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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pro-Life, Capital Punishment Conundrum

One of the most perplexing and mind-numbing conundrums in the conservative world is that of the pro-life hardline stance and the issue of capital punishment.  The argument for pro-lifers is that every life is sacred, every human being is created in the Imago Dei and therefore have a right to life.  I don't disagree with that one bit for I too have been pro-life for most of my life and for a good part of that, had no clue as to why I was pro-life.  I don't support abortion on demand, and I sure as hell don't think that taxpayer dollars should subsidize it either.

But I digress.

On the other hand, there's the issue of capital punishment where the perpetrators of horrendous crimes against humanity are put to death.  But does that life still have value?  Is that person still created and existing in the Imago Dei?  This is a conundrum I have wrestled with for a very long time.  Not an easy place intellectually or emotionally to find one's self, I admit.  These are the conclusions I have come to:

1.  If I to be pro-life, I must also be anti-capital punishment otherwise I am being intellectually dishonest.

2.  The issue of war/pacifism is a completely different argument for a different time,  for I believe there are "just wars." 

3.  Immediate justice wherein a perpetrator is caught in the act of a heinous crime and is put to death on the spot can be considered acceptable, but is also troublesome. 

4.  Rigid pro-lifers who are also rigid capital punishment proponents are idiots and clearly lack intellectual honesty.

Right or wrong, that is now my stance.  I'm not a pro-capital punishment kind of guy any longer.  There are exceptions to the rule, of course as stated in (3) above.  But even saying that, I feel a little dirty, someone dishonest myself. 

As I age and come face-to-face with the reality of my own mortality, these are questions I find myself compelled to answer.  It's not as though I'm picking a fight, desirous of some debate, but rather I feel my soul must be cleansed from these inconsistent suppositions. 

I've spent far too much time in the presence of blood thirsty individuals who believe that they can use the term, "justice" and be able to explain away their lust for revenge and judgment.  These same people permeate the fabric of our government and many more are clamoring to follow suit and join the ranks of elected officials.  They are everywhere and while they say they are caring, compassionate "Christian" men and women, I can assure you that they are merely ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing.

Don't be fooled, don't be misled about these arguments.  Think for yourself, do your homework and work it out for yourself.  I don't have all the answers - I'm just starting to ask the right questions.