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Why the Pro-Life Movement is Quiet on Capital Punishment

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  • If someone you loved was assaulted and murdered, wouldn’t you demand justice?
  • Wouldn’t you want to protect your family, friends and others from such a brutal event ever happening again?
  • Wouldn’t you want the murderer permanently removed from society?
  • To ensure a murderer never kills again, wouldn’t the surest and quickest way be to end the murderer’s life?

Throughout history, many cultures have supported the “eye for an eye” justice system, whereby an offender is granted an equal punishment to match their wrong-doing. In the case of killing another person, this often meant death.

When I first became involved with the pro-life movement (shortly after having a dream about the end of days), I was surprised to find most pro-life organizations do not take a position on the death penalty. While sanctity of life is often discussed in those circles, the tendency is to focus on right to life for unborn babies, the elderly or the infirmed. This may be for several reasons.

  1. The notion that life is sacred and worth protecting is an easier pitch when showing pictures of cooing babies or regal elderly than it is to argue a convicted serial murderer’s life has intrinsic value and should be spared.
  2. To be most effective, many organizations targeting cultural change opt to pick a single goal and focus on achieving it with laser-fine intensity. The idea is to achieve more with focused effort on a single cause than to thin your efforts over the herculean task of social change using a scattershot approach. In furthering the sanctity of human life movement, pro-life organizations predominately target protecting unborn babies. They do this through a number of activities, including lobbying, traditional marketing, educating and assisting community groups such as churches, pregnancy service centers and student organizations.
  3. Still, why not simply state a position on capital punishment and then let it rest at the sidelines? Why maintain a stance of “no stance” on the death penalty at all? There may be a feeling that addressing capital punishment—even at a surface level—gives the pro-choice opposition more ammunition. Think about it. If you are a pro-abortion leader who is trying to do your part to undermine the pro-life argument, which would you rather bring to your audience’s attention?
    1. The pro-life movement supports the right of the unborn to continue living; a right they say supersedes any desire the mother has to be free of the pregnancy. ~or~
    2. The pro-life movement wants to protect the murderer who slaughtered someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father.

Right. Option B would be much harder to defend.

In the United States, up until the late 1960’s, people were still being mob-lynched for race, religious beliefs and criminal activity. Other places across the globe are still seeing terminal mob-justice today. For example, following the earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010, suspected looters were lynched by angry mobs. In South Africa, drug dealers and gang members have recently been hanged by vigilante groups.

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

(Originally posted at prosanctityoflife.com on October 28, 2011.)

Pro-Choice Mom Believes Any Reason Will Do

Recently, I stumbled across a blog that stated the following:

“As you all know, I am pro-choice. I don’t believe in parental notification laws. I believe you can have an abortion for whatever reason you want. And yes I am a mother. And yes I was upset when I miscarried cuz that was a baby to me. However, IT IS MY CHOICE!!! And that’s what the abortion debate is about. […] Fine, if you are prolife. I don’t push my opinions on you and I expect you to do the same.”

A few things struck me here:

  1. This person is a mother and still believes—even after having gone through the whole pregnancy and childbirth experience—that abortion (the right to kill her baby in utero) is still something she thinks she wants to defend.
  2. She admits she is aware there is a baby within. (Pro-abortionists usually favor referring to an unborn baby as a zygote or fetus—anything to avoid calling it a baby, because really—who wants to kill an innocent, defenseless baby? Killing babies is just bad mojo.)
  3. She illustrates defensiveness over anyone telling her what she can and cannot do with her body. This appears to be the main foundation upon which she rests her entire pro-choice position. One can only wonder if she takes other physical mandates as personally. After all, it’s against the law to physically assault others with your body. It’s against the law to neglect buckling your body into your car. It’s against the law to walk in public while nude. We have all these laws that tell us what we can and cannot do, where we can and cannot go and even what we can and cannot say.
  4. She says it’s not her place to tell others what to do. Isn’t this what laws are? Rules, created by people, set to define appropriate behavior? We live in a world of laws; otherwise we live in a world of chaos. Daily, we choose to either work within those laws (citizen), without those laws (criminal), or on the laws (lawmaker.) Throughout our lives, most of us have donned two or three of these roles at one time or another, to varying degrees.

I think the most troubling idea here is the notion this mother knows there is a baby in the womb but thinks her “right” is more important than her baby’s life. Some questions I’m struggling with:

  • Does this rigidity offer her a much needed sense of control or certainty in her life?
  • Does she feel her life is so restricted by laws that tell her what she can and cannot do with her body that she simply cannot bear one more law?
  • Is it that she was influenced by someone close to her in her past and now subconsciously clings to the pro-abortion paradigm that was originally given to her?

