At President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight, there will be an empty seat, purposely set aside, in the First Lady’s guest box: it represents the victims of gun violence. Those who are seriously interested in this issue might want to ponder the cultural reasons why violence is so prevalent in our society. Cardinal Wuerl offers great insight into this matter.
In a Newsmax TV interview, Cardinal Wuerl addressed the societal effects of abortion, tying it to violence. He said “one reason why we are so casual in our country with violence” is the “disrespect for human life.” He specifically called attention to the mindset that abortion engenders: “What we have done is create a mentality that so depreciates the value of life, that all these things follow very easily. You can’t say to someone, life only has the value you give it and expect that they’re not going to apply that principle in areas where you might differ.”
Cardinal Wuerl nailed it. Consider young men. They have always been, for reasons grounded in nature, the most violent segment in society. They take their cues from the dominant culture, and the lesson they learn from our casual attitude toward abortion-on-demand is that life is cheap. It is expendable. Indeed, as Cardinal Wuerl put it, they learn that “It’s all right to kill as long as the person is inconvenient to you.”
In 1979, when Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she said that “the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion.” Why? “Because if a mother can kill her own child—what is left for me to kill you and you kill me—there is nothing in between.” She understood the corrosive cultural effects of abortion—it softens our resolve to condemn violence in all of its manifestations.
Unfortunately, many of those who rightly abhor gun violence concentrate only on guns, and not the cultural forces that abet it.