When Someone Says They’re “Pro-Life” But Also Support The Death Penalty And War

I Go:


I’m sorry, but it begs the question: isn’t this a just a teensy-tiny inconsistency?

9 thoughts on “When Someone Says They’re “Pro-Life” But Also Support The Death Penalty And War

  1. Sorry, Bryn, but its not inconsistency. It’s apples and oranges. Pro-life is a moniker that came from pro-abortionists calling themselves pro-choice. People who are pro-life are simply anti-abortion. Supporting the dealth penalty for people who have committed heinous crimes is not the same as supporting the destruction of fetuses (or unborn babies, depending on your political affiliation).

  2. The above commenter makes a good point: even in the Bible, God himself issued the death penalty while at the same time penalizing those who intentionally or accidentally caused a woman to miscarry, which shows he cared about life before the womb.

  3. I struggle with this. The biggest issue with the death penalty (at least for me) is that our justice system is flawed. What if we put someone to death for a crime they didn’t commit because a smooth-talking prosecutor convinced the jury? As for war. . . it is my opinion that there has been no “just war” since the Old Testament. And we most definitely have not been involved in one that was necessary since WWII.

    That being said, I unfortunately have the dubious issue of working for a company that runs receiving for a company that supports the war effort. What a dilemma . . .

  4. Doesn’t a criminal bear the image of God just as a fetus does? Is one of more value in God’s sight??? “‘Justice is mine,’ says the Lord.” Jesus explicitly tells us to love our neighbor, and we don’t get to decide who that neighbor is. Healing comes through reconciliation, not retribution. Jesus also tells us that if we have hated someone we have murdered them, or if we have lusted we have committed adultery. And He commands us to love our enemies. You cannot love someone by killing them. There is a beautiful organization called Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights that is working against the death penalty. They truly represent the Gospel message: Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins.

  5. I think this is the type of conversation that should be had which is why I posted it this to begin with. Saying it’s “apples and oranges” is, in my humble opinion, too easy of an answer. When we support the death penalty, we support taking the life of another person. Sometimes that includes, as Jeff pointed out, taking the life of people who are later proven NOT to have committed heinous crimes after all. Should we then turn around and execute the prosecutors, the jury and the judge?War, on the other hand, claims lives of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians as well. Yet, we allow ourselves to say we “support life” and still support AND advocate for these things as God-ordained as many Evangelical leaders were doing when President Bush lobbied for Congressional support to enter Iraq in 2001.

    While God absolutely shows concern for unborn fetus’ he also shows concern for justice which he clearly says that justice is HIS, not mans, in the Old and New Testament (Duet 32:35, Romans 12:19).

    James, I agree with you that the Pro-Life movement was initially started as a counter to the Pro-Choice movement. But, I’m saying there’s an inconsistency with a group of people who label themselves as “pro-life” and do not support and advocate for life across the board. We may do better to label ourselves as “pro-birth”. We tend to use labels to give ourselves a moral high ground over people.

    Jeff, I understand your dilemma. I work for the military, granted as a medical officer who does mostly paperwork but it is still a dilemma. And my tax dollars pay for countless conflicts that I am ashamed to be remotely associated with (Afghanistan, Iraq). Watching what is happening in Iraq right now and knowing that ISIS is able to step in because of the power vacuum created by US in Iraq over the past 20 years interference is something we should all be bothered by.

    Thanks for sharing about Murder Victim’s Families for Humans Rights, Ruth. There are justice systems like those in Norway that have proven much more effective than those in the States. In Norway, a mass murderer killed 70 political party adversaries, most of them children, a few years ago. I just talked with a group of people from the area about the case. Many Americans were appalled that he wasn’t put to death. The people I talked to were very glad that Norway held to their standards and chose not to put him to death, because they really believe that their system of justice, of attempts at reconciliation and recovery, work rather than just killing the person and being done with it. I pray and hope American might move towards this system at some point in the future. But my hope is very dim, to be honest.

    Counter-thoughts everyone?

  6. Do you feel there is the same inconsistency when people label themselves as “pro-choice” but are not pro-choice across the board? Many “pro-choice” people are not very “pro-choice” when it comes to firearms for example. I don’t think they are being in-consistent, because I understand that that label ought to be applied only the social problem for which it was created.

    Both “in-consistencies” are quelled in my mind by leaving the labels in the social context for which they were created, abortion. This to me is another example of the problems that arise when we strip something out of its original context and start applying it to things for which it wasn’t created.

    More thoughts?


    1. I think you make an excellent point. Stripping it out of it’s original context is destructive to understanding the context.

      That said, abortion is not an issue that has walls around it so as not to leak into other areas of society, nothing is. If we are to be “pro-life”, that is, claiming advocacy for life in one realm, then we should in all realms. Otherwise, just say we are “pro-birth”. It’s the same thing but true to the cause and within the social network one wishes to be held accountable too.

      Maybe this is just where we disagree but I think this same goes for “pro-choice” people. To an extent. Because I would point out that the reason I don’t raise an issue with them (and usually don’t raise an issue with the many inconsistencies I see with non-Christians) is because I’m a Christian seeking and desiring reform in the Church. I see this issue as an inconsistency with hypocritical implications for Christians. It’s not my concern whether the other side is doing the same thing, my concern is whether we, as Christians, are acting as we are commanded to act by the one we claim to follow.

      All that said, excellent point. I’m interested to hear your thoughts to my response..

  7. You stated: If we are to be “pro-life”, that is, claiming advocacy for life in one realm, then we should in all realms.

    I’m not sure I follow the implicit logic between the beginning and the end of that sentence. God can certainly be labeled pro-life but is not “pro-life” to the extent that he never orders death and destruction. Depending not the social circumstance, his displays justice by protecting innocent life or by destroying non-innocent life. By raising that, I’m only showing that the two principals are not fundamentally inconsistent, I am not at the moment advocating for anything. Wether or not we ought to and how we as humans portray that aspect of justice is of course debatable. But, I would appreciate you flushing out the argument of that sentence because it ought not be simply assumed.

    Aside: the morality of the examples you raised of certain political situations are worthy to be debated, but, of course, people misusing a principal does not disqualify it from being the proper goal.

    BTW, I told my fiancee about our conversations and she was like “awwww, you found an arguing buddy.”

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