Death is stalking our youth

Linda M. Downing

Our youth are seeing and vicariously participating in every foul, perverted and violent thing that can be invented by human minds through television and movies. Books, magazines and even the news surround us with so much junk that monitoring is almost a lost cause.

On Feb. 9 the Copenhagen Zoo shot their 2-year-old giraffe named Marius and then dissected his body and fed it to their lions. The public, including children, were invited to this "learning experience," gathering so eagerly that the demonstration went on for three hours, the whole thing appearing on news around the world.

In the wild, lions eat giraffes. On farms, in slaughterhouses, on hunting grounds, in animal control facilities, on veterinarian tables, in scientific experiment laboratories, people kill animals for various reasons - food, sport, overpopulation and to be humane. But, making the death of a beautiful, exotic creature, bred to be a pet, an entertainment spectacle, has ignited worldwide controversy. Zoo employees are receiving death threats.

Following this abomination, on Feb. 13 Belgian lawmakers, with a gallery of spectators, including children, voted to give children under 18 the right to choose euthanasia when dealing with the extreme pain of a terminal illness. Belgian's euthanasia law previously applied to adults only. Now, say these diviners, children can "bid farewell to life in humane circumstances."

Children with no voice or vote in the matter are bidding farewell to life every day. Before

casting too many stones at Belgium, we must ask ourselves about the "humaneness" of our own

abortion clinics. Country by country we could talk about the murder, starvation, mutilation, sexual exploitation, neglect and brainwashing of our young.

"Youth is wasted on the young" used to be a bit of wisdom ruing the fact that when we are young we do not appreciate the freedom from the aches and pains and limitations of growing older, the freedom before life's obligations became paramount - a time when possibilities exploded like sparks from a welding torch. A more appropriate saying in today's world might be that the "youth are getting wasted," becoming extremely drunk on uncensored death.

Death encircles us. The Bible teaches that when mankind refuses to acknowledge the God of the Universe, the death of the spirit occurs immediately to be followed later by physical death.

In a recent Wall Street Journal piece Veronica Dagher painted a picture of Americans spending way too much and enjoying it less. Finding ourselves in debt, we cannot remember what we bought. When it comes time to die, will we remember we have lived? Will we give our children more than stuff they are becoming too deadened to enjoy?

This month hundreds of people are flocking to Tarshiha, Israel, where a family's Virgin Mary statue is weeping oil and water, biblical symbols of God's Spirit and Word. Is an inanimate object demonstrating God's feelings? When all eyes were fixed on nothing but death at Lazarus' tomb, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). To look into the eyes of the children staring at dead Marius and the Belgian legislature is to know we need a promise of life. There's enough death.

Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If we seek simple truth, we can find it together-side-by-side.

Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at