Pro-Life / Pro-Death

24 06 2008

Pro Life

I read this article yesterday.  It’s an interesting write-up on the “young” evangelical voting group and their Shane Claiborne - The Irresistable Revolutionpotential impact on the upcoming election.  (I place the word “young” in quotations because the article ranges this group between 18-29, but I still consider myself in the young christian crowd at 31:)).  The article is interesting to me for a variety of reasons.  One reason is that it references Shane Claiborne – author of an outstanding book I read a few months ago called The Irresistable Revolution – Living as an Ordinary Radical.  (If you haven’t read this book, please buy it and read it).

But there was something else in the article that really caught my attention that I want to focus on for this post.  Speaking about this “young” evangelical group of voters, the author of the article said:

“Most favor stricter laws to protect the environment, for example, an issue not typically associated with Republican platforms, yet remain conservative on issues like opposition to abortion and support for the death penalty.”

OK, does this bother anyone else?  This is something that has perplexed me for quite a long time.  How can anyone be an opponent of abortion and a proponent of capital punishment at the same time?  How can you call yourself pro-life and yet support something called the death penalty?  These two hot-button issues seem to be completely at odds with each other.  But, it always amazes me the number of people I know who are pro-life and pro-death at the same time.

Of course, I do understand there is a fundamental difference between the life of an innocent unborn baby and that of a death-row convict.  But, is there really a difference in the value of their lives?  Does God love one more than the other?  I personally don’t think so.  I think God loves each human being the same and the value of our lives stems from that love.  So, in my pro-life way of thinking, I can’t make a distinction between the killing of unborn babies and the killing of rapists and murderers.  To me, killing is wrong no matter the target.

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6 responses

24 06 2008
jodistiegelmeyer

I completely agree. It has always confused me how conservatives support the death penalty and call themselves pro-lifers. It seems very contradictory to me.

30 06 2008
Kyle Stickens

As Christians, shouldn’t we believe that all lives are redeemable? If so, then you can’t be a Christian and support the death penalty. Right? Or is God’s grace intended for only the holy and righteous and once you’ve screwed up and are on death row you need to pay for your sins and die!

So much for a God of second chances, right?

30 06 2008
BuffaloNickel

Kyle, couldn’t agree with you more. We have all sinned and fallen short, right? The wages of sin is death. In my mind, we all deserve the death penalty. Thank God, He sent his son to pay the price for us.

14 05 2009
Rob

I would agree that this is a fair problem: being pro-life and pro-death penalty can seem like a clash, and it’s something I’ve really had to struggle with. Is the death penalty consistent with the new covenant Biblically?

28 05 2009
Clint Mahoney

My wife and I are very pro-life after killing our child through abortion 14 years ago and hiding it in a conservative protestant church for 12 of those years. We were young scared, stupid and selfish and we got married and had our 13 year old daughter a few months after the abortion and are fine.

We now have five kids have been foster parents for three children (bringing our total up to 7 kids 9 and under a the time) and we are currently fostering to adopt a special needs child (the type typically slated for abortion) – our church is full of people such as us – every child who has been spared at Planned Parenthood in our town who we have had the option to adopt, our church has families that have adopted – that’s happened sadly only three times in the past decade or so – but there have been other people who kept their children or given up for adoption to others.

So you may know Pro-Lifers who don’t care about the kids but all the Pro-Lifers I know (Bloomington, Indiana) have adopted kids or on the waiting list. One friend of mine adopted five children after their three biological children were grown – and another family who adopted four kids – one had a life-threatening illness and died a few years later – the other has severe cerebral palsy. Sadly, when we tried to adopt we were told our 1600 square foot house wasn’t big enough – so the reason many kids are being aborted in the name of there not being enough homes are because the gov. is preventing people from adopting who want to and are capable. My wife and I just got our house paid off so we’re going to be using our freed-up mortgage payment to add on to our house.

BTW, my wife and I were from impoverished families with sexual abuse, alcoholism and various other strikes against us and we made it – if we help those struggling anyone can make it – abortion just adds a lifetime of sadness – it doesn’t magically fix poverty and other social problems – in fact it creates more than it solves.

Also, the issue of overpopulation is a myth and BTW, I’m not particularly for the death penalty and I’m completely against the war in Iraq yet I’m a Pro-Life Christian [poof, Clint disappears in a puff of improbability] – there is not contradiction in my understanding but there is in those who are against the Iraq War but think murdering 1.3 million unborn Americans per year is okay.

20 07 2009
stephy

This was interesting…thanks for writing about it, it’s a loaded subject for sure.

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