Our culture is at a crossroads. Will we choose the way of life or the way of death?
Violence and death committed against our fellow human beings is often the result of not understanding the nature of being human and why it matters. The denial of the true nature of the human being is one of the most pressing errors driving the culture of death. It is also leads to anxiety and unhappiness.
There are signs of hope, especially with regard to the growing opposition among young people to unfettered access to abortion. Many people are also open to hearing the truth when it is well-presented. Often, the problem is not that truth is being rejected. It is rather, that it has not been properly taught or engaged.
There are also very troubling signs: an increase in calls for assisted suicide, a growing belief that the very sick, dying and severely disabled have little value, a virtually unregulated and burgeoning "third-party reproduction industry ("donor" eggs and sperm and surrogacy), which amounts to manufacturing children for adult use. Human trafficking and other atrocities against human beings are also connected to our lack of understanding of who we are as human beings and why it matters.
The Neri Institute is tackling these issues at the foundational level of understanding what it means to be human. We are working to help people to think aright and act accordingly.
1) We teach the deeper meaning of being human. Humans are more than mere material (bodies). We are also transcendent, having a spiritual essence, a soul. This unity of body and soul can be known through reason and experience, a fact acknowledged in the Judeo-Christian (and other) traditions in asserting that the human being is created in the image of God. Bringing people to a realization that the human being is both material and transcendent is essential in promoting the dignity of the human being and evangelization.
2) Through scholarship and teaching, we are promoting a broad and all-inclusive definition of "human being" as a means to increase protections for vulnerable populations who often get sub-humanized or "defined out" of the human race, and subsequently abused and/or killed;
3) We are identifying and making explicit the connection between sub-humanizing and defining out certain groups of human beings from the human race (including categorizing them as objects) and the commission of acts of brutality against them.
We seek to promote a dynamic conversation surrounding the nature of being human and how to protect all human beings, especially the most vulnerable, from violence and death.
Please support our work through your prayers, your voice and your financial contributions.