Maybe this is what John Paul II had in mind when he referred to the "culture of death." Yesterday, a fellow, a xenophobe and eco-terrorist, if his explicit statements are to be taken at face value, stormed into the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring, Maryland, gun in hand, with rather disturbing, bomb-like devices attached to his person.
This man, believed to be James Lee, was eventually shot by police after talking with him for several hours. He took three hostages, although 1,900 people, including children in a day-care center, were evacuated.
Good thing for the kids in the day-care center. Evidently, Lee had posted a manifesto on a website registered in his name, making several demands of the Discovery Channel. He demanded that the channel broadcast a commitment "to save the planet" and air shows promoting curbs on population growth, solutions to global warming and the dismantling of "the dangerous US world economy," as reported by Dan Morse, Christian Davenport and John Kelly of the Washington Post. It seems that Lee used a Canadian post office box address.
But what caught this father and environmental consultant's eye was that part of Lee's statement which demanded that Discover Health programs quit encouraging "the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions." The statement also makes reference to "Malthusian science" and "disgusting human babies."
The authorities believe the hostage taker is the same person who operated a site at http://www.SavethePlanetProtest.com.
Besides calling for the end of war, the site excoriates "immigrant pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that." Indeed, "nothing is more important" than saving animals.
"The planet does not need humans." You get the point.
Thankfully, no one was hurt other than Lee himself.
Let's stipulate that Lee was a man with mental problems. He had been in court for causing problems at this same building. But it is interesting, possibly revealing, that a diseased mind such as his would latch on to such misanthropic ideas, in the context of the environment, which views human beings as antithetical to it rather than an active part of it.
Lee's attitude, at least the one expressed on his website, displays a distorted view of humanity's place in the world, one in which men and women only consume but do not create, only destroy but do not restore, only bring death rather than life.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated worldview in Western society, although it is one that, mercifully, does not often express itself in such violent ways. It is all very sad.