The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Living and Dying in America

The Iraq War death toll has resurfaced in the news within the past week. We've surpassed 2,000 fatalities and according to Yahoo! October have seen a resurgence in that toll unmatched since January.

The tragedy of these deaths and the holes left in families across the country cannot be summed up. It cannot be weighed or measured, repaid or recovered. Iraq has simply become a passing story of death in the minds of Americans.

I wonder, what happened to the peace movement that Cindy Sheehan supposedly "galvanized"? It was short lived.

Yet, while we account for each loss with miserly precision--and in that honor the larger value of life and the beating heart--we continue creating a culture of death wherein the unborn cannot die because they have not lived, and the elderly and incapacitated are intentionally foregone because their lives have no quality. We mourn every young, able soldier's death and endorse the intentional neglect of the incapable elderly and unborn.

We use semantics to define and defend our positions. We say that the unborn are not humans, not infants, only fetuses and embryos, incapable of sustaining their own lives. But the moment they can breathe on their own, they have earned human rights. But, they have no inherent quality of life, they breathe on their own; that's it. They rely on others completely for everything else. Ahh, you say, but they have the potential for a quality life. Well, so does every unborn child. So that argument based on potential breaks down immediately. And in so doing, the quality of life issue breaks down as well: for neither infants nor the elderly may have inherent quality of life, and with the argument of potential breaking down any argument for abortion, the position of intentionally neglecting the elderly is also given up.

We are inconsistent in how we value life and justify death. We are simply selfish and proud people seeking to gain our own beneficial ends. The only consistent view is to affirm the life of the unborn child by bringing it into the world, the life of the soldier by mourning our loss of them, and the life of the elderly by drawing close to them as they pass into the everafter.

Among the numerous articles reminding us of the latest death toll in Iraq here is one.

I would also encourage you to refer back to my June blog on War.