[gha] American Culture of Death in Perspective

  • From: "Charles Mercieca" <mercieca@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <ghausa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 12:24:58 -0500

American Culture of Death in Perspective 


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.


International Association of Educators for World Peace

Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,

Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament

Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich


            The best way to bring into perspective the culture of death in the 
United States is to examine what this nation seeks to do in theory and then in 
practice. Over the years, many statements were formulated to portray this 
phenomenon with clarity. The Romans used to say: Aliud est dicere, aliud est 
facere - One thing is theory, another thing is practice. The Italians tell us: 
Tra il dire e il fare c'e' in mezzo il mare - Between saying and doing there is 
an abyss.


Leading Political Parties


Like in virtually any other country in the world, the American people are 
virtually helpless especially in the sphere of politics. In spite of the fact 
that the United States is a huge country with over 300 million people, there 
are practically only two major political parties: Democrats and Republicans. 
Although the two parties have quite a few things in common, they present a very 
different agenda which often seems to be diametrically opposite. Ironically, 
when they criticize each other there is at least one thing in common, which is 


Both tend to play on words as to confuse people in an effort to bring them 
under full control. This explains why so many people seem to be so confused. 
The right hand does not seem to know what the left hand is doing and the other 
way round. There are many reasons for this eventuality, which consist in the 
political tendency to make statements that reveal half truths that tend to make 
lies become more effective. This explains why so many people in the USA feel so 
frustrated as to lose all faith and hope in their politicians.


Ascetical writers tell us that the devil that is described as the "father of 
lies," is too smart to utter full lies. He always resorts to telling 
half-truths. He shows you one side of the coin making you believe that the 
other side is similar. Before we proceed to talk on the American culture of 
death, we need to bring the philosophy of both major political parties fully 
into perspective. Democrats are identified with the middle class and the poor 
while Republicans tend by all means to represent big corporations and the rich.


At this stage, let us keep in mind that this presentation is focusing only on 
the fact that in the United States the culture of death is very obvious. It is 
being promoted by both leading political parties from a different perspective. 
To this end, they create a kind of vocabulary and formulate a type of 
phraseology in a deliberate attempt to deceive the people. The promotion and 
implementation of the culture of death in the entire nation has become the 
primary goal of each of these two major political parties. 


Democrats in Operation


Democrats tend to support abortion, which is condemned by Republicans as 
murder. The killing of the unborn is viewed by churches and all religious 
groups as a heinous crime. Since the USA is predominantly a Christian nation, 
both Democrats and Republicans believe in the Ten Commandments, which God gave 
to Moses. One of them says: You should not kill. Apart from God no one on earth 
has the right to terminate anyone's life. At times, Democratic politicians are 
rebuked and criticized by members of the clergy and leading religious groups.


            Besides, several clergymen exhort the members of their congregation 
not to vote for political candidates that favor abortion. At this stage, the 
Democrats and their supporters try to find a way out by devising a new 
vocabulary and structuring a new phraseology. They substituted the phrase 
"pro-abortion" with "pro-choice" as to have their stand softened as much as 
possible. Also, several women's groups that viewed abortion as a woman's 
prerogative created a new terminology known as "women's reproductive rights." 


            This phraseology evolved into becoming literally the mantra of many 
Democratic politicians. Hence, there is no surprise in hearing Democratic 
senators and congressmen, and even the US president when he is a Democrat, 
speaking of "women's reproductive rights." A more recent trend among Democratic 
politicians is to state openly that they are personally against abortion, 
adding at the same time, that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is to be 
left solely in the hands of the woman involved. 


            They also recommend to the woman involved in seeking for advice 
from relatives and friends before proceeding with the termination of a 
pregnancy. But even so, Democrats view a woman's "right" for abortion so 
strongly that they are now moving to urge hospitals to perform abortion when a 
woman requests it, otherwise they may lose any kind of governmental funding 
they may have. No wonder why thousands of abortions in the USA take place every 
month. At the same time, the Republicans remain highly critical of abortion, 
which they view as murder and criminal by all means.


            The traditional religious teaching of various religious leaders 
lies here. Human life is sacred and it starts at conception. Also, human life 
has been always viewed as a gift of God that should be respected. Hence, we may 
begin to realize and understand how the philosophy of Democrats tends to be 
based on the culture of death. For the Democrats as the whole, human life seems 
to start at the moment of birth. We need now to explore how the Republicans, in 
spite of their respect for human life from the moment of conception, they also 
have their modus operandi when it comes to the promotion of the culture of 


Republican Philosophy at Work


            The Republicans have their unique way of promoting the culture of 
death not only in the United States but around the world as well. Like the 
Democrats, they have their own way in playing with words by using a type of 
phraseology that is meant to mislead as many Americans as they can in the 
entire country. As we have seen, the Democrats support the killing of human 
beings at their very early stage of life individually, that is, one by one. On 
the other hand, the Republicans seek to kill masses of people at a time. 


These masses consist mostly of children, women, the elderly and the sick. To 
this end, they put top priority in expenditure on products and actions that 
would lead to their ultimate goal of mass murder. This is demonstrated in the 
enormous amount of money they use for the manufacture and sales of weapons. 
They are quick to wage wars to achieve politically what they want by all means, 
no matter how brutal their means may be. This explains why we witness in them 
the tendency to solve all kind of problems by waging as many wars as possible.


