This poster (from around 1938) reads:
"60,000 Reichsmark is what this person suffering from a hereditary illness
costs the People's community during his lifetime.
Fellow citizen, that is your money too.
Read '[A] New People',
Catholic intellectuals/academics are keen to point out the 'vice' of sentimentalism in contemporary culture. Many consider Pope Francis a sentimentalist. SSA spokesmen suggest Fr. James Martin's approach to LGBTQ persons, as sentimentalist. Now, extending care to elderly amid COVID-19 contagion, who will most likely die anyway, is talked about as sentimentalism - 'demonic' sentimentalism.
I had a short commentary on an article discussing what Texas Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick told Fox News: "Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm US economy." He doesn't look that young, so maybe he canvolunteer to go first. His thoughts seem to be shared by the Trump administration, which is trying very hard to reopen businesses and send people back to work during the pandemic, which hasn't even peaked in the U.S..
Catholics like R.R. Reno appear to agree, as did a guy on my FB post, who argued:
Terry Nelson writes : "Faux-Christians reveal their true god: $$$"
No. Not money, but instead a functioning economy that provides for human flourishing. An economy where there is a middle class.
Destroying the economy to prolong the life of those who going to die regardless within few years is foolish and contrary to the duty the old owe towards their progeny.
It's no different than a father who would sell the family manufacturing business, or farm or similar in order to prolong his own life. Such an act is irresponsible towards the children.
It's not about money, but instead about responsibility of leaving our children with a functioning society.
The comment took me by surprise. I had no intention of arguing his point which impressed me as based in an un-Christian ideology, an amalgam of Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, Objectivism and Christian-Nationalism. Reno's assertions strike me in the same way. As one friend pointed out, 'it's the result of 30 some years of toxic, right-wing media.' Works for me.
I'm always amazed at the Catholic university grads and their ethical contortions - especially since they claim to have nurtured their spirituality and theology on the teaching of JPII. I suggested recently they go back to their books - the actual texts of JPII's encyclicals and allocutions. Instead of depending on their favorite authors' interpretations, and/or their own dissertations of JPII's works. (Just a suggestion, BTW - who am I to lecture such 'scholars'.)
That said, I've been revisiting Evangelium vitae, JPII's encyclical otherwise known as the Gospel of Life, which discusses euthanasia. The proposal that the elderly have a duty to die to preserve the economy is a sort of 'passive' euthanasia. I'm amased Catholic university grads do not see it that way. These people seem to have made the economy an idol - it's the type idolatry Pope Francis has often discussed - not the pretend idolatry a couple of anti-Francis bishops accuse the Pope of.
That said, I don't want to copy and paste a bunch of quotes from St. John Paul's works, but I will close with one or two, to help readers understand what I'm getting at.
Democracy (sub. economy) cannot be idolized to the point of making it a substitute for morality or a panacea for immorality. Fundamentally, democracy is a "system" and as such is a means and not an end. Its "moral" value is not automatic, but depends on conformity to the moral law to which it, like every other form of human behaviour, must be subject: in other words, its morality depends on the morality of the ends which it pursues and of the means which it employs. If today we see an almost universal consensus with regard to the value of democracy, this is to be considered a positive "sign of the times", as the Church's Magisterium has frequently noted. But the value of democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes. Of course, values such as the dignity of every human person, respect for inviolable and inalienable human rights, and the adoption of the "common good" as the end and criterion regulating political life are certainly fundamental and not to be ignored. - EV 70
The choice of euthanasia becomes more serious when it takes the form of a murder committed by others on a person who has in no way requested it and who has never consented to it. The height of arbitrariness and injustice is reached when certain people, such as physicians or legislators, arrogate to themselves the power to decide who ought to live and who ought to die. Once again we find ourselves before the temptation of Eden: to become like God who "knows good and evil" (cf. Gen 3:5). God alone has the power over life and death: "It is I who bring both death and life" (Dt 32:39; cf. 2 Kg 5:7; 1 Sam 2:6). But he only exercises this power in accordance with a plan of wisdom and love. When man usurps this power, being enslaved by a foolish and selfish way of thinking, he inevitably uses it for injustice and death. Thus the life of the person who is weak is put into the hands of the one who is strong; in society the sense of justice is lost, and mutual trust, the basis of every authentic interpersonal relationship, is undermined at its root. - EV 66Pope Francis, speaking of modern idolatry, said something which applies to this new expression ethical relativism:
“Money robs us of life, and pleasure leads to loneliness. Economic structures sacrifice human lives for better profits. One lives in hypocrisy, doing and saying what others expect of us, because the god of self-affirmation imposes it. And lives are ruined; families are destroyed; and young people are abandoned to destructive habits, all to increase profit.” - Pope Francis
I'll leave it at that. Watch out for your parents and grandparents - make sure they are safe and get the help they need during this pandemic. Pray for the sick and dying.
*Poster, h/t Mark Shea