9/21/2012

What is meant by the term "Culture of Life"?

What is meant by the term "Culture of Life"? A "culture" is the living expression of a particular society's set of values. So a "culture of life" would be the lived expression of a society that values human life, respects human intrinsic dignity, and protects the inalienable rights of all human persons from conception to natural death. Being pro-life is much more than just opposing legalized abortion, it's about promoting a "Culture of Life."Blessed John Paul II coined the term "Culture of Life" to underline the need to bring pro-life convictions to every aspect of life and society. That living expression would be widely apparent in popular art, music, literature, and media. It would be reflected in that society's laws, political policies, and educational institutions. And it would (with rare exception) be naturally absorbed into the attitudes and habits of its citizens. Blessed Pope John Paul II originally coined the term "culture of life." It's a great term because it points to our responsibility to bring our personal pro-life convictions into every aspect of culture. When the culture is pro-life, people's hearts will follow. But the opposite is also true. A society that promotes a Culture of Life would work to protect life in all its stages. Well, for one, the population in general would view abortion and euthanasia as fundamental evils, and our default drive as individuals would be to protect the lives of other innocent and vulnerable people above our own needs and wants. Most people would believe that real happiness and success is found in making a positive difference to others above ourselves, and finding fulfillment through the unconditional love of God. Love would be defined as a sacrificial gift of ourselves to others. Freedom would be seen as a condition that liberates us to pursue what is truly good and reject what is evil. People would understand that there is an objective reality to right and wrong, and that to break the rules of right and wrong will damage individuals as well as the whole society. All of this would obviously affect the way that the media reports on issues like abortion, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide. The presumption would be that these things are obstacles to a happy and successful life, and contrary to love and freedom. All forms of artistic and literary expression in that culture would treat the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, and the terminally ill as full and worthy members of the human family. Political policies and laws would begin with the presumption that unborn children at all stages of development are full human persons, and that abortion is a fundamental violation of the inalienable right to life. Roe vs. Wade would have to be overturned and replaced with laws that equally protect unborn life. Assisted suicide and euthanasia would have to be summarily rejected as violations of human freedom, dignity, and rights. Resource: http://www.aleteia.org/questions/entry/what-is-meant-by-the-term-culture-of-life#supportAnchor2

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