We have seen in recent times two useless and needless wars waged in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. It caused the nation a 2.2 trillion dollars debt and now the 
American people are being forced to give up their social security and medical 
aid to compensate for such a financial disaster. However, what makes it worse 
lies in the fact that Republicans refer to their destruction of the 
infra-structure of cities and the massacre of tens of thousands of people, 
amounting to millions, by the well-formulated phrase national defense and 


            When former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, was asked by 
reporters how many Iraqis were killed with American weapons, he was quick to 
say: We do not keep a count of that; we view such incidents merely as 
collateral damage. While Republicans view the killing of the unborn as the 
termination of a sacred innocent life, they view the tremendous massacre of 
thousands of people merely as a piece of furniture. To turn an insult into 
injury, most of the people killed through Republican war policies happen to be 
pregnant women!


            So here we have the American culture of death in true perspective. 
While the Democrats refer to the termination of the life of the pre-born child 
as "woman' reproductive rights," The Republicans refer to the termination of 
the life of people at all ages through the ruthless destruction of the 
infrastructure of cities as "national defense and security." This carefully 
formulated phrase was meant to keep prospective war critics completely silent 
to the best they can. To this end, the Republicans may formulate the following 
slogan when it comes to abortion: "Save it now and kill it later."


Unmasking Blatant Lies


            What is highly ironic in the religious sphere of the nation lies 
here. While self-proclaimed right-wing politicians proclaim to view the human 
life as sacred and that it should be safeguarded, they continue to take money 
from the people's vital necessities of life as to make more weapons and wage 
more wars. In their foreign policies, both Democrats and Republicans continue 
to proclaim loud and clear that the United States is a nation of freedom and 
democracy! This is very misleading for obvious reasons by all means.


            Instead of having our American politicians demonstrating great 
respect for the safeguard of human life from conception to natural death, they 
devise careful plans to literally destroy this sacred element with no regret 
whatsoever. In this respect, it is unfortunately true that in the USA we do 
have freedom. We have the freedom to destroy human life at any moment we like 
from conception to natural death. In this process, we adopt a kind of 
philosophy that makes us accountable to no one.


            We often hear American government officials, especially through the 
news media, that the United States is a nation of democracy. This is due to the 
fact that many in the US government have a distorted concept of democracy, 
which is derived from the Greek: demos + kratia, that is, people + government. 
In democracy the people are, in essence, the ultimate power. They choose the 
members of their government freely to provide them with the kind life they 
prefer. However, in practice things are conspicuously different.


            As a capitalistic nation, the United States is controlled by money 
and wealth. To reach the people, one has to resort to the news media: radio, 
press and television, which charge a fortune. In capitalism, the idea of having 
businesses giving a free service to the people is virtually out of question. 
When it comes to ultimate analysis, everything is controlled by money and 
wealth, which is literally anathema to the very concept of democracy. In the 
sphere of politics, methodical deception becomes the rule of the day.


            Going back to Aristotle, some 2,500 years ago, we were always told 
that nemo dat quod non habet - no one gives something one does not have. If we 
have one hundred dollars, we can give forty or even ninety but we cannot give, 
say, $120 and far less $150 dollars. If people were to believe we can give them 
the money we promised that would have constituted deception on our part! If it 
has been shown that the USA does not have freedom and democracy, especially 
when it comes to the safeguard of the human lives, why is it that we continue 
to hear such a blatant lie periodically, especially from our American 


Power of Big Industries


            Needless to say, big industries tend to finance and control the 
election of many American politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. Once 
elected, such politicians do not hesitate to help boost the products of those 
corporations that financed their election. The weapons industry and the 
promotion of wars have turned into a very lucrative business where money is 
made overwhelmingly.  This explains that when it comes to global conflicts and 
the promotion of wars both Republicans and Democrats become heavily involved.


            It there is no enemy, both try to create ones as to justify their 
continued effort to pour more and more money for more weapons and wars. We have 
witnessed this in virtually every war that the USA was involved in throughout 
the entire 20th century. For money and wealth, US politicians continue to 
exploit their own people's economy to their very own detriment. The American 
people at large have proved to be very good and conscientious people who do 
care about others by all means and they often prove to be generous.


            However, the world at large judges the USA by the policies of those 
few in government that amount to less than one thousand individuals of a 
population of 300 million!  In this regard, several questions have been raised 
in academic circles everywhere, one of which being: If the United States does 
not ultimately care for the welfare of its own people, how can we expect such 
nation to really care for the good of the population of other nations? This 
explains why the USA is increasingly experiencing a credibility gap around the 


            Faced with such a problem, can the USA ever succeed to be viewed as 
a beneficial nation? Few US politicians gave an affirmative answer. Republican 
Ron Paul of Texas, who ran for US President in 2012, was very critical of US 
big expenditures on wars. He promised that as US President he would close down 
50% of the 900 US foreign military bases. This statement brought great hope 
among all people in the world. Let us hope and pray that the American culture 
of death be replaced by an American culture of life, the sooner the better. 


Attachment: American Culture of Death in Perspective.doc
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