I have continued to struggle with the idea that there are so many people out there remaining silent, remaining indifferent, to the horror taking place at Planned Parenthood. The Center for Medical Progress videos are laying it out for all to see and yet, outside of certain social media circles, it seems not to be gaining any traction, seems not to be having any real effect on certain segments of the population.
I’m stunned by it.
I opined elsewhere just a few days ago that it would be difficult to counter the mindset that would call Americans today’s equivalent of the German townspeople surrounding the concentration camps.
Yesterday, I found this dated but relevant piece written by Jennifer Fulwiler:
For me, this picture [of the staff at Auschwitz relaxing and having a great time] symbolizes all average folks who ever lived during times where particularly dark shades of evil gripped societies. It reminds me that though today we can see through the distance of history the thick pall of darkness that overshadowed the world in which these people lived, many of them could not see it themselves when they were in the midst of it. Like being in a city with air pollution, it’s easy to think that the air is clean and fresh when you’re standing in it; it is only when you get some distance and look back that you can see the dark cloud looming over where you were, and know that you were breathing soot all along.
I tend to be an easygoing, optimistic person who focuses more on my little corner of the world than the macro issues of the day. I tend to want to believe the best about people, and guard against buying into hyperbolic rhetoric that makes generalizations about the activities of certain groups of people being particularly heinous — so often, upon reasonable analysis, that type of claim pans out to be nothing more than a lame attempt to vilify people you disagree with.
So I wonder:
If were a 31-year-old woman with three little kids in a busy house in Germany 1941, would I have fully understood the evil that surrounded me? As a woman living in 2008 I can see the horror that was going on there, but at the time there were some awfully sleek lies being told about the situation; it would have been really, really convenient to let myself be persuaded by the lies and just make the nasty little problem go away by telling myself that it wasn’t really a problem at all.
What if I were living in a time and place in India where it was common and accepted for wives to be burned alive on their husband’s funeral pyres? Or living in Rwanda when an entire race of people were murdered by their neighbors? Or a citizen of pagan Rome where newborn girls were frequently “discarded” with hardly a second thought? The people in those times and places had cheery, sunny days, went to birthday parties and get-togethers with friends with lots of yummy food, and had daily lives not terribly different than our own. There are no records in any of these cases that indicate that average people fully comprehended what was going on around them or were as outraged as they should have been at the atrocities in their midst.
It is sobering to realize that the odds are that I would not have been one of the very few people who saw it all for what it was.
She goes on to describe what she believes would be a tell-tale sign that a society is dabbling in serious darkness:
What litmus test could you offer that would apply to all places and all times as a way for a person to look around themselves with completely clear eyes, piercing through even the thickest fog of self-delusion and widespread cultural acceptance, and see that they are surrounded by grave evil? Is there any simple way for a person to immediately undergo an earth-rocking paradigm shift in which they look up and realize that the world around them is not what they thought it was?
One thing that stands out in all these examples is that the victims of the widespread evil were categorized as something less than human. In fact, though the exact level and degree of evil that took place may vary, one thing that unites all of these practices as worthy of a place in the Human Depravity Hall of Fame is not only that innocent people were killed or enslaved, but that their humanity was taken away by the societies around them.
Jennifer Fulwiler’s piece is nearly 7 years old and yet speaks completely to the circumstances surrounding the CMP videos.
I ask those of you still reading these words the same question I’m asking myself, what are we doing about what’s taking place around us? What more should we be doing?
Think on it.
Better yet, pray about it.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.