And the biggest question of all:

  • What pushes this young mother to defend this pro-abortion mindset even after seeing her baby for the first time? Can a new mother truly look at her newborn baby after enduring 10 months of pregnancy’s highs and lows and think, “Yes, I should definitely have had the right to kill this child while she was inside my body?”

Really?

(Originally posted at prosanctityoflife.com on October 23, 2011.)

Seek Ye My Face

“There are two mistakes that can happen along the road to truth–not going all the way and not starting”
~The Buddah.

I recently met a young man who is actively seeking a career in motivational speaking. As he and I were talking, it quickly became clear we agreed on a good number of points ranging from public speaking, to personal development, to our approach to life, and so on. In that brief exchange, the only thing we seemed to disagree upon was our approach to knowing who God was. The young man stated he didn’t want to invest time in figuring out the unknowable. That’s fine, I thought; that’s just where he’s at.

Following that conversation, I questioned myself. After all, doesn’t it often feel like an exercise in futility when we try to understand God and the nature of Divinity? What’s more is, who is to say we’re even right when we think we’ve hit upon a truth!? How do we know? Can we?

Well, it was here I arrived at my deep inner desire to know God and to know my own nature–and the nature of all things, as a result. For me, it all begins with knowing God. Know God and all else will be revealed. Through knowing God, we will know how the stars and planets and universe work. Through knowing God, we will know the why’s and how’s of the world around us. We will understand the seasons, evolution and the life and death of it all. We will understand why our parents, teachers, priests, leaders, family and friends were who they were. We will understand who we are. We will know why we are.

Albert Einstein says, “I want to know how God thinks. The rest is just details.” For me, quite often, it’s the details I get caught in. It’s the details I allow to weigh me down. It’s the details to which I attach myself. It’s the day-to-day grind, the high’s and low’s, the drama and fantasy of life; that’s the stuff I find myself focusing much of my attention and energy upon. That is the roller-coaster I step off when I slow down, take time for myself and look quietly inward. And it’s in those moments where I feel closest to God.  In the silence and calmness. In the “just being”.

Second to this, for me, is the sharing of insights of a spiritual nature. When I have a deep, powerful, connected conversation that raises both the other person and myself, I feel ecstatic! Thrilled! I’m back on the roller-coaster, sure, but it’s a great place to be in that moment! It feels inspired, God-centered and whole. In Matthew 18:20, Christ says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am.” Have you ever felt this phenomenon? I do it all the time now and–as I speak more about Divinity–more people come up to me to share their own experiences. On top of that, the more of these conversations I have, the more I see Divinity’s presence in the world around me. And, the more aware I am of Divinity around me, the more centered in Divinity I feel.

Epilogue: After my counseling session with Dr. Christopher today, I was walking out of the community church where these meetings are held. The building is set up in such a way one can access the conference area downstairs or the classrooms upstairs without ever seeing the chapel. In fact, I had never seen the chapel before this afternoon, having apparently walked past it several dozen times. On my way out today, however, I looked up and noticed the printing over a doorway that leads down a darkened hall. What I noticed for the first time were the symbols for the Greek characters, alpha and omega; the statement that God is the Alpha and the Omega–the Beginning and the End. I saw blue light coming from a room down the hall, so I followed it and discovered the large, empty chapel. The blue light was from the stained glass that lined the walls. The chapel was modest, even down to simple wooden chairs for the clergy, saving the ornate for the massive set of organ pipes that filled the front wall. I stopped for a moment to soak in the stillness, then walked to the front and sat down in the third pew from the front. There I sat in silence for a bit. I considered the contents of the altar, where stood a simple metal cross and a Bible, displayed open, upright and facing the congregation. I stood, genuflected, and approached the altar. This was the first line I read:

Psalms 27:8 – When Thou saidst, “Seek ye My face,” my heart said unto Thee, “Thy face, LORD, will I seek.”

And so I will.


UPDATE 06/16/2017

I think it’s often bittersweet to go back and read something you wrote almost a decade ago. It’s a mixed experience, like digging through a time capsule in your parents’ attic and stumbling across your childhood artwork. It’s a forgotten snapshot that usually mirrors to you your own clumsiness from another age. I’m never half as clever as I thought I was when I made the masterpiece in the first place.

So, I offer this dusty treat, originally published to a personal blog in April 21, 2010. I was still in the throes of New Age studies, as illustrated by my numerous references to God as “Divinity” (God is divine, of course, but I tend to call Him “Father” these days, which recognizes the shift in my relationship with Him.) I also recognize how ill-grounded I was at this time. I had no sense of truth, nor knew how to find it even though I had God’s Word sitting on an altar right in front of me. I hadn’t yet discovered the authority of the Bible, nor I had I come under the lordship of Jesus Christ. I was simply a seeker, drifting from one explanation to the next.

Thank you, Father, for your call on my life.

Thank you, Jesus, for making the way clear.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for buoying me through this journey.

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