A culture of life respects the dignity of every person, in every stage of development, from the first moment of existence until death. Every human being is cherished and all members of society that embrace a culture of life look for ways to help and uplift people who are suffering, in pain, or who are nearing the end of their lives. We know what we have to do to build a culture of life, but what does a society that embraces a culture of death look like?
Most of us are familiar with the tragedy of the Holocaust. Over 12 million innocent people were tortured and murdered in death camps during World War II because they were deemed “unfit” by society. Science at that time had determined that many of the problems that afflicted the human race, like poverty and illness, could be corrected with proper “breeding.” Hitler’s Aryan race was only one of the popular eugenic ideas of the 20th century that led to the destruction of millions of innocent people.
When we think about the Holocaust, it seems unimaginable for anyone who lived at that time to ignore what was happening to their friends and neighbors. How could anyone stand by and watch millions of people be murdered? How could they stand to hear such racist and degrading speeches and ideas?
It is easy to judge the actions of people who lived several decades ago. But we forget that we live in a society that is no better than that of Nazi Germany.
Several years before Hitler began his destructive campaign against people he deemed unfit to continue living in his perfect state, one woman in New York City started a racist and eugenic campaign of her own. Margaret Sanger promoted the use of contraceptives among the lower classes, arguing that limiting the number of births per woman was the only way to reduce poverty.
Although Margaret Sanger never publicly advocated for abortion, the organization that she founded later became known as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and has since become the largest abortion provider in the United States. The same mentality that urges contraception for those deemed “unfit” to reproduce is the same mindset that portrays abortion as the only solution for an unexpected pregnancy.
We live in a world that embraces abortion and euthanasia as “human rights.” Eugenics, or the false science of “improving” the human race, is still vitally alive in our society. Yet, we still see the modern age as more righteous than the Nazis, despite the daily violence committed against human dignity.
But like the people who lived in Germany and Europe during World War II, we have a choice. We can ignore the injustices going on around us and live our lives in ignorance and apathy, or we can stand up for the truth.
Using our own particular gifts, we can reach out and evangelize the culture of life in society. We can do this through activism, standing outside busy intersections with signs showing the dignity and worth of every person, born and preborn. We can be that prayerful, silent witness of hope outside abortion clinics. We can be that helping hand and friendly face for our elderly or ailing neighbors. And we can start educating young people to see the beauty of every person and help them uncover the lies of the culture of death.
Our video and unit study for high school students, Who Was the Real Margaret Sanger? , examines the ideas of the founder of Planned Parenthood and how the American public readily embraced Margaret Sanger’s racist contraceptive campaign. This groundbreaking video series is a powerful teaching tool to show students how the contraceptive mentality is firmly rooted in eugenics and how it continues to push the abortion agenda in our society.
Laura Kizior is the Digital Media and Communciations Manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on Verily.com, CatholicMom.com, LifeSiteNews.com, Celebrate Life Magazine, TeachersSavingChildren.org, and in the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance newsletter.