Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Culture of Death in Korea

Last night, on the Korean investigative television program Geugeoseul Algoshipda (I want to know that), the murder of a baby was shown on broadcast television. The show was focusing on the crisis of care for premature infants in Korea.

The murderer was a father who did not want to pay for the care of keeping his prematurely-born baby in an incubator. Viewers witnessed the removal of the tiny struggling baby from its life-support systems. Dying, it was then wrapped up in a towel and given to its father to take home.

Sadly, this is a routine practice here in Korea, where premature babies have no legal right to care.

It turned my stomach to witness this on television. It made me think about the Culture of Death. The Culture of Death is not a Western phenomenon; it is a post-Western, or more accurately, a post-Christian phenomenon. [Christianity is not Western but Western Culture is, or was, Christian.] In the case of Korea or other Asian societies, I would say the Culture of Death is a non- or, more hopefully, a pre-Christian phenomenon.

Of course, the Natural Law written on all of our hearts, Christian, Buddhist, or atheist alike, is enough to lead us to a Culture of Life in which the dignity of life is upheld. It is clear from history, however, that Christianity is best able to lead us to that Culture of Life.

My hope for Korea is that the Christianization which has been so successful over the last 100 years (about 35% of Koreans are Christians, either Protestant or Catholic) continues and that a cultural renewal flourishes.