“American Values”. It’s the traditional slogan for everything our nation holds dear: life, liberty, hard work, and so on. But what about modern American Values? What would they be? It’s something I’ve pondered for a while, but the thought really came to a head this week.
On the same day that news broke of Cecil–a famous lion in Zimbabwe–being killed by an American hunter, the third undercover Planned Parenthood video was also released. One story is about a beautiful animal that was slain for enjoyment under such effortless conditions that we can’t even call it “hunting”. The other story is about raw imagery offering a glimpse into the dark world of abortion at the hands of a taxpayer-subsidized group, unveiling to the country what has happened to millions of babies over the decades. The lion was protected by law, the unborn were not. Only one of these stories has garnered [intense] media attention and [even more intense] public outrage; can you guess which one?
Everyone is reporting on Cecil. Even entertainers like Jimmy Kimmel are expressing outrage (and tears) at the violent passing of the beloved lion. People on social media cannot avoid the news out of Africa, or the emotional outrage of their friends. While a lion halfway around the world can cause such an emotional response, it should seem shocking that videos of a non-profit organization candidly discussing the dismemberment of unborn babies, perhaps selling their parts for profit along, and actually showing these “doctors” sorting the body parts for sale are getting very little coverage from mainstream news sources. It should also seem shocking that Americans are not plagued with a similar emotional response to the idea of the most innocent and defenseless among our species literally being torn apart by their own kind. It’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario where Kimmel or his late-night peers would ever express outrage in a monologue over Planned Parenthood’s anti-human practices.
Perhaps there would be more outrage if there were more coverage of these videos rather than the boring headline of “GOP Wants to Defund Planned Parenthood” that they know the casual news followers will quickly glance over. Our society is driven by visuals, not text. Sometimes until we see something, we cannot really comprehend what’s going on and, thus, cannot be properly outraged. A recent example of this would be how everyone knew that NFL player Ray Rice was abusive towards women, but people were only outraged once they saw it on video footage in an elevator. If only more people were exposed to these videos showing the callous discussion of “crushing” human life and how brutal the actual practice of abortion is. Instead, most casual news followers will be insulated from reality by the soft and caring tone that accompanies “reproductive health”, taking the PR-drafted talking points at face value.
We need to really look at the path America is heading down. We are moving into an era where animals have more rights than some humans. Our priorities are becoming severely perverted against the sanctity of human life. When our reverence for all human life goes, so goes our civilization. Yes, Animals are beautiful creatures of God, and we shouldn’t be callous in how we engage them, but human beings are made in the “image and likeness” of God, with unmeasured dignity. It’s time we heed Saint John Paul II’s words on the “culture of life”.