Yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon are another troubling reminder of the challenges our society faces.  Thank God this evil deed was quickly met with the courage and kindness of so many first responders as well as bystanders and participants in the race itself.  I’m sure all people of good will continue to hold in prayer the victims and their families and all those who have been scarred from witnessing and responding to the results.

These evil acts that so quickly take human life are becoming too much of a regular diet for our nation; for any nation.  Boston, Newtown, Aurora just to name a few from the past year.  Even though we do not yet know the individual(s) responsible for yesterdays attack nor their motive(s), these series of sins against humanity beg a broader question: How do we regain a proper and abiding respect for human life?

Our understanding of the dignity and sanctity of human life is rooted in our belief that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God, and redeemed by the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.  To strengthen respect for human life is to grant God the honor that is His and His alone.  To live by this Truth takes nothing away from anyone.  Quite the opposite.  To live by faith in God is foundational to a proper understanding of the human person.  A proper respect for every human person is foundational to decent society.

A nation that legally allows the taking of life of the unborn has a serious flaw and a huge hurdle to truthfully claim it understands and respects the dignity of the human person.  Practices that legally allow people to determine ‘ending life’ rather than allowing the Creator to determine issues of life and death reduces our ability to truly respect human life.  Other than abortion there are capital punishment and euthanasia (ending life of the elderly or critically ill.)

Even our vast array of ‘entertainment’ is in need of deep reflection in its contribution to this growing lack of respect for the human person.  From music, lyrics, tv sitcoms, movies, video games, pornography and I’m sure the list could go on and on, much of what passes for entertainment degrades the human person.  The entertainment industry with such gifts and talent at its disposal can do far more for the building up of the human person and the good of decent society. 

I pray that each of us take some time to pray for the many victims of violence throughout the world.  I pray we as individuals and as a nation also begin to see what can and needs to change in our culture to work for good and build up the human person.  May each individual and our leaders be granted the wisdom and the courage to defend life in all its forms.  May we work as well to shore up and protect all the human institutions that nurture life, love and respect.