By John Zmirak Published on October 18, 2017

My Monday piece explained how Pope Francis has denounced capital punishment as always unjust. He cited as his authority … public opinion.

That kind of reasoning, I argued, is how you get empty, Mainline Protestant or Jesuit churches. It’s also how the Supreme Court got from the Bill of Rights to abortion and gay marriage. If ancient precedents and clear principles get thrown into the wood-chipper of “respectable” people’s sentiments, we are prisoners of the present and of the culture. All that, and not capital punishment, was really the point of the piece. But ….

I’m Pro-Life and Pro-Death, and You Should Be Too

Obviously, we need to talk about the death penalty, and how it fits into a pro-life politics. Does it?

A reader comment on my article raised the question as follows:

You can’t be “pro-life” in some instances if you want pro-life to mean what it says it does. You can’t be against abortion and for the death penalty.

You’d only be the ‘sometimes pro-life’ group then.

Is this true? Let’s test it out. How? By applying the same logic to the opposite position. Do pro-choicers favor choice in every circumstance? Should we weave a Seamless Negligee for pro-choicers, which includes

  • A landlord’s choice not to rent to people of a race he doesn’t like.
  • A worker’s choice to work at less than the legal minimum wage.
  • A healthy person’s choice to sell a kidney or a lung on the open market.
  • A woman’s choice to sell her services as a prostitute.
  • A consumer’s choice not to purchase health insurance.
  • A religious order’s choice not to fund abortion pills for its employees.

The list could go on and on. There are countless situations where liberals flout the principle of “choice” for what they consider the common good. Does anyone (outside of libertarian message boards) accuse them of being “inconsistently pro-choice”?

First of All, Vote for No Conservatives

No, of course not. The only place where people try to knit a “Seamless Garment” is among pro-lifers. Sometimes that’s out of dunderheaded earnestness. More often it’s just a cloud of ink shot out by a squid, trying to obscure the issues so that Catholics remember that they’re Irish first and above all vote for Democrats.

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The phrases “pro-life” and “pro-choice” only mean anything in reference to the abortion debate. They describe which of two values in a given situation we choose as prior, where they’re in conflict. Nobody outside purist libertarian circles tries to apply “choice” in an absolute sense. That would make nonsense of the pro-choice position, would actually falsify it. “Pro-choicers” don’t favor absolute choice in every situation, and everybody knows that. Nobody criticizes them for it.

A Double Standard for Pro-Lifers

Why subject pro-lifers to a ludicrous double standard? Unless you’re trying to keep abortion legal, by turning the pro-life position into a crazy utopian program that every sane person should oppose. That’s the Seamless Garment, as waved around by the likes of Cardinal Blaise Cupich, and sadly, Pope Francis. It pretends that on every possible topic, from gun rights to immigration, there is a “pro-life” position, and that it invariably entails all of the following:

  • More power for the government (i.e., grabbing guns).
  • More seizure of wealth to be redistributed by politicians (raising taxes, lavishing money on welfare programs).
  • Acting in what seems like the short-term interests of some people, without concern for long-term consequences (admitting millions of low-skill, left-wing, or sharia-loving immigrants).
  • Enforcing “mercy” for some at the expense of justice for others (refusing to execute murderers).

Many on the Christian left pretend that you can’t be against killing unborn babies for our sexual convenience unless you favor open borders, gun confiscation, an end to capital punishment, single-payer health insurance and massive welfare programs. Oddly, in most of the countries that have all those other programs (see Western Europe), abortion is legal. In most, the pro-life movement barely exists.

Should we weave a Seamless Negligee for pro-choicers?

The Emperor’s Seamless New Clothes

Nobody on earth seems to believe in the Seamless Garment. Name one major country where it prevails. Name one American state where the policies are even moving in its direction.

Crickets.

That isn’t because the Seamless Garment is high-minded, principled and pure, but because it’s incoherent, utopian nonsense. The left knows that. Find me one U.S. Senator or presidential candidate who has come around to oppose abortion because it follows from his rejection of capital punishment.

Nobody on earth seems to believe in the Seamless Garment. Name one major country where it prevails. Name one American state where the policies are even moving in its direction. Crickets. That isn’t because the Seamless Garment is high-minded, principled and pure, but because it’s incoherent, utopian nonsense.

More crickets.

Let’s Get Really Seamless

Oddly, the Seamless Garment isn’t even extreme enough. It’s inconsistent, too. Let’s really apply the principle that in every single public policy question, a short-sighted concern for life over choice must prevail. We’d have to adopt a bunch of other positions that Cardinal Cupich, Pope Francis, Tim Kaine and their tribe never get around to. We’d have to:

  • Cut speed limits to 40 mph. That would reduce traffic deaths.
  • Outlaw smoking, period. That would save thousands of lives.
  • Strictly limit the number of calories every citizen may consume. Obesity kills.
  • Require daily aerobic exercise of every able-bodied American. Ditto.

If you’ll say that we can’t oppose murdering babies for convenience unless we’re consistent, then you have to do all that too. The end-result, of course, is totalitarianism. That’s why nobody is really “consistently pro-life” in this foolish sense, or should be.

Pro-choice people think that in the case of abortion, a woman’s choice should trump the life of the baby. Pro-lifers think that the baby’s life should prevail. That’s how the terms came into being, and that’s the real argument. Let’s stop cheapening words like “pro-life” by dragging them into absurdity. Unless we’re just trying to keep abortion legal, in which case by all means, carry on.

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  • Craig Roberts

    It all makes perfect sense. Equivocate, obfuscate, and insist on the ideal. That way, not only will we outlaw abortion, but we’ll also be able to do away with our evil air-conditioners. As long as all the right people are large and in charge, life will be a dream. You just have to trust in your superiors.

  • Paul

    Even within the context of moms and their kids, pro-choicers lack consistency. None that I know of advocate a womans right to choose to kill their 10 year old if deemed inconvenient or if they face a disabling disease. Pro-choice ultimately hinges on dehumanizing the unborn.

    • TBP100

      There’s no inconsistency at all once you realize that 10-year old children and blastocysts are not actually the same thing and do not have the same moral standing.

      • eddiestardust

        Why should we listen to your opinion? You were a Blastocyst at one time , too?

        • TBP100

          And when I was, I wasn’t a child yet, and did not have the same moral standing an actual child has.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Sure. How much “moral understanding” did you process as an infant ..? By your logic infanticide is a pretty good thing …!!

          • Dean Bruckner

            If you live to be old, you will likely be just a shadow of your former self, burdensome and very inconvenient. And the generation of your children and their children, having survived the genocide of abortion, will return the favor by euthanizing you regardless of what you think or say. It will be your duty to die, and their right to take you down to the vet (you’re just an animal, says Darwinism) and have you put down. You might get a burial, or by then they might just toss your remains out with the vet’s medical waste. For recycling, you see, and sustainability. It’s what you would have wanted.

            Heckuva job, Tippie!

      • Craig Roberts

        You are right. A child’s “moral standing” is that they are innocent and worthy of our protection and care. The younger they are, the more care they require and deserve.

        It’s only after they become adults that they can commit crimes…like murder.

      • Linda

        At what stage of pregnancy does the blastocyst become human? Most abortions happen well into the pregnancy, for example 3 months/12 weeks. Is that still a blastocyst? I have always wondered how people who have abortions can suddenly coo and go gaa-gaa when a year or two later they get pregnant and want the child this time. They send out ultrasound photos of the baby at the same stage they aborted their earlier pregnancies. Can’t figure that one out.

        • TBP100

          IMO it becomes a baby when it can survive outside the womb without heroic medical intervention.

          • Charles Burge

            Your opinion doesn’t square with the sciences of embryology and biology.

          • TBP100

            When have scientists in either of those disciplines come to consensus on when a fertilized egg/blastocyst/fetus/whatever becomes a baby?

            I think the ability to survive independently outside the womb is a pretty important milestone.

            And regardless of what moral status you accord a fertilized egg/blastocyst/fetus/whatever, its rights, if it has any, do not outweigh those of the woman taking on the burdens and risks of having a baby. Even if we consider a fertilized egg/blastocyst/fetus/whatever a baby from the moment of conception, it still doesn’t have the right to occupy someone else’s body without permission. We don’t mandate blood donations, let alone kidney donations, for example, despite the fact that this would save lives. How can we force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term against her will, when it carries serious health risks, including a small, but non-zero chance of death? And remember, the women seeking abortions are often the ones with health issues, poor access to prenatal care and postpartum care, etc.

          • Master Griffin

            So you oppose abortions beyond the 24th week. Any response other than yes, is indicative of deception. Which raises a question you’ll struggle to answer…. what physiological development marker occurs that causes the change from non-life to life at the point when “survival independently” is reached?

          • TBP100

            You apparently miss the part where I said “without heroic medical intervention.”

            And besides, very few abortions are conducted this late in pregnancy, and those that are are virtually always in cases of wanted pregnancies gone horribly wrong.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Seems like you must have slept through human sexuality in grade school. A woman’s womb was never meant to be anything other than that place of refuge for a human life to safely develop. Again you employ a rational that ignores both human anatomical requirements & simple logic when positing conflicted logic to justify an even more conflicted issue . It’s about as reasonable as suggesting untill a fish can live out of water it’s not a fish ….!

          • TBP100

            A woman’s womb belongs to her, and she has the right to determine if another being is allowed to occupy it.

          • Max Aquino

            What’s your argument for that? It’s clearly a separate human organism from the Mother, so your argument hinges on the idea that some human organisms don’t have moral standing. Your standard seems to be those that are most vulnerable to dying. Reads like a Moral Darwinianism: only the strong have moral worth. I tend to think the foundational principle of morality is concern for other which draws us towards a love of the weak and seeing them as valuable even though they are weak.

          • TBP100

            As long as it derives all its sustenance from the pregnant woman, it is not a separate human organism. And even if it were, why does it get to occupy another human organism’s body, exposing her to very real burdens and risks, without permission?

          • Max Aquino

            Biologically organisms are distinguished their having distinct organs/dna/etc. The sustenance criterion is incorrect because in other cases of mutualism a separate organism derives all of its sustenance from another while remaining separate. Moreover, it does not play a role in sustaining the pregnant mother and thus is not an organ of any kind: it’s separate.

            The baby needing permission to live and exist gets to the heart of this: they get that permission by virtue of the dignity as a human organism. The natural (and only) mode of existence is in the womb and it has a right to that by its dignity as human life.

            Again the claim that it does not have these rights deny fundamental dignity of humans precisely when they are most vulnerable. Moreover, the act of “ending the pregnancy” is synonymous with abortion–it involves actions that directly kill the foetus which treats the foetus as a means to an end rather than an end in of itself.

            Indirect killing of the foetus, however, can be licit. If there is a procedure necessary to save the mother’s life that has the side-effect of killing the foetus, this is morally allowed but distinct from abortion.

          • Paul

            So you then advocate a womans right to choose to kill her breast feeding infant?

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Good grief ! A preborn child needs permission to occupy its mothers womb ..?! How does this genius suggest going about doing that ? Can you imagine a prospective mother’s dilemma. “I gave my spouse ( or lover ) my consent in the act of lovemaking but I never intended to gave this baby permission to share my body”. Hey mom, it’s not about permission. It’s about biology. You know that inconvenient facts of life stuff. No one asks to be born because no one can. Permission is absolutely irrelevant & more than just a bit disingenuous …

          • TBP100

            Yes, it does require permission, just like your permission is required for someone to take your blood, or a kidney for transplant. It’s your body, not anyone else’s, and not the state’s.

            Remember, any pregnancy carries risks and burdens, including a small, but non-negligible risk of death. We do not have the right to impose those burdens and risks on those unwilling to take them on.

            Consenting to sex does not mean you are consenting to have another organism occupying your body against your will.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Sure, I can volunteer a pint of blood. I can even sacrifice a kidney. Only one though. As for blood theres a limit there as well. The distinction here is an unborn child is not the equivalent of a pint of the red stuff. A woman has a moral right to refuse intimacy w/anyone. Even her husband as appropriate. That moral right does not extend to the termination of the life of another. Regardless of it’s present location. You however seem to equivocate consenting to sex as though there were no other considerations to be had. Don’t want a baby ? Address that before you “consent” to the possibility of making one. My body by the way, being the “womb” if you will, of the Spirit of the Living God is in that sense not my own. I have a moral obligation to honor God w/this “vessel”. Were you to understand that responsibility before God, you would not be promoting this incongruous self serving aberrant disassociation w/the reality & beauty of motherhood …

          • TBP100

            People who do not share your religious convictions are not obligated to live by them, for starters.

            And again, a zygote is not a baby any more than a sprouting acorn is an oak tree. The one might become the other, but they both face a distinctly uphill battle. Even without human intervention, 60-90% of fertilized eggs fail to come to term all on their own. Either they fail to implant in the first place, or are aborted naturally, often without the woman being aware of it (this is partly why the exact percentage isn’t known, but no one thinks even as many as half of fertilized eggs make it to term). It’s hard to look at that and conclude that any designer, if one even exists, really cares about individual fertilized eggs all that much.

            And regardless, no being gets to occupy another being’s body for nine months, exposing it to serious burdens and risks, without permission. Either we own our bodies or we don’t. I think we do. The idea that we should privilege a potential human being, over an actual human being, simply does not compute.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            “People who don’t share your religious convictions are not obligated to live by them ..”
            Finally, something we can agree on …!

          • TBP100

            But it appears you are trying to impose your religious convictions on pregnant women who do not share them. If I’m wrong about that, please correct me.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Imposing ones religious convictions upon anyone is not the way it works. Jesus never forced himself upon anyone. Those who take “converts” by force are enemies of the gospel. When it comes to legislating morality both you & I will vote for laws that reflect our values. You know, those pesky convictions that are meant to be more than just suggestions for how we should live. Granted you really can’t legislate morality as that is a matter of the heart. Yet, there are laws , for instance that provide harsh consequences for say, violating a child sexually. I trust we both would agree that legislation is important in matters such as those. Laws however are deterrents & do not directly constrain the behaviors of those whose morality, lets say allow them those detestable options. Should the law restore the “right of life” to the yet born child gestating in her mothers womb, then the abortionist would answer to the authorities for any violation. Presently, the only authority that abortionist is accountable to ( for “legal” abortions ) is God. He will always have the last word. He is not punitive, though there are natural consequences for wrong choices. Many a woman who has had to make the ( sometimes ) difficult choice to abort a process that began w/conception ( that is still the dominant thinking among most people ) have often experienced emotional pain & even lasting remorse. Those are facts. I would certainly not wish that grief upon any prospective mother. ( adoption is an alternative ) So, if you interpret supporting ones moral convictions regarding life in the womb as “forcing ” those convictions upon another against their will, then you are mistaken. I am simply affirming what I w/cause believe. Though it may be noted that those who recognize the rights of the unborn could certainly insist that the abortionist & her client are doing what you may have accused me of doing . “imposing their religious convictions” – upon the unborn. Religious convictions in the sense that idealogical objectives do a bad religion make. Jesus is not a religion & He did not visit this planet to start one ….

          • Master Griffin

            By that “logic”, anyone on life support is not worthy of life.

        • Charles Burge

          This is so true. A little while ago I happened to see a headline on Buzzfeed that said something like “Kylie Jenner may have accidentally revealed the gender of her new baby”. And I thought: “wait a minute! I thought it was just a blob of tissue inside her, not a baby. And Gender!! People already have genders before they’re born?” Coming from the left, this is extremely confusing.

      • Andrew Mason

        Why should a child have more moral standing than a blastocyst? They are dependent on their mother and father for their food, their clothes, their shelter, their education etc. And if they’re seriously handicapped they may need to be fed, toileted, and all the rest. Should a lack of self sufficiency be deemed sufficient grounds to kill them? Some ethicists would seem to hold that it is,

        • TBP100

          Because it can live outside the womb. Because it is no longer wholly dependent on the woman’s body for sustenance. Because it is no longer occupying a woman’s body, which I maintain it has no right to do without permission, particularly given the health risks of pregnancy in even a healthy woman. Any rights that it might have are superseded by those of the woman who body it inhabits.

          • Andrew Mason

            Children are the natural product of sexual intercourse. If she didn’t want a blastocyst she should have remained a virgin – it’s really very simple. As for health risks of pregnancy, everything carries health risks, including doing nothing. A woman has no right to commit murder simply because she feels like it. She chose to get pregnant and must live with the consequences of her actions.

          • TBP100

            Yes, we all know from thousands of years of history, literature, folklore, mythology and even song that telling people not to have sex is a winning strategy.

            You also overlook that a lot of sex is, sadly, not really consensual.

            And regardless, it’s still her body. No other being, no matter how we regard that being, has the right to commandeer another being’s body for nine months against her will.

            Are you in favor of mandatory kidney donations?

          • Andrew Mason

            Kidneys are part of a person’s body, children are the product of a body.

            And at the same time, nobody has the right to murder another.

            Lot is a fairly nebulous term, as is not really consensual. What do you mean by lot, 1% or 20%, thousands, or millions of such encounters …? And what is not really consensual, do you mean rape, or do you mean they got so drunk their capacity to think was inhibited with the result they gave consent without meaning to or …? See nobody is arguing rape is not wrong, the issue is that consent is increasingly fuzzy.

            Accidents happen, nothing will prevent that, but you can switch from an occasional accident model to an expected outcome model. If you teach children to have sex then you should expect them to engage in it.

          • TBP100

            A zygote is not a baby ergo abortion is not murder.

            But for the sake of argument, let’s say it is. If you refuse to donate a kidney to someone who needs it, are you murdering that person? It really is the same thing.

            And as I have pointed out, even a wanted pregnancy in a healthy woman carries burdens and risks, sometimes severe ones, including a non-zero change of dying. We don’t get to require that of someone who is not willing.

            I agree that the issue of consent can be tricky, but sex can be less than consensual without rising to the legal threshold of rape.

      • ArthurMcGowan

        Okay. Now you’re making yourself clear.

        A ten-year-child and a blastocyst ARE exactly the same thing: a living, innocent human being.

        • TBP100

          No, they are not. The one MIGHT become the other, although even without human intervention the odds are very much against it, but they are no more the same thing than a sprouting acorn is an oak tree.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Gee, just think how many potential capital punishment candidates those pro choicer’s have put to death before they had the chance to protest capital punishment on their behalf ….

  • Tim Pan

    This is the worst Pope the Catholic church has foisted on the world in quite sometime. Never trust a Jesuit .

    • James

      We had two really good Popes back-to-back in JPII and BXVI. Francis is far better than the indecisive Paul VI.

      Keep going back and there were some true rotten and incompetent Popes. Francis is merely an average Pope after two really spectacular ones.

      • Zmirak

        No, he’s one of the worst in history. Probably THE worst. I’d prefer any of the adulterers who bribed their way to the throne but didn’t promote heresy and persecute true believers.

        • James

          Oh come on, you’ve attacked Francis for saying the same thing as his predecessors, but you know you can’t get away with attacking JPII and BXVI on a conservative website.

          You are no more than a Cafeteria Catholic who doesn’t like the new cook.

          • Zmirak

            No, your statement is false. His predecessors suggested that the death penalty might no longer be necessary. Francis has said that it was ALWAYS unjust, and we’re just now realizing that. Is the difference between those two things (situational assessment and categorical judgment) really that complicated?

          • James

            It’s a distinction without a difference. Francis is prone to exaggeration, but he will not get a correction from the Pope Emeritus (or any bishop, for that matter) for stating the point too strongly.

            John Paul II and Benedict XVI’s opinions on the death penalty were clear and you said you disagree with them. But you can only get away with attacking Francis and keep your column.

          • TBP100

            As an outsider (never been a Catholic, not a Christian at all) I have noticed that whenever conservative Catholics like the Pope and agree with him, they think any dissenters should just shut up and obey. The Pope said it, and that settles it.

            However, when they disagree with the Pope, they feel perfectly free to criticize and condemn, often in very harsh terms, and even accuse the person they consider to be the Vicar of Christ of heresy.

            Either God picks out the Popes, and they have the corresponding authority, or he doesn’t.

          • James

            Exactly. Papal authority is only valid when they agree with it.

            Many liberal Catholics did not like Benedict XVI, but I don’t remember them calling him the Antichrist or a heretic.

            Furthermore, both liberals and conservatives are taking their views of different Popes from media characatures rather than who the men are. We rarely hear Francis being praised for warning against the devil or Benedict’s statements on social justice.

          • ArthurMcGowan

            Baloney.

            “Conservative” Catholics “disagree” with the Pope when the Pope contradicts the teaching of the Church.

            “Liberal” Catholics disagree with the Pope when the Pope affirms the teaching of the Church.

          • James

            Also, this seems to be primary a problem among white non-Hispanic American Catholics, who have projected the US Culture War onto the Catholic Church.

            Rome sees the US as a colonial backwater and English as a fifth language. Meanwhile, Americans cannot comprehend how we could not be the center of everyone’s universe.

          • ArthurMcGowan

            You seem to think you’ve caught “conservatives” in a contradiction.

            1) God does not choose the Pope. The Pope’s authority does not flow from his being chosen by God–which doesn’t happen. The Church chooses the Pope, and his authority flows from Christ.

            2) When “conservatives” “agree with the Pope,” it’s because he is repeating what the Church has always taught. It is for that reason that “conservatives” believe that “liberals” should “shut up.”

            3) When “conservatives” “disagree with the Pope,” it’s because he is contradicting what the Church has always taught. It is for this reason that “conservatives” insist that they should not be forced to shut up.

          • TBP100

            1. All I can say is I know plenty of Catholics who think that God does indeed choose the Pope. I can’t see any logical reason why he WOULDN’T choose the leader of his one, true, universal, eternal church, but I don’t know the official dogma on that. Why would he permit a bad Pope, one who contradicted his true doctrines, ever?

            And if you’re a trinitarian, which I assume Catholics are, aren’t God and Jesus the same thing in some weird mystical way, so that if his authority flows from Jesus, it flows just as much from God?

            2-3. There really isn’t a lot that the church has “always taught,” however much they like to claim otherwise.

          • Linda

            You are very comfortable criticizing this Pope, whom God Himself presumably chose and anointed, yet you and your fellow contributors and commenters on The Stream fight back hard and mean on anyone who may criticize or dislike Trump.

    • Wayne Cook

      Not quite. There have been a few worse popes…and remember, John is Catholic, so he knows his church history.

  • Charles Burge

    Another argument:

    In China, millions of forced abortions take place. Women are literally kidnapped by their own government, and abortions are performed on them without their consent. So, to state the obvious, they have no choice in the matter. Yet the so-called “pro-choice” crowd never condemns this. Why would that be the case?

    • TBP100

      Because we don’t live there? You might have noticed people tend to pay more attention to things which affect them in a relatively direct way. And no one can possibly be outraged at everything in the world that deserves outrage. We literally wouldn’t have time for anything else.

  • tz1

    You go off into the whole seamless garment thing, but the Death Penalty is the specific issue in the title.

    IIRC, In Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II condemned capital punishment on prudential grounds – it is never NECESSARY to kill someone in a first world country where they can be guaranteed to be incarcerated. This didn’t apply historically, nor in places like a war zone.

    You can also consider Texas where exculpatory evidence isn’t allowed after a short time and appeals, and the breadth (unknowingly being the getaway driver will make you guilty of a murder you didn’t know about). Michigan has no death penalty.

    Is ending an Ectopic pregnancy – which is an abortion – licit? See double-effect. But the intentional ending of an unborn life is ALWAYS evil.

    Capital Punishment is allowed in specific cases, but is NEVER required morally. Even when it is allowed it can only be after much careful application of Justice and an assurance it is warranted. We aren’t always there in the USA. Two solutions are to do the hard work of reforming things so it never goes over the edge, OR to simply cease entirely.

    But note how much Abortion talk is to simply reduce it, not eliminate it – limiting it to before some point, requiring more informed consent, etc. That isn’t even happening where I can see with the death penalty. But we should be abolitionists on Abortion.

    • Zmirak

      I’m not arguing the wisdom or justice of American laws in particular states. I’m mainly concerned about exemplary cases like the Nuremburg defendants and Bin Laden, where I think it IS necessary, to extinguish them as icons and express our collective moral outrage. I’m fine with a moratorium on most death penalty cases in the U.S., except for terrorism and treason.

      • tz1

        Do you assign the titles or does someone else?

        Thanks for the clarification, now the issue is focused.

        Technically treason and piracy are capital crimes in the constituton.

        “Terrorism” I have a problem with because it seems to be what we do there is called something else, but if they do it here we call it terrorism. Abu Gharib? Drones destroying wedding celebrations or convoys? Or the “double tap” literally treaty war crimes by killing first reponders – paramedics or firemen, or intentionally blowing up funerals. Would you hold US citizens to those standards?

        • tz1

          Knit wit.

          • Paul

            The mutating article titles here is nothing new but no less annoying.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Now apply the seamless logic of this argument to Fr James Martin’s gay-timbered bridge.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    [This has been took and taken to confession. No pastoral advice sought.]

    There’s a fellow goin’ about town, putt-putting with easy liberty. Sighting him in a cafe booth or in his mustard yellow van at the light, my belly churns tightens of pure (confessed) regret.

    He could have been murdered, if it was not for my saving his miserable (nasty piece of meat) life. Twice.

    Times were, I’ve struggled with regret.

    It was my friend who could (should) have murdered him, murderously so. For justice had vacated for the young man, hit the high grass when he was took and taken while this nasty piece of meat putt-putts about in his yellow van. Stopping here, stopping there, spinning his web about like a yellow-bellied black widow.

    Dear friend was driven to murder the yellow van driver. He wanted it. He meditated on it, ritualized its (near beautiful) plan in a set-apart (‘sacred’) corner of his apartment. He wrote ream after ream of the murder’s motive and execution, breaking it out in flawless detail. Modeled it against the most horrendous of crimes; reveling insights that were both alarming and occultish. The boy texted me text after text making sure I was dialed in, as if the weight of it was too much to bear. All of it, of course, diligently delivered to this office and that, to this court and that.

    In time, the young man was hauled in and off. But the trouble I had getting cops and courts to mind their duty was difficult to bear. Had to (near to) set up a sting to force the issue on them.

    Dropped by his apartment one Easter evening. This time his plan for murder was getting its final touches; it was exquisitely detailed – now, not just the yellow van driver, but two. The second was an unfortunate obstructing his calling to commit the first. All laid out for my eye. It was meant so.

    This had gone on for far too long. Month after month: the planing, the details, his motive fine -uned and polished up – and my deliveries of the black & white evidence.

    Think a kind of exhaustion had settled in. For all my care, I was near to having it: with him and (mostly) with official eyes for not seeing the blood that was about to be shed. Fed up. It was just on that Holy Thursday I had stopped the young man from flaying a raccoon’s carcass on a Catholic parish altar while he torched the sanctuary down. (On his calendar countering the institution of Christ’s sacrifice was his highest duty.)

    After some talk that evening (not told here, for it involved what was in his “sacred corner”), I left him – gut-wise, I knew for good. In the darkest Easter night there ever could be, I delivered another (please, dear Jesus, make it the last) report.

    On Easter Monday morning he was took & taken.

    ___________________________

    The point being: the young man was driven to murder. He wanted it; he chose it. He understood the crime of it; he knew its penalty. Even though a storybook could be written (and it is upon my heart) of all the qualifying circumstances involved – including the yellow van driver’s crime against him – it would not lessen the nature of the crime, or its punishment.

    [Forgiveness and mercy has nothing to do with it. That has been given in overflowing cup abundance.]

    You see, the oath to murder was my friend’s allegiance to his Dark Lord (of the Left Hand). In that submission, so his ‘workings’ at his dark corner assured him, would come justice, the setting right of what was denied him: beginning with the hour of his birth, swaddled in the hospital incubator, all tubed up grasping for a life he barely knew was his, and with his father on the outside of the window – walking away.

    Justice (right living) denied to little boys make for wayward, angry (and violent) men.

    The Dark Lord – so the promise goes – would substitute a father’s guiding love (denied) with untutored power. Power to thwart all obstacles to wants and wishes.

    But the Dark Lord lies. Guided fatherly love crowns a boy with (true) manly power: power that flourishes himself and all around him. The Dark Lord closes a boy’s fist around a cold-stone rock, the illusive weight of stony hard power. But such a stone sinks a boy’s heart into the pit of the Dark Lord’s clutches. The deceit comes full circle. The palm of that hand justice (no less than love) is truly crushed. Murder, as with any crime, is the sacrificial sinking down; it’s the price for being cradled in the mocking hand of Satan.

    All this the young man understood and accepted. He well knew what the Dark Lord was sinking him down to. There was no love to lift him up – not even mine. Murder was the sacrificial gate.

    Seems, the greater crime here – even that of a murdered yellow van driver – is the refusal, the willful ignorance, of men to weld the power of fathers to build sheltering and flourishing households. When fathers build houses there is no need for murder.

    So, now we’ve come to this, to the question. If I had not, in effect, trapped him and forced the hand of the law – if my dear friend had truly sliced and diced that nasty piece of meat – should he had been executed for doing the deed of murder?

    Yes, he should. Say it without hesitation, even in the midst of sorrow. Even as the grief rips and tears sorrow to anguish, I would applaud the state for doing so.

    Both my grief and the state’s duty is acknowledgement of what reigns over all – the Natural Law and its necessity. It cannot be nullified, even by Pope Francis.

    As for the yellow van driver I owe him nothing, except the life I spared him. I no longer regret doing so. My friend was took and taken – and not executed or sent to Pelican Bay for murder. The next time, though, this nasty piece of meat parks here and there, spinning webs, if he should snag another young fly bent on murder, I would not be there to save his. Maybe there is justice in that.

    I speak as a father.

  • davidrev17

    If one simply applied the seamless logic found in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures – whose SOLE Author is none other than the omniscient Ruach haKodesh Himself (affirmed within the text more than 2,000 times) – one should readily discern how being consistently pro-life in abortion, and pro-capital punishment, are actually logically lucid positions.

    What about “justifiable homicide”? Will we also consider the legal and/or logical schizophrenia currently on mind-numbing hypocritical display, when it comes to the irreconcilable night-and-day disparity existing within this nation’s criminal law statutes on states’ books – over and against its federal constitutional jurisprudence – with specific regard to the “life” of Homo sapiens’ in-utero, at any stage of development??

    Just watch what happens now in our Senate re: the potential passage of the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (strongly upheld in the U.S. House recently); since 21-states presently have some version of these so-called “20-week abortion bans” enacted in their jurisdictions. Additionally, and this is powerful, to say the least: twenty-nine (29) states possess some version of criminal “fetal homicide laws” – from CONCEPTION onward – out of a total of 38, or 39 states where fetal homicide is recognized as unlawful; whose sole-focus is protecting the “life” of Homo sapiens’ in their mother’s womb – throughout every stage of pre-natal development!

    Yet abortion itself is still constitutionally legal in all 50-states; whereby the mother, and her “chosen” third-party disinterested executioner, are still bizarrely viewed as cultural icons (or heroes) for having participated in this no doubt emotionally/morally challenging practice. So I humbly inquire: what’s wrong with this entire picture anyway?

    ▪ ▪ ▪

    “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, AND HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19/ESV, emphasis added).

    “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

    “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.” (Genesis 9:1-7/ESV)

    ▪ ▪ ▪

    Sure is strange how ultra-sophisticated “21st-century Schizoid Man,” now comfortably “educated to the point of imbecility,” has seemingly become far-too smart for their infinitely omniscient Creator; whose bush-league observation of mine can nonetheless find supporting evidence through this article’s well-intentioned content, and following comments.

  • Mark Chance

    The clearest way to expose the lie behind the pro-choicers capital punishment false flag is to point out that any number of people who oppose abortion also oppose capital punishment. For example, Pope Francis. At this moment in the conversation, the pro-choicer will shift the goalposts, equivocate, insult, et cetera, all in the an effort to maintain the irrational belief that the unborn ought to be killed because reasons.

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