Life, in every single case
If a person is ‘pro-life’ in the instance of an unborn child, then shouldn’t that person be pro-life and anti-death penalty in the instance of a born and living human being?
2012 is here and it’s pounding at your door, blasting over the radio airwaves, and likely interrupting your TV-watching time. Further, if your world is anything like mine, that big presidential race ahead is somehow managing to creep its way into every conversation, meeting, chit-chat, dinner or you-name-the-form-of social interaction.
And, no – these are not straight President Obama vs. Governor Romney discussions, nor are they straight who-should-be-the-V.P.? debates.
Case in point, just the other night, a party of four of my dearest friends met to catch up, grab an appetizer and an adult beverage. As we were chatting, 2012 rolled into the conversation. After we finished with Rubio vs. Christie vs. Bloomberg, we starting talking issues: the economy, Iran, how the Affordable Care Act would come down later in June. (Nerd alert, I know – we embrace it.) The ACA discussion then turned into a Supreme Court discussion, which turned into a Roe vs. Wade discussion.
Now, I do not want to turn this particular blog into a Roe vs. Wade argument, and so I won’t. I will take the liberty, however, to say this: It has forever baffled me that those who are so unabashedly and outspokenly “pro-life” when it comes to the Roe vs. Wade decision are oft the very same people who aren’t consistently pro-life when it comes to other socially-charged issue like stem-cell research and the death penalty. (Note, here I am referring to friends, family, strangers who proclaim to be “pro-life” and, in fact, would not deny being single-issue voters in political elections.)
Perhaps this is too simplistic, but in my mind, if a person is vehemently proclaiming to be “pro-life,” then shouldn’t that person be pro-life across the board? Meaning if a person is “pro-life” in the instance of an unborn child, shouldn’t that person be pro-life and anti-death penalty in the instance of a born and living human being? It’s only logical. If a person is going to be/argue “pro-life,” then please be just that – pro-life.
Getting the death penalty wrong
With respect to being pro-life — and, while I could talk about the stem-cell issue – I will leave that for another blog. Instead, let’s take a look at the death penalty for just a moment. It’s a fact that the repercussion of the death penalty is just that – death, and death by execution. So again, if a person is voting on “pro-life” issues, then being pro-life would beg that you are anti-death penalty. Right?
But, what about issues of justice, you ask? Good question. For example, when a person is convicted of murdering another innocent human being, can’t a person still be pro-life and pro-death penalty because of just that very thing called justice? My response would be no, because taking a life is taking a life – and that’s not pro-life.
For the sake of being the devil’s advocate, let’s look at an October 2011 Gallup Poll, which found that 61 percent of Americans are in favor of the death penalty in the instance of murder. Interestingly, 41 percent in that same poll said they believed the death penalty was applied unfairly. Excuse me, but where is the justice in an unfair execution? Am I missing something?
Note that since the death penalty was restored in mid 1970s under Furman vs. Georgia, we know that “at least 39 executions have been carried out in the United States in the face of compelling evidence of innocence or serious doubt about guilt.”
Getting the death penalty wrong in even one instance is wrong, let alone 39 instances.
Life should be about justice – in every case
Back to the original point of this blog: If a person is going to sing the banner of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as unalienable rights guaranteed to citizens under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, then please understand that issues of life extend beyond Roe vs. Wade.
This is an intellectual argument, not just an emotional argument.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was beyond wise and eloquent when he remarked that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Life should be about justice – in every single case. That’s my personal bottom line.
For the record, I am not advocating one position or the other with respect to the many issues of life. I am, however, suggesting that voters should think beyond single issues when it comes to the polls, and, moreover, aim to be more ideologically consistent, especially when it comes to the not-so trivial issues of life.
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