I was thoroughly entertained by the Republican debate last night, laughing as Mitt Romney got creamed, and Michele Bachmann faded away, and Newt well, was Newt.
One thing that left my stomach turning that got me in trouble on Twitter, and that was my disgust at the death penalty, and Republicans applauding its use. As Senator Amidala in all her wisdom pointed out, joining the crowd in evil is a scary thing for lovers of life and liberty.
The state sanctioned murder of anyone should be mourned and used in lament, not in boisterous nationalism. Of course, we live in today’s world, and subjective selfish vengeance is celebrated over the virtues of justice and restoration. I am pro-life when it comes to THE abortion issue. The tragic thing I see is, more than the choice of abortion itself, is that this debate has become about what is wrong with the married or single mother who choose this tragic path, (since the debate is framed in terms of individual rights, and “women’s right to choose”) rather than, what’s wrong with the society that makes women think they are alone? What’s wrong with a society that suffers from economic injustice that pressures such decision-making?
Just the same, I oppose capital punishment. The enthusiasm I see for the practice that I witness go uncriticized by the mainstream media further affirms my belief that we live in a tyrannical, death-loving society. Rather than be governed by reason (yes, I said reason), pro-Death Penalty advocates, as they did on twitter last night, desperately flail emotional outbursts, “Remember you argued this when one of your family members gets murdered.” This type of debate not only delves into a victim’s mentality, but it is also trying to undermine good rational arguments by going for emotions, on a very subjective (in a bad way) level. Of course, when I use arguments like the pro-life argument against abortion: “God is Creator” and therefore we do not have the right to take a life, you know, and extend it to death row, Capital Punishment Pro-Choicers will say, well, the baby did not get a trial, and that criminal did. Right, as if every criminal trial is fair. Oh, I am being tedious, right?
It’s not about a trial or the jury in either case. My opposition to both abortion and the death penalty is based on who is ultimately declared judge, and in both instances, fallen humanity has set themselves up as Lord of Life, replacing the Creator in God’s sovereignty.
To make this clear for those who haven’t got it yet:
If conservatives say government must be limited because people get their rights from God, and not the government, then it must be that the right to life comes from a source, a lone source (whether it be YHWH, or Zeus or evolution or Being Itself), that is, something that is prior to the political, then reasonably, conservatives should be vehemently opposed to the death penalty as they are to abortion. If you notice what I did, I included evolution or Being Itself as well, because there are conservative thinkers who are non-theistic. Gotta be inclusive, right Joel? But the rationale is the same, that something transcendent in or among humanity provides freedom and our breathe for us, and not the State.
For that reason, I question whether Governor Perry and conservatives who claim to be pro-life actually do believe that our rights come from God. If they did, why do they say they are for limited government except to protect life, but when it comes to capital punishment, concede so much power to the state that it becomes a form of dominating human life. It would seem to me that Perry’s faith in Texas Justice means that our right to life comes from the government rather than the Transcendent, meaning he and those who agree with him, are not as pro-life as they claim to be.
- Republican Debate Night #5: Rick Perry and the Seven Bores (dailykos.com)