In our society, when the topic of life comes up, especially during election years, such as this one, many people immediately think of the pro-life movement. Those folks that are pro-life tend to vote for candidates that are also pro-life, and those folks who are pro-choice usually vote for candidates that share their view on this issue, but what are the life issues? Is believing that life starts at conception and that a human being in the womb is a cherished soul the only aspect of life in our country and in the world? This perception seems to be commonplace.
When we think of all the problems, struggles, concerns in the world, should we not extend the belief in the value of life to more than children inside the womb? Let’s break down different topics that are popular in our political arena that I would define as actual life issues:
We hear in the news that there are many conservatives and republicans, but not all, who do not believe in climate change, nor have a strong sense of responsibility given to us by God to tend to the earth He has provided us. But I disagree. Do I believe that the Earth has cycles of hot and cold through its existence and will continue to? Yes. Do I believe that all of what happens on Earth is just Earth being Earth? No, I do not. There are actions we as humans take that contribute negatively to the health of our environment, such as polluting of soil, air, water, and destroying forests and habitats for the animals. Recycling much of our trash has helped lessen pollution and saves energy. The efforts for other forms of energy, such as wind and solar, as well as the creation of hybrid and electric cars, are admirable, but we are decades behind in this area. The heated debate on GMOs and their pesticides is important to the health of animals and people. We have learned certain pesticides are killing off our bee population, which is detrimental to our food supply, as well as the pesticides that are contaminating our soil and ground water. These concerns are, indeed, life issues and matter greatly.
It has been said over the years that our country is based on Judeo-Christian values. Considering the law of an eye for an eye came from the Jewish tradition in the Old Testament, maybe this belief is true because our society/culture is a culture that is embedded in this idea of punishment having to be equal to the heinous act done by the perpetrator. Our country’s perspective and values are not of life, but of death. There is this viewpoint among many in our country that we just throw the person in jail and forget about him/her. How many times have we heard “lock them up and throw away the key” when it has to do with people who murder? They are no longer humans to many of us; hence, the death penalty is considered just and right. People who are suspected terrorists, whether foreign or U.S. citizens, are taken out by our government’s drone program with no arrest, no trial, nothing. We are a country that is for death, not life.
Endless, Unnecessary Wars
Creating wars for resources and arms deals are about death, not life. Toppling leaders in other countries destroys the lives of those people living in those countries, for which we have no regard for those people’s cultures because we are either arrogant and don’t care, or ignorant and don’t care to learn. This is also connected to the environment, where the destruction of towns and lands causes catastrophic effects on people’s ability to have access to clean water, food, and needed medical care. This is a life issue, and our leaders have chosen death.
The United States is the richest country in the world, but we have high numbers of people living in poverty. According to a study in 2014, 16 million children live in families whose incomes are considered below the poverty level the federal government has established. Lack of access to healthy, nutritional food and healthcare, the daily stresses of living without basic needs, struggling to pay bills, and facing violence in their neighborhoods, leads to shorter life spans. In an economy that takes the hard-earned wages of the middle class workers and gives them to the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the country, shows greed supersedes the value of a person’s well being and life. Since the billionaires are not putting the majority of their monies back into the economy and also sending their jobs overseas, very little growth or job creation happens. This growth happens through the middle class and their small businesses and spending money. We’ve truly become the epitome of Darwin’s belief of survival of the fittest.
The Value of a Person
The foundation of our culture is based on the killing of our young in the womb, that then progresses through difficult paths of climbing out of poverty for a good chunk of our society, environmental apathy, wars, locking up our young and adults who have done a criminal act, with little interest in their lives after they are behind bars, and in some cases, injecting them with poison, in a supposed gesture of humane treatment. The last years of our life cycle in America many times consists of discarding our elderly into nursing homes, in many cases because families struggle to afford the medical care needed to take care of their loved ones. In some other cases, people see these elderly individuals are no longer a productive part of our society and have lost their identity as valued human beings.
How much respect and value do we have for life? Shouldn’t we work to change this through pressing our government for improved programs, such as healthcare for all people and decent education for all people, and shouldn’t our government stop the outsourcing of American citizens’ jobs? Shouldn’t we care for God’s creation? Shouldn’t we care about LIFE? We should ask ourselves these questions.