Okla. 'thrill kill' denounced as rejection of human dignity

A makeshift memorial for slain Australian college student Christopher Lane outside the neighborhood where he was killed Credit Brett Deering Getty Images News Getty Images CNA A makeshift memorial for slain Australian college student Christopher Lane outside the neighborhood where he was killed. | Brett Deering/Getty Images News.

A recent alleged "thrill kill" in Oklahoma reveals a blatant lack of respect for the dignity of human life that is present in modern Western culture, said an officer from a global youth organization.

Society seems "to have entirely forgotten the entire definition of human dignity," said Leah Bromberg of World Youth Alliance.

Looking at a recent case in Oklahoma, she told CNA, reaffirms what history has shown: that "to mangle this definition has deadly consequences."

Bromberg is the International Director of Operations for World Youth Alliance, a global youth organization dedicated to affirming human dignity and promote solidarity throughout both developed and developing countries.

She stressed the importance of a proper understanding of the dignity of human life, saying that "everyone is born with this dignity, it is intrinsic, it is inviolable, you cannot take it away, it is part of the human person."

Bromberg responded to the death of Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old college senior and baseball player from Melbourne, Australia, who had been attending an Oklahoma college. Lane was allegedly shot to death while jogging in mid-August.

Too teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death, and a third teenager has received accessory charges

Police called the murder a "thrill kill," or a murder carried out for fun and entertainment rather than any other motive.

"They were bored and just wanted to see somebody die," Duncan police Chief Danny Ford told ABC News, based upon one of the boys' confessions.

Ford also told Fox News that the teens' "perception is that bad attention is better than no attention at all," and that they chose their victim at random.

The alleged "thrill kill" demonstrates "that youth in the West are growing up in a more pleasure-seeking, 'me'-centered mentality," Bromberg explained.

She suggested that the charges reflect a "flawed" cultural approach to human dignity and are connected to other violations of human life that take place daily across the globe.

"If someone is aware that the other person has human dignity that is inviolable and intrinsic," she said, that person would recognize that "I need to respect that" and would not commit atrocities such as senseless murder.

To rebuild a culture that respects human life, Bromberg said, "education is an important factor."

Adults in all sectors of life – but especially those in the home and family – "really need to re-educate young people on what human dignity really means," she said.

"The definition of human dignity has to be taught, and it has to be taught right," she stressed.

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