June 10, 2003

Life Uber Alles

Kathy the Carmelite mentions the death penalty and her son's reasons for being for it.

People I respect think differently about the issue, but to look at it from a crass, political angle it seems like a no-brainer to be against it. Why? Because although to equate the unborn with those on death row is a crudity, given the innocence of the former and guilt of the latter, abolishing both abortion and the death penalty would send a consistent message about human life to a culture that is very confused about its value. And although 99% of pro-choicers would not make the trade (i.e. abolish the death penalty in exchange for an end to abortion), it would take away a sword we Christians offer them - that of our perceived hypocrisy. St. Paul wrote about not being a scandal to our brethren; in this case the scandal that the death penalty represents to many is reason enough to abolish it given the alternative of life imprisonment. If we want to emphasize the value a life has, why not make prison much tougher and enforce life in prison for murderers rather than end the life of the perpetrator?

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