August 12, 2022

Be Our Guest / Robert Teipen

A call to honor life and overcome the culture of death

Robert TeipenIn 2022, we have seen a significant increase in the number of mass shootings. This phenomenon has created an outcry from our political leaders and many citizens about the easy access to guns in our country.

While we need to do everything that we can to stop these shootings from taking place, I believe that we have not addressed the underlying problem of “why does the shooter choose to kill as many people, even children, as possible?”

There are some common traits among the shooters. They are typically young males who come from difficult family lives. They are mostly growing up in an environment where the father is not an active or positive influence in their lives.

I have thought about the underlying causes of why the shooters hold so little value for human life. The thought that keeps coming to me is a quote from the late Pope John Paul II, where he made a reference to “the culture of death,” that is, a culture that supports abortion and euthanasia. In his papal encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae,” promulgated in 1995, he reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s long held position warning against the evils of abortion and euthanasia. The promotion of these intrinsic evils violates the natural moral law and divine law.

Contrast this with partisan approach by The Indianapolis Star, which has published numerous articles concerning the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court since the decision was leaked in May. These articles have been overwhelming in their support for abortion as a women’s right, while remaining mostly silent concerning that in every abortion a baby dies.

Let’s turn to our founding documents; the preamble to the Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 and expresses the ideals upon which the United States was founded.

The twin evils of abortion and euthanasia send the not-so-subtle message that human life is not valued. If we make abortion legal, then we send the message that human life is of no value. This message is not lost on those members of our society that have succumbed to despair.

I remember in my college years in the late 1960s the national debate concerning abortion. I remember that I was at times swayed by the arguments of those who advocated for the “right to abortion.” After thinking the matter through, I could not reconcile this “right,” which I could not locate in the U.S. Constitution nor the Bill of Rights as well as other amendments, with the “right to life.” I was convinced that the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was wrong from the beginning and was rightly overturned by the current Supreme Court on June 24.

I am convinced that the establishment of “a right to abortion” by the Roe v. Wade decision has set the stage for cheapening human life, which has opened the door to the killing of our babies and the elderly directly and set the tone for disturbed individuals to be careless in taking their own lives and those of innocent people.

As a country we need to return to belief in God and his commandment, “thou shall not kill.”

Fifty years of a supposed legal right to abortion will not be reversed overnight, but if we as a country change our mindset to respect all life then I foresee the incidents of mass shootings will decrease in number over time.

The argument has been made that pro-life individuals do not care about women. This false narrative fails to consider that there are about 2,300 crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. The operators of these clinics are oftentimes volunteers who reach out to assist those women in need. I find it very sad that there are those who wish to close down these crisis pregnancy centers and promote abortion instead. This tells me that they have no intention to help women but to kill babies.

(Robert Teipen is chairman and co-founder of Catholic Radio Indy and a member of St. John Vianney Parish in Fishers, Ind., in the Diocese of Lafayette.)

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