The “culture of life” that kills people

“It was worse than if the NRA had not spoken at all,” said Gene Grabowski, executive vice president of Levick Strategic Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based issues management firm that has worked with firearms manufacturers.

Meanwhile, during that curious week of self-imposed silence from the NRA, we’ve heard just about every offensive explanation and excuse imaginable for the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut: The gunman could have his way with the elementary school because it was a “feminized setting” without enough “male aggression” (this ignorant assertion made in the face of the heroic actions of the women who hid children and tried to tackle the gunman); this massacre and others like it are the price we must be willing to pay for the convenience to gun enthusiasts afforded by the “almost universally benevolent” Second Amendment; and of course, there was the predictable ranting from the usual suspects blaming an imaginary “war on Christmas,” imaginary “homosexual agenda,” imaginary “end of school prayer,” etc. But in the discussion of a naked propaganda post that managed to go on and on and on about a sustained, lethal assault upon schoolchildren with a military assault weapon without once using the word “gun,” one commenter takes the prize for disingenuous sanctimony by claiming the atrocity wouldn’t have happened if only, if only, we had a “universal respect for life.”

And we know exactly what is meant by this “culture of life,” as it’s often also called. This is the same “culture of life” that killed Savita Halappanavar, a young woman whose fetus, all doctors agreed, was going to die whether or not the 17-week pregnancy was terminated to save Halappanavar’s life. “This is a Catholic country,” medical personnel told her and her husband as she pleaded with them to help her. “But I’m not Catholic,” she protested as they allowed her to die a slow death from septicemia and organ failure.

In that case, the fetus had a heartbeat. That was the reason given for refusing to save Halappanavar (who also, it must be pointed out, had a heartbeat). In the desired outcome of anti-abortion radicals in the U.S., a “life” to which full human rights must be accorded would not be defined as a non-viable fetus with a heartbeat; it would be defined as a fertilized ovum (one not even implanted in the uterus, a condition required for the medical definition of pregnancy).

None of this, in the current context, has any purpose other than to talk, talk, talk about anything other than the fact that military assault weapons capable of (and designed for no other function but) the mass slaughter of human beings should not be available to civilians, period.

The sickness that compels a writer to discuss Newtown without a single mention of the guns is the same sickness that compels a different writer to discuss pregnancy and abortion without a single mention of the woman. The sickness has a name, and it can be found by studying the work of Goebbels.

Culture of life, my ass.