Thursday 5th May 2016

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101… “Can You Be Pro-Life And Support Capital Punishment?”

July 2, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of all Culture of Life 101 articles so far with footnotes, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

+    +    +

“If the deliberate extinguishment of human life has any effect at all, it more likely tends to lower our respect for life and brutalize our values” — Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, architect of Roe v. Wade, on capital punishment.

+    +    +

Pro-abortionists sometimes link the issues of abortion and capital punishment in their debates, literature, and propaganda campaigns. Their goal is to try to make pro-life activists look inconsistent because we allegedly support the death penalty and therefore do not really value all human life. This is an extension of the tired old slogan that we only care for people until they’re born and then forget about them.
But the only scientific study ever performed on this topic showed that a much greater proportion of pro-abortionists support the death penalty than do pro-lifers. This means that pro-abortionists are being consistent, because they favor death for the born as well as the unborn, and for the guilty as well as for the innocent.
This study revealed that 26 percent of pro-lifers agreed that “capital punishment should never be used,” while only six percent of pro-abortionists agreed. Fifty-four percent of pro-lifers agreed that “capital punishment should be used for a heinous crime,” while a whopping 83 percent of pro-abortionists agreed. And, most revealingly, only eight percent of pro-lifers answered that they would be an executioner, while 22 percent of pro-abortionists said that they would.
Since 1936, Gallup polls have shown that a solid majority of Americans favor the death penalty for murder. Republicans favor the death penalty more often than Democrats, but activist pro-lifers oppose it more frequently than pro-abortionists. The systemic hypocrisy of pro-abortion leaders becomes glaringly evident here; they claim that a majority of Americans are “pro-choice,” so abortion should remain legal. But even though a consistently large majority of Americans favor the death penalty, pro-abortionists say that it should be abolished.
Gallup polls have also shown that 65 percent of people who attend church weekly support the death penalty, while 71 percent of the people who never set foot inside a church support it. Not surprisingly, practicing Catholics are much more likely to oppose capital punishment than non-practicing Catholics, by a margin of 37 to 23 percent.
Some pro-abortion propagandists try to peddle the myth that most pro-lifers are “eye for an eye”-type Old Testament Christians, but only about three to five percent of Americans mention the Bible as a justification for the death penalty.
Repeated extensive surveys show pro-lifers in general are more concerned about all of the major social issues — child abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, homelessness, hunger, racism, and even overpopulation — than pro-abortionists.
Some of the most radical activist pro-abortionists claim to be against capital punishment, claiming that it should never be used. But, of course, they have their exceptions. When Paul Hill went on trial for the murder of John Britton and James Barrett, many pro-abortionists vocally demanded his execution. The same occurred when Eric Rudolph went on trial for the Olympic Park and abortion mill bombings in 2005.
And Lynne Slepian, widow of murdered abortionist Barnett Slepian, said that his killer James Kopp should not only be executed, but tortured as well: “I’d like to see him dead, but I don’t want him to have the luxury of having a quick, painless death. I’d like to see a slow, painful death. Lethal injection is too good for him.”
The hypocrisy does not end there. The same people who push so hard for abortion and euthanasia under the rationale that people ought to be able to “control their own bodies” vigorously oppose even the execution of those few inmates who want to be put to death.
Vivid contrasts between the death penalty and abortion: To begin with, the preborn baby has committed no harm against anyone, while those who receive the death penalty have been convicted of the most heinous of crimes — often under aggravating circumstances such as extreme sadism or torture. Some may argue that the preborn baby commits harm against the mother just by existing, but this heartless argument completely neglects the fact that the intent to harm is not present.
Second, the murderer has been tried by a jury with a judge presiding, and has an attorney defending him. There are always multiple automatic appeals in a capital case. But the preborn has no jury, no judge, no attorney, and has not even been charged with a crime. He is simply sentenced to death by the mother (or others forcing her to have the abortion), and the abortionist carries out the execution, which is always cruel and unusual.
The execution of a killer is a matter of utmost gravity. It is true that some innocent people have been executed, but it is also true that the judicial system has expended great efforts in discerning his guilt. On the other hand, almost all abortions are committed for economic or social reasons. If we applied the same philosophy toward crime, all of our jails would be empty, because the death penalty would be automatically applied to such petty crimes as larceny and littering.
After considering these differences, can anyone say that abortion is the lesser wrong or the more just alternative? And what kind of person would have more sympathy for a murderer convicted under aggravating circumstances than for an innocent child?
We should ask a person holding such views if they would accept a deal: an absolute ban on capital punishment in exchange for an absolute ban on abortion. A pro-abortionist will always refuse such a deal, showing that pro-aborts care much more about their own convenience than they do for the very lives of the murderers they claim to care so much about.

