“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pepsi Refresh Project & Our Secular Society

I came across the Pepsi Refresh Project the other day. The project, sponsored by Pepsi, allows people to enter a worthy cause on Pepsi's web site, then Web site visitors can vote for the best causes. Upon conclusion of the voting, Pepsi awards money - up to $250,000- to the most supported causes.

I thought the top leaders/choices at each dollar award level was a striking commentary on our society:

1) Rescue Animals from Cruelty
2) Stop Healthy Animals from Being Fed Antibiotics
3) Teach Hip Hop and Respect to Inner City Youths
4) Provide Dogs in Shelters with Comfort Items

Now, I am not saying that helpless animals don't deserve or need our help to save them from ongoing abuses, but three out of the four programs that our country currently believes is the best use for these financial awards does not relieve any aspect of human suffering. The other deals with teaching Hip Hop music.

Such a commentary on our nation.

By way of comparison, and to illustrate my point, these causes are beating programs that would work towards the end of human trafficking and one that would help babies with Cystic Fibrosis.

I thought over the past day or so what was responsible for this anti-human sentiment. Was it the belief that animals can't help themselves and people can? I believe this answer would not be at the true, underlying, subconscious root cause of this mindset. Babies with Cystic Fibrosis can't help themselves either, so that is not it.

I came to the conclusion that this anti-human sentiment is embedded in our society becoming more and more secular by the year. If we are all made in God's divine image, turning away from the priority of helping our fellow humans first has to coincide with turning away from God in our society, whatever the reasons these voters may give.

We all know people who are vegetarians and cite their lifestyle comes from a belief in not harming defenseless animals, or PETA members who subscribe to the same doctrine. For the most part, the vegetarians and PETA members I know personally have no problem with abortion, or even late-term abortions. I think the same rationale can be used here whether they acknowledge this mindset or not.

How many times has a pro euthanasia person argued with you, "Well they put animals out of their pain, don't humans deserve at least the same?" They are arguing actually humans should be brought down to the level of animals, although they think in their mind that humans should be raised at least to the level of animals. Same mindset again, Secularism 101.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Here are a few observations about the Pepsi program.
(1) Don't be surprised if Pepsi monitors the submissions and displays only a "filtered" list.
(2) The rankings correspond to votes -- but not simply from individuals; rather, the organizations who want corporate sponsors for funding and PR purposes are knocking on doors to get anyone (e.g. colleagues, family, friends) to cast a vote on their behalf.

Another angle on what to make of the choices has to do with the reality of virtue run amuck. Consider St. Thomas More's statement: "God made the angels to show him splendor — as he made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man he made to serve him wittily, in the tangle of his mind!" Animals, then, epitomize innocence. And to people with little enough order or discipline in their own moral code, saving innocence can be an attractive, uncomplicated way to attempt to expiate a modern conscience.

Then there's simply the elitist crowd that looks on humanity as parasites on the host, planet earth. An example of the most extreme version was James J. Lee, a militant environmentalist schooled in the doctrines of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, a misanthrope from the political left who declared that "humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures" and who was agitating for "stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies." Lee was shot dead by police after a standoff involving hostages at the Discovery Community building in Silver Spring, MD. More moderate versions include radical animal rights activitists, zero-population growth agitators, and other entities waging a campaign that makes hatred of others palatable by painting it green.