"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Friday, October 27, 2006

Class in Session

I don't suppose I should have expected better from Talk Left: but hasn't the argument that pro-lifers should, to be consistent, oppose the death penalty been answered, like, a million times over by now?

Sigh. Pro-lifers (for the most part) are not pacifists. There is a difference between an unborn human child who is the very exemplar of innocence, and people like this or this or this or this or this, who are the very exemplars of evil and guilt.

There is a time when life is rightly taken by the state. Just war and capital punishment are two examples. Abortion takes an innocent life. Any questions?


123txpublicdefender123 said...

I have no trouble with the consistency of the positions of being pro-death penalty and pro-war, but anti-abortion. My problem is when they say they are that way because they believe in "the sanctity of life" which is a nice catchphrase, but hardly an accurate description of their philosophy.

Tom McKenna said...

I think there's plenty of abuse of language in hot-button issues like this. I have no problem saying "anti-abortion" which is more informative than "pro-life" (I'm actually pro-innocent life; turnaround, however, is fair play, and instead of "pro-choice" those who support abortion rights should plainly call themselves "pro-abortion" or "pro-abortion rights."

You also have to remember that many who oppose abortion are in fact opposed to all taking of life, whether by capital punishment or in war. These folks, I think, can rightly claim to be motivated by the sanctity of life, which they view as absolute.

123txpublicdefender123 said...

Tom, I do recognize that there are people who are against taking of life under any circumstances and have no problem with them calling themselves "pro-life" or saying their position is based on their belief in the "sanctity of life." What I said in my post is that people who are anti-abortion but pro-war and pro-death penalty should not be using that term.

I also disagree with you that "pro-abortion" is a more accurate description of people, like myself, who think abortion should be legal. I am not pro-abortion. I do not promote abortion, I don't want to see more abortions, and I don't go around telling people how great abortions are. I do, however, believe that the government should have very limited interference in a woman's decision to have an abortion. I believe it is her right to choose. I think most people who call themselves "pro-choice" feel this way as well, and I think "pro-choice" is a more accurate way to describe our point of view than "pro-abortion." I also don't believe drug possession or prostitution should be subject to criminal sanctions, even though I, personally have never used illegal drugs and or engaged in prostitution, and in fact believe prostitution to be grossly immoral. I don't think it would be accurate to call me pro-drugs or pro-prostitution either. Just because you are against decriminalizing something doesn't mean you are pro whatever that something is.

Anonymous said...

"These folks, I think, can rightly claim to be motivated by the sanctity of life, which they view as absolute."

In other words you do not consider human life absolutely sacred.

Tom McKenna said...

No, I don't. There are times when taking a life is permissible, even, I would argue, morally imperative. Killing the enemy in a just war, killing an assailant who is trying to kill you or someone else, and executing a convict convicted of a capital offense are all examples of situations in which the otherwise inviolate right to life of a person is forfeited by the person's harmful conduct.

Killing the offender in such cases actually vindicates the importance we place on human life, since in these cases we are taking a life to defend an innocent life or lives.