EDITORíS COMMENTS by Bambino Martins

CULTURE OF DEATH

The tragic recurrences of children killing children, are a direct consequence of moral decadence of a society grown accustomed to feigning ignorance of, if not indifference to, the Truth. Like Pontius Pilate, time and again, individually and collectively, we say: "What is Truth?" We seem unable to distinguish right from wrong. We are led to believe that, even though we live in a world of vibrant colors, we should not distinguish between black and white, because everything is a shade of gray!

We are unwilling to condemn what we know is wrong, because we are willing to give credit to the evil-doer for our economic well-being. How else can one explain the slogan : "Character does not matter. Itís the economy, STUPID" An even worse indication of the moral decay is the apparent view of a majority of Americans that adultery, perjury and obstruction of justice, even if proven, do not justify impeaching a person, whom they credit with the economic prosperity in the country. Who is stupid?

Forgotten are Jesusí words, which St. Ignatius Loyola repeated to St. Francis Xavier: "What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" It is said and sad that individuals seek shelter in legalism when the simple truth is sufficient. Maybe, some women have decided that those words of Jesus should be taken at their face value and therefore apply only to men and not to women. What reason do the men have? Maybe, they think consistency is a hallmark of fools and they are no fools!

History repeats itself only because we refuse to learn from it. Civilizations and Empires fade away, or more frequently, collapse because of moral decadence and we (at least I) can see evidence of that decay with regard to Western Civilization.

Peace is the fruit of Justice. But, the end of WW II, introduced a new concept of peace. Peace was seen as the absence of war and prosperity was considered a peace dividend. But, this peace was bought at a price. Eastern Europe was sacrificed to the evils of Communism. The idea that peace leads to economic prosperity and can be bought at some elseís cost led to the sixties "me-me" generation.

We are paying the price for it, today. We are totally concerned with our rights and just as totally indifferent to our responsibilities. We have become a society of victims. Our contorted logic is based on distorted principles concocted to support our CAUSE! Abortion, even partial-birth abortion, is claimed to be a birth-right and euthanasia, is proclaimed to be a compassionate act.

As Pope John Paul II has stated, we are living in a Culture of Death. The Gospel of Life proclaims the Splendor of the Truth, which sets us free; while the Culture of Death shuns the Truth and revels in Lies.

What is the solution? Neither small class-size nor Standardized National Tests will solve the problem. And pouring more money into a rotten school system through redistribution of wealth will only exacerbate the problem. What needs to be done is what John the Baptist proclaimed about two thousand years ago. Of course, he was imprisoned for it and eventually lost his head.

For those not familiar with the Baptist, here is a modern version of his story:


The outside of a parish church, just outside Margao, was showing the wear and tear of 400 years of monsoon rains and summer heat. The parish priest pleaded for donations to repaint the church. A nouveau riche from Kuwait donated one lakh rupees and a local painter agreed to do the work for free. The painter went to a store and noticed that the white paint, he wanted, was on sale. But he was limited to only 80 gallons at the sale price, while he had estimated that it would take about 100 gallons to cover the whole church. As he was figuring what he was going to do, he noticed that a paint thinner was on sale too. So he purchased 80 gallons of the paint and 20 gallons of the thinner. On a warm winter day about a fortnight before Christmas, the painter began painting the outside of the church with a mixture of the paint and the thinner.

All was going well and he was almost half finished, when it began drizzling. [Believe me, once in a blue moon, it does rain in Goa, in December.] As the rain began picking up, the paint began washing off and our painter starting worrying. Soon, it was raining cats and dogs and the painter turned paler than the white paint which was being washed off faster than could be put on. The painter began moaning and wailing at the top of his voice; "Oh my God, what am I going to do?" Suddenly there was thunder and lighting and the thinly disguised voice of the Baptist was heard from on high, saying: "Repaint and Thin no more!"