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A man was dying, and they laughed

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/21/17

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The news is just horrific:

A group of teens, who filmed and mocked a disabled man as he slowly drowned in a pond, would not be criminally charged as no laws were broken in recording the video, Florida Police said Thursday. Jamel Dunn, 32, drowned in a retention pond July 9 as the teens recorded his ordeal and did not bother to help him, or call for help in Cocoa, Florida. Dunn’s body was not discovered until three days, according to Florida Today, a part of the USA Today network. The video that police called “disturbing” surfaced online after his body was discovered, and showed him in his final moments. “He started to struggle and scream for help and they just laughed. They didn’t call the police. They just laughed the whole time. He was just screaming … for someone to help him,” Yvonne Martinez, spokesman for the Cocoa Police Department said.

The deeper truth behind this is far more disturbing. It reveals who we are.

If you want a glimpse into the darkest soul of the culture of death, here it is.

A culture that will abort its children, euthanize its sick, warehouse its elderly, and execute its imprisoned will do nothing to help those desperately in need, even those who are struggling to stay alive.

Indeed, its children will simply watch and point and laugh.

A culture that has so little regard for life, and so minimal a respect for the dignity of the human person, will quietly but insistently be teaching its young that life is dispensable. It doesn’t matter. Our neighbor’s pleas can be ignored. We bear no responsibility.  It’s not my fault.

And it goes beyond matters of life and death. The garment really is seamless. Our values are inextricably linked. A culture that glorifies violence and normalizes pornography and tolerates sexual harassment is a culture that diminishes the worth of all of us. And the message becomes clearer and clearer: life is cheap. And whatever happens, it’s somebody else’s problem.

No. It isn’t.

Where are we headed?

 The dignity of the human person, realized in community with others, is  the criterion against which all aspects of economic life must be measured. …Human personhood must be respected with a reverence that is religious. When we deal  with each other, we should do so with the sense of awe that arises in the  presence of something holy and sacred. For that is what human beings are: we  are created in the image of God (Gn 1:27). (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice for All.)
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