Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Soapbox: Pro-Life Often Means Pro-Some Lives

In this blog, I have generally avoided really controversial issues. One exception is my stand against the death penalty, but generally I have tried to avoid most of the big social controversies. Now to reveal my true crotchety nature. I'm sorry if this means that I will alienate people, but what can I say: I gotta be me. If you disagree with me or see a hole in one of my arguments, then please point it out. I am a fan of the dialectic.

Something about the abortion and death penalty debates has always bugged me.

There are people who call themselves pro-life, but still are pro-death penalty and many of those are also pro-war. OK, I know that few people are really "pro-war", but many people are fans of our military going around the world and killing in the name of freedom or oppression. Note that the Republican party platform is explicitly pro-life and pro-death penalty. Here are a couple quotes from the Republican Party Platform:
  • Courts must have the option of imposing the death penalty in capital murder cases and other instances of heinous crime.
  • Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.
So, here is my problem: How can anyone who fights abortion because of "the sanctity of all human life" turn around and defend having the government kill people? My guess: The difference is that the unborn are potential converts, while killers and "evil" people in other countries are not people they want to convert. If all human life has sanctity, then that's it. It shouldn't matter whose life we are talking about.

I know that some will say that those who kill have given up their right to life, but if that right is sacred, then I submit that no human can decide that it has been given up. Note also that I think any Christian will agree that we are all sinful. As I recall, that's kinda the point of Jesus, baptism, and confession. So, there is no question about whether people are sinful; we all are, but I don't really want to go down that particular rabbit hole unless someone drags me there.

"Pro-Life" is an inaccurate label for anyone who is in favor of the death penalty or thinks that war is ever justified. I suggest that we use "Pro-Some Lives" or "Pro-Potential Convert" instead. Note that I have a similar issue with pro-choice people who say they are strict pacifists.

If there is ever a time when a life can be taken, then it makes sense to me that the battle between life and choice/freedom is one with some gray areas.


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