Common Sense

"IT'S A MAD, MAD, Mad, Mad World!" That was the name of the uproarious comedy with Spencer Tracy and Buddy Hackett as the main actors way back in 1963. I still remember the title of the film because it depicts crudely the kind of world we are living in!

Common sense, this gut-level knowledge which should be so common, is fast disappearing. In a world increasingly devoted to niches of knowledge, where everyone is specializing in a narrow area and neglecting the whole picture, common sense is no longer common. Not only in individuals but also in societies.

Want a few examples?

Abortion or Immigration

One of the big political issues in Canada at the moment is whether the State should double immigration to half a million a year. No, it is not love for the immigrants or the refugees which is pushing forward this initiative. It is simply cold, hard self-interest. Canada's birthrate is so low that by the year 2040, the current lifestyle for the aging population would be seriously depleted - pension plans, health care, income redistribution programs and other social services would fall apart unless there are more active working people.

The irony lies in the fact that Canada can have her own people working and sustaining its own economy and its own elder generation. If only they make a stop to abortion! Since 1970, the year Canada's abortion laws began to unravel, nearly two million Canadian children have had their brief life deliberately terminated. If they have been given a chance to live, they could have helped Canada in more ways than one!

Contraception and Cancer

The Catholic Church practically remains the only international institution which speaks against contraception. Many classify this position of the Church as crude and primitive. Even within the Church itself, many find this teaching simply not practical. Well it just happens that even medically the Church is on the right track. Many studies have shown that the biggest risk for breast cancer is .... the pill.

Dr Samuel Epstein speaking at the world conference on breast cancer in Ottawa last week, showed how there has been a 125 per cent increase in the States in the incidence of cancer linked to estrogen levels. Epstein pointed to the pill as a major risk factor because of the added estrogen it puts in the body. Obviously the money driven medical establishment have a vested interest in obscuring the clear stand which the Church has taken in favor of women!

Television and Kids

We have been saying it all along! A new US report says that children under two should not watch television, not even Barney or Sesame Street! This electronic babysitter has to give way to real people! This study was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Research has shown that watching television may interfere with a child's brain development. It is not just the content but the actual watching of television affects brain development.

Direct interaction with parents and siblings (if available!) is necessary for babies and toddlers to develop social, emotional and cognitive skills. Was there any need of a research to tell us the obvious? We knew it all along. Media consumption has significant health effects on children... and, by the way, also on adults. It makes us more passive, less creative, gives us a distorted view of reality, makes us less social orientated. "Physical inactivity is a problem. Obesity in children has climbed 20-25 per cent in recent years"...

Pets over people

Animal lovers are lining up to offer a home to a pregnant mutt found aboard a Chinese migrant ship which landed illegally in the North of Canada. Yet a poll suggests that 97 per cent of Canadians wants these desperate immigrants be sent home. Just this week an unruly group gathered outside an Ontario courthouse to hurl obscenities at a man accused of dragging his dog behind his truck. The question is why no one bothers to show up on the courthouse steps when it is, let's say, a rapist.
n Hawaii I noticed that the only part of the cemetery which is always covered with flowers is the section dedicated to burying pets. Gilles Letour of the charity CARE Canada believes people feel increasingly powerless to help each other and so direct their compassion towards animals.

Sentimentality? Contemporary empathy?! The issue is not why people care so much about animals, but why people do not care more about harm inflicted against people!

Euthanasia known as "Sweet Death"

In Holland, a bill has just been introduced in the Chamber of Deputies which, if approved, would legalize euthanasia even for children as young as 12 years old! Even against the parents' wish! It is the right of everyone to kill himself when he wants! "How can a child be abandoned at such a critical and final moment?" the editor of the Vatican Osservatore Romano asks. "How can one be sure that a 12 year-old youngster, who condemns himself to death, is expressing his real feelings?"

It looks as if he "Nederlandse vereniging voor Vrijwillige Euthanasie" (NvvE) will achieve its objective. The NvvE is a Dutch association that promotes voluntary euthanasia. It is a very powerful group that in 15 years of activity has been successful first, in conditioning the media, then the College of Doctors and, finally, the political powers. Its strategy has been to fight for "quality of life," presenting euthanasia to public opinion as an "extremely humanitarian" measure.

Who is Crazy?

One can multiply these bizarre facts which are happening just around us. In the name of tolerance, society is promoting a cacophony of values and ethical principles.

If we want to get out of this quagmire, we have to go back to the real values - the dignity of every human person, the respect for inviolable and inalienable human rights, the adoption of the "common good" as the end and criterion regulating political life. We have to regain our sanity somehow!

There will come a time, stated Abba Anthony, the first of the Desert Fathers, when everyone will become crazy and when they see a normal person, they will laugh at him and chase him away, saying : "Look! A crazy man"!!!!! Simply because he is different from them.

Perhaps those times have arrived! The crazy has become normal and the normal has become crazy!

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.