Pope St. John Paul II

Church teaching on capital punishment: Pro-abortionists would have the public believe that pro-lifers in particular and Christians in general are monsters who demand the death penalty for a wide variety of crimes. In reality, the Catholic Church teaches that nobody has the right to take the life of an innocent person, whether it be by act of war, capital punishment, or abortion. However, if a murderous aggressor simply cannot be deterred from his or her activities, the state has the right to carry out the death penalty.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
“Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against an unjust aggressor” (n. 2267).
Pope St. John Paul II emphasized that the death penalty should be used very sparingly indeed, and even then in the most extreme cases:
“Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically nonexistent’” (Evangelium Vitae, n. 56).
Some people from ersatz “religious” pro-abortion groups like Catholics for (a Free) Choice and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice claim that abortion is permissible because it is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. These same people are also mostly opposed to capital punishment of guilty murderers, but seem to ignore the fact that the Bible has many passages supporting the practice.
This inconsistency is entirely typical of pro-abortionists: They lean on the Bible only when it allegedly supports their position, but unhesitatingly reject it when it condemns their activities or does not agree with them.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges

At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian,…Continue Reading

Serving LGBT Students in Catholic Schools

April 28, 2016, at 9:03 AM  |  By Dan Guernsey  |  Opinion How do Catholic schools best serve students who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (popularly called “transgendered”)? What should a school’s policies prescribe in order to prevent…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group Lists Every Company Backing Planned Parenthood

A pro-life organization that has spent decades working to try to get corporations to stop giving financial donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion business has released a revised listing of companies backing the abortion giant. Life Decisions International has released…Continue Reading

Trump completes 5-state sweep; Clinton beats Sanders in most Super Tuesday III contests

Donald Trump completed a five-state sweep in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primaries, strengthening his shot at avoiding a contested convention – while Hillary Clinton scored convincing victories but was denied the same bragging rights of a primary sweep by a surprise…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Caught Again

Kentucky is suing a new Planned Parenthood clinic after Governor Matt Bevin found out that they have illegally killed 23 unborn children. The clinic knowingly operated without a license for nearly two months. The request for a license was later…Continue Reading

Top Vatican cardinals aren’t commenting on pope’s exhortation

April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two of the Vatican’s most senior prelates, both known for taking a strong stand for the Church’s tradition at the Synod on the Family, are declining interviews on Pope Francis’ controversial apostolic exhortation. Vatican reporter…Continue Reading

Indiana diocese: Catholic teachers must uphold Church’s moral teachings

FORT WAYNE, Indiana, April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Another Catholic bishop has taken steps to reinforce Catholic identity in the schools of his diocese. Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades promulgated “The Mission of Our Catholic Schools and the Importance…Continue Reading

Abby Johnson to Georgetown: Pray for Cecile Richards because no one is beyond conversion

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – No one is beyond conversion, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson said at Georgetown University Wednesday, just hours after Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards delivered a lecture to a packed room at…Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Pro-life NFL star Matt Birk reveals real reason he skipped meeting with Obama

April 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When football star Matt Birk decided to quietly decline an invitation to meet President Obama after winning the 2013 Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, he said at the time that he was acting on…Continue Reading

Head of US Bishops’ news agency resigns, blames ‘far right blogosphere’

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—The editor-in-chief and director of the U.S. bishops’ official news service resigned Wednesday at the request of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference general secretary. Tony Spence, who had worked for Catholic News Service since 2004, had…Continue Reading

Scandal: More ‘Drag Shows’ at Catholic Colleges

Annual drag shows — where individuals dress up and perform as the opposite sex — have become a consistent presence on several Catholic college campuses, punctuating the spring semester with scandal and disregard for Church teaching on human sexuality. Despite…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood: Ted Cruz is ‘the biggest threat we face’

April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Ted Cruz’s pro-life views make him the “biggest threat” Planned Parenthood faces, the abortion giant said in a fundraising email last week. Citing the Texas senator and presidential candidate’s opposition to abortion in cases of…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .  

