artists” included both degradation of the human form and desecration of a religious symbol.
If the human form has no special meaning, neither may the human being. Military officers used to study “Leadership, Drill, and Exercise of Command.” The title of the course was changed to “Personnel Assets Management.” I would prefer to be seen as an individual who deserves leadership, rather than as an “asset” to be managed. Treating people as disposable objects causes even those who began with dedication to lapse into mediocrity.
Adults may be seen as assets, but the young, the old, and the disabled lack even that value. Abortion on demand has taught us that even a full-term fetus is not legally a “person” and can be killed with impunity until the head emerges from the mother. Yet we expect teens to regard newborns – a few seconds later – as full human beings. Then we claim to be shocked – shocked! – when some mothers fail to make this radical change and throw newborns into the trash.
What did we expect? We elected a president who four times voted against requiring medical treatment for babies born alive after “failed” abortions. Respect for vulnerable human life? Not really. In a stunning irony, the nurse who exposed this lethal neglect of newborns worked at Christ Hospital. You see, it’s not the name that’s important – it’s what people do there.
Promotion to “personhood” may not occur even after birth. A nanny was released from jail after an eight-month-old in her care died of a fractured skull. Surely if an adult had died similarly, the punishment would have been heavier. If an eight-month-old is not a “person,” what about a one-year-old? A headline reads, “10 People, Baby Die When Van Hits Truck.” When questioned, an editor saw no reason to reword this as, “11 People Including Baby Die.” To him, a one-year-old was not a “person.”
If the very young risk being dehumanized, so do the old or disabled. Most of Dr. Kevorkian’s “patients” were women, and several had disabling but not fatal conditions. They were thus in the most vulnerable group. What does that say about our regard for the disabled? Doctors rate the quality of life of disabled persons lower than patients themselves rate it. “I’d rather be dead than disabled” easily becomes “You should be dead.” If you doubt this, Google “Terri Schiavo+vegetable” and see how many hits you get.
Much has been said about what is wrong with health care, education, and criminal justice. Distrust of politicians and lawyers is rampant. Each of these fields has its own problems, but there is a common thread. Avaricious doctors, unconcerned teachers, corrupt politicians, and deceitful lawyers all share a lack of respect for their professions and their fellow humans.
In the past, most people grew up in religious homes. Even if they later became irreligious, they often retained the idea that some things are sacred. Now many grow up without learning that anything is sacred. How can they appreciate the significance of a marriage certificate, a contract, or an oath of office, much less a handshake? What is to prevent them from thinking, “How can I get out of this?” rather than “How can I stick to it?” And when they say something, even under oath, what is to prevent them from thinking, “How can I hide the truth?”
But eventually people tire of seeing their taxes used to insult their deepest beliefs. They tire of seeing additional categories of human life declared less than human. They tire of lawyers and politicians using language as an octopus uses ink – to confuse and conceal. They tire of seeing children or animals abused for “entertainment.” But what’s next? Teachers having sex with young students? Oh wait, that’s already happening. So now what? Animal sacrifice? “Extreme” fights to the death? Beheadings by ISIS?
Before you dismiss this as hysteria, consider that during the 2008 presidential campaign, a “comedian” on network TV (not cable) “joked” that the husband of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was having sex with their daughters (note plural). That this did not evoke a firestorm of condemnation, and the firing of all those involved, proves my point: Nothing is sacred.
And what about the increase in public cursing, including by politicians? If you tell kids not to curse, they are likely to protest, “Why? It’s just a word.” Why, indeed? The word “profanity” comes from profane, the opposite of holy. If nothing is holy, nothing is profane – there are only words. And our downhill slide continues.
Disgruntled, cynical citizens may remain passive in good times. But when a terrorist attack, a severe recession, or other problems loom, they may turn to dangerous demagogues who promise strong leadership. Some may even defect to our mortal enemies in a futile search for strict rules. If you doubt this, consider “Taliban” John Walker Lindh and “Al Qaeda” Adam Gadahn. If we leave our young people with a hollow core, they may fill their emptiness with whatever they find, no matter how poisonous it may be.
Before this happens, we must rebuild trust. A good place to start is the idea that some things are sacred – for example, our word, an oath, and human life, whatever its age or economic value. But if we can’t agree on such basic principles, can we survive as a nation? Do we deserve to survive?

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.