More and more it seems that our government and our culture regard the human being as a slab of meat rather than as a creature with a body, mind, and soul.
The coronavirus pandemic perfectly illustrates this phenomenon. Using propaganda and fear as their weapons, our government—with the help of the mainstream media—ordered lockdowns, masks, and social distancing. Cancelled events and vaccine mandates became normal, all supposedly instituted to protect our physical health.
Little attention was paid to the mental and spiritual damage done by these edicts. By ignoring these vital internal elements and fixating upon the external, bodily elements of life we’ve lost sight of the worth of the human soul. This only furthers the dehumanization of society.
When COVID hit, most churches shut their doors, abiding by government regulations while neglecting the spiritual welfare of their congregants. This was only the first attack on the soul. Depression and attempted suicide rates among school-age children then skyrocketed as they were subjected to lockdowns. Many “experts” ignored the fact that these young people were the least vulnerable to the virus. Next, hundreds of thousands of workers and small-business owners lost their livelihood, all in an effort to protect the flesh but with little regard for the mental health and well-being of those who suffered.
Yet this emphasis on corporality, on our bodies rather than on our personhood, has infected our society in other ways as well.
Critical race theory, for example, focuses not on individuals, each of them unique, but instead judges men, women, and children by the color of their skin.
Pornography and a hook-up culture are almost exclusively devoted to the pleasures of self-gratification, leaving aside the mysteries of the sexual act: tenderness, beauty, and love.
By means of surgery and chemistry, some people have sought to change their sex, willing to bend the laws of nature and reality as they focus on manufacturing new bodies.
In debating abortion, many have raised the question of fetal viability, looking for some physical standard to determine when a fetus becomes a human being. Only a few ask at what point those babies are infused with souls.
Even in death, some are now treating the body like a tool by practicing “recomposition,” a new term that means turning the dead into fertilizer. Where’s the human dignity in that equation?
In February, China will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Here is a country that operates concentration camps and harvests human organs from several captive populations, selling livers, kidneys, and other organs that certain medical personnel have removed from prisoners. To the Chinese Communist Party, the body is just a machine, its parts distributed to buyers with the money to pay for them.
Fixating on the flesh degrades the human spirit. Pornography, for instance, can easily objectify females, making them a commodity to be used rather than loved—thereby destroying relationships, including marriage, with real women.
We’ve seen something similar occurring in our war on COVID-19. Rather than ask ourselves why someone isn’t wearing the required mask, we jump to the conclusion they don’t give a hoot about the health of those around them. Maybe an illness prevents them from masking up, or perhaps, having researched the topic online, they’ve concluded that masks do more harm than good. The point is we focus on exterior signs rather than the whole person.
The human body is a wonderful machine, flesh and blood, bone and nerve all working in a marvelous synchronicity, at least when we are well. But when we forget that the body is the house for the individual spirit—that complicated mixture of heredity, environment, chance, and grace that makes you, you—we diminish our humanity.
If we see others as a soul or spirit within that body, we make them more fully human. And we do the same for ourselves.