February 22, 2008


What is this world coming to? Turn to God for the answer

What is this world coming to?

That question is on the lips of plenty of folks of good conscience as more senseless tragedies, more examples of losses of innocent human life, appear on front pages and lead newscasts nearly every day.

Another college massacre, children killed by parents, and a U.S. Marine accused of killing a fellow Marine and her unborn child are among the tragic news headlines we have heard from Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina in recent weeks.

We can point to the 24-hour-news cycle for sharing these tragic events so quickly. Pundits can debate whether that is good or bad for society, but the bottom line is that news outlets are primed to bring us the news today as quickly as possible.

The harder reality to grasp is to understand why, in some cases, people who seem to have lost their moral compass or cannot grasp responsibility—or individuals who seemed to have snapped—feel the need to end others’ lives.

For those of us who regularly find ourselves bemoaning our lot in life—a higher heating bill, children who don’t understand the challenges they present to us as parents or a boss at work who doesn’t understand life’s complications all come to mind—the tragic news of others can quickly puts things into perspective.

As people of faith, we probably also begin to ask life’s tough questions: What drove 27-year-old Stephen Kazmierczak to buy weapons and ammunition, storm a school auditorium at Northern Illinois University, and kill and wound innocent college students? Why did Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean feel he needed to allegedly kill Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child then flee to Mexico?

The questions come so easily after the fact, don’t they? The answers, sadly, may never come to light.

We, as people of faith, first and foremost, pray for the victims and their families. And yes, we pray for the perpetrators, too. Though their motivations may never be known, they leave behind a grieving family, too.

What we know as Catholics, and what people of many faith traditions believe as well, is that we must have the wisdom to learn from others’ tragic circumstances.

Nothing in life is easy. No matter what your walk in life, there are challenges you will inevitably face.

We must be able to embrace whatever comes our way and turn to God when needed.

Our Creator is there waiting in our hour of need. What these tragedies consistently teach us is that we must never forget that.

—Mike Krokos

Memo to Planned Parenthood: Leave our young people alone

Recent news in Indiana also included the story of local Planned Parenthoods offering free emergency contraception in cities with large college populations.

According to Planned Parenthood, the “Free EC Day,” which begins later this month, was timed to remind young people of the importance of responsible sexual behavior as spring break nears for students at many Indiana colleges and universities.

Thankfully, Indiana Right to Life executive director Mike Fichter stepped to the plate last week and said that he believes the actions by Planned Parenthood are “irresponsible.” We couldn’t agree more.

Fichter pointed out that the emergency contraception fails to protect people from sexually transmitted diseases. There also is little evidence that it has any significant impact on abortion or unintended pregnancy rates, he noted.

As parents concerned for our young people, we thank Fichter for his on-the-mark assessment.

Fichter also criticized Planned Parenthood for perpetuating a self-serving message.

“This is all about Planned Parenthood gaining free advertising to build its customer base among sexually active teens,” Fichter said. “When Planned Parenthood’s message of sex without consequences results in a new life that is not terminated by the EC drug, the next step is the selling of more profitable surgical abortions at one of Planned Parenthood’s three abortion clinics in Indiana.”

As people of faith, we are again appalled by Planned Parenthood’s brashness in dealing with this serious issue where our young people are concerned.

Though Planned Parenthood has a First Amendment right to give out information, no one should have the right to mislead others.

We encourage college students to take responsibility for their actions. They are, after all, adults now. We also suggest they get all the facts, and we strongly encourage Catholic students to simply live out their faith. We realize chastity and abstinence are challenging words to live by in today’s society.

It’s all about business for Planned Parenthood. But as far as we’re concerned, it’s about time they stop lying and misleading our teens and young adults.

—Mike Krokos


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