The Culture of Death and Consumerism

Monday, May 18, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

Contributor Joe Hargrave posted a link to an interesting new essay of his today on the topic of the Culture of Death and its connections to consumerism. It’s an interesting essay, and I encourage people to read it. I do not pretend to similar length or erudition in this piece, but in formulating some thought about Joe’s essay I realized that it would be very long for a comment, so I’m writing it up as a post here instead.

There are a lot of things I found interesting and wanted to discuss (or dispute) in your essay — perhaps in part because I get the impression that our areas of historical knowledge are somewhat non-overlapping (I know most about 3000 BC to 400 AD, you seem to be most expert on the last two centuries), and the person who imagines himself an expert in anything invariably has all sorts of quibbles with what the “outsider” writes. However, I’m going to try to stick to what I think is my most central critique.

Joe finds at the root of the culture of death the materialistic and individualistic phenomenon of modern consumerism, and about consumerism he says the following, beginning with a quote from Pope John Paul II:

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The real sadness of Notre Dame

Monday, May 18, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

I haven’t been a very active contributor.  For that I’m sorry. Mainly, I’ve been struggling to keep silence about controversial topics as I deal with my life in Christ.  However,  I guess I now have something I have to say.

I gave Obama a fair viewing yesterday. I sat and I listened to all the talking heads prior to the speech (I love how they like to pit Catholics against one another). I sat through the entire program as presented to me.  And here is the saddest part of the whole affair: when the introduction for President Obama was made, and the presenter said that Notre Dame opposes Obama’s positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research . . . the support from the crowd was muted compared to the raucous applause and ovations given to the President himself.

I guess what I’m saying is this:  I’m more disappointed by the student body of Notre Dame than I thought I would be. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I had to say it.

A Look Around Saint Blogs

Monday, May 18, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Obama and Sycophant


Opinionated Catholic has a good overview of the reaction on Catholic websites to Obama Day yesterday at Notre Dame.

Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

Monday, May 18, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Reagan and Pope John Paul II

In 1983 President Reagan submitted this article, unsolicited, to the Human Life Review, and it ran in the Spring 1983 issue:

“The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators — not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation’s wars.

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Consumerism and the Culture of Death

Monday, May 18, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

A discussion I have been having with my Catholic brothers and sisters about the causes of abortion helped to speed along an essay I had planned on writing as a follow-up to previous articles I have written about consumerism and the culture of death. Fully adequate treatment of this subject will require a book, and hopefully one day I will write it. For now, an essay, limited in scope, but hopefully not in substance is what I have to offer.

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