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis: ‘God loves each and every one of us’

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says God loves each and every one of us, He is totally extraneous to the “throwaway culture” of today and like the good shepherd he does not want a single person to be lost. Speaking on Wednesday at the weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy reflecting on the parable of the Good Shepherd. He said that the Lord uses the image of the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: Communion Remains Off-Limits for “Remarried”

muller

News is now spreading about Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s varied remarks on marriage, as well as on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia itself, during his trip to Spain at the beginning of May. As the Spanish website Infocatolica.com now reports, Cardinal Müller spoke at a presentation of his new book on hope at the Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, Spain, where he affirmed and confirmed the traditional view of marriage and the “impossibility” of changing that clear…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Embrace ‘Demonic’ Gender Ideology in Housing Policies

gay

The College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit, Catholic institution in Worcester, Mass., will implement a new housing policy in the 2016-2017 academic year that embraces gender ideology, which Pope Francis has called “demonic” and a threat to the family. The updated housing policy “will allow students of different sexes to room together based on gender identity,” according to an April 29, 2016, report in the campus newspaper The Crusader. At the University of San…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood CEO: My Proudest Moment is Forcing Christians to Pay for Abortion Drugs

richards

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards seems to jump at every chance she gets to do an interview with a journalist who will flatter her abortion work. In her latest interview, Richards revealed her proudest moment on the job – forcing Christians to pay for contraception, including methods that many say can cause early abortions. She told the Texas Observer: TO: And your proudest moment at Planned Parenthood? CR: Definitely the day President Obama called to…Continue Reading

Pope’s Morning Homily: No to Double Lives!

pope(picture)

You are in communion with God, walk in the light. Do works of light, don’t say one thing and do another •April 29, 2016•ZENIT Staff• Pope Francis today exhorted Christians to avoid the “double life” of saying one thing and doing another. This was a main message of his homily this morning in the Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio. “If you say you are in communion with the Lord, then walk in the light.…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How To Fight Dissent Continued”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org). +…Continue Reading

Dishonoring General Jackson

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In Samuel Eliot Morison’s The Oxford History of the American People, there is a single sentence about Harriet Tubman. “An illiterate field hand, [Tubman] not only escaped herself but returned repeatedly and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom.” Morison, however, devotes most of five chapters to the greatest soldier-statesman in…Continue Reading

Euthanasia In Canada… Liberty Without Freedom

By DONALD DeMARCO On April 14, 2016, Canada’s Liberal government introduced Bill C-14 legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide. The long-awaited draft is intended to amend two Criminal Code sections that formerly prohibited euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Supreme Court of Canada, in a 9-0 decision on February of 2015, declared these sections to be unconstitutional.…Continue Reading

And A Child Shall Lead Them

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK College students are not children, yet the line from Isaiah 11:6, about how “a little child shall lead them,” may fit the role they will play is correcting the disorder at our Catholic universities. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but one cannot help but wonder if the day will come when…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred . . . On Defending Doctrinal Truth Without Compromise

By JAMES MONTI Several years ago I had the curious misfortune of having to listen to several homilies regarding St. John the Baptist in which this great Forerunner of the Christ was cast as somewhat of a villain. The homilist claimed that John was being too judgmental in condemning Herod for his adultery and incest,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Faith And Courage

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Pentecost (YR C) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the Gospel reading today we hear about our Lord breathing on His disciples so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. This, of course, is a reference back to the creation when God breathed the breath of life into the…Continue Reading

“Love One Another”. . . But Logic Cannot Be Separated From God

By FR. JOHN DE CELLES (Editor’s Note: Fr. John De Celles, pastor of St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church, Springfield, Va., gave the following homily on the Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 24, 2016, at his parish. (Fr. De Celles based his homily on the readings for that day, including the Gospel which has the passage, “Love one another as…Continue Reading

Race And Religion . . . Commitment To Religion Improves Lives

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. (We are running this commentary in the space usually reserved for Fr. Kevin M. Cusick’s column, as Fr. Cusick appears on…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Inquisition: Answering Objections

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 52 First objection: The Inquisition was intolerant! Reply: Before we dissect the Inquisition, we first have to define the terms we use, to ensure that we share the same meaning. What is “tolerance”? In today’s liberal parlance, it means something like accepting other opinions, views, and preferences, so that we are not seen to…Continue Reading

The Liturgy — Work Of The Holy Trinity

By DON FIER Part 4 The cooperation between the Holy Spirit and the Church that is at work in the liturgy is so close that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) treats the two together. As stated in the section’s opening paragraph, when the Advocate “encounters in us the response of faith…the liturgy becomes the common work of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the western border of Italy lies Monaco. Driving northeast along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea for about 110 miles, the traveler arrives in the coastal city of Genoa, home of a truly remarkable woman who served the Kingdom of God as a wife, mother, widow, layperson, and religious. Although she suffered from hidden wounds, she…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading