You might know this, but I’m a Catholic.
Which means I believe in the right to life.
“What? Pro-life? You crazy anti-woman person you.”
Excuse me, I don’t think you heard me right. I said I believe in the right to life. They terms generally imply the same things but as we all know the term “pro-life” has been co-opted for use in the ever-gong abortion debate. The right to life goes beyond abortion and means supporting life in all its forms. Fighting against the death penalty, not supporting wars that aren’t considered “just,” believing in living wages, promoting health care for those who can’t afford it, supporting those who are struggling the most to live, be it through disease, poverty, mental health battles or oppression.
It’s not just about abortion.
And before the other half of you who didn’t leave once I made my “right to life” confession head out as well, I’ll let you know that I am not just one of those “crazy liberals who cares about everything except innocent little babies.” I am against abortion, though I haven’t seen anyone suggest a legal means addressing it that I can support with full conscious. Defunding clinics that provide counseling to rape victims and health care to those who can’t afford it? No, thank you. Outlawing the birth control pill? I’d prefer to not live with the debilitating effects of endometriosis, but maybe that’s just me. No, what I support is cultural shifts, moving away from judging single parents, supporting pre and post natal health care for low-income women, promoting adoption, honoring women who choose to sacrifice 9 months of their life so that another family can welcome a child, encouraging sex education, fighting for the equality of women, working on the self-esteem of young girls so they don’t feel the need to find validation through sex. That kind of thing.
I believe in the right to life in all forms. And while it saddened me to hear people cheer for the execution of 234 people in Texas, it saddens me more to here about the lives that are about to be lost. Government sanctioned murder; how can we say this country believes in life when we support that?
Duane Buck is scheduled to die today in Texas at 6pm central time. While no one disputes his guilt, a psychologist at his sentencing trial testified that he was likely to remain a danger to society because he was black. A man scheduled to die because of his race? I thought Harper Lee wrote that story 50 years ago.
If you want to speak up, you can sign the ACLU’s petition here.
On September 21st, Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed in Georgia despite their being no physical evidence in the case against him. Seven of the nine who testified against him have since recanted their stories.
The family of James Craig Anderson, who was murdered in a hate crime in Mississippi, is asking the judge not to seek the death penalty for any of those convicted in their family member’s murder.
What saddens me about the death penalty isn’t the amount of life loss. I realize people are dying in bigger proportions every day from other tragedies. What bothers me is that this is the government that we have elected, that is supposed to be a reflection of who we are and what we stand for, has decided that it is okay to take life into their own hands. Not for the protection of society, but for punishment, for retribution, for vengeance.
That’s not who I am. That’s not what I stand for.
If we want to be a country of life, let us support life in all forms. In the tiny ones, in the old ones, in the disadvantaged ones, even in the ones we struggle to forgive. Let us fight for the right to life.